The Crow (1994)

This is easily one of my 5 favorite films that I will be reviewing this month.  I have lots of great memories due to this film.  For those who say that this isn’t a chick flick, find any cool chick who was a teen in the 90’s, rest assured, she has seen this film.  That is the way it is.  The soundtrack was spectacular.  I remember, due to this soundtrack, I got to talk to this smokin’ chick named Jen Demarco.  We hung out, I taught her how to tie a bandanna properly, she taught me how to braid, so lots of hands on heads moments.  Though I never, ever had a shot at her, I won’t forget it, and it all happened to the sounds of this fine film’s soundtrack.  Man, she was gorgeous.  There won’t be too many pictures because of how dark the movie itself is, it doesn’t lend itself to a ton of great pictures, yet it is marvelous to see.

This is a story about a young couple, Eric Draven and his fiancee, Shelly Webster, are killed in a brutal way on Devil’s Night.  A year later, a Crow has brought back Eric’s soul, and it’s time for him to get revenge and have some unique abilities.  The story never gets dull, and it’s violent, but not terrible, and everything feels totally justified.

The cast in this one is stacked.  Aside from the star of the film, Brandon Lee, and his unfortunate accident that led to his death, there is a cast full of great character actors.  Tony Todd (Candyman), Joe Polito (The Big Lebowski), Michael Wincott (Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves), Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters), and Rochelle Davis.  She stopped acting after this role for close to 15 years due to the accident.  She actually stood out in this as probably my second favorite character, and this is a film with plenty of characters to like.

I feel like I have to talk about a particular scene in this film that has long stood the test of time.  I think we all have seen a scene or heard some song that just sticks with you.  One of those scene is the scene when Eric saves Sarah from getting run over.  “It can’t rain all the time” may have been a throwaway line for all I know.  For me, I think about it when things are beyond shitty and things snowball.  When I’m low, this helps keep shit in perspective.  No, it can’t rain all the time, and eventually, you get through whatever shit storm that you are experiencing.

Finally, I would like to touch on the importance of this particular film.  I’m not going to make sweeping statements in generalities.  I will say this.  This is one of the all time great films that uses a hard rock/alternative/metal soundtrack.  I’m sure others came before it, like Maximum Overdrive, but this was a film that used a soundtrack to perfection.  On top of that, I felt that it made soundtracks cool to buy.  I can’t recall how many awesome soundtracks that I had owned prior, and if I did, most of them were for one or two songs.  This one was simply special.  On top of that, I would make the argument that without this film, we don’t have the modern day superhero films, or comic inspired films.  Do you really think that the Dark Knight/Batman trilogy happens the way that it is without this film?  This film proved that dark and gritty can work.  Then you have stuff like Sin City and Watchmen, and once again, I feel that without this film’s success, maybe those films don’t come out the way that they do.  I feel that this film was an influence in so many films.  It’s not fucking Star Wars, but it was really ahead of it’s time, and one needs to acknowledge that at the very least.

As far as a rating goes, this is easy.  It gets a 9.2, the highest rating that I am willing to give a film.  All films have flaws to them, there is no such thing as a perfect 10.  Nothing by Stanley Kubrick or Spielberg, or Tarantino is perfection, but I would put this film, this story, this everything up with any of the masterpieces and would have no qualms arguing it’s merit.  This film was never considered to be Oscar worthy because it had the misfortune of coming out in the single greatest film year ever.  I will straight up fight you to the death if you try rationalizing that there was a better film year than 94.  Forrest Gump, Pulp Fiction, Shawshank Redemption, True Lies, Lion King, Ed Wood, Blue Sky, Interview with the Vampire, Quiz Show, Four Weddings and a Funeral, New Nightmare, Airheads, Ace Ventura, Cabin Boy, Reality Bites, The Hudsucker Proxy, Above The Rim, Surviving the Game, Maverick, The Client, The Mask, Killing Zoe, Natural Born Killers, The River Wild, Stargate, The Santa Clause, Leon: The Professional, Killing Zoe, Dumb and Dumber, Legends of the Fall,  and I’m sure other greats that I am quickly overlooking.  Yeah, top that year in film, leave me a comment.  I’ll wait.

One final thing.  David Patrick Kelly is in this, and that name may not be terribly familiar to you.  He played Luther in The Warriors.  You have assuredly heard “Warriors, come out to play” at least once in your life.  Well he plays T Bird in The Crow.  As his car drives off for the explosion, we see Eric wave goodbye by clasping his 3 fingers like Luther did with the bottles towards the end of the Warriors.  Here’s video from The Warriors and then a still of Eric.

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