The Highlander Game

Games are an important part of culture and many of them are variations on several “Mother Games.”  There is a version of tag that involves hunting a target while you are hunted by an unknown foe.  There are various other rules involved, but those are the basics.  Some time ago I figured that this would be a great base for a sword fighting game.  All I needed was a framing scenario.  I found this in the movie Highlander.  A movie that most sword fighters seem to have some affection for and it’s easy to see why.  It’s a simple set up, being about a race of immortals who absorb the power of other immortals by cutting off their heads.  The tagline for the move is, “there can be only one.”  It’s appeal lies partially in it’s excuse to have secret sword fights in a modern era.  There was one movie and a spin off t.v. show and THAT WAS IT.  Anyway, if you’re not familiar with Highlander, check it out.  It’s good cheesy fun. Continue reading

Lo, There Do I See The Line of My People.

One of my all time favourite sword movies is The 13th Warrior.  Not my all time favourite, of course, but it’s up there.  As something of an armchair historian, I almost feel as though I should criticize this movie based on its lack of attention to historical detail, but I just can’t bring myself to do that.  True, weapons and armour in The 13th Warrior spans almost five centuries on either side of when this story supposedly takes place, featuring both a roman gladiator style helmet and a breastplate from around the 16th century.  Imagine a modern drama in which it goes completely unexplained why the main character’s brother wears a doublet and has a ray gun and you’ll get a sense of why this is silly. Thankfully, though, there are no horns on the viking helmets, which would have destroyed this movie for me. Continue reading