A Scary Reality
Released on May 11, 1994 and based on the 1989 comic book series by James O’Barr, “The Crow,” starring Brandon Lee, is action-packed and, at times, quite funny. It’s just a shame that Bruce Lee’s son died while taping the film. While filming the final weeks of production, Lee was killed when a dummy bullet, which became lodged in one of the guns, was fired into his abdomen. In this final and tragic movie, Brandon portrays Eric Draven, a poetic guitarist. He and his fiancé,’ Shelly Webster, played by Sofia Shinas, are assaulted by a gang of street thugs. This creepy, Gothic tale bears some differences to the actual comic book, since they are not assaulted after their car breaks down, but they are assaulted and murdered in their own apartment on Devil’s Night, as they prepare and celebrate their impending nuptials. Devil’s Night is the night before Halloween. It was also the night before their wedding day. Shelly was raped and beaten, only to die 30 hours later at the hospital. Eric was shot and pushed out the window.
Sergeant Albrecht, played by Ernie Hudson, is at the scene of the crime where Shelly was beaten and raped, and her fiancé Eric Draven, was lying dead on the street outside, having been shot and thrown out of the window. As Sergeant Albrecht leaves for the hospital with Shelly, he meets a young girl, Sarah, played by Rochell Davis, who says that she is their friend, and that they take care of her. Sadly, Albrecht tells her that Shelly is dying.
Exactly one year later, Eric wakes up and climbs out of his grave. Talk about a sight! He is out for some serious revenge! The crow guides him through the land of the living, and leads him to his killers: knife thrower Tin Tin, drugged Funboy, car buff T-Bird, and the unsophisticated Skank. They were city boss, Top Dollar’s thugs. The gang is lead by T-Bird, played by David Patrick Kelly, who sets fires in the city. Tin Tin, played by Laurence Mason, Funboy, played by Michael Massee, and Skank, played by Angel David are doomed, since Eric keeps having flashbacks to the murders, remembering all responsible for his and Shelly’s murder.
After Eric takes care of Funboy, he scares Sarah’s mother, Darla, played by Anna Levine, into giving up drugs and being a real mother to her daughter. Finally, he pays Albrecht a visit and explains why he came back from the dead. Meanwhile, when Eric touches Albrecht, he receives the pain felt by Shelly during her 30 hours of dying pain. So sad.
T-Bird and Skank are total trips! They stop at a convenience store pick up some supplies, when Eric arrives and kidnaps T-Bird. Skank follows and witnesses the killing. Of course, T-Bird escapes and runs straight to Top Dollar, played by Michael Wincott. Top Dollar is a criminal who controls all the street gangs in the city. Top Dollar and his half-sister, played by Bia Ling, are also lovers. Yuck!
In the end, Top Dollar catches on to what really keeps Eric going, the crow. Thus, he tries to take Eric down with whatever means necessary. This movie is relentless with danger, creepiness, violence, love, and reckoning. The original soundtrack album for the “The Crow” was even a chart-topper. It featured songs by The Cure; The Jesus and Mary Chain; Rage Against the Machine; and Stone Temple Pilots. Like I know who any of these artists are! I’m into R&B, Urban, Pop, and Contemporary Jazz.