Today marks the 30th anniversary of the classic movie Highlander starring Christopher Lambert, Sean Connery and Clancy Brown. It tells the story of the mystical Russell Nash (Christopher Lambert); when he kills a man in a sword fight in a New York City parking lot, he leaves a sliver of an ancient weapon lodged in a car in the process. After brilliant forensics specialist Brenda Wyatt (Roxanne Hart) recovers evidence of the mysterious weapon, she and her partner, Lt. Frank Moran (Alan North), embark on an investigation Of Nash that will land them in the middle of a dangerous, centuries-old feud between powerful immortals.
Highlander was one of the many films that came out the 80’s that was quite unique and unlike anything we had seen before. The story was suitably surreal with characters who stuck with you long after watching. The stand out has to be Clancy Brown who was always quite terrifying as the villain known as The Kurgan. His growling voice and shaved head made him immediately intimidating and to this day he remains a classic action movie villain.
I’ve always liked Christopher Lambert but he does do one of the worst Scottish accents in history and then we have Connery playing a Spaniard so it’s certainly rather strange, but to be honest it just adds to it and gives it a more otherworldly feel.
There is plenty of action galore with some epic swordfights and it also still has one of the best soundtracks of all time. The songs by Queen add real emotional resonance to the story, especially “Who Wants to Live Forever?” which still brings a lump to the throat. Michael Kamen’s score is also quite special with a memorable theme tune.
What makes Highlander stand the test of time is that it doesn’t make immortality seem all that appealing; you watch everyone you love eventually grow old and die while you remain the same age. It has genuine heart and despite Lambert’s wonky accent you totally root for him.
The tagline for Highlander is “There Can Only Be One!” which would end up being bollocks as so far there have been five Highlander movies (Highlander, Highlander II: The Quickening, Highlander III: The Sorcerer, Highlander: Endgame, Highlander: The Source), two television series, an animated series, an animated movie, an animated flash-movie series, ten original novels, nineteen comic book issues, and various licensed merchandise with a remake which keeps getting discussed and never materializing.
If we did get a remake they should cast an actual Scot, so I’d like to say that I am available and will work for a small sum of cash.
Happy 30th Birthday, Highlander! To celebrate Studo Canal are apparently releasing a new Blu-ray of the movie on June 13 but we don’t have any further details as yet.