Okay, Christopher Lambert is
about to wander around for 450 years or so changing nothing but his name
and his haircut in the 1986 cult classic "Highlander." It also stars Sean
Connery as an even older guy who teaches Lambert how to keep his head on.
Literally. This is probly Sean Connery's second strangest movie--the first
being, of course, the cult favorite "Zardoz." Anyhow, let's do the
drive-in totals and get it started. We have:
21 dead bodies.
No breasts. Ten sword-fights. Four beheadings. Three
motor-vehicle collisions. Professional rassling.
Sword-tonsillectomy. Sword-appendectomy. Knife to the stomach.
Medieval battle-scene. Scottish-highland aarvarking. Drunken
dueling. Self-destructing parking garage. Self-destructing New
York alley. Gratuitous back-flipping. Immortal lightning Fu.
Three stars. Check it out, we'll be here.
[fading] You guys
remember Zardoz? "The gun is good . . . the penis is evil." Opening
line, delivered by an actor named Niall Buggy. DEFINITELY Sean Connery's
"HIGHLANDER" Commercial Break #1
Did you notice the Fabulous
Freebirds in that opening sequence? Biggest thing in rassling in the
mid-eighties. Whatever happened to those guys? Michael Hayes. Bam Bam
Bigelow. And who was the third one? Anyhow, nice accent Christopher
Lambert has, huh? He's doing a pretty decent Scottish accent in the
flashbacks, but I don't WHAT he's doin in the modern parts. I shouldn't
laugh, though--he actually worked with a dialogue coach to come up with
that goofy accent. In fact, I shouldn't laugh at all, cause 90 percent of
the people watching right now are probly in the Highlander fan club. "The
Clan," they call it. I ticked em off the LAST time we showed this movie. I
don't want to alienate these people. These are the people who go to the
nerd conventions, and plan things like "The Second Annual Highlander Clan
Cruise," which they had last year. Yep, three days in the Bahamas with
people who actually understand the plot of this movie. Kinda scary, right?
Okay, back to the flick.
[fading] I go to those nerd conventions
sometimes. I like the porno ones, where you get to have chubby gals in
g-strings autograph your hiney. Or the ones where they have Miss April
1962 signing autographs. Why do we love that? Why do we WANT to see Miss
April 1962 in April 1998? It's kinda masochistic and cruel, right? Then we
say "Well, she looked GOOD, don't ya think? Good for a '62." What is that
"HIGHLANDER" Commercial Break #2
We must be ready for . . .
The Gathering. You think they've talked enough about . . . The Gathering?
I've watched this movie nine times, and I still don't quite understand the
concept of . . . The Gathering. All I know is, it's the scene at the end
where the vampires with swords laser one another to death. Anyway, how
bout that fancy metal detector Roxanne Hart had? All those cars and lead
pipes and steel reinforcements, and it went RIGHT for that little sliver
of sword in the post. That's Roxanne Hart as the feisty forensics
specialist. Roxanne's biggest credit is her Tony nomination for that
Stephen Sondheim musical about a stalker, "Passion"--remember the one,
where we're supposed to LIKE the stalker? But I think mostly she does TV.
She was a nurse on "Chicago Hope" for a while. Anyhow, she wants to know
what's up with the sword fights in the middle of New York City, and I
guess I do, too. So, roll it.
[fading] She thinks it's strange to
see a swordfight in New York. I don't think it's strange. There's
something like a 3-day waiting period on guns, right? Swords--nada. Walk
in with cash, walk out with ten pounds of reinforced steel with a
mother-of-pearl grip. If this was one of those big-budget shows, we'd send
a camera crew to New York to buy a sword. But this is "MonsterVision."
We'll send a guy with a Polaroid down to Lazlo's Pawn Shop in East Dallas
and have him buy a Guatemalan switchblade.
"HIGHLANDER" Commercial Break #3
The quickening. Now we've
got the quickening, but only until . . . the gathering. Sean Connery shows
up for the big exposition scene. Did you catch that? He's gonna explain
what's going on in the movie, and so he says "You cannot die, McLeod!" But
how did it happen, McLeod asks. "Who knows?" says Sean Connery. And that's
the whole exposition scene! Also, he must conceal his power until . . .
the gathering. When only a few are left, there will be "an irresistible
pull to a faraway land, to fight for the prize." And also--what a
coincidence! Not only is Roxanne Hart a forensics pathologist, she's also
an expert on ancient swordmaking! I guess it's kinda like putting the
proverbial monkeys in a room--you hang around for 450 years, eventually
you're gonna meet a female police-officer metalurgist. But this has gotta
be the only movie with a Swiss guy playing a New Yorker who's really a
16th Century Scot, and a Scot playing a Spaniard who's really an ancient
Egyptian. Sean Connery looks cool, though, doesn't he? He always does. And
that underwater scene was cool, too. The director of this flick started
out doing music videos, but we'll talk about him at the next break. Let's
[fading] This is another one of those movies that tanked in the
U.S., but did great in France. Christopher Lambert is very big in France.
People always say that. Well, they don't really know who I am here, but
I'm FAMOUS in Europe! Like there's all these Europeans walking around
saying "Can't WAIT for that next Danny Bonaduce album to come out. Hey,
look, Wayne Newton in yet ANOTHER dramatic role. What an actor!" Is there
really an alternate universe in Europe? They LOVE me in
"HIGHLANDER" Commercial Break #4
How often do you see that?
A headless Sean Connery! But where the heck was MacLeod? What'd he do, run
down to the Renaissance Faire and dance with a fat girl playing the
recorder? Where is there to go in the middle of the misty crags? This
movie is really big on MISTY CRAGS, isn't it? By the way, that castle was
used in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail." They rent it out between golf
Okay, the director of this flick is Russell Mulcahy,
and he's an Aussie guy who did music videos for Culture Club, Duran Duran,
Elton John, Billy Joel--VERY big back in the early days of MTV. And he
made a pretty decent horror film called "Razorback," about a giant killer
pig. Remember when we showed "Razorback" and we cooked wild boar
casserole, on "Six Pack and a Movie"? What IS it about these Aussies and
PIGS? George Miller and the "Babe" flicks, not to mention all the pigs in
"Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome," which we show here occasionally. I always
thought Australia was kangaroos and koalas and crocodiles, but it's really
just pigs. All right, let's get back to "Highlander."
shouldn't joke about pigs. I was in Arkansas recently and they were giving
away hogs. That's TERRIBLE what happened to the hog producers. They had
16-cents-a-pound pork in some places. And the hog, in Arkansas, is SACRED.
Woo pig sooey. They had pig farmers so depressed they were jumpin out of .
. . well, they don't live in tall buildings . . . jumpin out of pig stys.
Wallowing in their depression. It was not a pretty sight.
"HIGHLANDER" Commercial Break #5
That was the chick sequence
of the film, with the sappy Queen ballad. I don't think I'm alone when I
say this movie was obviously a little past Freddy Mercury's prime. Anyhow,
that was Beatie Edney as the bonnie wee Heather, looking VERY tasty in her
younger scenes. In fact, she doesn't look too bad as an old lady, either.
Course, I would've cast an actual OLD LADY, but that's just me.
Christopher Lambert was having an affair with her on the set, so he probly
wanted to keep her around. And I'm not gonna disagree with him. Okay, roll
[fading] Chris Lambert looks kinda like a monkey, doesn't he? A
lot of women think he's a babe, but he's got those Neanderthal eyebrows,
the kind that look like, if you ripped em out, there'd be a golf divot
there. Earthy and STINKY. They coulda made him even older in this
movie--like, a million years old. I would've totally bought it. "Oh, Joe
Bob, you're just JEALOUS." Earthy and stinky.
"HIGHLANDER" Commercial Break #6
Boy, the token black guy
didn't last long, did he? "Hey, I'm here for The Gathering." Whoops! No
head! Anyhow, I think it's a good time to read some mail from some of our
favorite prisons of America in what we like to call "Joe Bob's Jail
Break," and here with this week's letter is the token TNT Mail Girl,
MAIL GIRL: Hey, did I hear you say Summer School starts
Why, yes it does.
MAIL GIRL: What are you
teaching this year?
I'm glad you asked. The first week we'll be
throwing ourselves into med school--why don't you come by early that night
and we can play doctor?
MAIL GIRL: Play doctor with you? What night
is that exactly?
MAIL GIRL: Oh, the tenth. I'm
getting my teeth cleaned on the tenth.
At ten p.m.?
GIRL: My dentist is kind of a night owl. Here's a letter from Richard L.
Graves at Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge, Montana.
is a night owl . . .
"Dear Joe Bob,
"One night while
sitting here in prison I found myself wondering where exactly I had 'gone
wrong in life.' It was in this moment of self-reflection that I stumbled
across yourself and MonsterVision for the very first time! At first
glance, I thought who is this veritable Jethro Bodean of the film review
community. In the evolutionary scheme of things, I must admit, I thought
you were just a coupla jumps outta the swamp! I said to myself 'this is
the kind of guy who drives around town with a gun rack in the back of his
Pacer!' However, as I continued to watch your feature 'Night of the Living
Dead - the Original' I was to be shocked beyond belief! Your commentaries,
although somewhat short and pithy hinted at a rather profound insight not
before seen in such illustrious film fare! Zombies with an 'existentialist
twist!' Who'da thunk? Brilliant, absolutely brilliant! After all, who
could be a better authority on 'Being and Nothingness' than a
Richard, what are you in prison for? You sound like one of
those philosophy professors who get thrown in the slammer for flashing his
students his whangdoodle or something.
"It makes me wonder if
there could be a Nobel Prize in Joe Bob's future? Stranger things have
happened! Like how you come to be seated next to what I regard as the 8th
and 9th Wonders of the Modern World! Yes, of course I mean Reno and Rusty!
It would have taken the Greeks five hundred more years to figure out the
math involved in these curves! Whee doggies! Open one of those 'Old Mils'
for me Joe Bob! Thanks buddy! Maybe you could explain to them it gets
mighty lonely here in prison and I sure would be able to sleep easier at
night with a coupla autographed pictures of the two of them! That way if I
do have trouble sleeping I can just start counting Renos and Rustys,
right? I look forward to a future segment of MonsterVision when perhaps
you might explain the Freudian symbolism behind King Kong. I could be
wrong, after all, a skyscraper could just be a skyscraper! If you're ever
feeling down because the TNT Mailgirls won't give you any play remember
what my old Uncle Earl always sez 'You can't keep a good dog off your
leg!' If in the future, any of you think you might like to have
personalized license plates, please feel free to write!
Don't shoot!!! I am only a convicted felon!!! Reno and Rusty's Wannabee
"Keep up the good work!
"Richard L. Graves
#35781 "Montana State Prison, Deer Lodge, Montana."
support, Richard. I assume you witnessed my discourse on that party
animal, Immanuel Kant. "Eggo cogito sum." "I eat waffles, therefore I am."
Or was it, "I think, therefore I am a waffle"? I can't remember. Montana
State Prison is located in Deer Lodge, Montana. 1300 male inmates, all
security levels. Besides the usual weight lifting and intermural sports,
prisoners enjoy tying "horsehair belts." You ever seen a horsehair belt,
MAIL GIRL: If I have, I didn't know it.
Prison also recently boned up on safety by instituting a "cook/chill"
program, which means that the prisoners were such bad cooks, they were
poisoning themselves, so now they ship in frozen TV dinners for em. They
also installed a "BodySearch(TM) machine." I don't even wanna KNOW what
that is. Thanks for writing in, Richard. We love a captive audience. Free
your mind and your butt will follow. [to Rusty] You ever seen a BodySearch
MAIL GIRL: No, thank goodness.
I could show you how
MAIL GIRL: And I could show you a karate kick to the
groin that'll make your head spin.
[beat, then] What if I said
"HIGHLANDER" Commercial Break #7
Well, I guess we know
EXACTLY what was missing in the 23 seconds that TNT took out of the
aardvarking scene, don't we? But the movie was rated PG in the theaters,
so how bad could it have been? All right, that's Clancy Brown as the
Kurgan. That's how the credits list him--not "Kurgan" but "THE Kurgan."
He's like that guitarist from U2, "The Edge." By the way, what happens if
you forget your ancient wife's birthday? It's hard enough remembering it
when she's been hinting around for three weeks. How hard is it when she's
been dead for 800 years? Course, how mad can she get, right? Okay, this is
a great scene coming up, so let's roll it.
[fading] This flick was
written by a guy named Gregory Widen while he was at UCLA film school. He
says his original script was much darker. They always say that. "I wrote
'Pretty Woman,' but my original script was MUCH DARKER.'" Actually, that's
true about "Pretty Woman," but how much darker could this flick be? "They
put safety pins in the Kurgan's neck--I had em in his EYEBALLS." You know?
Why don't they ever say, "My original script was much LIGHTER?" What would
be wrong with that?
"HIGHLANDER" Commercial Break #8
And another well-timed
commercial--right in the middle of the final sword fight! Way to go. There
have been a whole lot of famous shows filmed AT Silvercup Studios in
Queens. But this is the first one I've ever seen filmed ON TOP OF
Silvercup Studios in Queens. And how did you like the musical irony--song
by Queen as they drive into . . . Queens! Anyway, there's some more
grade-A editing that happened in this movie. You know that sort of older
woman, Rachel, who works in the antique shop with Chris Lambert? They shot
a scene where he rescues her as a little girl during World War II. But the
studio hacked it out. NOT TNT, for once. Okay, let's go to the thrilling
conclusion of "Highlander." Roll it.
[fading] Did you notice how
Christopher Lambert has been living two centuries in New York? He invented
LOFT LIVING. Right? He moved into that place when a warehouse WAS a
warehouse. I don't know if you remember, but every movie released in the
eighties had a guy living in a loft. Back when very few people lived in
lofts. Now everybody lives in FAKE lofts. The building never WAS a factory
or a warehouse, but they built it to LOOK LIKE a factory or a warehouse so
they can say it's full of lofts. But when they were REAL lofts, nobody
wanted to live there. You could get em for, like, 10 bucks a month. Is
anybody following this? Does anybody ever listen to me as I pass judgment
on the folly of American culture? I didn't think so.
The quickening at the gathering. The
quickening WHILE they're gathering. They're gathering and they're
quickening, and they're gathering quickly and quickly gathering. And then
. . . they take a vacation in Scotland. Aaaaah. And what's the prize for
the whole deal? E.S.P.? ESP, having kids, and dying? That's a pretty
lame prize, if you ask me. But people LOVE this movie--they're doing the
third sequel now, and there's a new TV series based on it, the second one.
It stars a female immortal, Elizabeth Gracen. Who, by the way, is one of
the notches on the President's belt. Did you guys know that?
I wanna remind you that next Saturday is Week One of Joe Bob's Summer
School, so sharpen up those number two pencils. I'm not sure what I'm
gonna lecture about yet, but I'll come up with some excuse to run a couple
of good shoot-em-up westerns, "High Plains Drifter," directed by and
starring Clint Eastwood, and "The Long Riders," which has been called "All
in the Family" out west.
That's it for me, Joe Bob Briggs,
reminding you that those who live by the sword get shot by those who
Did you guys hear the one about the knights who are leaving
for the Crusades? One knight tells his best friend, "My bride is without
doubt one of the most beautiful women in the world. It would be a terrible
waste if no man could have her. Therefore, as my best and most trusted
friend, I am leaving you the key to her chastity belt to use should I not
return from the Crusade." The company of knights are only a mile or so out
of town when they notice a cloud of dust approaching. They think it might
be an important message, so they halt. A horseman approaches them. It's
the knight's best friend. Runs up to the knight and says, "Hey, you gave
me the wrong key!"
Joe Bob Briggs, reminding you that the drive-in
will never die. [fading] Speaking of the President, the U.S. Treasury has
announced that it will sell three new types of bonds starting January
first. The Al Gore Bond, which has no interest. The Monica Lewinsky Bond,
which has no maturity. And the Bill Clinton Bond, which has no principal.
By the way, the background sound is Highlander themesong (WAV version, over 800K), click here if you would like to here it again, or right-click on the link to save it to your computer: Princes Of The Universe (WAV version)
Or the much smaller Highlander midi version (22k)
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