The Irreverent Cineastes Podcast

Two sarcastic and mildly embittered film scholars analyze, appreciate, and excoriate important works of pop culture.

Highlander (1986) - The Irreverent Cineastes Podcast Year Four

April 25th, 2019

Jon and Andrew continue their “Axes-to-Grind” series with some films involving swordplay, starting with the (in)famous 80s anti-classic, Highlander. Never has so great an idea produced so terrible a movie…and THEY ONLY GOT WORSE. Much, much worse. Sooooo much worse.  While we do find some bright spots here – Scotland is bonny, Queen is magic, Bob Anderson was a genius, and Clancy Brown will never fade away – we also point out how this movie made almost every bad decision possible and then somehow found new ways to screw up.  For starters, despite being partially set in Scotland, it cast the best-known Scottish actor in history as an Egyptian named “Ramirez.”  All, of course, while casting a nearly blind Frenchman who could barely speak English as its eponymous Scotsman.  Truly, the Burr never had it so bad.  We had a lot of fun roasting this one but also getting into the generational differences that make it a unique artifact of its time and an object lesson for all time.  It really is a great idea, and here’s hoping Chad Stahelski can do it better justice on the next go around. Explicit language.

Content Advisory: Andrew’s Connery impressions (“I’M EGYPTIAN!”), our mutual Christopher Lambert impressions, Christopher Lambert’s “acting,” Christopher Lambert’s “laugh,” Christopher Lambert’s “ability to deliver one-liners,” Christopher Lambert’s “ability to see,”  Christopher Lambert’s career (didn’t forget the quotes there, he’s actually had a career AND was married to Diane Lane), doing backflips while in a sword fight for your life, using rape as a narrative complication (and why that should be avoided), the perils of overdirecting, the “legacy” of Russell Mulcahy, how not to wardrobe your leading man,  bad body-doubling, Jon confusing Frank Frazzetta with the guy who used to own UFC (yes, again), THAT’s the Prize?, consulting the Maltin guide, the narrative potential of good swordplay, google Bob Anderson if you’ve made it this far, and Queen.