The Crow (1994)

“If the people we love are stolen from us, the way to have them live on is to never stop loving them. Buildings burn, people die, but real love is forever.”

The Crow

Crowvision Inc., Edward R. Pressman Film, Entertainment Media Investment Corporation with Jeff Most Productions in association with Miramax Films present…

Losing someone you love will set you on a collision course to a life full of pain! That’s where James O’Barr found himself after Beverly his fiancée was killed by a drunk driver in 1978. Alone and grieving, he joined the Army and was stationed in Berlin, Germany doing illustrations for Military Manuals. From there, he started using his gifts to work on his book titled The Crow!

From the 1980’s, the Creator and Writer bounced from one publisher into another to give the comic series a mainstream transition and get more readers in the market. It got published initially in Caliber Comics in 1989 and then was transferred to Kitchen Sink Press from 1996 to 1998. They even had different writers and artists to pitch in a partnership of sort with other another character named Razor from London Night Studios then moved again to Random House with another interpretation of the story named The Crow: Shattered Lives and Broken Dreams. The following year, it got shipped to Image Comics with Eric Draven as the main protagonist running just for ten issues.

In July 2011, an announcement was made at SDCC which confirms that The Crow will be landing on IDW Publishing in 2012 as Ted Adams Co-Founder and CEO of the company will take it into new heights hoping they can push through with a permanent contract and produce better stories compared to its previous “landlords”!

“People once believed that when someone dies, a crow carries their soul to the land of the dead. But sometimes, something so bad happens that a terrible sadness is carried with it and the soul can’t rest. Then sometimes, just sometimes the crow could bring that soul back to put the wrong things right.”

A man and a woman engaged were preparing to take their wedding vows the following day. Instead, all dreams died on October 30th as they were found by an insidious gang of war freaks. Shelly Webster played by Sofia Shinas (Terminal Velocity) was brutally murdered, raped and tortured in their apartment while lying on the street pavement was her fiancé Eric Draven who was portrayed by the late Brandon Lee (Rapid Fire) lead vocals from the rock band Hangman; he was shot and thrown out of the window…

Halloween never went this far, as if it was tempting fate to finally end all its madness! Raised from the dead from unseemingly supernatural forces: The Crow, an entity from the land of the dead, gives Eric a chance to avenge their horrible past, as you can see redemption is coming one way or the other! One by one he took the lives of those who have wronged them while on the trail of his vendetta is Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters) as Sergeant Albrecht a good hearted police officer who was the last person Shelly’s with before she died in the hospital. It’s kind of ironic that Ernie was tracking down a “dead” guy without his Proton Pack!

Michael Wincott (Metro) leads the pack of his ravenous killers and goes by the name Top Dollar who provides mayhem and chaos especially for the upcoming celebration of “Devil’s Night” commemorating a yearly festivity of arson across the city! This guy has proven time and again to excel in villainous roles which compliment his demeanor for his acting strange, smart and obsessive characters on film! Together with his half-sister Bai Ling (Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow) is Myca, a silent and yet ruthless psychopath who takes pleasure sleeping with her sibling! Both actors together with the local gang members were the focal points of making the story come full circle; it’s the life so precious taken away by reckless abandon, pretense and wickedness to absolute no value for humanity!

I admired James work and how much he gave his time and devotion to accomplish this book, his story based in his misfortune. He brought these melancholic pedigree and gothic emotions harboring for an answer to substantiate his inconsolable pain! There was the right amount of synergy in the film that focuses on back story, love, loss, revenge and music with a darker tone set to captivate both fans and movie goers alike!

Directed by Alex Proyas (Dark City) my personal preference in making these types of films! He was able to present an unforgettable tragic adaptation together with Screenplay writers David Schow and John Shirley. Another fascinating take on the comic book genre but with real life elements of notoriety, crime and death! The Soundtrack was awesome having Graeme Revell (Daredevil) do the background music where it catapults the eerie and fast paced hunt of the main protagonist! To add, bringing in the noise are best in the business from Stone Temple Pilots, Pantera, Nine Inch Nails and The Cure and a whole lot more!

The man from Malaysia, Alex Mcdowell (Minority Report) brought in his expertise in the Production Design with the help of Art Director Simon Murton (Sleepy Hollow). The collaboration took essentially the actual groundwork on the environment of the main protagonist, dark, sullen and filled with the right amount of special effects from resurrection to the regenerative powers of the anti-hero. The city landscape, buildings on fire and motion capture of the Crow was fantastic while synergizing it with the narrative and intended targets for retribution.

As the origins itself was foreboding enough already, the film was made to let the public realize the story being brought to life to the extent of even incorporating these events from the pages of a comic book. Powerful and enigmatic! It was a stunning and visual undertaking indeed. Brandon captured the character’s essence of the anti-hero who delved deeper into his soul to let him and Shelly find their solace from the grave. Not much came out from the supporting casts as they were just out there to bellow their angst, cavorting with heavenly bliss and be the villains as they are! It might have given a little contribution to the premise as the screenplay would dictate, but it was great to watch nevertheless especially for the fans of the comic book remembering the demised actor!

Some cast members like Michael Massee (Catwoman) was stricken with bad luck as well! He portrayed the rogue named Funboy, the one who pulled the trigger that set off the dummy bullet that took the life of Brandon; unknowingly there was still a stucked primer which dislodged as well after shooting the scene. It was carefully checked by the firearms specialist and was later transferred to the property assistant later that day but no one was blamed for the incident. Rochelle Davis who played Sarah, the young juvenile who became friends with the couple even came back for the last take, in which she visited the grave of Eric but now was portrayed by a body double. Michael went on a whole year not acting due to his trauma while Rochelle has been out of work ever since. I really don’t believe in curses, but to think that it took a long standing predicament for the Lee family to carry this burden taking away the entire male census of the Lee’s as from Father to Son!

Rest in Peace Brandon and Happy Halloween!

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