Highlander II: The Quickening (1991)
March 16, 2019 9:57 AM - Subscribe

It's the year 2024 and the ozone layer has long been destroyed. To protect mankind, the once-immortal Connor MacLeod helped in the construction of a giant "shield" in 1999. Now he is just an old man, until one day some other immortals from his home planet (did we mention he's from the planet Zeist?) arrive on Earth to kill him (mere weeks before his death by natural causes?) and he becomes immortal again... just in time to save the earth one more time.

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a pro
Highlander 2: The Quickening... improves upon the original. This doesn't mean that it's anywhere near a classic of time-travel fantasy adventure. Rather, as both prequel and sequel, it makes clearer much that was so vague in the original; it even jokes about how confusing its premise is. Los Angeles Times
mostly con
For those of you who worry that MTV video art will destroy cinema, the ineptitudes of this film vividly detail the radical difference in forms. It sucks. The Austin Chronicle

This movie has to be seen to be believed. On the other hand, maybe that's too high a price to pay. Highlander 2: The Quickening is the most hilariously incomprehensible movie I've seen in many a long day - a movie almost awesome in its badness. Wherever science fiction fans gather, in decades and generations to come, this film will be remembered in hushed tones as one of the immortal low points of the genre. Roger Ebert

Highlander 2: The Quickening is so perversely, masochistically intent on ruining everything fans loved about the first movie that it’s surprising that they didn’t alter the beloved catchphrase from “There can be only one” to “There can be anywhere from seven to the low thousands, depending on the month and the location,"... Rotten Tomatoes Editorial

[The filmmakers] don't ask us to suspend disbelief; they ask us to pretend we've all had weed-whacker lobotomies. The Washington Post
posted by Ten Cold Hot Dogs (20 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Salesman in Gentlemans Tailor : May I help you sir?
Ramirez : I would like a set of clothes.
Salesman in Gentlemans Tailor : Then why not, indeed... We're the oldest gentlemans tailor in Scotland.
Ramirez : Well then, I've come to the right place. Since I am without a doubt the oldest gentleman in Scotland.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 10:19 AM on March 16, 2019 [3 favorites]

What went wrong with Highlander II [Den of Geek]

After choosing to film in Argentina, everyone involved was held to ransom when Argentina’s economy tanked and hyperinflation began to erode the potential profits. At this point, the insurance company seized control of the film and got the lawyers to threaten everyone with legal action if they ever badmouthed the film. Then they took control of editing and tried to make… God knows.
posted by porpoise at 10:51 AM on March 16, 2019 [5 favorites]

I've never seen this movie, and I never will.  Doing so would just ruin my utter delight in reading about what a disaster it was.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 11:23 AM on March 16, 2019 [3 favorites]

Even after all this time, after suffering through half a dozen half-baked disasters a year at film festivals, Highlander II remains the worst film I've ever seen in a theater.
posted by vibrotronica at 12:01 PM on March 16, 2019 [3 favorites]

I also saw Highlander II in a theater that I drove through a snowstorm to catch with my group of friends, and boy howdy did it suck out loud. In retrospect I should have left my keys in the car with it running for another couple hours that subject myself to that.

I don't think I've been so pumped up for a release and so let down by the actual product.
posted by Sphinx at 2:56 PM on March 16, 2019 [2 favorites]

Seen a few minutes here and there on late late night, and late enough with enough sleepiness and out of sequence it kind of makes a sad perverse sense, but I doubt there are drugs that would help a full screening.
posted by sammyo at 4:53 PM on March 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

This was the movie (that I've mentioned before) that a video rental clerk refused to rent to me.

He did this for my own good.
posted by el io at 10:12 PM on March 16, 2019 [10 favorites]

I've only seen bits and pieces, and wasn't super impressed. One of my old high school teachers swore up and down that the Renegade Edition was tolerably fun, but I haven't sought it out.
posted by piedmont at 2:59 PM on March 17, 2019

I have seen Highlander II and the Renegade Edition... "more than once," each.

Renegade doesn't do much to help. The original in all its awfulness works better as a bad 80's movie made after 1990.

I had once petitioned Netflix (? the red and white envelope company) Canada (when they were a postal DVD rental company) to include a copy of Renegade in their library.

I got a response, and paraphrasing, "It is the same edition as the one currently in our catalogue."

It was not [usenet was involved in the determination].

I'm kind of tempted to go watch Highlander 3 III, now, since it was kind of a reboot. I've always wondered how that was ever funded - outside of industry cocaine trafficking money laundering.*

iirc, it's IV when Adrian Paul (TV crossover) comes in. Then V that was a weird Russian/ E. European production? There was an anime-styled movie (set in the far future), but I can't remember much about it.

I had the DVD boxset for Highlander and Raven, gave them away before my last residential move.

*if anyone is interested in that, the 2017 'Get Shorty' TV series (season 3 next year) is fantastic; less cocaine, more money laundering and filmaking
posted by porpoise at 6:52 PM on March 17, 2019 [2 favorites]

I really want to watch this sometime, but I think I'd have to pay Amazon to stream it. And since I haven't seen it, I've never watched any of the later Highlander movies (should probably make an exception for the one with Duncan and Methos, I'm sure it's delightful and good.)
posted by asperity at 10:32 AM on March 18, 2019

I saw this in a theater, too, and while it is awful, it has a few moments I enjoy. Having Michael Ironside as the bad guy is about the right level of cheese for this thing.

Highlander Endgame, now, aka Highlander: The Series: The Movie, that thing is just straight up trash. It's one of the movies (along with Dungeons & Dragons and Passenger 57) that gave me the Bruce Payne Rule, which says if Bruce Payne is a bad guy in a movie, it is almost certainly awful.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 10:21 PM on March 18, 2019

Highlander was great.

It’s a shame they never made a sequel.
posted by gauche at 5:41 AM on March 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

Don't talk about our Highlander II, Martha.
posted by charred husk at 5:58 AM on March 19, 2019

Once upon a time, I was walking along, minding my own business, when two gentlemen, unknown to me, approached.

I paused to see what they were about and—without prelude—the first gentleman asks me, "Have you ever seen Highlander II?".

Without skipping a beat—wearing my best puzzled expression—I reply, "There is no Highlander II."

The first gentleman turns to the second and says, "I told you so—it's so bad that people will deny it exists." and with no more than a wink and a nod of thanks, the two gentlemen stroll out of my life forever.
posted by thedward at 4:06 PM on March 22, 2019 [6 favorites]

Saw this in the theater on opening night, and was so stunned and amused by not just how bad, but how shamelessly incoherent it was, that I happily paid to see it a second time.

Ramirez : I would like a set of clothes.

Ramirez asks for a "suit of clothes."
posted by mubba at 9:01 AM on March 29, 2019

Ramirez : I would like a set of clothes.

Ramirez asks for a "suit of clothes."

Full disclosure: I copy/pasted that quote from the internet instead of rewatching Highlander 2. Mea culpa
posted by ActingTheGoat at 12:07 PM on March 29, 2019 [2 favorites]

Connor MacLeod had OT III revealed to him and didn't even get pneumonia.
posted by ckape at 7:08 PM on September 15, 2019

I saw this in the theater. I knew nothing about it and was excited for it, as were the crowd with me.

Obviously the crowd was long lost by the time this happened, well after the Planet Zeist reveals and so on, but there was a moment where someone was going up a spiral staircase. It was IIRC shot from above, with IIRC the camera pulling up to follow the actor. And the actor was going around, it being a spiral staircase, and the camera was rotating *BUT NOT TO MATCH* and there was a third layer of induced rotation by the camera pulling up and it just went on and on and by the end a substantial portion of the audience were yelling AAAAAH AAAAAAAAAAAAAH.

When the movie ended, the screen was pelted with popcorms and jujubes an' that.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 6:24 AM on September 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

I have just shown some friends Highlander (they had previously, somehow, never heard of it).
To prepare them for Highlander 2, I have provided some small anecdotes of it's production:

In an interview Michael Ironside was talking about his stunt double. He said:

"He’d never been anywhere where cocaine was so cheap. You know, you could buy a gram of cocaine for about four dollars American, and you could buy a brick of it for about 150 dollars."
Apparently two days before a big stunt the stunt double knocked on Ironside's door completely naked, but with
"paint all over his testicles." He thought there were people in his room and he needed "a pair of sweatpants."

Then the stunt double broke his ankle so Ironside decided to do the stunt himself, a fall through a subway roof. . During the fall he cracked his head on a crossbar, and he thought he'd broken his back.
He says he "stood up, [and] checked my back, my shoulders, and my hands while I was half-bent over. But when I realized I’d done it and I hadn’t broken anything, I threw my head back and I went, 'YES!' That’s when I realized, 'Wait a minute, the camera’s still rolling!' And I went, 'A-HA!' And I walked off-camera.'"
That shot is still in the movie.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 4:10 PM on June 13, 2021 [1 favorite]

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