Sunday, June 01, 2008
1987. Tri-Star Pictures. PG-13. In this Highlander-inspired knockoff, bloodthirsty immortals roam an apocalyptic landscape while posing as small market TV news crews. Banished from his own Gaelic homeland, Levar Burton stars as Anderson - a wandering one-man band with a bad stutter, a busted back-focus and otherworldly powers he’s still just discovering. Special appearance by Dabney Coleman as Mr. Kamakura - ever livid news director / ancient samurai mentor. Unlike the sword-fighting Highlander, the immortal newsies duel with hardwired microphones, slinging them around like brightly logo’d nun-chucks Look for unbilled cameo by co-producer Tony Danza as break-dancing super villain. Lambasted for its blue and out of focus fight scenes, critics point to Danza’s insistence on scatting his lines for mangling the picture’s tone. A year in the making, a week in the theater, this stinker went on to score big with the college video rental crowd before being pulled from store shelves due to licensing disputes over its Rick Astley soundtrack. Not available on DVD.