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The Crow: City of Angels

a survey of summer movies that just didn’t catch on

August 30, 1996

I don’t remember ever hearing anybody say nice things about THE CROW part 2, CITY OF ANGELS, so let me start out with one: this is a gorgeous looking movie. Part 1 production designer Alex McDowell (LAWNMOWER MAN, CRYING FREEMAN, FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS, WATCHMEN) returns, this time with cinematographer Jean-Yves Escoffier (GUMMO, GOOD WILL HUNTING), to tweak and expand on the aggressively stylized gotholopolis look he created for Alex Proyas’ THE CROW.

This time it looks more real, and has a yellow tint on its foggy (maybe it’s smoggy?), trash-strewn streets, representing the heat of Los Angeles, I hope, and not the piss that it clearly smells of. I don’t know my skylines, so I’m not sure I would’ve understood that they changed the location from Detroit without the subtitle or the cool shot where a row of palm trees burst into flame one-by-one as the crow (the bird that seems to be responsible for resurrecting murder victims, not the vengeful harlequin ghost he enables) flies past them. There’s a great tracking shot of the bird flying over the (model) city, and a profile shot of the ghost speeding on his motorcycle, his feathered friend right in front of him. The movie definitely achieves on levels of technical craftsmanship.

This is a world of fetish and depravity, a society of all fringe, a city of all blight. The businesses that we see operating include a strip club and a tattoo parlor, and even they are rotting and graffitied. There does seem to be a movie theater that runs a midnight show of PEEPING TOM, if the marquee can be trusted. I don’t know who the film buffs are around here who go see Michael Powell movies at night – I doubt it’s the murderous gang of reprobates we spend the most time with. They include Curve (Iggy Pop), Kali (Thuy Trang – the Yellow Ranger!) and Nemo (Thomas Jane, STANDER), all punk weirdos of different types. Pop is effectively grimy as a hateful junkie biker type, Trang uses some of her Power Ranger fighting skills, and has a disgusted pout on her face for the whole movie, even when she’s laying dead in a crow-shaped puddle of blood after falling out a window and bouncing off a parked car.

Jane has the funniest performance and best scene. A voyeur who videotaped the murders that the Crow (this time I do mean the ghost, not the bird) is avenging, he uses shtick like jerking his head back to take a swig of booze, knocking his wig off, then swearing about it. We see him paying for a peep show booth and enjoying the show but his time runs out on the booth right as he’s about to cum. Jane makes great slapstick out of his clumsy scramble to throw more tokens in the slot, and then of course when the window opens again the Crow is standing in place of the stripper he’d been jerkin it to (Holley Chant, EVENT HORIZON). Screenwriter David S. Goyer (who at that point had written DEATH WARRANT, KICKBOXER 2, DEMONIC TOYS and THE PUPPET MASTERS) reused this gag for the ending of BLADE II, which brings me to this movie’s purpose for existing: to serve as a rough draft of the world of BLADE.

I never noticed it before, but there’s a definite blood relation there. This underground world mishmashing various punk and goth subcultures, a scene where he hunts some guys down in a weird dance club, punk-ish villains whose digs combine modernity with ancient artifacts (though leaning more toward the stone-walled temple look in their living area), an anti-hero who drives a motorcycle with his trenchcoat flapping like a cape, on a single-minded mission to destroy them all.

The main thing missing: Blade. This guy is no Blade. He’s also no Brandon Lee. This is a problem. No way to get around this. You notice I talked about secondary bad guy Nemo’s big scene before I even talked about the title character? Unfortunately that’s in line with the impression he makes.

THE CROW was popular for its style and its music and for Brandon Lee. Of course his tragic death during filming added to the mystique of the movie and makes it somehow sacred. Goyer, who had known Lee, knew that being compared to the original was a losing game. He later told Crave Online that his draft had a female Crow, a prologue in Victorian England, and a resurrected Jack the Ripper as the villain! Eventually after much development they had him writing something that was more of a rehash of the first one, and after it was filmed they took it away from director Tim Pope and edited it to be even more like the original.

Danzig Crow?

That was clearly a terrible idea that no reasonable person would consider doing, which is another way of saying this was made by Miramax. We get to know the new protagonist, Ashe Corven (Vincent Perez, QUEEN OF THE DAMNED), even less than we did Eric Draven, and he’s only different in that during the brief alive part he works in a garage instead of playing music, and he’s killed with his son instead of his fiancee. It seems like maybe he’ll be a more HARLEY DAVIDSON & THE MARLBORO MAN type of masculine, but then he gets the makeup painted on and laces up his leather vest and other goth shit and for the rest of the movie he’s just a guy dressed up like Brandon Lee.

Before they show him it seems like it’s gonna be a movie about the original Crow’s young friend Sarah, now grown up and played by Mia Kershner (BLACK DAHLIA). She’s a nice lady in a mean city – when she sees a little wet-haired homeless girl (Beverley Mitchell, the youngest daughter from 7th Heaven) on the street looking like Newt from ALIENS, she brings her into a diner and buys her a meal. Afterwards she has her arm around her and kisses her on the head like she’s her niece or something! Kinda weird. Ashe later finds the girl still on the street and sits with her and says scary things

I know people can change, but it kinda bothered me how much this does not seem like it could possibly be the same Sarah, at least as I remember her from last time I watched THE CROW. The young Sarah was a hoodie-wearing street kid, kind of on the tomboy side. This Sarah is a very familiar type of girly-girl feminine that’s just not compatible with that type, you don’t suddenly pick it up in adulthood. She has an artist’s apartment draped with linen, filled with candles, probly some incense. There’s an easel with a painting in progress, and Eric’s harlequin mask on the wall. She keeps her hair up to show off her long, dancer-like neck, and wears clothes with lace, fur, spaghetti straps, corsets, very feminine cuts.

Seems more like the girl from LABYRINTH grown up to me. I’m not saying it’s impossible for somebody to change that much, I’m just saying, why not stay true to the earlier version?

She also seems out of place in this city of scumbags. She works in the tattoo shop, drawing swirls on people. There’s nobody like her in this city, no one as clean as her. I guess I like that she can hang in this place, but as soon as she discovers Ashe (through her dreams) she’s no longer the lead, she’s just a kind nurturer who caresses his face and looks at him with big, empathetic eyes and then gets held hostage for the big showdown.

The lead villain Judah (Richard Brooks, TEEN WOLF, SHOCKER, THE SUBSTITUTE) is no Michael Wincott, but he’s an okay weirdo – a cruel drug dealer/serious occult dude who usually goes shirtless and has a pet roach leashed by a thread and also pet people in leather S&M outfits and girls who dump candle wax on their skin but despite having this going on right in his home he watches from a monitor in the next room over. Also he has a psychic lady with no eyes (Tracey Ellis, THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS), which if I remember right is another greatest hit from the first movie.

So yeah, this Crow guy goes around and one-by-one murders the group who killed him. Because the crow shape made of fire in the first one was memorable, he does fanciful variations on that, like glass shards from an explosion turning into a giant, glimmering bird. The best action part is when he crashes his motorcycle through the side of an overpass, corners Curve and shoots his motorcycle so it explodes, sending him flying. He puts a coin in Curve’s mouth, drags him to the water and he floats away like he’s crossing the River Styx. Random unexplained dudes stand on an overpass dropping rose petals that form the crow shape around him.

Occasionally the Crow does flips and stuff, which I can respect because I would also do that if I found myself being a ghost and it turned out that was one of the powers of being a ghost. In fact I should praise this guy’s restraint because I would pretty much be doing flips at all times.

One strange part is when he finds the murder scene and retrieves his son’s body from underwater. Suddenly he’s burying him in some artificial woods, a set that kind of reminds me of the bridge set in GRAFFITI BRIDGE. In no other part of the movie is there an indication of there being wooded area anywhere near. It seems he actually drove out of town on his motorcycle carrying his dead kid! Glad he didn’t get pulled over.

Especially after seeing two variations on this story you realize that it’s basically a slasher series. Like Jason, Freddy, Cropsey and others, the Crow is someone who has been wronged, has come back from the dead, and is systematically going through a list of victims, tormenting them and using powers, gimmicks and trademarks for different cool kills.

The difference is that you’re supposed to be on his side, so you only get the empty sadism of a bad slasher movie where you hate the protagonists. You don’t get the thrill of the good ones, where you root for the hunted and hold your breath as they hide and cheer as they get away by the skin of their teeth. It’s a very beautifully designed, very intellectually and morally empty slasher movie.


I mean, I’m trying to think about the DEATH WISH movies, it’s been a while since I watched them. But I don’t think there are that many movies that lovingly linger on the bodies of the people the good guy killed. Maybe it’s more honest, but I don’t think it’s for me. (Cool shot, though.)

* * *

After the tragic circumstances of THE CROW, obviously director Alex Proyas is not gonna have anything to do with a sequel. He has said that he completed the movie because he felt it was Lee’s legacy, and wants to leave it that way.

The Weinsteins weren’t gonna leave it that way. So they hired Tim Pope, a veteran music video director known for his work with Soft Cell, The Cure, Neil Young, Psychedelic Furs, Siouxsie and the Banshees and David Bowie. He also directed “Waterfall” and “Sideshow” for Wendy & Lisa! Miramax recruited him on the strength of PHONE, a 30-minute short film starring Bill Pullman, Linda Blair and Amanda Plummer.

Pope had actually befriended production designer McDowell in London in 1979. As a fan of Iggy Pop, he was enamored of McDowell’s design for the Soldier album cover. So it makes sense that the collaboration between these three is strong.

Pop also has a song on the soundtrack, along with Hole, White Zombie, PJ Harvey, fucking Korn and Deftones (who are seen performing at a Day of the Dead celebration toward the end of the movie – they don’t look like they belong there, actually). Representing L.A. hip hop they also have a pretty decent song by Above the Law featuring Frost. The video has some movie footage in it, which would be pretty funny if you didn’t know what it was.

I didn’t notice it – probly coming out of a car or the strip club for like three seconds. I also didn’t realize this has a song by Gravediggaz vs. Tricky. I guess this comes from a short EP from the post-Prince-Paul period.

In case anybody’s not familiar, 6 Feet Deep by Gravediggaz is one of the hip hop classics. It’s a funky horror-themed collaboration between post-De-La-Soul Prince Paul and right-before-Wu-Tang-hit RZA. Here’s a taste:

(I’ve been listening to this for 20+ years and never knew there was a video.)

CITY OF ANGELS was rated R and obviously not a Slurpee type of movie, but in addition to the soundtracks they had a novelization, a making-of book called The Crow: City of Angels – A Diary of the Film, an “Official Movie Magazine” by Starlog, a three-issue comic book adaptation, and even trading cards that came with one rub-on tattoo per pack.

The top left one with the wings seems sort of based on Sarah’s back tattoo, and the one next to that is one that she gives Curve on his chest that’s supposed to be two demons fighting but then he finds out it looks like a crow and comes back and is not a good customer in my opinion (long story). If they ever made an Iggy Pop doll you could put this on him.

Also there was a video game for Sega Saturn, Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Windows. The cover says “3-D fighting with a vengeance.” It was poorly received and there has not been another CROW-related game since.

Coming at the ass end of its summer, often considered to be a dumping ground (but that’s not always true), THE CROW: CITY OF ANGELS opened at #1, besting other new releases FIRST KID, THE TRIGGER EFFECT and THE STUPIDS. But that was most of the money it made, and it dropped to #9 the next week even though the only new one was Adam Sandler’s BULLETPROOF. CITY OF ANGELS made a few million over its reported budget, so overall it probly lost money. It didn’t kill the franchise, though. Rob Zombie – not yet a filmmaker at that time – was hired to direct the post-apocalyptic THE CROW 2037. He wrote it (with the subtitle “A NEW WORLD OF GODS AND MONSTERS”) and it sounds like a good idea to do something so different, so instead they scrapped that idea and did a TV show starring Mark Dacascos (1998) and the movies THE CROW: SALVATION (2000) and THE CROW: WICKED PRAYER (2005). The show was cancelled after one season, the movies barely played in theaters and were even more hated than CITY OF ANGELS.

Starting with Stephen Norrington in 2008, various directors have developed remakes of the first THE CROW, with actors ranging from Bradley Cooper to Jason Mamoa attached for the title character. None have happened yet. CITY OF ANGELS, as the first evidence that THE CROW might not be repeatable, deserves some credit for that failure, I think.

Pope was unhappy with Miramax’s re-editing of his movie, and refused to do a director’s commentary. He has not directed another feature, although he developed THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND and brought Forest Whitaker to it before leaving over disagreements with the studio. Perez has mostly worked in French films, but was screwed by Miramax in another movie with “Angels” in the title; TALK OF ANGELS was filmed the same year as CITY OF ANGELS but sat on the shelf until 1998. Kirshner continued to do American films, but became perhaps best known for TV shows including Wolf Lake, 24 and The L Word. Unfortunately this was Trang’s final role – she and other bridesmaids for her friend’s wedding were killed in a car accident in 2001, when she was only 27 years old.

That leaves Jane and Goyer as the major players whose careers have grown the most. Just in the next five years, Jane was directed by John Woo, Paul Thomas Anderson (twice) and Terrence Malick. And Renny Harlin. Then he became somewhat of a cult leading man because of THE PUNISHER and THE MIST. He can still do those weirdo character actor performances like Nemo, but it turns out there was a squared-jawed man’s man under there, and we usually have to import those from Australia.

Goyer followed this with Proyas’ DARK CITY and then BLADE. He channeled that success into directing the indie drama ZIGZAG, did two more BLADEs and then BATMAN BEGINS led to his current job as honcho of DC Comics movies. Although he has had a hand in at least four of the best comic book movies made so far, a crude comment about She-Hulk in 2014 has made him a pariah in the comic book community (seriously, there’s a whole big section about that on his Wikipedia page).

THE CROW is a very ’90s phenomenon. Once you take Brandon Lee out of it, it’s nearly impossible to extricate from what was going on with “alternative” music and fashion for young people at the time, or the gloomy emotional landscapes associated with them. For that reason it’s very natural for people who had it in their lives at the right age to have a strong attachment to it. But I think it’s safe to say that most people should stick with the first one.

Those who wronged the Crow have picked an unwinnable fight. Anything they do to try to save themselves is just delaying the inevitable. They made their choice a long time ago and they can’t change it. I think Miramax might’ve been kind of in the same situation. There may not have been a sequel to THE CROW that anybody would’ve accepted. Deep down they must’ve known that, but they had to fuckin try anyway. Spending years and years trying to get a couple more drops out of an empty bottle.

As The Crow himself would’ve said, “[quote from The Cure or somebody that roughly translates to ‘motherfuckers always tryin to ice skate uphill’].”

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46 Responses to “The Crow: City of Angels”

  1. I’m one of those folks you mentioned who had a strong attachment to the first. I was 10 pushing 11 when I watched it in theaters and it was perfect for me. It was like a mish mash of ROBOCOP with Burton’s BATMAN and grunge & metal. Total rebel shit.

    It also starred Brandon Lee who I was already a fan of thanks to RAPID FIRE and SHOWDOWN IN LITTLE TOKYO. So I was kinda obsessed with it. Bought the soundtrack which is still one of the best from that era. The brilliant score album by the always underrated Graeme Revell, the graphic novel by James O’Barr and even some of the spin off books. Like one where a female schoolteacher becomes The Crow.

    So I was pretty hype going into this one when I rented it back then and outside of Iggy Pop and the main villain being obsessed with getting superpowers of his own it pulled a Radiohead and left me high and dry.

    I too found it so weird that Sarah was that dramatically different. I know people change after a decade but you would think in bringing back character from the first they’d at least keep some familiar elements. But this was like Sarah from a parrallel dimension in the multiverse or something. Might as well had had her be a completely different character altogether.

    Vincent Perez was pretty bad. A lot of his delivery and emoting was just laughable and he’s actually an otherwise decent actor I’ve found out. The fact that they tried to make his crow so much like Brandon’s aesthetically did him no favors. They probably should’ve gone in a different direction but I guess they were afraid people wouldn’t recognize it as THE CROW even if that name is in the movie’s title.

    I guess in retrospect since the DTV follow ups were even worse it probably doesn’t seem all that bad anymore. However this was a pretty trashy piece of film and not the good kind of trashy. I didn’t even find it aesthetically pleasing like Vern did outside of the day of the dead scene at the end. The first had much more effectively memorable atmospherics IMO.

  2. Man I remember this one as one of those movies where if there was a bad decision to make, it made it. I’m also glad to learn I’m not alone in thinking the Sarah of this movie surely can’t be the same one from the first one. I do remember it being pretty though.

    This one tried to do the whole the same as the first but bigger and that rarely works or connects with the audience. Not surprised to learn that Goyer’s original take was pretty different. I knew the movie had production issues but I never bothered to look into what was different about the original (incomplete I take it?) director version. Maybe in that one Perez actually left a mark?

    I never knew that that was what Rob Zombie’s CROW was going to be, always assumed it was going to be just him directing SALVATION. Now I feel robbed of that like we were robbed of post-apocalyptic BLADE 3.

    -insert comment along lines of ‘of coarse it sucked Goyer wrote it’ here-

  3. Forgot to mention that Trini the Yellow Ranger being in this movie was the highlight for me.

    Broddie: Yeah I took to the original movie real hard as well. Whether they knew it or not I was a prime demo for that thing. I never went full goth but I definitely spent time in such circles.

  4. Same here geoff. Dated quite a few goth girls in middle school thanks to my love of that movie and got along really well with their crowd. Even remember getting some goth kids into Ice Cube and Boot Camp Click.

    Used to be funny too cause here I was this kid with baggy ass Guess and a pair of uptowns and construction timbs hanging out with chicks that looked like groupies for The Cure.

    I used to turn heads all the time in certain neighborhoods which made me laugh cause it was like “why are you so shocked this tiny elvira looking white girl is with a dude like me? It’s New York Fucking City!”

    It didn’t dawn on me till I read Vern’s review since it’s been so many years since I last saw this but this WAS indeed the one with Trini before her unfortunate car accident.

    All this time I’ve been misremembering her as Top Dolllar’s girl in the first but it’s cause I sub consciously remember her in the sequel. Thinking about it her character having a car play a part in her death might now seem off putting.

  5. I was also a Brandon Lee fan because of RAPID FIRE, so I was really pumped for the first CROW. Then tragedy struck and it became a must-see. I didn’t know a damn thing about goth back then so I just thought of it as some crazy stylized horror action shit. I liked it, and I even shoplifted the soundtrack (“manual torrenting” I like to call it), one of the rare non-hip-hop joints I picked up back then. Then a few months later I went to a shitty all-ages hardcore show (Is there any other kind?) in the back of some busted-ass little strip mall in the middle of nowhere and some guy dressed up, like, exactly like the Crow, makeup and all, walked up and tried to interview me for his zine or something, and I was like, “Oh. People take this shit SERIOUS.” I wasn’t about that life—I liked the movie for different reasons—so I never followed the franchise down the rabbit hole. That’s why the only thing I know about this movie is that I went to see the Deftones once (this conversation is bringing up a lot of music I don’t really listen to anymore) and even the lead singer was like, “We made this song for that CROW sequel. The movie fucking sucks but we still like the song.”

    I have since been taught about many of the tenets of goth by various goth girls whose acquaintance I have made over the years. I’ve never even kind of skewed goth in terms of appearance or attitude, but when you’re known as a horror guy you tend to attract them. I have to say it looks much better on the ladies than it did on that guy in the parking lot.

    Man, I played that first Gravediggaz tape until it gave out. They were never even close to that level after Paul left but I always liked this one:

  6. I swear I remember a Crow movie being rumored once back in early 2000s where Eminem and DMX would’ve played “good/evil” Crows (I don’t remember who would’ve played who) or something that silly.

  7. Majestyk – I have to listen to NEVER GONNA COME BACK and FAIRYTALEZ off that joint at least once a week.

    Reading your post it’s interesting. There is a lot of common ground between male hip hop heads and goth chicks.

    I do think the fact that many of us hip hop heads also grow up as horror buffs is the gateway to finding that common ground for sure.

    I know my exes even though they got with me cause I loved THE CROW and stuff stayed with me as long as they did cause of our mutual love of Argento, Romero and Carpenter. Cause lord knows the type of scene I used to regularly stomp around in back then would have never grabbed their attention otherwise. I used to be either around b boys and b girls, reggae enthusiasts and the salsa and merengue crews more often than not.

  8. RRA – I remember DMX being mentioned in relation to a Crow joint. Never Eminem though.

  9. Anyone saw “The Crow: Stairway To heaven” TV series with Mark Dacascos?

    The Crow: Stairway to Heaven - 1998-1999 - Official TV Intro

    Hello Guest, this is the Official TV Intro of: "The Crow: Stairway to Heaven" (1998 - 1999) Best Regards Horrorfilm Archivist

  10. It’s bad.

  11. I remember watching it cause Dacascos was white hot off the double threat that is CRYING FREEMAN and DRIVE. Which more than made up for KICKBOXER 5 & DOUBLE DRAGON as his follow ups to a personal classic of mine: ONLY THE STRONG.

    Dacascos + The Crow sounded like a winning formula on paper. However then it turned out it was another retelling of Eric Draven and even though they ripped more stuff off the graphic novel than the movie it felt way too neutured.

    Lackluster on almost every level imaginable considering the star of the show. Even if he sometimes creepily resembled Brandon Lee. I just remember thinking “No way I keep missing Xena for this bullshit” after about the 3rd episode (it aired at the same time as universal action pack every Saturday here in NYC). Never looked back. TV wasn’t ready for a Crow show then but I think it is now.

  12. I checked this one out in theaters out of interest in the brand, but feeling like it’s the one exception to my “always a sequel for everything” rule. If the lead of your film dies due to negligence on your set, then out of respect for him, don’t make sequels. Oddly, now that it’s been over 20 years, I have felt ready for a new take on The Crow. Too bad all the attempts have failed. Momoa would be great.

    I remember nothing about City of Angels except it was his son, I think the flashbacks were green instead of red, Hole’s song Gold Dust Woman and a vague image of Iggy Pop on a motorcycle. Yet I remember vividly Vincent Perez on David Letterman saying “I love this movie.” He seemed sincere and maybe the original cut was something to love. Wonder if it’ll ever be released to cash in on Crowmania or at least secretly uploaded to YouTube.

  13. I’ve been telling people about the almost-DMX Crow for years and nobody ever believes me.

    “I am very excited about my involvement in ‘The Crow: Lazarus,'” DMX noted in a statement. “I like the story line, and I can identify with the character. On the real tip, the moral of this story is that things are not always what they seem and we must not be too hasty to pass judgments, and that’s real.”

    I’m amazed there hasn’t been more talk about the Eddie Furlong Crow here, considering its direct connection to badass cinema.

    A number of years ago I had a tenuous connection to the warehouse where all the unsold merchandise from this movie was dumped. Don’t ask! Last I knew, it was still there. Supposedly there’s a lot of it, presumably including tens of thousands (if not more?) of the Cloisonne Pin.

    Thank you very much for resurrecting this series for a few more entries, Vern.

  14. Oh yeah, and from the same article:

    DMX is currently in Toronto shooting a new movie, “Exit Wounds,” along with Steven Seagal and “Romeo Must Die” director Andrzej Bartkowiak (see “DMX Plans Next Film Role”).

    That means in Exit Wounds X is possibly thinking about The Crow during much of what’s on screen. “How can I apply this to The Crow.”

  15. I’m pretty sure they released a director’s cut of this a few years ago. Well as much “director’s cut” as a movie, that was already more or less taken away from the director during shooting. Not sure how different it is, but I think they removed the yellow color filter.

    BTW, if there is one thing that I’ve learned about goth kids (and adults), it’s that they are actually pretty cool, fun loving people. Way closer to Abby from NCIS than the typical mopey “Woe is me” or satan worshipping serial killer stereotype, that we normally get in popculture.

    Also am I the only one who really likes Iggy Pop as an actor? He doesn’t have the biggest range, but has the look, voice, charisma and will to go weird*, that makes him a very enjoyable screen presence.

  16. I remember this did *not* look good on the VHS I saw it on, in addition to being generally useless. Although looking at clips online I’m not sure I care for the look anyway

    Fred; there is currently a “fan edit” on YouTube, not sure how close it comes to the original vision. Seems to have a lot of freeze frames where they describe missing parts from the script.

  17. Looks like I can’t do this, but the title is “The Crow City Of Angels – The Second Coming (the Famous DCP Fan Edit)”

    The questionably named but excellent youtube channel Goodbadflicks has a good video about THE CROW: CITY OF ANGELS which goes into depth about the original intentions

  18. Says a lot about the legacy of The Crow that we talk more about that one here then the sequel.

    I think I can use legacy this time right? lol

  19. Around the same time DMX was slated to star in a remake of Fritz Lang’s M that obviously never happened. That would have been something.

  20. Believe it or not, the movie they were calling a remake of M turned out to be CRADLE 2 THE GRAVE.

  21. In my opinion the Fritz Lang version was better.

  22. flyingguillotine

    July 13th, 2017 at 10:58 am

    Hoo boy, did I love THE CROW back in the day. So of course I ran ran ran right out to see this one, and… yeah. I knew we were in trouble when the bad guy does the cliche “main antagonist kills an underling to show the audience what a big meanie he is” beat. But in this case, he shoves a needle up a guy’s nose, and the farther that needle penetrated, the lower in my seat I slid, thinking: Ohh… no…

    I liked the first movie for its harder edges and darker choices. This one came across as silly and try-hard. The only moment that stands out for me is when the Crow comes to get Thomas Jane, and he says over that scratchy little speaker, “Do you know what they call a group of crows? A murder. A murder of crows.” I thought that was neat.

    But yeah, it’s a good-looking movie with some cool shots. And holy cow, is it yellow; I betcha production bought out the local supply of straw gel.

  23. Vern – honestly I’ve noticed from reading message boards/comments that David Goyer being a pariah of sorts with spandex movie fans despite his resume is less to do with that (dumb) She-Hulk/Martian Manhunter stuff and more because of MAN OF STEEL and BVS and his involvement in them. I’ve even seen countless DC fans lump all the faults in those movies on him and not the director as if Goyer put a gun to Zack Snyder’s head creatively or something. (Which ignores facts like that Goyer only wrote the 1st draft of BVS before getting replaced with Ben Affleck’s screenwriter and that both Goyer and Snyder came upon Zod’s neck breaking for MOS (and had to convince Nolan to go along) that the Internet thankfully didn’t complain about for the last 4 years.)

    Goyer is a talented guy, full of good ideas. Generally I think though he works better through a decent filter whether it be Nolan or Del Toro and so forth.

  24. I got to admit I got a soft spot for The Crow Salvation, and has probably watch it a lot of times, but it is really long time since I saw it. It was one of the first DVD I bought in 2001, after I switched over to DVD (the first one was Jackie Brown).

    What I liked about it was it’s use of color and it’s music (it got a song with Juliette Lewis singing), and while Eric Mabius was kinda a bad actor at the time (also see Resident Evil), but it got Kirsten Dunst, William Atherton, Fred Willard as the villain and Walton Goggins in a test run for his “The Shield” character. I remember I liked a lot of the action scenes. While it is kinda re-tread of the original it does have the twist that the Crow gets framed for the murder of his fiance and he has to investigate it and figure out who did it. Also the Crow make up is ash and burned skin, because he got executed.

  25. THE CROW: SALVATION is the only watchable sequel so it had that going. I’m pretty sure you meant Fred Ward but the idea of Fred Willard as a Crow movie villain is hilariously inventive.

  26. Grimgrinningchris

    July 13th, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    DMX owes me $5,000.

    The story in Salvation makes no fucking sense and Mabius looks fucking stupid but I still enjoy it more than City Of Angels.

  27. What about WICKED PRAYER? The fourth one with David Boreanaz.

  28. Iggy Pop was amazing in this movie, and you should have gone with Diary:


    "Diary Of A Madman" (produced by The RZA and RNS) By the Gravediggaz featuring Shabazz The Disciple and Killah Priest. From the classic 1994 horrorcore album...

  29. The best CROW sequel was Sting. Rebooted his wrestling character from the surfer blonde colorful facepaint babyface and turned him into the asshole hanging out in the rafters/stands, messiah for “Dubya See Dubya” waiting in the wings during that first initial wave of the NWO angle.

    (Scott Hall came up with the idea apparently.)

  30. Scott Hall did according to Sean Waltman.

  31. The Undefeated Gaul

    July 14th, 2017 at 2:11 am

    Yeah, WICKED PRAYER is the only sequel I remember watching (vaguely) although I’m sure I saw them all and hated them. But this one had the advantage of having David Boreanaz as the villain, and I seem to remember he did an OK job with it (although I’m sure it wasn’t anything special and anyone who didnt already know him would probably dismiss it as just another bland performance in a terrible film). Still wish that guy had gotten the opportunity to do more of the really cool and funny shit that we knew him to be capable of because of Buffy/Angel. Instead he latched onto that stupid cop show and wasted a fucking decade on there. Don’t think we’ll get much more out of him.

  32. A Rob Zombie directed, DMX-led, Fred Willard-antagonist-ed Crow movie set in the future is probably my ideal movie. With an animated sequence, and all his usual cast members or friends, K. Foree to name one. Doyle from the Misfits, Moseley, Malcolm McDowell, Leslie Easterbrook, Mike Judge, Howard Stern to name a few more. Those people who couldn’t deal with Manson anymore.

  33. Don’t have anything to add about the movie but hell yes to 6 Feet Deep. Somehow, even though it’s about to turn 25(!), that album has stayed in heavy rotation for me and sounds as fresh as it did then.

  34. Bought the soundtrack for this on the strength of the first one. That Gravediggaz song from Crow 2 is epic. That beat was such a great, weird choice. Very unlike any other 90s hip-hop song I can think of. I remember being very psyched–and proportionately disappointed by this film.

  35. Man, I thought the top right tattoo was a crow farting out the movie title. Looking at it closer I noticed it’s just a feather, not a whole crow, but my version is a lot better.

  36. I saw this opening weekend with what felt like my entire highschool. Afterwards a guy I never spoke to socially came up to me and said “You see The Crow? Shit was fucked up.” Anyway, I had fond memories of this one but I stumbled on it on cable a few years back and found it basically unwatchable.

    Vern, if you haven’t already, I highly recommend Thomas Jane’s work in STANDOFF. Nice under 90 minute movie where he fights Laurence Fishburne.

  37. “Fights” may not be the right word. “Pits wits” is better.

  38. A.L.F. – I would definitely watch that take on the Crow. Fred Willard or Fred Ward?

  39. Great looking movie. Sadly, that’s all it is. All I really remember about this farce was a decent soundtrack, lots of smoke, Iggy Pop, and the fact that the Crow’s top was too fucking short for his torso. That shit is for girls.

  40. I often wonder what happened to Lance Mungia, director of the final Crow movie, but more important director of Six String Samurai. Loved the premise of Six String and always wondered what he would donqith a decent budget and a studio. Oh well.

  41. Now-a-days SIX STRING would have probably gotten him a free pass to make a 100+ million tentpole/blockbuster franchise/superhero movie to do. My have times changed.

  42. Holy flashbacks Batman!

    So I’ve been trying to watch SIX STRING since the late 90s since the cover made it seem like YOJIMBO met DESPERADO and they merged with Elvis Costello and I like all that shit. Yet for whatever reasons I never ever got to watch it. Thanks for reminding me that it even existed fellas. I got some digging to do.

  43. I remember liking SIX STRING but I haven’t seen it since it came out on VHS.

  44. Goyer is a talented guy, full of good ideas.

  45. Okay, because at some point it will be deleted, let me tell you what I just saw on here: A spambot post, that said “Goyer is a talented guy, full of good ideas”. And the same bot posted in the WILD WILD WEST comments: “My favourite Will Smith movie.”

    There are fucking spambots outthere, that want you to download “faceapp apk”, whatever that is, but are clever enough to post appropriate comments underneath articles about Will Smith movies from almost 20 years ago and David Goyer movies!

    The world is ending!

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