Highlander (1986)

The late seventies and the eighties were a whacky era, films such as Mad Max and Star Wars, Star Trek and some of David Lynch’s best work came out back then, along with a TON of action films starring Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. However, none of the films in the action world had managed to capture something of the fantasy/science fiction mix that Highlander managed to do. This 1986 film is both one of the best examples of modern fantasy done right and a phenomenal action film in its own right!

How to Download Highlander (1986)

You can download the film from a digital store. You can also stream it. Click on the Download button at the end of this review and make your choice.

The Movie Review

In Scotland in the 16th century, immortals engaged in combat with one another in an effort to be the last one standing after decades of conflict. Ramirez instructs Conner Macleod in the art of sword combat in the hope that one of them may one day face and vanquish the Kurgen. The plot spans four centuries and takes place everywhere from the Scottish Highlands to the streets of New York. This is a film that bends through age and time and creates one of the most enticing fantastical plots we’ve seen in the eighties.

The first few major flaws in Highlander that eventually ended up making it a campy cult classic can be a big talking point. The editing in particular was a huge reason this film was bashed, with lots of tilted shots, and the sort of ‘music video’ type of editing that made this film almost unbearable for viewers in the eighties made it so much fun for viewers in the modern day. The overly loud music was too much for people to bare too, but now, it’s a sign of rebellion and works to the film’s strength. It’s just a film that was ahead of its time overall.

The cast of the movie is amazing, and each actor gives an outstanding performance as their chosen character. The small roles played by Peter Diamond, Hugh Quarshie, Sheila Gish, and Christopher Malcolm, among others, are all excellent, meanwhile, the main cast playing the big roles by Lambert, Brown, Connery, Hart, and North are FANTASTIC in every single way. The performers did a fantastic job of continually keeping the movie exciting, and I can honestly say that Highlander is one of the most innovative and moving movies I have ever had the pleasure of watching.

It is not without its flaws though, the film isn’t shot very well, to say the least. In fact, it looks kind of like an eyesore, and it’s hard to like the cinematography overall. It’s weird because most of the films of the eighties had a similar aesthetic, but somehow it looks much worse in Highlander, perhaps due to the cameras not being the highest budget equipment, or maybe it was just the camera angles and the instructions that the crew was following. The film was hard to look at, and that particular aspect of it will bother viewers even today.

The campy action sequences though… those are a different story. Highlander has action sequences galore, there are so many sword fights here that you kind of lose count and grow numb to them. However, I thoroughly enjoyed every single one of them, they were flashy, shot like a music video with blaring rock soundtracks blurring into the atmosphere. It’s an entertainer, a rough and campy entertainer in the same vein as songs by Kiss or Queen.

The Music

I did like the music for the most part, and it did sweeten the overall aesthetic of the film. However, I can’t really say that I enjoyed it as much as I would have if it had an actual, epic soundtrack to it. It would have added a more impactful emotional flair to the film, and it would’ve definitely made the film more accessible to conventional moviegoers back in the eighties, and even today that would serve as a slight improvement.


Highlander is an entertainer that shifts through the realms of time and space. It manages to be consistently entertaining, and well-choreographed with some incredible fight sequences and sword duels. However, there are a few issues with this film, mainly the cinematography which is INCREDIBLY hard to look at, but then again, the editing makes it even harder to look at with the janky cuts and jumps cuts. The music could have been improved, but it’s not a defining flaw here, and in today’s world, Highlander is an action-fantasy cult classic.

Highlander (1986)
Highlander is a fantasy film from 1986 that tells the story of Connor McLeod, a Scottish warrior from the XVI century. Download it now and see what happened.
6 Total Score
Highlander (1986) Review Summary

Sound & Music
  • Incredible sword duels and action sequences
  • A time and age-spanning story, set within different periods of the world’s history
  • A great cast of characters; the actors portray them with all their heart
  • Visually very unappealing. At times, hard to look at
  • The music could have been done much better
User Rating: 5 (1 vote)
Thorn EMI Screen Entertainment
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Zain Bhatti

Zain Bhatti

Zain is an aspiring filmmaker who has invested thousands of hours of his life into understanding films and the way they are made. He has a passion for films, a love for cinematography, and adores a film that breaks the rules to bring something refreshing to the table!

Apart from films he also has a love for video games with immersive worlds and adores any piece of consumable media that he can analyze for countless hours.