1985 New York City; the battle to end all battles. The last
remaining Immortals gather together to fight to the death:
Decapitation alone can kill them, and victor alone can lay
claim to "The Prize". Amongst the contestants is
Connor MacLeod who fought his first battle in 1536 on the
highlands of Scotland, and his most feared opponent, the evil
one of those classic '80s movies that most 30-somethings remember
fondly from their childhood. I haven't seen this movie for
years and was expecting to have my fond memories of it ruined
by watching it again. However, I still found it as enjoyable
as I did when I first saw it over 20 years ago.
Scotsman, Connor MacLeod, is one of a race of immortals who
can only be killed when beheaded with a sword. During a fierce
battle in the 1500s MacLeod is mortally wounded but he does
not die. Banished from his clan, for being in league with
the Devil, MacLeod learns from the mysterious Ramirez that
he is of a race of immortals. These rare knights never age
and never reproduce, they can only meet death by the blade
of another of their kind.
Leap forward to the present day and The Quickening has begun
- in this time the remaining immortals are few and for one
remaining soul a glorious prize awaits.
movie's most memorable line: "There can be only one"
was obviously not referring to the DVD release. This is at
least the third attempt to bring the movie to region 2 fans.
As with previous releases, this one is a little lacking in
quality features. In fact, there is so little in the way of
added material that I'm surprised that they had the cheek
to spread it over two discs. Come on. Are they really expecting
us to believe that the additional features (which last for
around 1hr 40mins) wouldn't have squeezed onto one disc? There
are plenty of DVDs where much more material has been included
on a single DVD - I'm thinking of The Mummy as a prime
disc one all you get is the movie and an audio commentary
with director Russell Mulcahy. Disc two offers up a new Making
featurette - which is split into three parts; an interview
with Christopher Lambert (8:30); a trailer; and trailers for
audio commentary is fairly run-of-the-mill, but Mulcahy does
reveal some interesting observations on the making of the
movie. He explains why the opening camera shot has never really
been seen again in the movies - apparently it was used soon
afterwards on another picture and the camera fell, killing
someone. He also gives us a brief history lesson, explaining
that in actuality MacLeod's clan would have fought in the
nude and certainly wouldn't have been wearing tartan - as
it hadn't been invented. Mulcahy also comes clean about moving
some rocks while on location - rocks that Queen Victoria was
said to have stopped to have a picnic on.
interesting point, made in the commentary, is that in the
American version of the movie viewers don't realise that Connor's
PA, Rachel, was rescued by him from the Nazis. The whole WWII
segment was not available in the American cut of the movie.
He also points out that the original actor cast in the role
of the Nazi walked off set because he was getting bored of
comes in at a healthy 1hr 25mins and is split into three segments.
The first, A Legend is Born, features new interviews
with the movie's scriptwriter (Gregory Widen) and co-scriptwriter
(Peter Bellwood). Widen reveals how the movie wasn't as serious
as he wrote it and ended up a little to comic book in style.
Even Clancy Brown complained to him that he thought his role
should have been a little more serious. Bellowed also talks
us through some plot threads that were talked about, but never
saw the light of day. These include a scene where Connor is
working in France as a window cleaner and accidentally falls
on Napoleon - who has him hung for trying to kill him. The
end result is Napoleon and Connor walking away from the gallows
with Napoleon quizzing Connor on how he managed to survive
was interesting to learn that the opening scene of the movie
was originally scripted to be set at a hockey game. It was
supposed to be the clashing of hockey sticks that reminded
MacLeod of his Scottish sword battle. However, the National
Hockey League didn't want anything to do with the movie and
refused to let them film at a large hockey game.
second part of the Making of featurette (The Visual
Style) interviews director of photography (Gerry Fisher)
and the set decorator (Allan Cameron). The
third and final part (A Strong Woman) is an interview
with Roxanne Hart, who played Brenda in the movie.
be honest these extras make for a pretty poor offering when
you consider that their are legions of fans out there who
would have been expecting so much more. I can't say that I'd
rush out to buy this if I already owned one of the previous
DVD releases. And worse still, what happened to the Photo
Poster Album and Filmographies extras from the
2006 release. Even the Region 1 edition has a better audio
commentary with director Russell Mulcahy and producers Peter
S. Davis and William N. Panzer.
can be only one Highlander DVD collection worthy of
purchasing for your collection. Sadly, it's not this one -
and to be frank fans are still waiting for it. If you want
to add this movie to your collection you
are probably better off picking up one of the earlier edition
- the cheapest of which currently retails for £5,99.
But then, if
you've resisted buying the two previous DVD releases of this
movie, I think you can probably wait a little longer for someone
to do it justice.
film - poor presentation.