We Look Back on Highlander Two as a High Point!

Entertainment Weekly http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,1169126,00.html lists their list of the 25 worst sequels ever made.
  1. Staying Alive (1983)
  2. CaddyShack II (1988)
  3. Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha’ Hood (2003)
  4. Blues Brothers 2000 (1998)
  5. Batman & Robin (1997)
  6. Weekend At Bernie’s II (1993)
  7. The Fly II (1989)
  8. Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)
  9. Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997)
  10. Jaws: The Revenge (1987)
  11. Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (2004)
  12. Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999)
  13. The Sting II (1983)
  14. Conan the Destroyer (1984)
  15. Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd (2003)
  16. Ocean’s Twelve (2004)
  17. Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)
  18. Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973)
  19. Revenge of the Nerds II: nerds in paradise (1987)
  20. The Godfather Part III (1990)
  21. Legally Blonde 2: red, white & blonde (2003)
  22. Teen Wolf Too (1987)
  23. Porky’s II: The Next Day (1983)
  24. The Next Karate Kid (1994)
  25. The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
This list is woefully incomplete.
Highlander II.
Any list of bad sequels that does not list Highlander II as the all-time el-supremo undisputed champ of a stinking stinkeroo of a stinker is not the pixels used to post it.


Let us compare, shall we?
Highlights of Highlander I: swordfights, totally original idea, cool SFX, good editing and direction, memorable dialog (“what does ‘baffled’ mean?” “That was the year Mozart wrote his great mass”), tons of swordfighting, Sean Connery, swordfights.
Highlights of Highlander II: Planet Zeist. The old, mortal guy gets young, immortal again because he is attacked by two goons on flying skateboards. A forcefield to darken the world is erected in order to save the ecology from ozone depletion–but the ecological ramifications of cutting off all sunlight are never mentioned. Why and how Conner McLeod of Clan McLeod has the force field technology is never mentioned: maybe he picked it up on Planet Zeist. The penalty for treason on Planet Zeist is to be sent to Earth and granted immortality. Oh, and Sean Connery, after being resurrected from the dead for no reason, sacrifices his life and dies for no reason, fighting an evil ceiling fan. The bad guy is a megacorp: curse those evil capitalists! And there were only two, totally lame, and I mean Captain Ahab’s left leg level of lameness, badly-choreographed fight-scenes.
The sheer super-colossal, gut-crunching, brain-burning, drool-inducing stupidity of this deranged clone of a fine film is beyond incredible and well on its way to awe-inspiring. It is like staring at a neutron star: the sheer mass of the suckiness is so immense that not even one photon of light can escape. There is no parallel in all Hollywooddom for a first film so good and a sequel so bad.

When call Highlander “totally original” I mean that a whole generation of films, RPG’s and TV shows, everything from MAGIC: THE GATHERING to UNDERWORLD has used the Highlander idea of immortals living in secret among us, but the concept of doomed, fate-haunted swordsmen otherwise invulnerable, hunting each other down the centuries, has at least as much narrative power as the idea of Martians, Robots, Mummies, Vampires, or the Werewolves: it is a worthwhile addition to the pantheon of commonly-understood SF tropes, the kind of thing it is easy to put in a role-playing game: if Anita Blake were to throw away her Elf lover and take on Methos or Duncan McLeod, it would be no step down for her. If Phra the Phoenician or John Carter, Warlord of Mars, turned out to be a Highlander-style immortal, it would surprise no one. It is an original idea that way “Ents” in Tolkien were original: once someone has invented them, one wonders why they had not been invented before?

The only thing good about Highlander II was Virginia Madsen, who is a total cutie-pie.

I danced the waltz with this blythe and bonny starlet once upon a time back in College, when she and the cast and crew of CREATOR came by the campus for the film’s opening. The novelist (and screenwriter), Jeremy Levin, on whose book the film was based was an alumnus of St. John’s College.


In my novel TITANS OF CHAOS (see previous journal entry) Colin Mac FirBolg, professional lust-bucket, writes her a fan letter.

I suppose one can assess the age of an author by which women he mentions in his writings as exemplars of pulchritude. Being a Virginia Madsen fan dates one to the late 1980’s (note big 80’s hair). But in this case, Ms. Madsen has aged well, and is still babelicious well into her 40’s (see below) by which I mean, ahem, of course, that the lady could not be over 39.

Yes! Madsen is cute! Although, not as cute, in my opinion, as Jennifer Connolly

Note mesmerically alluring green eyes.

Note alluring green dress. Here she is in one of the Best SF movies ever: DARK CITY by Alex Proyas.

 And here she is from ROCKETEER. Any movie where a man with a jet-pack fights a duel on top of a Zepplin with Rondo Hatton is aces with me, brother.

Here they are together

I know what you’re thinking: but how can you like Virginia Madsen when she starred in a stinker like Highlander II? Surely Jennifer Connolly is superior to her sister actress in this respect? To answer I have but one word: Hulk.

Finally, an explanation of the title of this entry: Once upon a time my girlfriend (later, my wife) moderated a role playing game in which the player characters visited a world where, by magic, all the creativity, art, and beauty was being drained out of the world by something akin to fairy vampirism: all the glamor was being stolen. Books and movies were simply drained of their goodness: the human race lost the ability to do art. To impress upon the players the low state of art in this world, the woebegone old crone explaining the horror to us used the example: “Movies today are so bad, we look back at Highlander II as a high point!”

And all the players cringed.