Scene of the Week: Gimme the Prize
I have something to say: it’s better to burn out then to fade away!
1986’s Highlander is a film that sounds nuttier than squirrel turds. A bunch of people run around fighting each other with swords throughout the passing of time. They will live forever unless they’re separated from their heads. Immortality would be a great gift to some but these immortals chose to battle each other for the ultimate prize of….mortality! What?
Clancy Browns’ performance as The Kurgan is enough for me to have fallen in love with this movie as a kid. This music video features his driving skills, his pick-up artistry in a church, his amazing hair-cutting ability, and of course the near impossible feat of killing him. He gets shot up with machine guns, has it throat sliced (and stapled back together), and falls from a seriously high tower. Unlike our hero Connor Macleod, The Kurgan would have lasted about 4 minutes without his immortality.
Straight from IMDB.com
Queen originally intended to record only one song for the film, but after viewing footage from the movie, they were inspired to write more. The band members each had a favorite scene and composed songs specifically for them. Brian May wrote “Who Wants to Live Forever” during the cab ride home after seeing the film, and Roger Taylor used the line “It’s a kind of magic” as the basis for the end title song.
As fun as this music video is to watch, there’s a very important element of the film that doesn’t get portrayed in its 5 minute runtime. No doubt, Highlander has its fair share of action, and it’s a very fun movie that shouldn’t be taken too seriously. But the one theme that has run throughout the entire saga of Connor Macleod and his cousin Duncan Macleod on the television show is the depressing nature of the immortal’s lives. It might sound cool to be able to live for hundreds of years but having to watch everyone you’ve ever loved slowly age and die in front of you is a seriously disheartening idea. The original screenplay to Highlander allowed for the immortals to have children, though. I don’t think it was because the writer wanted them to share in the pleasures of parenthood, however. I think it was in order to further prove how tragic the lives were of the immortals.