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Cinophile – The Crow

2 min read

Think about it: The Crow would never have been a success today. It is too dark, too morbid and no challenge for any cosplay aficionado hoping to blow away convention fanboys. Despite coming from a comic, it lack the paperthin conflicts and shallow characters of today’s blockbusters. And all that aggressive industrial music would seem like trivial pandering for the dubstep generation. Yeah, maybe we’re being a bit bitter, but there was a time when alternative culture was a melting pot of iconoclasm, not pop culture candy floss. And The Crow was its prince.

The Crow

To be fair, The Crow may have not been as big a success were it not for the Heath Ledger effect. Not the late Aussie actor himself, but that thing that happens when the lead actor dies in a controversial manner. Here it was Brandon Lee, son of Bruce Lee, being shot to death with what was supposed to be a prop gun. But looking back it is hard to say, given what a masterpiece The Crow is (not the least thanks to the highly underrated Michael Wincott chewing scenery like a death row supper).

The Crow

Based on an independent comic series of the same name, The Crow chronicles how a lovely couple is murdered by a gang of hoodlums, following the orders of a crime boss seeking revenge and real estate. A year later the murdered man rises again, his soul carried by a crow, and he sets out for revenge in an apocalyptic landscape filled with eye-eating bad guys, latchkey kids, loner cops and a fantastic Trent Reznor-produced soundtrack. It was the perfect metaphor for the wasteland that everyone though the Nineties was (this is before we knew things could get worse, like Nicki Minaj worse).

The Crow

The Crow was lighting in a bottle – no sequel, nor an ill-advised TV series, could match it. Even the later comic books failed to live up to its magnificence and no attempt at a reboot has ever made the cut. It was a product of its time, a Gen X anthem. And it finally gave the world an awesome halloween costume that you can put together in five minutes. Even today you still see Crows lurking around in trenchcoats and white complexions – though some of the kids may think they’re making fun of The Matrix.

Cinophile is a weekly feature showcasing films that are strange, brilliant, bizarre and explains why we love the movies.

Last Updated: October 21, 2013

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