The Crow title

Tag line : Darker than the Bat...

The CrowA film that, sadly, achieved cult status for all the wrong reasons. Director Alex Proyas dark gothic tale, takes place in a world that appears to be bathed in perpetual darkness, in which hapless teenager Eric Draven (Brandon Lee, son of the legendary Bruce Lee) is brutally murdered, along with girlfriend, on Halloween night by a gang during a home invasion.

One year later and a mysterious stranger wearing Alice Cooper style make up, who bears a striking resemblance to Draven, proceeds to stalk the streets of his old neighbourhood. Followed around by a mysterious black crow, the gang members responsible for the death of him and his girlfriend all subsequently proceed to meet a grisly demise.

Based on the comic book series by James O'Barr, the film is sort of a bizarre cross between Death Wish and Batman, but with a supernatural twist and is a very compelling, action packed, dark, gothic horror story.

Also starring character actors Tony Todd (Candyman) and Michael Wincott (Alien : Resurrection) as a couple of bad guys, along with Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters) as a sympathetic police officer. The film was bound to be a cult classic. Sadly though, its release was overshadowed by the death of lead actor Brandon Lee, who was accidentally killed on set when a special effects stunt went wrong.

The film subsequently became (in)-famous for all the wrong reasons, and whilst it proved hugely successful at the box office. This was in no small part due to the adverse publicity it garnered due to the accident. A great pity as the film should have been a classic in it's own right, as it is its become famous for being the film in which Brandon Lee died making.

I would in any case recommend checking this one out. Its action packed, dark and very atmospheric, though it is tinged with sadness for multiple reasons...

Overall Marks : 6/10.

Terrifying Trivia.

  • The end credits dedicate the film to Brandon and Eliza. This of course refers to Brandon Lee, who died on set during filming. Eliza referred to Brandon Lee's fiance Eliza Hutton, who agreed to let the film makers finish the film after his death.

  • David Patrick Kelly, who played the gang leader, also played one of the lead gang members in "The Warriors".

  • All the scenes of Eric in his old apartment after he is resurrected were filmed using a double, with Brandon Lee's face digitally added.

  • The producers originally wanted to make the film as a musical starring Michael Jackson, much to the horror and amusement of the comic's creator James O'Barr. It was only when Brandon Lee and director Alex Proyas joined the production that the film became a serious horror movie.

  • The film differs substantially to the comic it was based upon. Originally, Eric was a mechanic, not a musician. The gang didn't work for the city's crime boss and the couple were killed by them during a botched car jacking, not a home invasion.

  • Brandon Lee died on set after being accidentally shot during the opening scene, where the gang break into his apartment. One of the revolvers had been loaded with dummy bullets, so the camera could see there were bullets in the barrel on close up. When these were removed and replaced with blanks, the end of one of the dummy bullets came off and lodged in the barrel. So when the blank was fired, it propelled the bullet tip out of the gun, as it would a live round, which hit Brandon Lee, fatally wounding him. The filmed footage of the incident was shown in Coroners court during the inquest, but was destroyed afterwards. No footage of the incident exists and the scene that appears in the film was re-filmed. They were able to complete the movie as this was one of the last scenes that needed to be filmed.

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