Jan 26, 2014

Reb Brown: Man-Mountain from the Future

In the way of Arnold Schwarzenegger's Conan the Barbarian (1982), studios started scouring the countryside for man-mountains that they could shove into loincloths for barbarian hijinks.  Yor, the Hunter from the Future (1983) is one of the more infamous attempts, with tacky sets, a horrible theme song, and a ludicrous plot about a cave man who fights dinosaurs, blue-skinned people, sand mummies (don't ask), and flying saucers.  And he turns out to be living in a post-Apocalyptic future!

Everyone thought that superbly muscled 34-year old Reb Brown, who played Yor, was named after the Confederate Army's Johnny Reb, but he was actually born as a more humdrum Robert Brown in Los Angeles, and adopted the Southern redneck name for reasons unknown.

A football star at USC, then a pro boxer, and deputy sheriff, he had been bouncing around movies and tv since the snake-horror Ssss (1973); he gets snaked to death while soaping up his enormous pecs in the shower.  He appeared in such muscle-flexing roles as Football Player in The Girl Most Likely To (1973), Lifeguard on The Rockford Files (1975), and Weightlifter in Six Characters in Search of an Author (1976).  

In 1978 and 1979, he played Captain America in two tv-movie adaptions of the comic book hero.  Not the most becoming outfit, but it least it's bulgeworthy.

After Yor, Reb starred in some of the standard "Man-Mountain rescues someone in Southeast Asia" actioners, some of which resulted in ample homoerotic buddy-bonding (he bonds with Sylvester Stallone in Cage, 1989).  All of which resulted in ample shirtless and semi-nude scenes.

Plus a few more movies so bad that they rated Mystery Science Theater 3000 riffs, such as Howling 2: Your Sister is a Werewolf (1985) and Space Mutiny (1988). 

Gradually he moved out of acting into production.  Probably not gay in real life.