The Crow (1994)
Teenage me loved this film. I mean adored it. Partly for the aesthetic and a lot for its soundtrack. The soundtrack still stands up, it’s the perfect slice of 90s fused industrial goth rock. NIN, The Cure, Mary Chain and the still fantastically named My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult, it was rarely out of my tape deck. Much was made of the loss of star Brandon Lee during filming, an accident with a gun sadly taking him at only 28. This really played into its instant cult appeal and of course only fuelled the dark tone of the film. This film isn’t depressing though, it’s hopeful, celebratory and smothered in revenge. It’s pretty simple. Good guy comes back from the dead on Devils Night, a year after his death, to avenge his and the life of his fiancé. Systematically working his way through a gang of druggy occult loving criminals, all whilst coming to terms with his new found post-mortality, through flashbacks so stylised they instantly date it like a pop video. Lee is the epitome of the screen hero and style icon, donning the iconic make up and leather within the opening quarter hour. I’ll be honest, the plot is basic, ridiculously predicable and obviously far-fetched. That’s not really the point though, this is comic book fantasy territory (based on original work), each revenge scene set on a different page, tied together loosely in world in perpetual darkness, where it “Can’t rain all the time”, but seemingly does. It’s over the top, packed with humour, playful and totally stands up. Yes it’s of it’s time, but it plays to that strength, classic good and evil. Even down to the casting, Lee is every bit the poster boy, head gangster Micheal Wincott is the very opposite, so much so I’ve always had a vivid distaste of him, something about his face I really dislike, he might be a nice bloke off screen but I find him revolting. Granted there may be some of my teenage goth tendencies influencing me here, but I still love this and I’m glad I took the time to revisit it, after all “Real love is forever”. Right, where’s my black lipstick and eyeliner?