The last movie made by Brandon Lee, son of the legendary martial artist and movie star Bruce Lee, The Crow still stands as a gothic piece of cinema that was one of the first attempts to make a comic book movie that wasn't for kids. With brutal violence, themes of murder, rape and revenge, The Crow is one part horror story, one part thriller and all over gritty.
It all started just before Halloween when a young guitarist named Eric and his girlfriend Shelly became the victim of gang violence. Beaten and brutally raped, Shelly held on for hours in the emergency room before death. Eric was thrown out a window and fell half a dozen stories to his death. But sometimes when a soul is restless, the crow that carries it to the afterlife brings it back. So Eric is resurrected with the strength and invincibility of death. Once he remembers what happened he hunts down the men who did this to him and the woman he loved, hacking his way up the chain of command until he finds the man that turned those rabid dogs loose on the city, and brings him to a climactic end.
The Crow, though it was made in the 90s, still stands up under the scrutiny of modern film expectations. The fight scenes are dramatic and filled with shadows that swing and swirl, and the performances given by the actors sell the tragic, horrid story of death, pain and suffering. Sub plots that involve characters who loved the couple but survived and tried to live their lives over the past year add depth to the tale, entwining the entire cast together in one way or another. In an era where Batman sometimes had to be put in front of the camera on a dolly because the actor couldn't move in the suit, The Crow offered a fluidity of movement and character that wouldn't be seen again for many years.
While there hasn't been a remake of The Crow, possibly out of respect for the actor who died making it, there were many sequels. Like other comic book titles such as 100 Bullets, the Crow could be anyone. Anyone that died with enough rage and willpower could be brought back by the feathered psycho pomp to put the wrongs right before they finally lay down to rest. However none of the sequels, nor the subsequent television show, ever managed to achieve the same acclaim or the fan base as the original movie did.