Filmed almost exclusively in Argentina, Highlander 2 might be the worst movie of all time. The general public wasn’t ready for a climate-disaster science fiction film in the 1990s, nor did they approve of making Immortals from the first movie into aliens. Sets resemble copies of Ridley Scott productions (think Alien or Blade Runner) & the special effects… well, they aren’t that special. Recoleta Cemetery gets a cameo though, so we’ll have to sit through a few minutes of footage.
At 1:02 in the director’s cut, Connor MacLeod (played by Christopher Lambert) visits the grave of his wife, Brenda, who died from solar radiation exposure. No ozone layer = millions of deaths. A flashback scene then shows Connor at Brenda’s bedside in a makeshift hospital. Just before she dies, Brenda makes Connor promise to do something to end humanity’s suffering. End of flashback. As Connor talks to Brenda’s grave, General Katana (played by Michael Ironside) appears & congratulates Connor for talking to the dead.
After kissing a statue of an angel on the tomb of Virgilio M. Tedín, Connor & Katana do a bit of verbal sparring that does not turn into a fight… because their “golden rule” is not to fight on holy ground. On cue, a priest followed by a funeral procession interrupts their conversation & drives the point home:
Katana’s advice to Connor before disappearing is: “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. If you don’t take it out & use it, it’s going to rust.” His sword, that is. Connor then walks off screen.
Filmed in the back section of the cemetery, set designers came up with an interesting way to hide adjacent apartment buildings: tarps covered with extra plant life. Bizarre but effective. They’ve added quite a bit of greenery to the surrounding tombs as well to provide a bit of atmosphere. Otherwise we’d see windows & endless air conditioning units:
Brenda’s tomb —which Katana steps on & damages— is a prop set in front of the Art Deco grave of Rufino de Elizalde. Location scouts did a good job in selecting this spot… Art Deco fits in the movie’s aesthetic, & this is one of the few spots in the cemetery that has perspective. The white sculpture at the very end on the right belongs to Juan Alberto Lartigau.
Some blame the economic situation of Argentina in the early 1990s for the film’s failure. Investors took creative control of the film to save money, introduced random changes & broke continuity with the previous movie’s story. Whatever the reason, at least we have one more moment of time in Recoleta Cemetery captured on film forever.
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