In 1994 I was sucked into the myth and mystique of The Crow. The rumors circulated about the accidental death of Brandon Lee and morbid curiosity led my friends and I to see this film on opening night. What we saw was an amazing film which was way ahead of its time in both style and story. It was the first film I can recall that came straight from a graphic novel. I’m sure it had been done before but this was different. Reminiscing aside, this is a film that has stood the test of time.
The story is based on the James O’Barr novel of the same name. Eric Draven (Lee) is murdered alongside his fiancée Shelly by a group of heartless thugs on Halloween or Devil’s Night. A year later Draven awakens from the grave and returns home where he is faced with the horror of what occurred. This horror fuels his transformation into the Crow, a man bent of revenge over the losses he suffered. He’s opposed by the same gang of eccentric criminals who took his life the previous year. This time they’re up against someone who isn’t afraid of death since he’s already been there. He gets help from a young girl Sarah who had been a friend to Eric and Shelly, as well as a policeman with a greater understanding of what’s happening. The action and emotion work wonderfully together.
This film has all the hallmarks of a 1990s film. The music comes from the grunge era which was just reaching full acceptance across the country. The clothing and dark style of filmmaking may have been one of the biggest influences in the gothic style which was barely emerging. It’s hard to say if the film was a product of pop culture or if pop culture was influenced by this film. In the end it’s still a great movie to watch and the myths surrounding it will keep it relevant for years to come.
I give this film 3.8 out of 5 stars.
Running Time: 102 minutes