Highlander, alongside Flash Gordon, should be part of the “Good Films Made Awesome By Queen” box-set. Its follow up, Highlander II: The Quickening, was so bad that Highlander 3: The Sorcerer pretended that the events that took place in the previous movie never happened. Then Highlander: Endgame, a spin off of the Highlander TV series, pretended neither H2 or H3 existed and forged its own path, only to be stopped by Highlander: The Source, a straight to DVD movie which not only killed the franchise but in my honest opinion may be the worst movie I have ever seen.
So how did they market this series, which started off sprinting from the start line, only to fall on its face and embarrassingly roll down a hill and off a cliff into a pile of manure? How did they sell each progressively worse piece of mold and rot?
Lets have a look at the taglines. With Tim.
From another time comes a man of incredible power. He is immortal. Now he is about to face the ultimate challenge. At stake is the greatest prize imaginable.
An all-expenses paid trip for two to Universal Studios, Florida? I would cut a man down for that.
He fought his first battle on the Scottish Highlands in 1536. He will fight his greatest battle on the streets of New York City in 1986. His name is Connor MacLeod. He is immortal.
Any male who reads this tagline and doesn’t immediately run off to book tickets for the next showing needs to head to their local bar and down six shots of Jack Daniels in a row. That should help them man the fuck up.
There can be only one.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t.
Don’t lose your head
Ya get it? Huh? Because that’s what they do you see. They cut off each other’s heads. Do you get it? DO YOU GET IT!?
Highlander II: The Quickening (1991)
It’s a kind of magic.
I like to think that this is what director Russell Mulcahy said when presented the film to the studio executives at the first screening
It’s time for a new kind of magic.
I like to think that this is what the studio executives said to director Russell Mulcahy when they fired him after the first screening
Highlander 3: The Sorcerer (1994)
Centuries ago one man was chosen to protect all that is good.
Not only does this tagline feel as though it paused midway, it also has nothing at all to do with the movie!
Throughout time they have hunted each other fulfilling the prophecy, that there can be only one. The final conflict.
Sadly it was not the final conflict. So many more shitty, shitty conflicts.
This time it’s for eternity.
At least that is what it feel like when you watch this fucking thing.
One man was chosen to protect all that is good. Now an enemy from the past journeys time to challenge him in the present.
Oh, so THERE is the rest of that tagline! Still isn’t really right though.
Highlander: Endgame (2000)
For centuries, we’ve been told there can be only one. But it’s another time. And a Supernatural enemy has grown too strong for any immortal to face alone. So two brothers are about to join forces. Together, they’re our last chance to stop the ultimate evil.
Wow. Surely there is a less wordy way to say that.
It will take two immortals to defeat the ultimate evil. But in the end, there can be only one.
I knew there was a less wordy way. Grammar is still awful though.
The last chance. The ultimate evil. The final battle.
As we all know, in this franchise final battles are never final. We aren’t that lucky.
What has always been a fight for one now becomes a battle two must face together.
This one was actually a reject tagline from the latest series of Strictly Come Dancing.
Highlander: The Source (2007)
In a world without end, their will is eternal. But a quest for the source of immortality will awaken the Guardian.
Even if you were the biggest Highlander fan in the world, that tagline would leave you confused, tired and maybe a little angry. Which is exactly how the film will make you feel, so solid advertising really.