Men With Guns

Plus swords, arrows, and armies, packing heat on dvd


Anchor Bay ($39.98)

Connor McLeod (Christopher Lambert) has been kicking around since 1536 and has seen quite a bit over his years. He's been shot, stabbed, impaled, machine-gunned, drowned, and horsewhipped, and still just keeps coming back. Eventually he finds himself in 1986 New York; since "there can only be one" to claim immortality, he's pursued by 7-foot-tall goober Kurgan (Clancy Brown), another immortal bent on lopping off McLeod's head. Highlander wasn't well received by the critics at the time of its release, but it's maintained a dogged cult following ever since. It's easy to understand both sides of that equation; the plot is murky, overbaked Celtic mumbo-jumbo, with inadvertently silly dialogue and a contrived love affair. Sean Connery is bewildering as McLeod's 16th-century mentor Juan Sanchez Villalobos Ramirez (with a Scots accent, no less). On the other hand, the movie has some spectacular pre-Braveheart battle scenes and wonderful sword fights; director and MTV veteran Russell Mulcahy reaches into his bag of tracks for some great (if dated) FX and flamboyant camera work and editing. The scene where Kurgan shiskabobs a neighborhood vigilante after absorbing about a hundred rounds of machine gun ammo is especially memorable. Anchor Bay's special "immortal" edition of Highlander bundles it up with a commentary track by Mulcahy, theatrical trailers and Mulcahy-helmed videos for the Queen songs in the soundtrack. Also included is an audio CD of the Queen numbers, a window-rattling Dolby 5.1 soundtrack, and some nifty packaging. After spawning an entire franchise of sequels and a TV show, the first Highlander is still the best - all clanging broadswords, detailed flashbacks and unkillable Scotsmen.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle