’s not
right to enjoy the first two Highlander films as much as I do. It might not
even be legal. But I’m powerless before the combined might of Christopher
Lambert, Sean Connery, and the somehow simultaneously bombastic and pedestrian
direction of one Russell Mulcahy. Russ made his mark as a big shot video
director in the 80s before he got into features. And though he delivered a few
cheesily enjoyable films since (The Shadow, Ricochet), he’ll forever
be known to a lot of geeks for kicking off the Highlander franchise,
then nearly destroying it with one of the worst/greatest sequels of all time, Highlander
2: The Quickening
(pick any edition. They’re all gloriously wretched in
their own special way).

But I’m
going to have to fight every molecule of my being not to jump off on that
tangent, and instead focus on what Mulcahy’s doing now. You may be already
aware that he’s grabbed the reins of the Resident Evil franchise by helming
part trios, Extinction, which hits
theaters on September 21. But one weak sci-fi/fantasy franchise just ain’t
enough, so Mulcahy’s now attached to do a sequel to The Scorpion King, which
was already a prequel/offshoot of the Mummy franchise, now doomed to an
underwhelming-looking third installment of its own. This time, however, it’s a
direct-to-DVD cheapie and however spotty his film career has been since, The
Rock will not be back. Hopefully, they can snatch Kevin Sorbo from the
direct-to-DVD Walking Tall films and hook him up with a righteous wig and
tons of bronzer. Plus, it would have the weird synergy of two crappy franchises
that Sorbo dug out of Dwayne Johnson’s trash.

I’m all
up for this, all snark and irony aside, because I think that underneath all of
the crap, the simple premise of The Scorpion King – a great, doomed hero – has potential,
even on a small budget. It’s always been a TV-sized tale, so this may be the
best chance this idea ever has. I’ll miss Rocky as the faux-Conan, but here’s a
small opportunity to go in a more distinct and enjoyable direction.