Highlander Returns, The International Version (AKA, Highlander 2 The Quickining/ U.S Title)
A CHANCE IT NEVER HAD…
Without a doubt, this is one of the more interesting backstage sagas in modern film. Once upon a time, a production team went down to South America to film a sequel to a very popular movie from 1986 called Highlander. Leading this team was the director of the first film, Russell Mulcahy, and there was no reason to believe that the production would go any way but smoothly. Fate, however, had other plans. During the course of filming, the local economy took a nosedive, and inflation went through the roof, driving up production costs. This caused tensions to flare in many quarters, and soon arguments began to brew between the production company, the director, and even the insurance company that held the completion guarantee for the film. In the end, final creative control over the film was taken away from the director; thus, Russell Mulcahy had no say in the final editing of the film, which instead was handled by others whose main objective was to try and come up with something that would make the most money as opposed to something that made sense. The original theatrical cut (for American audiences), subtitled The Quickening, which resulted from this so disgusted Mulcahy that he walked out on the premiere within the first fifteen minutes. A few months later, an alternate cut of the film with a little more footage was released for British audiences, this version resembled closer to the vision that the director originally had for his film. Years afterward, when the Highlander franchise began to enjoy resurgent success thanks to exposure to new fans through a syndicated television series, Mulcahy and members of the original production team went back and recut the film into what is called the Renegade Version for video release, which significantly alters the premise and recuts the Highlander returns version. This is the most generally accepted cut of the film as far as most fans are concerned. Incredibly, there may be at least one more cut of the film following the theatrical release’s premise, and there is still footage that has remained unused in any cut. No released version of the film is completely consistent with the original Highlander from 1986
One of the film’s saving graces is Sean Connery’s performance, short on screen time though it is (he filmed for a total of nine whole days). It’s obvious he’s having fun in the role (three and a half million bucks for just over a week’s work would make anyone happy, though, I suspect), and his scenes, particularly those before he reunites with Connor, are among the most amusing in the film. If the film is going to be relatively nonsensical anyway, might as well enjoy the fun parts, and Connery provides several of them, making the most of a bad situation.
Christopher Lambert is, of course, in his element as Connor MacLeod, a character whose screen persona he helped to shape in the first film. MacLeod is Lambert’s single best role, and it shows.
Facts about the International Version:
This version contains some of the footage from that is in the “Renegade Edition” although the sequence of events is more like the theatrical release. It also contains footage and dialog not seen in either of the other versions. Noteworthy differences include the following: During the opera scene the intercutting and the dialog is far superior that the theatrical or the Renegade version, it flows better.
While Katana is fighting the rebels on Zeist soliders from both sides use machine guns. Connor and Louise leave earth for Zeist at the end of the movie.
other added scenes included scenes only shiown in the TV version: At ther beginning of the film Brenda his wife is dieing of Cancer from the sun she has a wrist band that clearing signifies her passing. Evene more footage of the race to the top of the Earth above the shield and altenate dialog. The original dialog from the script is intact in most scenes.
This version was commonly used for television broadcasts and I have obtained a cut of the TV version and the Alternate cut in which I am talking baout.
What I need is someone or people with an interest to help me restore this to the best possible.
Using to versions.
Highlander 2 German internatinal cut
Highlander 2 JAPAN CUT - The American TV version
Now the Japan cut is fullscreen ratio 1:33.1 and colors are washed out and has onscreen no removable japanese subtitles, qulity is poor and sountrack is not much better. However, this soundtrack is the only copy of the version avaible in english. It has a horrible hissing noise but it will have to work or maybe we could work on it.
The German Highlander 2 is shown in the correct aspect ration of 2:35.1 the color is very fine and the defention very clear. However, sadly only has a 5.1 soundtrack in German and no English subltitles.
These version are almost identical until the last scene, in the Japan cut Connor and Louise leave earth for Zeist at the end of the movie.
The footage shown is the actually footage that is on the Highlander 2 Directors Cut new dvd IN THE outtakes/ DELETED footage area, but in the Japan/ TV version cut is in finished form , the horrible shot of Connor floating into space and Louise saying take me with you is the scenes I am talking about. This scene would be the only edit.
In the German Cut it ends like the Renegade version. This is the only change thus would allow us to add the Japan Cuts English dialog and overlay it onto the 2:35.1 footage of the German version up until those last few minutes.
I myslef do not have these capablities nor the computer to pull of this feet. What I am asking for is help. I will provide the Cut of the movies and if someone could overlay the english soundtrack and edit the scene and work on the english soundtack a bit, this would be great. Keep in mind this may be a bigger task than actually I am stating, the two speeds of the movie are off which in this case we would have to slow the pace of the Japan/ TV cut verus the german cut.
Please help me with this project, it has been something I have been trying to do for years but no one is ever interested. I think the Intrernational cut is somewhere close to what the director inteneded and often makes more sense in scenes. It would make a great addtion to anyones Highlander library.
BTW!! whoever helps me with this will have free rain to my complete movie collection, some of which people even on these boards say don’t exist, but I keep quite sometimes and beg to differ. I never give away all the apples.
Remember, Highlander, you’ve both still got your full measure of life. Use it well, and your future will be glorious.