Highlander 4K Boxset Collector’s Edition on 4K Blu-ray – The DVDfever Review and Unboxing!

Highlander 4K Boxset Collector’s Edition is out now, and this is a film I’ve seen a few times before now, the last being for the 30th Anniversary Blu-ray release.

I’ll also say at this point that I’m one of the few people who really enjoyed Highlander II, particularly in the director’s cut “Renegade Version“. I have the on Region 1 DVD, but for Blu-ray, there’s never been a UK release. There are others around Europe and US, and the Blu-rays should not be region-locked so you can still enjoy them over here.

With Christopher Lambert in the lead role, from the highlands of Scotland to a very lush pad in New York, ‘Connor MacLeod of the clan MacLeod’ (since you cannot say his name any other way) has done alright for himself – except for when the price of immortality is such that he outlives his totty, and they die in his arms while he’s still boring them into ennui with his dodgy Scots accent). Currently living the live of antique shop owner Russell Nash, with the late great Sheila Gish as his secretary, he’s about to fall in love again – not with that major MILF (he missed a trick, there!), but with investigative author Brenda (Roxanne Hart), whilst forever plagued with the knowledge that “there can be only one”, since all other of his kind will have to die – only by having their head chopped off, and then the one remaining can finally grow old and shuffle off their mortal coil.

The major baddy this time round is The Kurgan (Clancy Brown, who brilliantly hams it up, although for entertainment value, I did enjoy more the ‘baddie’ turn from Michael Ironside in the sequel), who pays a visit to Sean Connery (Zardoz), around the halfway mark, as the health and safety inspector, to point out the burning issue that there’s no handrail on the stairs, before demolishing his lovely house quicker than a dodgy repair job on Homes Under The Hammer.

As it heads towards the inevitable ‘final fight’ conclusion, there’s a lot of fun to be had in this film, but note that despite the flashy header on the box, and both this and the 1080p Blu-ray being struck from a 4K master, there are still some image issues for part of the movie.

Highlander 4K Boxset Collector’s Edition on 4K Blu-ray – Full Unboxing & Review! – DVDfeverGames

The film is presented in its original 1.85:1 widescreen ratio and in 2160p high definition, and for a remastered disc, there are more problems than I would expect to see, although things seemed to have calmed down a bit compared to the 2016 Blu-ray release. Even if a lot of them are down to how the film was originally made, and/or shot – and so film stock won’t improve over time, fans are now used to blistering-quality flaw-free prints that you expect with modern digital recordings, and they won’t get that here. There may be spoilers as I describe the problems.

First off, the image is quite hazy in the opening car park scene, and is bad just after Connor’s been stabbed and the camera goes ‘into his eye’ at the end of the flashback around 16:30. In addition, while the action-sound FX are accurate, the dialogue is just slightly out of sync – but not uniformly so. With the Blu-ray, I thought it was a problem with the disc, itself, but not so, since this film IS just how it is.

It’s not the only recentish release for a mid-’80s film that’s had such problems – Absolute Beginners also suffered, but again, since the sync issues are not always the same delay in time, I figured this is the only print that was available.

In 2016, I also learned from a friend at the time who showed a 35mm print of this film once, that the original print is “notoriously all over the place”. Ideally, I would say that before putting this out as a high-profile release, surely steps should be taken to get it right, but as he told me, “it’d probably cost too much to fix and I don’t think the original camera negatives exist anymore.”

Once the visual issues settle down, about 20 minutes in, there are glorious locations which look even more stunning in 4K than in HD – and can certainly see the extra definition, even if there is the problems of grain. Plus, Russell Mulcahy is a very impressive director with his sweeping visual shots.


Down in the car park…

The sound is also a hit-and-miss affair. On the plus side, there’s great split-surround effects with the buzzing electricity in the car park, plus other scenes where the same thing happens, as well as when Kurgan waves his magic sword about in his motel room, and brilliant atmosphere when Kurgen trashes Connery’s house and other such scenes when all hell is breaking loose. There’s also a wonderful original score from Michael Kamen, which I’ve always preferred to Queen‘s album, A Kind of Magic, and no doubt Freddie Mercury was spinning in his grave a few years ago, as the title track was being used to hawk the cheesy wares of a furniture company… with other Queen songs, even now, being thrown all over the place in various ads. It makes the heart weep.

The out-of-sync chat on the 4K release, is still there, however, although it only seems to affect the first time we see Connor in the Middle Ages, whereas the Blu-ray had issues throughout the first 20 minutes, along with some other sections, too. I’ve had footage go out of sync when I’ve tried to import it into Premier Pro, if there was a problem with the original. However, I’d just move the audio very slightly against the video footage, so it fell back in sync. Can’t be that difficult, surely? And maybe that’s what’s happened with this new release?


Greetings, Highlander!

The package contains both 4K and Blu-ray discs in this dual format release, and the on-disc extras are as follows, with Disc 2, the Blu-ray, being the 2016 release:

Disc 1:

  • The Immortal Attraction of Highlander (56:21): This is a fascinating extra with new interviews with cast and crew, lasting almost an hour.

    A few elements of this (although there’s plenty more to discover), director Russell Mulcahy talks about how he got Sean Connery early for this, and how Christopher Lambert was brought in because of his Greystoke role, and his striking eyes, stating how Mr Lambert had to work on his accent for 3.5 months.

    Meanwhile, Heather’s ‘final’ scene was shot months after the regular film production ceased, as they reshot it without as much make-up as she used previously; and Clancy Brown moans how he only had one proper scene (in the church, with the rest being fights). Add in chat from Roxanne Hart as Brenda, too.

    There’s no subtitles on the extras, sadly, so it needs a kind of magic for that…

  • A Kind of Magic: Music of the Immortals (14:25): Shot in the same way as the main extra, with some of the same people, this also includes music maestro Neil Brand as he talks about how the music has to be emphatic when it needs to be, and quiet when it also needs to be.

    Plus, how Queen wanted a huge soundtrack hit after their Flash Gordon soundtrack didn’t do so well for them.

  • Capturing Immortality: Interview with photographer David James (12:59): The photographer talks us through how he set about creating a number of key scenes.

  • There Can Only Be One Kurgan: Clancy Brown Remembers Highlander (14:20): Here, he talks about the fun times he had making the film, along with more about wishing he’d had more key scenes aside from the fights.

    As well as The Shawshank Redemption, he has also more recently been seen in Dexter: New Blood, and the videogame Detroit: Become Human.

  • Audio Commentary 1: with author Jon Melville

  • Audio Commentary 2: with Russell Mulcahy

  • Audio Commentary 3: with Russell Mulcahy, William Panzer and Peter Davis

Disc 2:

  • Interview with Christopher Lambert (19:44): A brand new interview in which he talks about what led him to do this movie, and how it was only his second English-speaking role following Greystoke. In addition to talking about Queen making an entire album for this film, he’s still passionate about films, and of course, this movie, but he doesn’t sound particularly well.

  • Interview with Russell Mulcahy (22:06): Another brand new interview, where the director talks about his career, how Lambert came to be in the film, and how they only had Sean Connery for seven days, which is something I never realised.

  • The Making of Highlander (1:55:41): A feature-length extra, mixing clips from the film with a great deal of insight into the movie. Presented in standard definition, this was originally released in 2007. While most of the extras have a few chapters (even the short interviews), this one – which is separated into four segments: A Legend is Born, The Visual Style, A Strong Woman and The Producer’s Point of View – is superbly chaptered with 22 to run through. Now, why couldn’t the film be given such treatment??

  • Deleted Scenes (6:13): 5 of them, but they’re not what you expect (unless you’ve seen them on a previous release) as they’re just footage where the original soundtrack was no longer available, so random music has been put on top of it.

  • Archival interview with Christopher Lambert (8:32): This time, he speaks in his own French tongue, with English subtitles. Well, he doesn’t speak the subtitles but… yep, you got what I meant.

  • Trailer (2:31): In the original 1.85:1 widescreen ratio, with that deep-voiced announcer.

  • Audio commentary: with director Russell Mulcahy.

Thanks to Studiocanal for the 4K Blu-ray boxset for review and unboxing!

Highlander 4K Boxset Collector’s Edition is out now on 4K Blu-ray Limited Edition Boxset and the film is also available in a regular version on 4K Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD and Amazon Video.

Highlander | Starring Sean Connery and Christopher Lambert – On 4K UHD for the very first time – StudioCanal UK


Running time: 116 minutes
Year: 1986
Chapters: 12
Cat.No: TBC
Distributor: Studiocanal
Released: October 31st 2022
Picture: 2160p High Definition (4K Blu-ray); 1080p High Definition (Blu-ray)
Widescreen: 1.85:1 (35mm, J-D-C Cameras)
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Format: BD100, BD50

Director: Russell Mulcahy
Producers: Peter S Davis and William N Panzer
Screenplay: Gregory Widen, Peter Bellwood and Larry Ferguson
Music: Michael Kamen

Connor ‘The Highlander’ MacLeod/Russell Edwin Nash: Christopher Lambert
Brenda J. Wyatt: Roxanne Hart
Victor Kruger/The Kurgan: Clancy Brown
Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez: Sean Connery
Heather MacLeod: Beatie Edney
Lieutenant Frank Moran: Alan North
Det. Walter Bedsoe: Jon Polito
Rachel Ellenstein: Sheila Gish
Sunda Kastagir: Hugh Quarshie
Kirk Matunas: Christopher Malcolm
Iman Fasil: Peter Diamond
Dougal MacLeod: Billy Hartman
Angus MacLeod: James Cosmo
Kate MacLeod: Celia Imrie
Chief Murdoch: Alistair Findlay
Garfield: Edward Wiley
Father Rainey: James McKenna