Highlander turned 30 this year and for the uninitiated Highlander may seen like this weird fad from the late 80’s to the mid 90’s but as franchises go, it’s one of the most underrated ones out there. In 30 years it had led to 5 films, a TV series, a cartoon series, comics, books, an anime, video games and an audio drama series. As you can see this series has a lot more to it than its initial film though it has had its ups and downs, mostly Highlander 2, which well I don’t even know where to start with that. Though it’s 2016 and Highlander 1 is what I am here to talk about. The film follows an immortal Connor MacLeod who after being fatally stabbed during the 16th century in a battle returns to life and is ostracized from his village, bouncing back between his 16th century life and his 20th century life. We learn than Connor is part of a great game where Immortals are drawn to each other to fight, for when one immortal beheads another he absorbs that mans knowledge and skills and becomes stronger. By 1985 there are only a few immortals left and the stage is set for the final showdown between Connor and his arch nemesis the dreaded Kurgan.
This was the film that introduced me to immortality and its concept, showing it as both a gift and a curse. It’s pretty heavy stuff for when I was a young kid to grasp. Now I mention this because the film holds a special place in my heart. Before I go any further with this I should mention that I am well aware a film about guys chopping off heads was probably not that appropriate for me but it’s not my fault, speak with my father. Anyway it was December 1993 and my Grandmother had just died, I remember things being a little chaotic then and no one was sleeping much but I remember watching this film with my father in the early hours of the morning. Ever since then this amazing tale of ancient warriors fighting throughout time has fascinated me. Before this film I had never heard of the Katana or even knew their where other kinds of swords, hell before this film I barely knew any songs by Queen. This film gave me a window into history, chivalry and great music and that is what I will forever love about it.
As much as I love the movie it is not without its faults, some of the dialogue is ridiculous and over the top, the casting of Sean Connery as an Egyptian from Spain visiting Scotland is mind boggling (I justify it saying that he is actually speaking Scottish thus they get to keep that sexy accent of his), the editing is weird by today’s standards, I am no historian but there are probably some historical inaccuracies also grown men attending a wrestling match just seems implausible, if any of this needs explaining then you have to watch the movie.
For all its faults it’s still a great film about someone being afraid to truly live stepping up to face his problems which I guess a lot of people can relate to. If I haven’t sold this to you yet let’s circle back to my earlier comment about Queen, they provide many of their great hits for the film including Its a kind of Magic, Princes of the Universe and Who Wants to Live Forever to name just a few. It’s great film with amazing music, an awesome cast, great set pieces, some amazing effects (and some dated ones), swords, fights, Highlander clans fight, Nazis being shot, over the top action, a little camp and more depth than a lot of people give it credit for, this is one you should totally check out.
The newly restored HIGHLANDER is available to download from today by clicking here.
The DVD & Blu-Ray is also available from today.