I can say without a doubt that 1986’s Highlander is hands down one of my favorite cult films. Of all time. If you too count yourself as a devotee to Highlander I have some great news. Lionsgate is releasing that 30th Anniversary Edition on Blu-Ray and DVD tomorrow!
[Via] Latest News Explorer
So what is Highlander about. In a nutshell?
It is about a society of immortals who have hidden their existence from humanity in general. The only way an immortal can be dispatched is to remove their head from their shoulders – which involves epic sword fights. Once done the victor gains the power of the defeated immortal in what they have dubbed ‘the quickening’.
The reason for this is the immortals all want what has been called the Prize. What is it exactly? No immortal is quite sure but it is believed when only one immortal remains they will inherit limitless power. As you might imagine some immortals would use that power to better mankind – others not so much. Like the Kurgan, played wonderfully by Clancy Brown.
This secret war has played out until only a few immortals now remain. Feeling themselves drawn to New York City in the then modern day of 1985. Where Connor MacLeod aka the Highlander must battle not just to keep his own head but for the fate of mankind.
I want to point out another bright spot for Highlander which is the addition of Sean Connery playing Connor’s mentor. A fellow immortal who happens to be a ‘Spanish-Egyptian’ named Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez.
Seriously. Sean Connery is just amazing in this film. While his part is basically to set up the rules of being an immortal and the Prize – he steals the movie. Steals it.
Highlander also boasts what can only be called an incredible soundtrack by Queen. I kid you not it was in constant play – I must have listened to it thousands of times by the time Summer rolled around.
What are the special features for the 30th Anniversary Edition?
- While there is no new commentary for this release that doesn’t mean Lionsgate hasn’t included worthy extras:
- A 4K transfer approved by Director Russell Mulcahy
- Brand-new The Making of Highlander documentary
- New interviews with both Russell Mulcahy and Christopher Lambert
- Archival interview with Christopher Lambert
- Deleted Scenes
- Audio commentary by Director Russell Mulcahy (from previous releases)
You can pick up the 30th Anniversary Edition of Highlander tomorrow at most retailers. Or you can order your DVD or Blu-Ray over on Amazon.
X-Bomber or as it was known in the UK Star Fleet was a 1980 marionette based science fiction television show, created by the legendary manga artist Devilman‘s Go Nagai (Kiyoshi Nagai). The series of course was heavily influenced by the works of Gerry Anderson’s British television series using his patented “Supermarionation” process wherein the marionettes would also include electronic moving parts to aid in giving them a more life-like appearance – seen in such as Fireball XL-5 and of course the most famous of those types of programs 1965’s Thunderbirds.
The story for X-Bomber is set in the year 2999 and revolves around the Earth Defense Force. Tasked with the protection of the Earth – which is pretty clear by the organization’s name the fragile peace is shattered with the appearance of an alien battle cruiser that proceeds to obliterate the Pluto station for the EDF.
After this attack and with the threat of the Earth itself being destroyed a team is put together to launch an experimental bomber, known only as the X-Project from a secret base upon the moon to fight back this alien threat – mainly the evil commander Makara.
It was in 1982 that the U.K. began airing X-Bomber on Saturday mornings after renaming it Star Fleet – with the scripts for the episodes being adapted by Michael Sloan, who would later go on to be a writer on the hit CBS television series The Equalizer.
Star Fleet also featured the voice work of Garrick Hagon who portrayed the character of Biggs Darklighter in 1977’s Star Wars and Jay Benedict who played Deak in the film although his part was edited out of the final print. Benedict however would also play Russ Jorden, Newt’s Father, in James Cameron’s Aliens in 1986…to only be cut out again but thankfully seen by way of the Special Edition. Another Aliens alumni whose voice work was featured in Star Fleet was Al Matthews who played the ill-fated Sergeant Apone in Cameron’s sequel to Alien.
Also of note is that Queen‘s Brian May became a fan of Star Fleet thanks to his young Son, recording a cover of the television shows’ theme song alongside Eddie Van Halen, REO Speed Wagon‘s drummer Alan Gratzer, Phil Chen, and Fred Mandel as Star Fleet Project.
[Via] Emmanuel LR
There is no way you can not listen to that cover of the Star Fleet theme and not feel your blood start to pump a little faster, I believe I have found the new song I want to wake up to every morning from now on!
I ask thee o’ elders of the galaxy, just how does this song rock so very, very hard?
In 1980 Go Nagai (Devilman, Mazinger Z) created a puppet show about giant robots that eventually made it’s way to England in 1983. For some inexplicable reason, guitar god Brian May decided to blast forth the show’s theme song into existence and proceed to thoroughly rock out. Here is 4 minutes of that.
I wanted to say this was an interview with Queen at the height of their powers, but when were they not at the height of their powers?
Queen: The eYe (1998) concerns a totalitarian, fascistic government in the near future that has banned pop culture, while the empowering rock music of the protagonists, provided by Queen, brings expression and freedom to the people and defeats Big Brother.
In the 22nd century, an omnipotent, evil computer called The eYe has outlawed the arts. In the game, you play an agent of The eYe who discovers a cache of rock music, and for your discovery, you have to go fight to death in a televised gladiatorial battle. Once that’s done, you have to go destroy The eYe, with loops of remixed Queen songs helping inspire you along the way.
In addition to mirroring the plot of Aerosmith’s Revolution X game, as well as the Queen musical We Will Rock You, it’s basically any late ‘70s/early ‘80s concept album, except that you can play it, and the music of Queen is way, way better than the music of Styx, which used the exact same premise on their 1983 concept album Kilroy Was Here. Seventies arena rock musicians sure were afraid of rock music getting banned; maybe this is an allegory for their fear of punk and New Wave.
If you like music-related nonsense, do check out my just released book of music trivia, history, and witty asides I Love Rock n’ Roll (Except When I Hate It).