Highlander (UK/ USA, 1986)
Directed by Russell Mulcahy
Starring Christopher Lambert, Sean Connery, Clancy Brown, Roxanne Hart
Part of the appeal of cult classics is being able to simultaneously love and hate a given film. Cult classics are flawed gems, with even the very best having characteristics which prevent them from ever being completely embraced. But it takes a special kind of cult classic to completely split your brain in two, with one half seething at how stupid it is, and the other half smiling in enjoyment. Highlander is one of these films.
The Phantom Menace and Revenge of the Sith, but the other sequels aren't exactly glowing - and that's before we get to the TV series, the animated series or the TV movie. In short, the subsequent instalments are so bad that fans have lionised the original, raising it to the status of sainthood to highlight just how sinful the others are.
Beat It', while the castle fight between the Kurgan and Ramirez feels uncannily like Gary Moore's 'Over The Hills And Far Away'.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail. There's not a great deal of character development in either the past or present day segments, with Russell and Brenda's friendship not really going anywhere until the second half. We don't really root for Connor so much as we are stuck with him, and while he's not annoying or obnoxious, he's hardly endearing either.
The Shawshank Redemption. The make-up effects and costume work are very impressive, but it's Brown's sleazy demeanour and creepy delivery that really make the character stand out. Sean Connery looks the part as Ramirez, lending a lot of charm to the story, and Roxanne Heart does the best she can with an underwritten role. The one weak link is Christopher Lambert, who is essentially a pretty boy: his line deliveries are flat and he has very limited facial expressions.
Logan's Run, the film perplexingly begins to fire and gain significance at the very moments where we cannot take it seriously.
Flash Gordon, but both scores are driven by a need to celebrate the ridiculous and allay all worries about the aspects that don't make sense. The more we think about Highlander's mechanics, the less we enjoy it, because it is designed to be engaging tosh and nothing more.
* For a good introduction to Revolutionary Girl Utena, check out JesuOtaku & Oancitizen's crossover review of the film version here. It provides a good introduction to a complicated series - and is also very funny.