tek's rating: ½

The Crow (R)
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Caution: spoilers.

This came out in 1994, and I'm sure I saw it sometime in the 90s. But I didn't remember anything specific about it by the time I watched it again in 2023. (I watched it the night after Halloween, but I really should have watched it the night before Halloween.) It's based on a series of comic books that I haven't read.

It begins on Devil's Night with some narration by a girl named Sarah. At the start of the movie, the police are at the scene of the murder of Eric Draven (Brandon Lee). His fiancée, Shelly Webster, had also been raped and beaten, and would later die at the hospital. The two of them were going to be married the next day, on Halloween. They looked after Sarah, whose own mother, a drug addict named Darla, was never around. After the deaths of Eric and Shelly, Sarah is befriended by a cop named Albrecht (Ernie Hudson). The movie then flashes forward one year, to the next Devil's Night. A crow apparently awakens Eric, who rises from his grave and sets about killing the four men (T-Bird, Tin Tin, Funboy, and Skank) who had killed him and Shelly. Eric is led around by the crow, and he has become invincible; any wounds he incurs instantly heal. The guys he wants to kill work for a guy called Top Dollar (Michael Wincott), who has many criminals working for him. His main henchman is Grange (Tony Todd). There's also a pawn shop owner named Gideon (Jon Polito), among I don't even know how many others (but the rest aren't really important to the story). Top Dollar also has a girlfriend named Myca (Bai Ling), who is apparently his half sister. Anyway, by the time Eric has killed three of the men he was after, one of them is really scared and is protected by Top Dollar and a bunch of other guys, but Eric kills most of them just to get to Skank. That might have been the end of it, except that Top Dollar wanted revenge, so he kidnaps Sarah, and Myca advises him that if he kills the crow (something Grange tries to do, but only succeeds in injuring it), Eric would lose his power. Which, he does. Once it becomes possible to hurt him, Top Dollar fights him, and... man, I've revealed too much of the plot. There are plenty of details I've left out, but I won't say how it all ends (other than more narration by Sarah).

Well, I thought Eric was pretty cool and badass, and kind of seemed to me like a cross between Batman and the Joker (heavy on the Joker side, with his face painted white and all). I liked Sarah and Albrecht, and Top Dollar was a good villain. It's a very dark and violent movie, but it has some lighter touches as well. It probably influenced any number of movies that came out after it. I'd also say it's very 90s, in its look and feel and soundtrack. Of course, the movie is also famous for having caused Brandon Lee's death in real life, which was a terrible tragedy. And I don't know what else to say, except that it spawned a few sequels and a TV series. And there's going to be a remake. But I don't know if I'll ever watch any of those things. I doubt they could live up to the original.

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