"If victory favors me, I will protect your child with my life."

"I ask you not to worry about that possibility. Because my son and I live on the Demon Way in Hell, we're prepared to descend into Hell through the Six Realms and Four Lives."

Highlander: The Series – “The Gathering”

Right now, in 2019, people sure do love a good TV series. Some claim that the premium cable and streaming shows are actually better than movies. As TV shows become more cinematic and cinema becomes more serialized, the two mediums seem to be growing into each other like a very respectable rat king. Big name real deal movie stars can star in TV shows or limited series and collect acclaim and awards instead of scorn for slumming it.

At the same time the industry is obsessed with “intellectual property” and franchises, so naturally we’re getting TV shows that prequelize or sequelize a popular movie/movie series. In recent years they’ve done Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Tremors, Taken, Transporter: The Series, Training Day, Limitless, Ash vs. Evil Dead, Cobra Kai, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp and Wolf Creek, and soon we’ll be getting new Star Wars and Marvel tie-ins and maybe Undisputed and all kinds of shit.

From the dawn of 1986 they came…moving stylishly down through the decades. Movies, TV shows, cartoons, struggling to reach the time of the reviewing, when Vern will write about the franchise

That wasn’t how it worked in the early ’90s, though. There had been a few genre shows connected to movies: Planet of the Apes (1974) (and the animated Return to the Planet of the Apes [1975]), Beyond Westworld (1980), Blue Thunder (1984), Starman (1986-1987) and Alien Nation (1989-1990). None of these ran for very long, few are well remembered. TV was lesser than movies, you could never carry over the cast or the production value, and extending a movie series onto the small screen was not really a good bet.

But shit, HIGHLANDER II: THE QUICKENING wasn’t a good bet either. And producers Davis and Panzer, stinging from that loss, weren’t ready to leave the blackjack table. Maybe a TV-sized saga of the Immortals could be more than the Starman of the ’90s. Maybe it could be the M.A.S.H. of the ’90s!

Actually, it got close. Highlander: The Series started in October of 1992 and lasted for six seasons. Since it’s an hour long show, its 119 episodes only missed the running time of M.A.S.H.’s 255 episodes by 10 1/2 hours. There’s no way I’m going to be able to watch all that and write about it, but I’m aware that the show’s protagonist, Duncan MacLeod (Adrian Paul, BLACK ROSE) will appear in the movies later. So I thought I should watch the pilot to see what it’s all about.

The episode is called “The Gathering,” written by Dan Gordon (PASSENGER 57, WYATT EARP, MURDER IN THE FIRST, THE HURRICANE) and directed by Thomas J. Wright (NO HOLDS BARRED). It introduces Duncan as a much more muscle-y and shirtless MacLeod making passionate love to his girlfriend Tessa (Alexandra Vandernoot, BLOOD OF THE HUNTER) in an antiquities-filled loft much like Connor’s in the first movie. But he senses the presence of an Immortal and has to interrupt the sex and get his sword.

He quickly discovers that 17-year-old (though he looks much older) wiseass Richie Ryan (Stan Kirsch, THE STREETS OF BEVERLY HILLS) has broken in to steal some old swords and stuff. The kid immediately gives up and claims it’s just “petty theft” when Duncan threatens to behead him. The reason Duncan mistakes this dipshit for an Immortal is that he can sense the presence of Slan (Richard Moll, HOUSE), the asshole in the metal mask and studded leather coat who just then drops through the skylight lookin like the cover of the Quiet Riot album.

Or maybe it’s because Connor MacLeod is also nearby tracking Slan. Whatever it is, Duncan came very close to decapitating a minor just for trespassing, which has questionable legality outside of Florida. I wonder if those kind of Immortal boo-boos happen often?

But yes, Christopher Lambert himself pops in wearing his trademark grey trenchcoat and white shoes (not shown clearly enough to verify if they’re still Diadoras). After Slan flees, Connor explains to Tessa, “I’m Connor MacLeod. Same clan, different vintage.” Connor is of Duncan’s grandfather’s generation, and he found him and taught him the ways of the Immortals just like Ramirez did for him. (No word on if he can call his name for help even after death.)

We learn from flashbacks that Duncan once lived as a Native American, following in the great Highlander tradition of Immortals being able to pick and choose cultures that don’t match those of the actors. When Duncan’s wife and entire tribe were massacred, Connor came to comfort him. Duncan then decided he was “tired of the endless, mindless fighting” and wanted to leave “The Game.” He half-jokingly explains that he’s going to opt out of the battle between good and evil just for a while, until it comes looking for him.

So this episode is when it comes looking for him, and like his mentor in the first movie he begins to worry about endangering mortals by falling in love with them. For her part, Tessa – who has been with Duncan for 12 years – has a birthday, and it makes her worry about the inevitability of becoming physically older than him. Not only for fear of him losing interest, but because “Maybe I want someone I can grow old with.”

Highlander bad guys sure like to have ridiculously huge swords

They also argue after she gets held at swordpoint and threatened with power tools by Slan, which, admittedly, is a pain in the ass thing to have to deal with. She ends up yelling “Damn you! Damn your Gathering! Damn your whole race!”

(Don’t worry, I think she means Immortals, not Native Americans.)

Moll seems to be having a fun time making crazy faces and shit. There’s a pretty cool/funny zoom in on him in a car lookin like a fuckin maniac.

There’s not enough time for Slan to get much characterization, but I like this one little visual detail: his car keys are on a soccer ball keychain. Maybe it means he stole the car from a soccer mom, maybe it means he just likes soccer. I don’t know. We don’t really get a chance to investigate that side of him. But I like the implication Yes, I am a guy with a sword as big as a surfboard and a dumb metal mask and leather and studs because I dedicate my whole life to stalking this one guy to cut his head off, but when I get some down time you know what? I really love to kick a ball around.

I mean, that’s not an “I am obsessed with a particular soccer team” keychain. That’s more of an “I enjoy this sport in general” keychain. And Immortals don’t have kids, so it’s not about his kids playing. I suppose he could be a coach.

Richie – who Duncan chose not to press charges against, but only because of what the kid witnessed – is a passive character who sneaks around spying on Connor and Duncan sparring and things like that. At the climactic bridge duel he crawls out of a car trunk to watch. As I guessed, he will become Duncan’s Youthful Streetwise Sidekick for much of the series. Then he will turn out to be an Immortal and Duncan will accidentally kill him thinking he’s a demon. Hopefully all that means he gets to actually talk to Duncan – in this episode we just keep cutting to him watching the same thing we’re watching, but with more concern.

In the end, Duncan does chop off Slan’s head and absorb the lightning of The Quickening. They even go through the trouble of re-creating the exploding windshields and headlights and stuff from that famous parking garage scene (or are they just using footage from it?). Of course, the visual effects are chintzier and it’s shot on the cheap in 4:3 with television crews in Vancouver, BC (the city is apparently named “Seacouver, Washington” in later episodes!) so it can’t really be as cinematic as the movies.

As long as we’re sharing cheesy screen grabs I would like to acknowledge the utter ’90sness of the opening credits design.

But it’s kind of charming to see the show’s low budget TV ways of trying to mimic Mulcahy’s style, including a slow motion window breaking scene and a couple imitations of Mulcahy’s gimmicky transitions, such as zooming in on an eye and dissolving.

Director of photography Manuel Teran had done SAVAGE NIGHTS and later did DISTRICT B13. Here’s a nice looking shot of Connor arriving for a duel:

And they definitely chose a good location for the montages of Connor and Duncan sparring. Some of those shots look worthy of the movies.

They also get to use the Queen songs. “Princes Of the Universe” is the theme song, and “A Kind of Magic” shows up during lovey dovey scenes.

Though less than two years after HIGHLANDER II, it seems the producers were already eager to dump everything from that movie and start a new continuity. The opening narration says that Duncan was “Born 400 years ago in the highlands of Scotland,” no mention of the planet Zeist. But you can’t quite say they’re going back to the continuity of the first film, either. First of all, Connor still seems to be immortal, and there are many other Immortals still alive, so he hasn’t won The Game and collected The Prize. They’ve also changed what The Prize is. As Connor tells Tessa:

“The last one will have the power of all the Immortals who ever lived. Enough power to rule this planet forever. If someone like Slan is that last one, mankind will suffer an eternity of darkness from which it will never recover.”

(Note: Connor saying “this planet” instead of “the world” is a dead giveaway that he’s still from the planet Zeist. You can’t fool me.)

The show was produced by Gaumont, that French production company that does all the Luc Besson movies and stuff, but specifically for American syndicated television (although there’s a little nudity during a shower scene – the DVD must be an international cut). Lambert – who starred in KNIGHT MOVES, MAX & JEREMIE and FORTRESS that year – didn’t want to star in a TV show, and Marc Singer, Gary Daniels and Alexis Denisof were among the many considered as replacements. The Dutch actor Derek de Lint (SOLDIER OF ORANGE, BLACK BOOK) was first cast, but left before production “for unknown reasons,” according to Wikipedia. Once Paul took over he reportedly requested to have his character rewritten to not be Connor MacLeod so he wouldn’t be compared to Lambert and could do his own thing. I’m sure he was worried about doing the voice and accent – it’s just Peter Lorre, dude. You could’ve figured it out.

They were able to afford Lambert for three days of filming to pass the torch from Connor to his dearest never-mentioned-before clansman. He’s still very charismatic and does plenty of smiling and laughing with his old buddy.

Connor never appeared on the show after the pilot but, according to the Highlander Fandom Wiki, he was mentioned on ten subsequent episodes and in 1995 he appeared in Highlander: The Element of Fire by Jason Henderson, “An original, all-new novel based on the international hit TV series.”

But don’t worry. We’ll be seeing more of both MacLeods in the medium of motion pictures.

CONTEXT:

Some of the other shows that started in 1992:

The Dennis Miller Show, Nightmare Cafe, Capitol Critters, Fish Police, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, On the Air, Red Shoe Diaries, Def Comedy Jam, Melrose Place, The Larry Sanders Show, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, The Heights, Martin, Batman: The Animated Series, Eek! The Cat, Rush Limbaugh: The Television Show, The Whoopi Goldberg Show, The Golden Palace, Picket Fences, Renegade, Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper

Shows that started in 1992 and outlasted Highlander: The Series:

Dateline NBC, Barney & Friends, The Real World, The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, ComicView, Mad About You

 

This entry was posted on Monday, May 27th, 2019 at 11:03 am and is filed under Action, Fantasy/Swords, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

55 Responses to “Highlander: The Series – “The Gathering””

  1. While I won’t pretend that the show is some ahead-of-its-time, “golden age of television” influencing masterpiece, it became really good and there is a reason why it’s among fans the 2nd popular part of the HIGHLANDER franchise. (And not just because of how none of the movies came even close to part 1.)

    For example because it was an international co-productions, several seasons were actually shot in France, with Connor living in Paris on a boat, which was a pretty interesting setting for an American TV show of the 90s and helped to distinguish it from all the others “This is New York, but actually Canada” locations of the time. Also they could of course use locations like old renaissance castles that are still standing there and even went to Scotland a few times, which also added to the production value.

    Then they really did a good job at somewhat shaping the mythology and rules behind the immortals into something kinda coherent. In one episode they explain what happens when one immortal kills another on holy ground. Something really bad, that’s what happens! According to them, the last time this happened, Pompeii got whiped out by the volcano! One episode featured an immortal who was mentally disabled, another one who died as a child and now was stuck in this body. We learn that the four horsemen of the apocalypse were actually just some really shitty immortals. In one episode an immortal FBI agent appears, who explains that there are many of them in law enforcement and usually investigate the cases that include beheadings and of course make sure that the public never learns about the truth behind them. Most of the villains on the show weren’t as memorable as the ones in the movies, but they had a few good ones. Like an asshole who robbed jewelers by unleashing poisonous gas, then disposing of his human partners by removing his gas mask early and assuring them that it’s okay now. (I guess you can imagine what happens then.)

    After a phase of one or two seasons, which went through the typical evil-immortal-of-the-week motions (something that the show never fully stopped doing until the end, but neither did the movies), they started to widen the mythology a lot. At some point the character of Darius, one of the oldest immortals who now lived as a priest, was introduced. He was played by the popular German actor Werner Stocker. Unfortunately he died of brain cancer after a few episodes and so his character died too. Now I don’t know how much of it was pre-planned (I can imagine that Stocker knew of his condition), but Darius was killed by “The Watchers”, an organisation that knows about the immortals, tries to find them and chronicle their lifes. Normally they really just observe without being seen (most immortals don’t know about their existence), but a small fraction of them tries to track them down and kill them. The leader of these bad apples turned out to be the watcher of Kurgan, who was traumatized when he witnessed him massacering the visitors of an amusement park. (One of the good watchers said that Connor did the world a huge favour by killing him.)

    Oh, also Tessa gets murdered in season 2 (because the actress became pregnant and wanted out) and so does Richie. Only that Richie wakes up after a minute, because yes, he is an immortal and Duncan knew all along. (Don’t know if this is mentioned in the movies, but apparently immortals can feel when someone is immortal, before they died for the first time.) Then a few seasons later, Richie gets beheaded by Duncan when a bad guy drove him insane and made him hallucinate.

    In conclusion: I don’t wanna convince anybody to watch the whole show. It’s obviously a child of the 90s and it’s been a long time since I saw it, so I don’t know how much of it holds up. It lacks Mulcahy’s style, is often pretty formulaic has of course its ups and downs, even some comedy episodes, but also enough time to flesh out the whole immortal thing and come up with some good characters. And in one episode the bad guy dies by falling into a ship’s propellor, that’s cool IMO.

  2. David Cloverfield

    May 27th, 2019 at 11:52 am

    Both guesses are wrong. Duncan didn’t sense the bad guy or Connor. He sensed Richie who is an immortal who doesn’t know it yet. I’m ashamed to know that.

  3. Seasons 3 to 5 were some of the best TV hours I’ve ever watched. I’ll take that opinion to the grave. 1 and 6 were eh and the back hal of 2 is when the show really found it’s groove. Overall I am very thankful that this show was created. Only thing I never understood was with Adrian Paul looking so much like young Sean Connery in those days why not just make Duncan kin to Ramirez?

  4. This show also added one of the greatest immortals ever to the ever fluctuating HIGHLANDER canon. Methos.

  5. Oh hell yeah, Methos, I forgot to mention him. The oldest living immortal (5000 years), not interested in playing The Game and honestly a bit of an asshole. Too bad that TV roles very rarely got you anywhere in the 90s. The biggest role that Peter Wingfield played after HIGHLANDER was a soldier in X-MEN 2 and I recently read he retired from acting and is a now a doctor.

  6. I remember this airing a lot on the USA network back in the 90’s. Jonathan Banks was in an episode titled “Under Colour of Authority”, which has a Western motif to the flashbacks. For a one-shot appearance on the show, he had the sword work down. Even before watching that again recently, it wouldn’t have surprised me if on BREAKING BAD or BETTER CALL SAUL Mike Ehrmantraut was handy with a Katana.

  7. Count me as a big fan of the TV Series. Loved the sword fights, guest stars (Randall Tex Cobb, Rody Piper) and mythology. There was even a spin-off called Highlander The Raven.

    Adrian Paul deserves more credit as an actor and martial artist.

    CJ Holden, Peter Wingfield also starred in a Zorro knock off series called QUEEN OF SWORDS.

  8. I never watched this back in the day, but a lot of those shows listed as coming out in 92 it really seems like a crossover year…some random 80s style sitcoms, and some stuff with the scope and/or weirdness that a couple decades later would take over.

    Wes Craven’s NIGHTMARE CAFE I think of once in awhile….in a “what the heck actually WAS that” kind of way. I watched all the episodes of that I think. Possibly a cash in of Twin Peaks…but yeah…it was weird!

    Never knew HIGHLANDER was one of the earliest of these. For some reason I thought it came out in the late 90s rather than the early. Turns out it beat Babylon 5, Hercules, Zena and especially Buffy to the punch!

    Maybe I’ll give this a shot someday. I’ve been curious about it for a few years. Mostly due to when looking up character actors I like, I see it mentioned in their credits fairly often. Jonathan Banks WAS one of those for me lol! It all comes down to how much time there is in the day. And while I am greatful TV has become bigger, better and so much more awesome….it also has become much more of a time leach than it ever was back when it was just sort of a diversion. With all the new and really well written tv there is out there, it is tough to watch 6 seasons of this.

  9. Huh. I just re-watched a movie with Richard Moll as the bad guy (SCARY MOVIE 2, maybe the least funniest comedy ever put on the big screen) earlier today, so it’s funny to hear that he was the heavy in this pilot. Between this and HOUSE, I’d say he should’ve gotten more villain roles while he was able to play them.

    Seriously, tho, just watch James Woods’ cameo in the first five minutes of SCARY MOVIE 2 and then shut it off. It is the absolute nadir of cinema.

  10. I wouldn’t be surprised if the TV show has taken over what people first think of when they think of Highlander. I had a friend in high school who was really into the show, so I watched a bunch with him over the years. My family didn’t have cable, which prevented me from really getting into it. But I’m pretty sure I started with the show and then went back to watch the movies.

  11. That would make sense. A lot of the lore of the immortals even in the last 2 sequels came directly from the show. It has at this point been more engraved into the pop culture lexicon than the flicks considering a lot of pop culture curators today are 90s kids who probably remember it the same way they did HERCULES and XENA and I do VANISHING SON and FOREVER KNIGHT.

  12. Jerome – I may be part of the problem cause Chris Elliot, Tim Curry and David Cross really made me laugh in that movie. Can’t rememeber anything else being funny though and I actually like the Wayans fam.

  13. Broddie-I’m sorry man but Chris Elliott is pretty embarrassed about being in that movie (can provide link if needed) and it hurts to see Curry and Cross ( I hear he only did that part to get something else made) wasting their talents on such dreck.

    Here ya go…

  14. In any case good to see you again Broddie. Seems like it’s been awhile since you’ve been around.

  15. Ok, I can’t seem to make that link work, but believe you me, Chris Elliott is embarrassed about SCARY MOVIE 2.

    I know nothing about Highlander, so we now return to your regularly scheduled programming.

  16. I watched the 2-hour pilot when it aired in syndication and followed the series for a couple of seasons before abandoning it. The biggest problem I had with it was that there were too many dang Immortals! In the first movie, you got this feeling that you were being given a glimpse at the end of a secret epoch. Connor and the other Immortals were the last of a dying breed. While I was thankful the series sidesteps the “Planet Zeist” backstory introduced by the sequel, you suddenly have Immortals crawling out of the woodwork. It made the Immortals more common; and by extention, the Game became more dull. Being dull is something you don’t want to associate with a contest that involves beheading. Not to mention how the weekly hourlong format diminished the act of decapitation. Imagine if somebody had tried to adapt SCANNERS into a television series…

  17. (No word on if he can call his name for help even after death.)

    I guess you’ll have to wait until HIGHLANDER: INFINITY WAR to find out.

  18. “I wouldn’t be surprised if the TV show has taken over what people first think of when they think of Highlander”

    That would be me. Saw the TV show first, and looking back I was maybe a little curious as to why a major band like Queen would give a song to such a relatively minor TV show. Then I saw the movie years later on one of the premium channels and it made sense.

  19. What are you calling “relatively minor”?

    The TV Show was huge is my childhood.

  20. I seem to remember that when Connor first turns up in the pilot he’s wearing a wig (his hair line is clearly receding when he cuts it). As did Ramirez’ locks in I and II. Does this mean that the Immortals’ hair ages just like ours do? Bummer!

  21. Anybody else noticed that Mike’s Movie Vault on facebook seems to highlight the same movies as Vern. Who’s following who here?

  22. Falconman: That’s a legitimate criticism, but I also liked that the show was never about the question if Duncan is gonna win The Prize or not. I can imagine a new TV show would move towards a duel between the last two survivors from episode one, but this show was more about the every day life of immortals and frankly, not having to wait for THE end, made it enjoyable.

    I don’t wanna talk about SCARY MOVIE 2 on here, but I love how it seemed to have killed the cliche of the disabled character, who acts like an asshole when someone offers them help.

  23. Would you believe that as obsessed as I am with Highlander I never saw the tv show?

    Marion Cotillard is also in an episode! I asked her about it once and she said she loved it and it was a great show for European actors to work on.

  24. This show is still lodged in my brain when I think ‘greatest tv show of all time’, and I always laugh when I think of Ricky Bobby labeling the first movie similarly in TALLADEGA NIGHTS. I never saw many episodes, but what I did see was very impressive as it hit me at exactly the right time (early teens)

  25. Fred: I can see that. The show had a pretty high production value, was popular all over the world and they didn’t need Hollywood connections to get a guest spot in there. (At least during the France seasons.)

    In one season they had a (pretty useless) comic relief character, who was played by Michele Modo, who was a quite high profile comedy actor in France and is maybe best know for Louis DeFunes’ Gendarme movies. It’s just too bad the German financers backed out after season 1 (I think it was because they were told Christopher Lambert would star or at least appear regularly, which of course didn’t happen), so we didn’t get many German actors in there.

  26. Felix: I meant it in terms of it’s profile on television, not a slight on it’s quality.

    The entire series is on YouTube, btw. Free to watch as well.

  27. While it’s not at the level of great modern series like Breaking Bad, Deadwood, and Justified, and I’m not gonna pretend otherwise, I enjoy the show. Got the whole run on DVD, no less. There are some good fight scenes(I dunno how much training Paul had prior to the show but he seemed quite competent during), Duncan is likeable, they do a good job of expanding the mythology, and they had an odd assortment of guest stars which could be fun as well(Roger Daltrey of The Who made several appearances as an immortal Duncan was friends with!).

  28. I never saw a single episode of this. I’m not bragging. I apparently missed some good shit. The problem is I was never a fan of syndicated action TV in the first place. All those HERCs and XENAs and whatnot had all the cheapness and flatness of 90s straight-to-video movies with none of the sex or violence. But I think the main thing keeping me away was the very premise. They went and made the mistake of giving the original movie a title that was rooted in a single character and not the concept of the film, so now they were stuck having to replicate that character’s traits ain what seemed to me the most contrived method imaginable. They had to have somebody they could call a Highlander so they came up with this ridiculous cousin idea. I’m cheapens the mythology, in my opinion, to have Immortals so common that you can have two in the same family.

    On that same note, reading these comments, I’m kind of glad I skipped it in retrospect. I fully believe that it was a good show, but it seems like it went out of its way to turn the Highlander mythology into something moderately consistent and reasonable, and that is just NOT what I want out of Highlander. I like the vague rules and bold gestures of the first (and to a lesser extent second) film. I like imagining how the particulars worked while the film focused on grand romantic melodrama. I don’t need to know what happens when an Immortal fights in a church. I like imagining it.

    LI suppose this is sort of like Gene Roddenberry’s distaste for the kind of obsessive focus on the technical details that took over STAR TREK in his absence. He was interested in using the trappings of sci-fi to tell stories. He didn’t care how the transporter worked; all that mattered was it allowed him to get his characters into new settings efficiently. Then the nerds took over with their jeffrey’s tubes and continuity police, and a lot of the simple alchemy of ideas and character that you get from a more simple, intuitive setup gets lost in all the nuts and bolts. I don’t want that from HIGHLANDER. I want to speculate about the many mysteries the premise leaves us with, whether through foresight or negligence, than have them all explained to me on a TV budget.

    Like what if you cut an Immortals head in half lengthwise but didn’t sever it from the neck? Would that kill him or would the two halves of the head grow back together in time?

    Nobody tell me. I don’t want to know.

  29. Wasn’t an avid watcher on this show but did catch a fair amount from time to time. Pretty sure I thought it was a TV show first before learning of the movie(s). Not sure. I had friends who were super into the show and this may be the first time I ran into the ‘TV is better movie’ debate (too young to go through it with M*A*S*H) that would eventually go to STARGATE SG-1. I had to disagree and always preferred the first movie over the series and got into many a stupid ultra-nerdy debate where it was argued to be that the ‘mythology’ was so much deeper. I liked HIGHLANDER so I was able to successfully avoid most conversations about STARGATE until I got a co-worker who was REALLY into the STARGATE TV show…

    Anyways, I have fond nostalgic memories of the show and watching and discussing it with friends of old. Don’t think I need to revisit it though. Best to not risk tainting those good memories.

  30. I would rewatch the episode with Joan Jett though. I hope that the documentary about her covers the filming of that episode.

  31. Not to get ahead of ourselves here. But I seem to recall HIGHLANDER ENDGAME being not too bad. With a mix between the series and the first one tonewise. Starring both of the Highlanders and feat. Donnie yen. From a timeperiod in which HongKong wirework became a requirement in post-MATRIX. Action films whether it was suitable or not. Quaint years.

  32. I had no idea Donnie Yen was in this one. Fun fact, the director of Highlander: Endgame also directed Nurse 3D which is absolute garbage.

  33. Please don’t quote me on ENDGAME (the HIGLANDER one) being not to bad. Have not seen it in like ten years. So don’t blame me for any traumas you might inflict.

  34. I wonder if Adrian Paul tested for James Bond during the Moore-Bronson period? EON should have turned the James Bond Jr concept into a syndicated series instead of a cartoon during the Dalton-Bronson valley to keep their crews working and test new effects like Lucas did with Young Indiana Jones.

  35. William O'Brien

    May 28th, 2019 at 12:20 pm

    Endgame has a really sweet Donnie Yen fight with Adrian Paul, who holds his own just fine. The movie is not very good otherwise, but it’s still probably the best sequel. The Source is arguably even worse than The Quickening. They once again decided to jump to a post apocalyptic setting and ignore most of their established canon, and once again it didn’t work out.

    Paul got really good at sword fighting, and when he worked with another capable swordsman the show had some great fights. The back half of season two up through about 3/4 or so of season 5 was a quality run of television.

  36. Never watched the whole series but I caught a bunch of the first few seasons during my late teens and I feel like it had a huge impact on my personal sense of ethics. Duncan impressed on me the importance of doing the right thing no matter how much it might suck, and I still follow that philosophy today.

    By the way, Duncan was only hanging out with the Native American tribe, he wasn’t raised by them. His past gets explored piecemeal throughout the show, rather than chronologically, and I enjoyed learning about his personal transformations in that somewhat chaotic way.

  37. The Source is a complete turd. Even worse than The Quickening.

  38. I apologize in advance for subjecting Vern to Highlander: The Source, but it was worth it for Zeist.

  39. Ah yes… ENDGAME. The movie that taught us that Bruce Payne could take on Donnie Yen no problem…

    As for THE SOURCE… I do believe there are better movies out there…

  40. SPOILERS FOR HIGHLANDER ENDGAME. SERIOUSLY VERN IF YOU HAVENT WATCHED IT YET DONT LET ME RUIN IT FOR YOY.

    Doesn’t Yen decapitate himself so Payne can’t get his powers? So he doesn’t lose in a fight at least and that does answer my questions about non immortal decapitations and who gets the Quickening.

  41. Maj, I once asked Mulcahy about the sideways scenario once. He didn’t know either so you’re safe.

  42. Fred: **SPOILERS FOR HIGHLANDER ENDGAME. SERIOUSLY VERN IF YOU HAVENT WATCHED IT YET DONT LET ME RUIN IT FOR YOU.**: You are correct. Payne’s power is so magnificent. So scary. Donnie Yen just says ‘F*** this!’ and kills himself. And *sigh* didn’t the TV show mythology sets up that if a non-immortal kills one or does themself in, the power distributed to whoever the closest immortal is…

  43. Sternstein

    If you think NURSE 3D is bad, you should see what it did to the lead actress. It *literally* ruined her life. Not just career. Life.

    Google it. There was a big lawsuit.

  44. I have to remind you all that I reviewed DTV sequels for years before many of them were good, and I’ve seen all the HELLRAISER movies. So my tolerance for this kind of stuff is higher than some. But Donnie Yen’s character did not do that in the extended cut I watched, which is too bad because that sounds cool.

  45. Tawdry, I think it wasn’t the film that “ruined her life” but that it was Harvey Weinstein that did it.

  46. Happy Birthday Adrian Paul! He turns 60 today.

  47. Oh man, Endgame has almost as many different cuts as II. The DVD has two and neither are the theatrical cut.

    I think The Source is sub-Hellraiser DTV but I look forward to your take on the exciting conclusion!

  48. When ENDGAME came out the word got around that Edge was in it. Most of my friends looked for the guitarist in U2, not some f*****g wrestler…

  49. Sternshein – I think Tawdry is referring to the incident when Paz de la Huerta was hit by an ambulance on set and needed spinal surgery.

    There’s more articles out there with the specifics of her lawsuit (which she lost) that muddy things up a bit, but I think we can all agree it’s undeniably shitty to have your career ended by Nurse 3D (not saying it would have been ok if Ellen Burstyn’s back injury on The Exorcist ended her career or anything – accidents on set are obviously never OK and nobody needs to suffer for their art).

    And by the way, I say that as someone who kinda liked Nurse 3D. I can’t remember a damn thing about it, but I think it delivered in the gore, nudity, and 3D effects departments, which is all I’m really asking for when I buy a cheap Blu Ray called Nurse 3D.

    Paz de la Huerta -- Video Shows Actress Crushed in Ambulance Crash (VIDEO)

    TMZ has obtained video of the accident that left Paz de la Huerta with a broken back that derailed her career.  The video was shot on the set of…

  50. Didn’t they make a spin-off of this spin-off too? Am I remembering that right?

    My Mum loved watching this show with me (she was a fan of Adrian Paul and Lorenzo Lamas – basically any ass-kicker with a pony tail). All I really remember from it was the badass end themesong “Princes of the Universe” by Queen which cuts off before it totally changes tack and goes weird.

  51. I looked up the NURSE 3D story, and man, the attitude the press had toward the actress when she had the temerity to stand up for herself was disgusting. “Ha ha, I’ve seen this slut’s boobs on TV so how dare she deserves basic human decency? Her movie was terrible so that means labor rights don’t apply to her! What an idiot! I’m on Team Ambulance!”

    I feel like this story would be reported very differently just a few years later.

    Also, NURSE 3D truly is awful. It’s like someone who’d never seen a movie before was asked to remake AMERICAN MARY based only on plot descriptions he read in Google Translate.

  52. Yeah, THE RAVEN. I guess Vern will touch on that one later, but it’s weird how that came together. Basically the producers wanted a spin-off about a female immortal, then had one season a bunch of women appear on the show (including Claudia Christian) to see which one gets the best reaction from the audience, before they realized: “Hey, we already have a long established and well liked female immortal on the show, so why not give her the spin-off?”

    It was cancelled after one season. Never saw it, but from what I’ve heard, it wasn’t really good anyway.

  53. Jerome they may have been ashamed but I still found them funny in it. It’s a testament to their comedic chops that they could still mine gold out of something they were completely not into really doing. Oh and thanks. I’ve been away from the net regularly for quite some time now but its good to have some time ro actually come back and catch up with my all timw favorite movie community. In catching up I’ve realized Vern has finally published reviews I’ve been waiting on for years. Like ACES: IRON EAGLE III which is a movie I’ve been defending since it first hit home video. Now I finally have a documented record fo cite next time humorless people ask me why I enjoy “that piece of shit”. Good times.

  54. So what do you think of this sword fight? Against Roland Gift from Fine Young Cannibals.

  55. I just saw that the whole series is on Tubi, for those of you who are interested.

Leave a Reply





XHTML: You can use: <a href="" title=""> <img src=""> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <b> <i> <strike> <em> <strong>