Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Diana and I watched the beginning of Highlander the other day, the original movie. Diana had never seen it, so it was interesting to hear her pick apart all of the huge gaping plot holes and inconsistencies. Still, it's a good movie from a mid-80s sci-fi stand point. I was struck by just how teen-boy centric it is. I mean, it's got immortals, sword fighting, nudity, and gratuitous decapitation. And if you happen to find Christopher Lambert attractive, it works for the teen-girls too. After all, it's got immortals falling in love with mortals, angst, costumes, etc. If the Highlander sparkled and had a clumsy teen love-interest, I'd wonder if Stephenie Meyer was a fan.

I've never seen any of the sequels or the TV show. I always preferred to think of it as a stand-alone kind of thing. The plot is ridiculous enough, trying to make it work beyond one movie is just too big of a stretch. The whole point is "there can be only one," making sequels inherently oxymorons.

If you need an example of how ridiculous the movie is at times, just take a look at Sean Connery's character. In a move called "Highlander" one of the most famous Scotsman of all time plays an Egyptian named "Ramirez". Scratch your head about that one for a while. This was at the end of Connery's really-bad-career-downswing after James Bond but before The Untouchables when he made films like Zardoz and Meteor. Really, 1986 was the beginning of his renaissance. That year he was in Highlander and The Name of the Rose. A year later he'd win his Oscar and by 1989 he'd have re-established himself as a big name at the box-office. Though, no one ever said he made good career moves. He was reportedly offered the role of Gandalf for 15% of worldwide box-office receipts but turned it down. He would have made about $400 million off that, but it's hard to imagine those movies being as good without Ian McKellen.

Unfortunately Highlander was really the pinnacle of Christopher Lambert's career. Well, his Hollywood career anyway. (He's having something of his own renaissance right now in the world of French cinema.) I always thought he did Tarzan after Highlander, but I was wrong. When he made Tarzan he didn't really speak English at all which worked fine for the character (not that it mattered that Andie MacDowell spoke English, as all of her dialogue as Jane was overdubbed by Glenn Close). He'd just learned English when he made Highlander, which explains his completely whacked accent in the film. He's French, but was born in the US, but grew up mostly in Switzerland. So when the Highlander says he's from "lots of different places," it's kinda meta.

And while you may or may not recognize Clancy Brown as the villain, you should recognize his voice. He's done voice acting in just about every animated series on TV in the last 30 years. He's Mr. Krabs:

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In 1789, the governor of Australia granted land and some animals to James Ruse in an experiment to see how long it would take him to support himself. Within 15 months he had become self sufficient. The area is still known as Experiment Farm. This is my Experiment Farm to see how long it will take me to support myself by writing.