Hey, everyone. “Moriarty” here with some Rumblings From The Lab.

If you haven’t checked out VERN’s website yet, follow the link at the bottom of his story. He’s a serious sumbitch, and he deserves your attention. And, no, he didn’t threaten to shank me unless I gave him a good intro. With a pen this sharp, who needs a toothbrush with a razor melted into the tip?

Hey boys it’s me, Vern. Remember I am the ex-con who has done a couple reviews for you, etc. I Write in the vernacular and then about 75 people complain about it in talkbacks. But as an acclaimed Writer on the films of Cinema I THINK a motherfucker knows what he’s talking about. (In this case me being the motherfucker.)

So I haven’t been in touch with you boys in a while but here’s what’s up. I got hold of a copy of THE CROW: SALVATION which is part 3 for the Crow series. Miramax made this picture and dumped it off in one theater in Spokane, Washington or somewheres. Nobody and their mother saw it so they said, forget it, straight to video for this one. There was some Crow fans on the internet trying to start a petition or something but, fortunately, they failed.

The Crow: SalvationLet’s take a moment to talk about revenge. Revenge is a dish best served cold, I believe. Revenge is sweet. Happiness is a warm gun, that was used to get revenge. There are many people who want revenge such as the Jedi, and Sweet Sweetback, and of course the nerds.

Now the Crow series of movies really is about the revenge of the nerds if you really look at the subtext. Believe me, I actually WATCHED these pictures as research for this article, so I know of what the fuck I speak. Turns out these movies are about some sad rock star type dudes who get murdered in the big city. So what they decide to do, they turn into a ghost with makeup like a mime. Then they go around and brutally murder a bunch of individuals involved with their names. Usually these individuals have funny names. And while they kill them these ghosts get all wild eyed and they smile condescendingly and quote a bunch of poetry and what not, is their trademark. Apparently alot of the kids today like this type of garbage. I guess it should be mentioned that there is rock music involved as well. He plays guitar on a rooftop, for one example.

Now what these movies have going for them, in my opinion, is production design. They got a real gloomy artificial type world that they created here, where all this whining existentialist garbage the kids like actually kinda makes sense. In the case of the first picture you also got the charisma. Bruce Lee’s son Brandon stars in the picture and though he is DEFINITELY no Bruce, he has a strong presence so you don’t really look down on this jackass ghost guitarist he is playing. You pretty much tolerate him and he has some good action scenes and what not, especially they must’ve seemed good back in that time when america was just discovering John Woo’s bloodshed ballet. A more innocent time.

I think in this picture they also had this whole neo-gothic horror deal going, using computerized cameras to film little models of graveyards and crows (actually, ravens, playing crows) and churches and what not. And they got a witch and a bunch of rain like in a Hammer picture but then they mixed in the stylized shootemups from the time period.

I don’t think those are the reasons the movie caught on though. I think there is this whole phenomenon going on in america that the filmatists here were keyed into, before Columbine. They knew there were alot of teens out there who felt a little more sensitive than the others, a little more artistic, and they liked to dress a certain way and listen to a certain type of music and they felt that they were a little bit outcast and they were angry about it. And in their fantasies, they would like to be as screwed over as the Crow guy is and get revenge the same way he does, quoting poetry and looking cool and noodling on a guitar with a big black bird on their shoulder. So this really did a number on the zeitgeist and was a big hit and then came the sequels.

The second Crow picture took the exact plot of the first one, changed one or two of the names, and then changed the songs to bands that were more popular at the time. The look is real nice but the whole production is pretty much a snoozer, at least to a fella my age. I don’t know about you kids.

Which brings us to The Crow: Salvation, the third and surely final pile of garbage in the series. This one stars the gay football player from Cruel Intentions as some jackass who gets executed for killing his girlfriend, even though he didn’t really kill his girlfriend, it was some mysterious man with zig zag scars on his arm. So this guy turns into a ghost and tears off his face and goes out and kills all the corrupt cops who framed him. Now I love killing corrupt cops as much as the next guy, probly quite a bit more, but this is the biggest pile of straight to video hogwash I’ve seen since AT LEAST Cruel Intentions 2 last week. Hell, this is worse than Tobe Hooper’s Crocodile and MAYBE as bad as HEavy Metal 2000. Which is saying alot.

The worst you could say about the original Crow was that it was a brainless, heartless, empty, nihilistic exercise in hollow style. Part 3 is all those things, minus the style. There is no longer the creepy atmosphere, just a bunch of shadowy warehouses and a bunch of electrical sounds and flashes of light they do for little flashbacks. This was made for theaters but SOMEBODY must’ve known it would be dumped to video because it has that feel of the movies that star either Ice-T, or Mario Van Peebles, or both.

Now let me drop a little bit of Badass Theory on you folks. I think there are two things you need in EVERY good revenge picture. Number one, the main guy has to have a strong charisma and presence that makes you want to side with him even if he’s castrating some bitch motherfucker who’s only peripherally involves in the caper and deserves, at most, some scrapes and cuts. B, you gotta have either A, some clever and sneaky tricks the dude does for the revenge, or 2, a unifying theme such as biblical plagues, Shakespeare plays, deadly sins, etc. If you examine EVERY good revenge picture from Lee Marvin in POINT BLANK to Vincent Price in THE MAD MAGICIAN you will find that they follow these simple Vern guidelines, and are the better for it too.

The Crow’s Salvation tries to break the rules. First of all the main dude is just a complete twit. He is way too much of a dweeb to be convincing in this role. I don’t care if he wears a trench coat later on, he’s still a pussy. And I don’t mean to contribute to the oppression of nerdy kids in trenchcoats who lust for brutal revenge, but I don’t think they’ll like this fella either. They’ll pick on him. There is a certain Badass presence that is REQUIRED in a picture like that , and this motherfucker simply doesn’t have it. He doesn’t even know where it’s kept.

Second of all there are no clever murders or motifs here, he just stabs people and sometimes leaves a puddle of blood shaped like a crow. In one scene two EVil Cops discuss a blood-Crow he made and the main bad guy says, “I know, he’s a regular Picasso. What else do you know?” Well apparently more about art history than you, motherfucker. That style is NOTHING like Picasso’s.

The person who really needs revenge here is Kirsten Dunst, who co-stars in the thankless fole of dead girl’s sister. This young gal was very good in Virgin Suicides as well as the comedies Dick and Bring It On which she elevates just by treating her silly ass characters with conviction. Now you got her in this straight to video garbage and she doesn’t even have her usual spark. You’d never even know she was good.

The ONLY thing I really liked about this picture was this whole “The Fugitive” business about the killer having a scar on his arm. The whole movie this jackass mime is trying to find out who the killer with the scar is. Then at the end he blows up the bad guy’s night club/cyberporn studio and gets what he deserves – he finds the scarred arm severed in the middle of the rubble, with no clue as to where it came from. And he says, “It’s over.”

I love that this bitch doesn’t even get the satisfaction of finding out just who it was he just got revenge on.

I’m sure later on the dude shows up alive with one arm and reveals his motives and has a showdown and the crow-man slits his throat and then goes to the graveyard and cries and then he’s reunited with his fiancee in a sunny dream world of heaven. Fortunately I turned the movie off before the last ten minutes because I wasn’t about to let this movie go and fuck up the one solitary bit of irony that I liked. That’s what they WANT you to do is watch the whole movie. But I ain’t falling for it.

This one’s for obsessive The Crow freakos ONLY. If you are just curious or like Kirsten Dunst or whatever, don’t bother.

anyway thanks boys hope all is well,

your friend,


“Moriarty” out.

Originally published at Ain’t-It-Cool-News: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/8114

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This entry was posted on Monday, February 5th, 2001 at 5:59 am and is filed under Action, AICN, Crime, Fantasy/Swords, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

12 Responses to “VERN Reviews THE CROW: SALVATION!!”

  1. grimgrinningchris

    September 5th, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    I just rewatched this last night cuz my DVD player is busted and for some reason it was in a closet pile of VHS tapes in my house.

    Dear lord, is it bad. The lead is such a chump and never even LOOKS cool, much less ACTS cool (not even in the goofy Crow-y Hot Topic iteration of the word (same goes for the soundtrack). He’s wearing a Michael Meyers jumpsuit for fuck sake and has a goofy short haircut. The mystery is a snooze and even though I’m always up for some Fred Ward scene chewery, even he is wasted.

    Does ANYONE actually like this one?

  2. So uh, I just watched all 3 Crow sequels in one day. Yes, I’m a real glutton for punishment but I actually kind of enjoyed a few things here and there. Part 2 is a jumbled mess; I heard it was cut to shreds in the editing room and it shows- things happen for no rhyme or reason, nothing really makes sense even though I actually kinda like the main guy and there’s some beautiful images here and there. And yes, Iggy Pop is great and Thomas Jane’s big scene is kind of awesome.

    Part 3 (the one reviewed here) is undoubtedly worse, but it’s also kind of more interesting since it’s not as much of a straight retread as part 2 (which practically feels like a remake of the first one). Salvation has the distinction of looking different (i.e. cheaper and more DTV) and it’s supposedly a mystery, even though if you’re shocked by William Atherton being a slimy bad guy you probably should watch more movies. Spoiler. I actually like that the dude is kinda dorky in this one. I guess it feeds into that Columbine-style revenge fantasy that Vern talks about, but I’m just happy he’s not trying to do the same character. Oh and Fred Ward is awesome in this, even though he’s slumming it here, he gives it his all.

    Part 4 (The Crow: Wicked Prayer) is a disaster, no doubt. But it’s a fun one. Not quite “My Soul to Take” (the gold standard in fun disasters), but I think the only movie I can compare it’s vibe to is Repo Man, except it’s nowhere near as good. (There’s a reason why IMDB lists it as an action-comedy(!), where it currently resides with a rating of 3.0, by the way.)

    It’s sloppy and incoherent and it seems like they ran out of money so they did the best they could to edit the footage they had into something coherent and failed. Yes, this movie seems more tinkered with than the Crow entry where the leading actor actually died. I suspect they blew their whole budget on the casting since it’s great – Edward Furlong, David Boreanz, Tara Reid, Marcus Chong, Tito Ortiz, Dennis Hopper, Danny Trejo, Macy Gray, plus Yuji Okumoto from Karate Kid II. Every single person in this is famous and I can’t believe they signed up to be in this farce.

    Note: I haven’t seen X-Men Apocalypse but I think it’s funny that the gang The Crow must kill one-by-one in this one are literally the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (complete with the freeze frame introduction with their name and stats scribbled on the screen). The action is impenetrable, the plot makes zero sense, but to be honest I think Edward Furlong is great as The Crow. He’s actually trying and lends some real emotion to his performance, too bad he’s surrounded by a wacky joke of a movie.

  3. I’ve never seen this movie, but was given the soundtrack CD for free to review for an arts mag, and I still listen to it sometimes. The Filter song that opens it is kind of awesome, in that (though not intended) the chorus is practically a parody of over-the-top grunge era self-image malaise.

  4. “Fortunately I turned the movie off before the last ten minutes because I wasn’t about to let this movie go and fuck up the one solitary bit of irony that I liked.”

    I’ve just seen this, and though it pains me horribly, I’ve got to disagree with Vern. If you’re watching this movie — I mean, no, don’t watch it. But if you are watching it, don’t switch off before the final reel, or else you’ll miss out on the cadre of evil police-slash-taxidermists sewing Kirsten Dunst’s lips together, discussing how to mount the crow guy’s corpse for tasteful display, getting impaled on antlers, etc. Orders of magnitude crazier and more entertaining than anything that preceded it.

    Mind you, even the earlier bits were better than part two. I know that CITY OF ANGELS has the photography going for it, but if you’re looking for a Jean-Yves Escoffier showcase and settle on a CROW sequel over THE LOVERS OF PONT-NEUF, it’s time for a strict reassessment of your viewing standards.

    The soundtrack has been getting worse with each successive installment. This one even had some Kid Rock in there.

  5. I have no memory of this movie! Let’s be honest, I may end up watching it again despite whatever I said about it here.

  6. I think you were being sincere when you said you turned it off before it ended! The stuff you predicted about the villain getting his throat slit, that doesn’t happen.

  7. I have seen this. I didn’t like it, I remember that much. I think Kirsten Dunst looked sad in a car at one point?

    I like that picture of Heckle or Jeckle up there.

    Thank you for coming to my presentation.

  8. Okay, and now I’ve seen the fourth and final of these, WICKED PRAYER. David Boreanaz is the main villain in this one. He’s from the Buffy shows, right? Never seen them. Is he good in those? Because he’s absolute shit in this. On the other hand, if this was the only thing I knew Dennis Hopper from, I’d think he was shit too.

    Like neal2zod said, this thing was edited with a blender. I’m pretty sure they started off making this as a comedy and got cold feet part way through but didn’t have the budget for reshoots. It’s also obvious that one of the big death scenes got cut, so they substituted a scene where the guy gets knocked to the floor and hoped no one would notice.

    The music is generic mariachi instrumentals this time around, so that’s the only area where it improves on part three.

  9. Boreanez CAN be good but usually isn’t. Sometimes he surprises the shit out of you and knocks a scene out of the park, but usually he’s just kind of adequate as long as he stays within his range. He’s better when he underplays.

    He wasn’t trying to do an accent, was he? Because that NEVER goes well. He occasionally had to be Irish on BUFFY/ANGEL and it was one of the most painful things I’ve ever heard.

  10. He wasn’t doing an accent. He’s playing this escaped convict who’s also leader of a Satanic cult going on a mass-murder spree across the Southwest. I think the civilian body count in WICKED PRAYER is higher than in the previous three movies put together. But Boreanaz plays it like …. You know how in a high school rom-com, the female lead might have some asshole ex-boyfriend on the football team or something? Boreanaz seems like the guy you’d cast as the asshole ex-boyfriend’s best buddy.

    Later on he transforms into hip, wisecracking Satan, and that’s many times worse, but I blame that more on the script than him.

  11. I quite enjoyed GHOSTWRITER aka SUFFERING MAN’S CHARITY, a black comedy with Boreanez and Alan Cumming, although it seems I’m in a distinct minority.

    It looks like WICKED PRAYER is on YouTube in 10-15 minute chunks if anyone is interested. I was, but after taking a look I thought “nah”.

  12. If you stick around for 45 minutes there’s a scene where the Crow starts fighting people.

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