To take a current genre example one need look no further than The Wolfman. The poster shows all the principals (Hopkins, Blunt, Del Toro, and Weaving ) prominently, and way in the background it shows a tiny image of the wolf man. Does that seem just a little crazy to anyone? I mean could you imagine the poster for Star Wars just being the faces of Hamill, Ford, Fisher and Cushing lined up against a black background, rather than X-wings flying toward the Death Star, Vader’s helmet looming large in the background, and Hamill wielding a lightsaber?!? Absolutely not, just compare the two below and you'll see a stark contrast. The first time I remember seeing this was the poster for the original Scream, which just showed the cast and nothing else. The film became a monster hit, so I guess everyone figured if a plain poster like that could produce a franchise then why bother doing anything more elaborate. In their defense those posters do seem to generate blockbusters, so I guess you can't really blame them for being practical - it just regrettable from an aesthetic standpoint.
Before leaving Yor I would also like to provide a little bit of context for its place in movie history, as it arrived in theaters at an interesting moment in time. Yor was released in the summer of 1983, August to be specific. The summer of 1983 followed what is considered by many to be the greatest summer ever in the way of genre releases. It included movies like Blade Runner, Star Trek 2, Conan, Poltergeist, TRON, etc. It also saw the release of one of the most audacious B-movies ever in the form of Hal Needham’s Megaforce. So 1983 had a lot to live up to . . . and it tried mightily. Here is just a sampling of what folks were watching that summer: Return of the Jedi, Blue Thunder, Jaws 3-D, Something Wicked This Way Comes, Octopussy, Psycho II, Superman III, Twilight Zone: The Movie, and WarGames to name but a few. We’re talking some pretty great stuff.
And then there was Yor. Now remember this was an edited from television, low-budget Italian film starring Reb Brown. Can you imagine after sitting through a summer of films of the caliber listed, finishing things up with Yor?!? Such a thing would never happen today in the cookie cutter movie world we have now. Yor would be strictly direct-to-video. In my mind this represents a great loss, as most wouldn’t have enjoyed the opportunity to accidentally discover it in a mainstream theater as moviegoers did that summer. For that matter the same would hold true for Megaforce. You know when you consider it, Yor could be counted as the Megaforce of 1983 (which is quite an honor depending on your point of view).