Note: This is Part 3 of our “Filmnesia” series. You can find Part I here and Part II here.

In the previous Filmnesia strip I bemoaned the addition of “midi-chlorians” to the Star Wars universe, pointing out that their introduction in The Phantom Menace actually succeeded in diminishing the original trilogy. But this ability to retroactively ruin an earlier film was perhaps best demonstrated by the horror that is Highlander II.

The original Highlander movie has a lot going for it: it was an unexpectedly original idea; it was beautifully edited with some wonderful transitions between scenes; it was generally well acted (with the notable exception of Sean Connery’s accent — surprisingly Scottish for a Spanish Egyptian character); it had a great soundtrack by Queen and it had an easy to understand plot (good vs. evil) made more interesting with the introduction of immortal characters and frequent flashbacks to earlier parts of their lives.

What it didn’t do was leave anyone desperate to know where these immortal characters had actually come from. Every viewer of that film either gave it little thought, or quite happily came up with their own solution to the conundrum. Perhaps they were unwitting descendants of an earlier race of immortals as found in many old religions, or perhaps it was just a rare DNA mutation that led to immortality. We were all quite happy to either give the matter no thought at all, or to come up with our own logic to explain it. Just like we did with The Force.

But then Highlander II came along and provided us with an answer to a question nobody was asking. The immortals were actually aliens who had conveniently forgotten their alien past. Immediately Highlander was turned from a thoughtful and coherent fantasy film into a dreadful sci-fi film, riddled with plotholes. That’s why Highlander II has been singled out in this comic as the one film that we would most like to have wiped from our memories entirely.

The other films that are mentioned have also all had a negative impact on me, but for different reasons:

A film that was just so awful that I nearly walked out of the cinema (and would have, if I hadn’t been given a lift there with someone else — it would have been very a long walk home)
The Blair Witch Project
The shocked look on the faces of the previous audience when I saw this at the cinema. It was only as I walked out with the same shocked look on my own face that I realised it wasn’t “scary” shocked, it was “was that really what all the hype was about?” shock.
The Ladykillers
The original is one of my favourite films. It’s a charming Ealing Comedy that you could happily take your grandmother to see. I don’t know what the Coen brothers’ remake is really like, as I’ve only ever managed to watch the first 20 minutes before the amount of bad language was too much for me. For all I know it might actually be a good film, but it’s certainly not in the same class as the original.

Why not leave a comment to tell the world what film(s) you would like to have wiped from your mind, and why?

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This comic is also available in French

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↓ Transcript
G1: It seems that quite a few people stayed for "The Phantom Menace" mind wipe, then left the cinema immediately afterwards, before the film had even begun.
So now they're planning to hold a few more non-showings.

G2: *Non*-showings?

G1: Yes, they'll wipe your mind of all memory of the film, then give you a chance to leave before seeing it again.
It's for films that are so bad that you would rather forget they ever existed.

G2: Like what?

G1: Well there's the "Star Wars" prequels, but also such turkeys as "Face/Off", "The Blair Witch Project" and the remake of "The Ladykillers".

G2: So what are they starting with?

G1: "Highlander II", of course.

G2: I'll be in the queue!