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!
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
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.
I am probably one of the few people who readily admit they enjoy 1981’s Outland, starring Sean Connery and Directed by Peter Hyams (Capricorn One), I always kind of thought of it as sort of a intergalactic version of 1952’s High Noon.
[Via] Movieclips Trailer Vault
The other day I stumbled across a reply from the legendary Harlan Ellison from an issue of Starlog concerning an incident at a press junket covered by the magazine for its September 1981 issue. It’s obvious that he felt how Sean Connery handled a question by a reporter was not how an actor of Connery’s stature should behave, as well as the movie itself.
Thanks to the Internet Archive I was able to track down the very interview that upset Ellison so much.
I’m kind of torn on this bit of sci-fi history, friends. My knee-jerk reaction is I found more fault on the reporter’s part for trying to put Connery on the spot but not having been in the room itself I can’t judge how serious Connery or the reporter were being with any of their responses. I’m also aware though that my view on this might be a little biased as like I mentioned above I really like Outland…I’m interested in what you all think about the matter.
Enjoy this Television gem from back in 1965 featuring Sean Connery…as you’ve probably never heard him before. He appeared to promote his film, The Hill and the filming of A Fine Madness which was released the following year.
I realize of course you might be thinking, isn’t an 8-Bit Zardoz intro a little odd. Yes, it most certainly is but I would counter with, have you seen the 1974 movie for yourself? When it comes down to it, friends, an 8-Bit Zardoz is pretty tame!
Zardoz was directed by John Boorman. It most assuredly feels like a 70’s film and I do mean that as a compliment. It was written and produced as well by Boorman and boasted the talents of Sean Connery. In addition to Connery’s acting talents it also managed to indeed present the actor like fans had never seen him before.
Believe it or not, the reason the film was made was due to The Lord of the Rings. Seriously. John Boorman was attached to direct a live action version of Tolkien’s work. This was of course before Ralph Bakshi delivered the 1978 animated film. United Artists balked at the potentional price tag for the fantasy film. Boorman naturally decided to keep with a film featuring fantastical elements and Zardoz was born.
However that didn’t mean audiences were ready…or possibly are ready today for what Boorman delivered. The basic plot? Zardoz, a floating stone head gives weapons to a race of beings called the “Brutals”. With strict instructions to kill one another in an attempt to gain the prize of immortality.
While Zardoz didn’t set the world on fire with its box office take it has certainly become a cult film. I might even add that it is in fact the epitome of THE cult film. At the very least it led us an 8-Bit Zardoz intro though, right?
It was loyal reader, Dax Delap, who was kind enough to send me this link over on YouTube for this Zardoz game intro. Unfortunately it’s not really a lost game or anything of the kind of course, but it is an awesome bit of artwork done by nickcriscuolo nonetheless!
While John Boorman would probably be amused by that 8-Bit Zardoz intro and the film’s cult status. At the very least, 7 years later he would direct Excalibur!
Sean Connery is not be the greatest singer and that is exactly what makes his version of “Pretty Irish Girl” so entertaining. This performance is from “Darby O’Gill and the Little People” which I loved when I was a kid. Every year on March 17th, I try and watch this and “The Quiet Man.”
“Darby O’Gill and the Little People” is over the top retro Disney fun. Filled with silly action and light comedy, it would work very well as Disney animation. While the scenes with the banshee are my favorite, this musical moment with Sean is a close second.
So grab something green and lets sing-a-long together.
Watch Sean Connery sing “Pretty Irish Girl”
“Pretty Irish Girl” Lyrics
Have you ever seen the seagulls
Ah flyin’ over heather
Or the crimson sails
On Goey Bay
The fishermen unfurl
The earth is filled with beauty
And its gathered all together
In the form and face and dainty grace
Of a pretty Irish girl
Oh she is my dear and darlin’ one
Her eyes are sparklin’ full of fun
No other, no other
Could match the likes of her
Oh she is my dear my darlin’ one
My smilin’ and beguilin’ one
I love the ground she walks upon
My darling Irish girl
Feeling Irish enough? OK, I’ll meet you all at the pub tonight and we will enjoy a pint or two. Just make sure to beware of the Banshee!