Saturday, November 14, 2009

I Can't Multi-task! - I'm Only Seven....

One of the reasons I keep the film log I post here, is so that, in some future time, my kids can read it and a. understand some of the jokes and weird things I have been saying to them and b. find out the name of 'that movie' with a particular image or moment that has seared itself into their juvenile heads.

Over on IMDb there is a whole (busy) message board dedicated to answering questions about movies. A lot of them are along the lines of: "I saw this movie when I was a kid and I would love to know what it was - all I remember is that there is this bit where... " followed by some very sketchy, befuddled details. Quite often regulars on the forum name the elusive movie within minutes and the original poster is effusively grateful. " You guys are amazing! I've been looking for this movie for twenty years!" etc.

So, future Holly and Daisy, the movie with the girl with the blue umbrella was The Blue Umbrella, the bit with all the spiders flying into the sky was Charlotte's Web, and the reason Daddy has been giggling like an idiot for the last two days and bounding around like a loon screaming "Yor's World - he's the ma-aaaan!" is because he watched Yor: The Hunter From the Future....

I don't use the word 'awesome' if I can help it. It's not a word that fits too happily in the mouth of a middle aged, middlish-class Brit. It makes me sound like I'm desperately trying to cling on to my rapidly receding youth - like the balding, middle-aged Teddy Boys that caused me so much amusement in my own spotty adolescence. I avoid using 'awsome' for the same reason I avoid using words like: 'Dude', 'Rad', 'Bitchin' and 'Gnarly'. But I have to use it now. Yor: The Hunter From the Future is an awesome film.
If I had a comedy sidekick he would at this point pop up and say: "You're in awe of Yor?"
Yor is the Man! Yor is the prima inter pares of Italian SF movies, A truly wonderful piece of crap movie heaven on earth. If anyone ever asks me why I watch so many dreadful movies I will make them watch Yor. It's the eternal hope that I will find something as wonderful as Yor that makes me carry on. It is, in short, the dog's bollocks. Paydirt! The movie that has everything: a truly bewildering masterpiece of crap which proves, if nothing else, that the Italians invented Mashup years before anyone else thought of it.

Turn down the house lights and cue the post Flash Gordon, Queeny-lite type intro music of...

So, after we have recovered from the opening credits what happens? Or more to the point, what doesn't happen? Yor, (He's the man apparently) disappears from the screen for a few minutes and we spend a few blissful moments with a tribe of hippy cavemen who, apart from looking like they are about to announce the imminent arrival of Monty Python's Flying Circus, are tra la la blissfully happy in only the way that a bunch of characters due to be brutally slaughtered to a man by the end of the first reel can be.

Soon the happy hippy hunter-gatherers go on a hunt (or a gather) and within seconds one of the tribe, a pretty young female in a leather bikini and film-star teeth, spears what looks suspiciously like a small pig with ice-cream cones stuck all over it. But - Argh! What's this! Suddenly the badly dressed pig's mum heaves into view and the the front half of a giant cardboard flesh eating triceratops bursts out of the jungleywoods and attacks! Leather bikini girl is doomed! But suddenly YOR -
Aaahhhh! The Hero of the Universe!
- jumps out. Yor hits dinosaur with axe. (I am tempted here to make a joke about Italian dinosaurs being called 'Dino', but I won't.) Yor leaps over Dino's prongs like a Minoan bull dancer. Yor hit Dino again with the axe - right between the eyes this time. Dino die. Yor exultant.

Yor drink Dino blood. Yor hero to tribe. Big party. Girl in the bikini do the hoochie-coochie dance because she suddenly has the hots for hero hunk man in bad Hulk wig. Suddenly! before the hoochie coochie gets really interesting, purple painted Neanderthal cavemen attack. Our hero, his newly acquired crumpet, and her elderly guardian flee - and everyone else is killed, apart from all the women who are captured and dragged away to be ravished. And the audience is happy! because we know where we are. We are in One Million Years BC country, okay, the heroine's boobs aren't as big as Raquel Welsh's (though Yor's are) and the monsters are rubbish, but let's just settle back and enjoy the anachronistic nonsense of cavemen vs. dinosaurs. Yay! Go dinosaurs!

Back to the plot.

Pausing only to possibly have implied off-screen sex in an old tree, Yor and the girl retire to a secret cave. But suddenly! they are attacked by the Purple painted Neanderthal cave men again. Yor is thrown off a thousand foot cliff, and bikini crumpet girl is carried away, struggling, to the usual implied fate worse than death.

Yor wakes up, only slightly pissed off to find himself at the bottom of a cliff (but basically unhurt) - 'Nya! I've been thrown into deeper ravines... ' - and climbs back up to the top again. At the top he meets the elderly guardian who, presumably, has just been sitting there all night waiting for Yor to not be dead after being thrown to his certain death and climb back up to meet him. Together they go to the lair of the purple people eaters. They've just about given up working out how to sneak up on the bad guys' cave without being spotted when they are attacked by a 'Beast of the Night', a bloody big bat thing. Yor knocks it out of the sky with one arrow, then punches the bugger a few times, and ...

... this is so fucking brilliant ...

... lifts the dead bat beast over his head and uses it as a hang glider!

He is the Ma - aaaan!

Yor hang-glides into the cave, drop kicks the head bad guy in the face, and kills everything that moves. (Apart from bikini girl of course.) Yor pulls a rock out of a huge dam the purple people eaters have, for some inexplicable reason, constructed inside their cave and everyone Yor hasn't already killed with his axe dies. (Including, presumably, all the women he was supposedly there to rescue.)

Next morning our three companions are in an arid desert, on the other side of the big mountain, looking for a mysterious woman who wears a medallion exactly like Yor's ("Like mine?" "Yes, like yours, Yor.") Yor goes on alone.

Suddenly! Yor is attacked by stuntmen wearing rags and carrying pointy sticks - which are on fire! Yor is captured and taken before their queen who looks suspiciously like she goes to the same crappy wig maker as he does and - Da Da Dahhhh! - has a medallion just like his. Somehow we have slipped from One Million Years BC land into some kind of Conanesque world. Where muscle-bound adventurer drift from place to place encountering weirdness magic and evil. Okay. I can live with that. Yay! Go Evil!

"You are like me! Who are we where do we come?" cries Yor. (I'm paraphrasing here.) "No idea." she says, "The people here say I fell from the sky and they found me next to this huge block of ice with these frozen bodies in it. They too are wearing medallions just like us." (But not that much.) "Don't stress about it though because you are about to be sacrificed." Yor objects to being sacrificed, grabs a sword with flames shooting out of the side of it, and - kills everybody!

And then the cave collapses for no apparent reason.

Everywhere this bugger goes things just self-destruct and hundreds of people die.

So now Yor has two women. (He grabbed the queen on the way out of the collapsing cave). Yor Happy. (Actually Yor VERY happy). Girlies not so.
Just when the cat fight (told you his movie has everything) is getting interesting they are SUDDENLY ATTACKED by the purple Neanderthal guys who weren't as dead as we thought - and Yor has to kill them all over again. During the fight the queen gets killed (not, for a change, by Yor) and is buried - but only after Yor takes her medallion. No point in burying jewellery is there? Muscle-bound, walking catastrophe he may be - but he's not stupid.

Yor and his friends reach the sea. No sooner have they not even sat down for a rest, than they hear screams coming from a cave. They rush to the cave and find a Dinosaur (which looks suspiciously like the Triceratops he killed earlier, but without the big pointy bits) attacking women and children. (Doesn't anything this man kills stay dead?). They kill the Dino (again) and much happiness ensues and, not really understanding that they are dooming themselves to an early and messy death, the village invite Yor and his friends to stay and have a party. (They also try to give him another woman, but he passes.) Oh, and by the way, they say, something really weird happened round here recently. Something fell out of the sky and we killed the man who climbed out of it - and then it conveniently exploded so there is nothing to left to show you. Apart from this bit (I love the lengths low budget movie makers sometimes have to go to to get out of actually showing you anything on screen.) 'This bit', incidentally, looks very like a truck wing mirror with some bits of sticky-backed plastic stuck on to make it look a bit futurey. (I don't think we are in Hyperborea any more, Toto.) Anyway, party party party, la la la! happy happy Kaboom! Laser blasts from unseen circling spaceships explode the village - and everyone dies! (For a bit.)

Yor and his companions set sail on the (dead) headman's boat to the mysterious island of which he had (prior to dying) told them.

After the inevitable storm and shipwreck. Yor is captured by black suited robots left over from a slightly more expensive film starring Richard Kiel - that's right, this movie is cheaper than something starring the bloke who played a sidekick villain called 'Jaws' in a James Bond movie.

Somehow we have neatly segued from a really awful Conan rip off into a low rent post Star Wars SF movie, filmed in the same refinery they shoot every other low rent post Star Wars SF movie. There is a rebel underground trying to overthrow 'The Overlord' who is bent on 'doing evil' and making the same mistakes 'the ancients' did.
(Oh I get it! Were in the future that's why it's called Yor, the Hunter from the Future, oh yeah, I see - I can be so thick sometimes....)
These mistakes presumably include breeding a Master Race of androids, using Yor's sperm and bikini girl's body, to replace the old models, which are pretty plodding and useless, and look, as one reviewer so wonderfully put it: 'like Darth Vader had fucked Hello Kitty'.
"After you inseminate the woman, you die!"
Okay. Don't know about you but I think hearing that would pretty well squash my libido dead. So what's Evilon going to do now?
"Aha! After I wank you - and do something to her with a turkey baster - you will die!"?
The rebels choose this moment to - er - rebel. Why this moment? No idea. But this is the time they choose, and so, after a lot of running around shooting colour coded laser blasts (Goodies - green, Baddies - red), in which a couple of cavemen pick up 23rd century technology insanely quickly, and a couple of Action Man dolls serve as stunt doubles for some trapeze work (I kid you not), and a particularly pointless Lady of Shanghai type Hall of Mirrors sequence which did nothing to advance the plot but did give the audience a chance to have a good look at the film crew from several angles, Yor blows up the whole fucking island - and kills everybody!

It's incredible. Put this guy within three feet of anything that looks like an ordered society and it crumbles to bloody ruin within minutes. Apparently Edward Gibbon's massive Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is, for the most part, a chronicle of a happy enlightened culture, at ease with itself, and at peace with its neighbours. It's only towards the end, shortly after we read the phrase 'Then this bloke called Yor showed up', that it all starts going tits up.

It's now the end of the movie. The sun is setting in the west (it could be the east but let's assume it's the west) the island is sinking into the sea and Yor and his pals fly off into the setting to spread the word about not meddling with things man was not meant to meddle with (especially Yor's thing) and a voice over wonders aloud if he will succeed. I guess they were hoping for a series or at least a sequel.

I really hope they made one. Yor 2.

I'd invest in it.

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