Ringside Cinema

Highlander (1986)

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If you ever imagined what it would look and sound like for the Fabulous Freebirds to come out to music from Queen as their entrance theme, then this is the movie for you. Also, if you ever wanted to watch a movie with an entire soundtrack by Queen, then you’re also in luck.

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The Storyline
An immortal man (Connor MacLeod/Russell Edwin Nash) from Sixteenth Century Scotland,  just happens to take in a wrestling match during the opening scene. He doesn’t seem to thrilled about it. Unlike the two guys in business suits sitting beside him who are cheering like crazy. You know, accurate depictions of wrestling fans. Russell looks like your one friend who had nothing else going on and agreed to go with you to a wrestling show, because nobody you know likes wrestling and you had to bribe him to come along. That’s the entire expression on his face. He seems to grow even more flustered as another fan keeps obnoxiously hanging over his shoulder, screaming “You gotta love it!” Russell most definitely does not love it and shuts his eyes in deep disdain, wishing to be anywhere else but there. Finally, Russell bolts out of his seat,  just as the babyfaces take back control of the match, and decides to go into the parking garage to have a sword fight with another immortal instead, because apparently, there can be only one. And that’s that. We don’t get the outcome of the match, or at the very least, a surefire, can’t miss, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper cameo going full-on William Wallace.

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The Wrestling
As mentioned, the opening scene of the film is the entrance of the Fabulous Freebirds making their way down the aisle, while Queen is playing, making you realize how much better the Freebirds’ entrance would’ve been with Freddie Mercury’s vocals. And considerably less Confederate flag gear. All three of the O.G. Freebirds are here: Michael P.S. Hayes, Buddy Roberts, and Terry “Bam Bam” Gordy. And it wouldn’t be a Michael P.S. Hayes match if Hayes’ wasn’t putting the P.S. in Michael P.S. Hayes by doing purely sexual stuff. After a quick Irish whip into the ropes from Tonga Kid, we go into a back and forth movie montage, which can make even the most boring wrestling bout into a bonafide barn burner. There’s also some parallel cuts going on between the match inside the ring and the Highlander battle raging on inside of Russell’s alternate mind universe, which adds to the excitement. Kind of.

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The Wrestlers
Aside from all three original Fabulous Freebrids being present, there’s also the most sought after Tongan wrestler for 80’s movies featuring pro wrestling, The Tonga Kid. His partners are Jumpin’ Jim Brunzell, and… Greg Gagne. I think. It was hard to tell, and IMDB only has five wrestlers listed, even though it was clearly a six-man tag team match. According to the film’s summary, it takes place in New York City, but considering the time period, the fact that this match isn’t taking place inside of Madison Square Garden, in a  WWF ring, it’s most likely an AWA wrestling show. So that sixth man is most definitely Greg Gagne.

Star Rating: *

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