Yor week continues with the unleashing of a massive tome that is in no way Margheriti in MiniScope! I’ve been researching and finding lots of goodies to share with Yor’all…but this is by far the proudest of them. Now…revealed at last in detail-a trip through Giant Size YOR #1! This review is by the fan of fans, the man of mans and the wordsmith with the masterplan…PAUL COOKE! Enjoy it and see you tomorrow. As Paul says in his review, this one is for Antonio and Edoardo…with much love and respect! Go visit AntonioMargheriti.com today.
Note: The screencaps are all screwy, I’ll work on improving them, but enjoy some One Eyed Wonder Beast today!
Antonio Margheriti’s 1983 made for television Sci Fi movie marathon classic, of mighty schlock proportions and of the so bad its great kind, really does exist in an unexpurgated three hour plus version. This is indeed then the now infamous four hour version, which formatted for television with adverts, and repeated end credits, condenses down to a true edit of around one hundred and ninety minutes. The talk of many a ‘B’ movie fan appreciation internet board , yet still only a few have been able to experience the show outside of its native Italian home land , other than in its edited for video movie version release.
Well fellow followers of wonderfully wooden sets, loveably laughable leads, cheesy dialogue, and magical man made monster mayhem, prepare to enter The World Of Yor!
For those completely new to the Icon that is Yor, it is a futuristic tale set in the prehistoric past. An era ruled by dinosaurs, well three or maybe four at least, and ruled over by the iron hand of ubiquitous Eighties Euro bad guy John Steiner. Wackier than Lord Darth Vader after a night out drinking with the Ewoks, and a super deserving recipient of the pantomime crowd gathered and hissing for all their worth. The hero of the piece is of course Yor. Former USC American football player and one time L.A sheriff’s deputy Reb Brown is perfectly cast in the title role. He has all the physical attributes required for a loin cloth wearing, Neanderthal man head bashing hero. His only other given props are a mysterious neck amulet, a hand held stone axe, and a coordinated stunt wig that proves to be a lifesaver on more than one occasion. He’s been sent from the future to save the past but somewhere along route he’s lost his memory, which is great for the scriptwriting team, but his journey through this mysterious land ultimately reveals his true purpose.
Director Antonio Margheriti was the perfect choice to pull this off and right from the opening sequence, where we are immediately introduced to Reb Brown as Yor running atop a rocky terrain in the vast expanse of this barren world, as his sweeping style of close proximity filming is perfect for the home screen viewing environment. Not to mention the grandeur attributable to a true giant of European film making. Action begins with Antonio and his unbridled youthful exuberance for making fun flicks is even today garnering a growing legion of adoring fans, and most deservedly so!
Alan Collins and the very attractive, hot cave girl chick skimpy threads wearing, Corinne Clery are introduced. Their characters Pag and Ka-Laa are out hunting but soon become the hunted as they unwittingly disturb a Stegosaurus. Enter Yor, saviour of the good people and keeper of the stunt wig. From here on in those familiar with the movie length edit of ‘Yor: The Hunter From The Future’ will become very aware of all the extra material that is on show here with the made for Television version. The dinosaur Action is multiplied four fold and all the monster butt kicking GBH Yor, and new found companions, can dish out is right up there on the screen to revel in. Lots of axe wielding action and spear sticking as the obviously man manipulated monster flails about like a giant lobster dancing in a bath of way too tepid water. Blood squibs aplenty in this much longer version and Reb Brown gets to leap and bound over the dumfounded stegosaurus like Olga Corbett dancing on hot coals. One of the creators and men responsible for maneuvering the beast from within its thick textured skin is non other than Edoardo Margheriti., the Son of Director Antonio and creative assistant for the production. The special effects so wonderfully rendered are attributable to Edoardo and Antonella Margheriti along with their father Antonio.
Yor is hailed the conquering hero and welcomed into the village of Pag and Ka-Laa. All is well until a burly gang of hairy fuzz ball werewolf type cave dwellers attack, swinging big clubs and displaying cannibalistic tendencies. Yor, Pag and Ka-Laa escape into the nearby swamp lands but do not escape the attention of a few of these persistent monkey men, who follow the trio baying for their blood. The quick thinking Yor and even quicker sand take care of the multi browed beasts, along with a nifty long bow, deftly put to good use by Pag. He may be too old and craggy to pull Corinne Clery but when it comes to shooting his arrows he’s still got what it takes to hit the spot! To elude capture from their pursuers larger number Pag splits off from Yor and Ka-Laa, leading the creatures away from times earliest version of Tarzan and Jane. Pag treks through the peril less lava caves in a scene that is reminiscent in design of a Mario Bava set, and bears a semblance of creative acknowledgement to his 1961 classic ‘Hercules At The Centre Of The Earth’.
Having hidden away in a hollow tree Yor and Ka-Laa emerge at the break of day to meet back up with Pag. Before they can even order up a couple of decaffeinated swamp brews and a double Rex burger from MacDino’s they are set upon by a one eyed, multi tentacle terror. This never before seen segment introduces a real highlight of low budget monster machination, exclusive to the TV edit. A swamp dwelling serpent with a big gapping mouth , sporting a set of dentures right out of a Bee Gees demon dentistry nightmare and he’s intent on staying alive at the expense of others. Its flailing tentacles grab Yor around the neck and leg leaving our hero no recourse but to strike out with his trusty axe. Slimy tendrils become sushi as Yor hacks away with bloody result. Ka-Laa proves her worth and deftness in throwing a knife as the bog monster soon wishes it had an extra eye on its Christmas wish list. Big fun all round here and a very welcome surprise bonus monster to pump up the enjoyment value.
Continuing upon their quest to reunite with Pag the two are unaware that the George Eastman ‘Big Ape’ like leader of the monkey men Neanderthals is close behind them, and he has a number of his underlings with him. From a viewable distance Pag can see his companions but also the pursuing deviants and is helpless to offer assistance as Yor and Ka-Laa are attacked. They capture Ka-Laa and steal Yor’s amulet, leaving him to survive thanks to a deftly aimed arrow shot from great distance with deadly accuracy by Pag , as a harbinger of death loses his life rather than taking that of Yor’s. Pag and Yor reunite, dust themselves down and track Ka-Laa to Neanderthal H.Q. A cavernous camp of iniquity where the unshaven man beasts wrestle for the right to rape the captured women, and gorge themselves on the meat and drink stolen from neighbouring camps. Chief bad hair , big beard wants Ka-Laa all to himself and only Yor can save her from a fate more ghastly than non existent flossing! Time to give the giggle pipes a work out as Yor uses Pag’s bow and arrow to shoot down out of the sky a large winged bat like creature, with an ingenious plan to use its wings to hang glide right on down into the bad beastie boy’s cavern. Yor’s gotta fight for the right to party on down with these beasties and he sure as all hip hop heck is soon knocking out the hits like a rap Royale Rumble. Yor saves the girl, retrieves his amulet and manages to cause a spectacular flooding of the cave system that has the mighty Margheriti mark of miniature mayhem magnificence about it. With Yor, Pag and Ka-Laa reunited the trio resume their trek across the prehistoric plain and beyond the forest land. Lots of kissing and smooching prevails between Yor and Ka-Laa and Reb Brown never once calls upon his stunt wig to stand in for the part here. Pag consoles himself with his long bow.
This TV edit is easy to pick up on where the episodes join as from this point we next join Yor on a lone trek, one where his scouting soon has him encountering a group of hill dwellers. Garbed like lepers these miscreants appear like Sand People from ‘Star Wars’ , and soon set upon Yor wielding fire sticks in a threatening manner. The leprous lunatics entrap Yor and bring him before a beautiful young Amazonian like young woman, who just like Yor is wearing an identical medallion around her neck. Behind her altar, encased in ice are others who also bear the medallion. An expedition from the future, fellow travellers of Yor!? Hard to tell, as of course this full television version of ‘Il Mondo Di Yor’ is in Italian language only! Ye gads Reb use the Yor stunt wig to see if it can magic up some English language subtitles!
Yor is prepped to be a sacrificial offering to the leper people’s craven idol, but too close to hand comes a mighty flaming sword which Yor grabs with both hands. It’s shish kebab time, leper frickasee care of the mighty Yor. Escaping the inferno Yor rescues the young woman and together they return to where Ka-Laa and Pag await his return.
Ka-Laa is both suspicious and jealous of the pretty new face in the group and both women seek the attention of Yor. A cave girl cat fight is always on the cards but so too is the re-emergence of chief bad hair, big beard in the guise of the monkey men leader. His appearance brings about the untimely death of the new girl as her head is violently smashed onto a rock in bloody fashion. Yor fights off the Neanderthal beasts but is left with no further enlightenment as to the connection between himself and the other medallion wearing people he has now encountered. Just before dying the young woman passes her amulet to Ka-Laa.
Journeying on the three companions come to a serene beach front , but the calm is soon broken as Yor and Pag are called into action to rescue a woman and her two children from a large scaly fin backed lizard. More monster mayhem here in this version as the battle is once again longer and bloodier. Pag and Yor attack the giant lizard with knife , axe and arrows in a fine show of heroism and a rallying roust for the viewer. When the villagers show Yor some anachronistic artifacts from a future far beyond their comprehension it is not long before Yor’s world starts coming home. An attack on the beach from above with mysterious and deadly laser rays leaves the village in ruins. Yor, Pag and Ka-Laa set sail across the ocean on a man made boat built by the villagers. Their quest is almost at an end as the distance traveled has brought them to the very precipice of this strange world. The waters around them become violent and the sky above turns black. Thunderous storms rage all around them and suddenly Yor is thrown overboard! He awakens alone on another barren beach coastline. His cries out to his companions go unheard by them but not unnoticed by a dark robed character looking down upon him from a futuristic citadel hidden from Yor’s view. Time then for the final chapter to play out, and time indeed too for the supremely wicked John Steiner to enter the fray as the Evil Overlord!
Yor is soon beset by a small troop of black moulded robotic humanoids who stun him with a deftly aimed blast from a ray gun. These are the mechanised pawns of the evil supremo John Steiner. Great special effects sequences here as a futuristic craft flies over the area in search also of Pag and Ka-Laa who have also been washed ashore farther down the beach. Yor is taken on board the ship and a female scientist, also wearing one of the amulets, proceeds to show him a video screen history of events that link Yor to both the present and the future. It seems that since a child Yor has been a part of a great experiment along with his mother and father. Born of future heritage yet raised in a bygone world that he became lost within.
The Overlord is ruler in this world and wants it to stay that way, but whilst Yor and any connection to him through the future programme survives, his realm of iron rule is compromised. There is already an underground movement within the subservient ranks planning an uprising against The Overlord and his metallic minions, and once Pag, Ka-Laa and Yor elude the detection of the dark realm they soon join with the revolution to bring The Overlord down. Storming Steiner’s holding the free willed allies free Yor and the complex becomes a battleground as The Overlord’s android army retaliates. The fight for the future plays out between man and machine as Yor picks up a laser gun in defence of the human cause. Lots of enjoyable cybernetic silliness ensues.
The rest is Yor lore as the evil supreme gets his comeuppance in true bad guy demise style , and Yor with heroic saviours escape off into the sunset, jet propelled upon a by winged space craft. The ship impressively jets up off into the dusk set sky and through the bellowing fiery expanse, emanating up from the exploding citadel below, to escape on out the other side. A wonderfully shot moment as the craft flies off into the distance across the moonlit ocean front, to the accompaniment of the De Angelis brothers Yor theme tune. The catchy funk will have you singing along in your head for days, and the closing credit proclamation of Special Effects by Antonio and Edoardo Margheriti will bring a smile and nod of appreciation. They just don’t make television shows like this any more. Harmless, silly Fun with a big sense of adventure and Action around every corner. Hopefully one day soon the full English dubbed version will get a general release , enabling fans both old and new the opportunity to see , and proudly proclaim at the top of their vocal range ‘Yor’s world , he’s the man , he’s the man’.