The Crow (1994)

1h 42m / R / Action, Drama, Crime

Comic book movies are like pollution in that past generations can never justify themselves to future generations. Things were different! Iron Man hadn’t happened! It’s not that we didn’t know any better; we didn’t know we were doing anything of consequence at all.

The ‘90s were a time of dark, violent comics stories. The medium was growing up, and at the time that’s what passed for “adult.” As so often happens, the exemplars of the genre are also deconstructions. Consider Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Judge Dredd, both intended as satire of that grim-and-gritty aesthetic, and both properties that got their own movies. But The Crow, standing with The Sandman and Johnny the Homicidal Maniac as the heads of the goth-gateway comics hydra, isn’t satire. It’s uncomfortably, almost unbearably sincere.

On Devil’s Night (which is like Halloween but hardcore), rock musician Eric Draven is murdered alongside his beloved fiancée Shelly. In this world, souls lost under tragic circumstances can sometimes be resurrected to set things right. Eric, returned to life and given powers by a supernatural crow, seeks revenge on the underground criminal gang who took everything away from him.

Tragically, The Crow transcended the ‘90s culture-war froth when Brandon Lee, son of the singular Bruce Lee and himself a rising star, was killed in a horrible accident on the set. Reshoots and early digital face replacement technology allowed the film to be completed. It took on a semi-mystical significance. And now it’s been remade with Bill Skarsgård looking like a Soundcloud rapper, for a whole new generation to fail to eventually explain to their kids. We never learn.

This screening is held in the Historic Duncan Auditorium. This space utilizes open seating for this event; seat selection is not required.