The Crow is a 1994 American supernatural action film directed by Alex Proyas, written by David J. Schow and John Shirley, and starring Brandon Lee in his final film appearance. Based on James O'Barr's 1989 comic book of the same name, it tells the story of Eric Draven (Lee), a rock musician who is revived from the dead to avenge his murder and that of his fiancée.
Lee was accidentally killed during filming, and consequently The Crow was his last film. Unfinished scenes that were to feature Lee were dealt with by rewrites and digital special effects. The Crow was dedicated to Lee and his fiancée, Eliza.
The film opened at the top of the box office and was a critical and commercial success. It also achieved a strong cult status.
Plot[edit | edit source]
On October 30, during the annual Devil's Night crime spree in the city of Detroit, Michigan, Sergeant Albrecht is at the scene of a crime, where Shelly Webster has been beaten and raped, and her fiancé, guitarist Eric Draven, has been killed. The couple were to be married the next day, on Halloween. As he leaves for the hospital with Shelly, Albrecht meets a young girl, Sarah, whom Shelly and Eric cared for; her mother, Darla, is a drug addict who works as a waitress for one of the criminals who killed Eric and Shelly. Albrecht tells her everything will be okay and that Shelly will be fine.
A year later, Sarah visits Eric's and Shelly's graves. As she leaves the cemetery a crow lands on Eric's headstone and taps it. That night, Eric awakens from death and climbs out of his grave, wracked with convulsions. Eric follows the crow through the streets of Detroit to his old apartment, finding it derelict. He is met by his cat, Gabriel, who remembers his old master. Eric experiences flashbacks of his own death, remembering that he and Shelly were murdered by local thugs T-Bird, Tin-Tin, Funboy, and Skank, who work for a gang boss named Top Dollar. Eric swings out the window he was thrown out of, piercing his hands on shards of glass. He sees his wounds regenerate and close, discovering that any wounds he suffers heal immediately. He replaces his burial clothes with a dark, imposing costume and paints his face in a parody of a porcelain harlequin mask, decorating his lips and eyes with black, scar-like slashes. Guided by the crow, he sets out to avenge his and Shelly's deaths.
Eric learns that he can see what the crow sees telepathically. The crow helps Eric locate Tin-Tin, and they engage in a one-on-one streetfight after which Eric kills Tin-Tin with his own knives. Eric takes Tin-Tin's coat, leaving a large crow-shaped bloodstain on the wall of the alley as his calling card. He goes to Gideon's pawn shop where Tin-Tin pawned Shelly's engagement ring. Eric forces his way into the shop, then forces Gideon to return the ring and interrogates him about Tin-Tin's associates. Gideon tells him that they hang out at a bar called The Pit and that Funboy lives upstairs. Eric starts throwing rings at Gideon, telling him that each one is a life he helped destroy. Gideon pleads for his life, and Eric lets him live to warn the rest of the gang. Eric blows up the shop by firing a shotgun loaded with rings into a puddle of spilled gasoline.
Eric meets Albrecht at the scene of the explosion. Eric calls out his name which surprises Albrecht, who does not remember him. Eric asks if he knows Shelly Webster. Albrecht answers that she is dead and tells him to sit at the curb. He turns away, distracted by looters, and Eric vanishes. Later, Sarah leaves The Pit on her skateboard and is nearly hit by a passing taxi when Eric saves her, hiding his identity.
Eric finds Funboy getting high on morphine in an apartment with Darla. Eric telepathically forces him to feel the emotional and physical pain of his assault on Eric and Shelly. He then confronts a hysterical Darla, grabbing her arm and showing her the reflection of her track marks in the mirror as the morphine pushes its way back out of her arm. Eric tells her to quit drugs in order to be a good mother to Sarah. Seeing Darla fleeing the bar, Top Dollar's bodyguard Grange goes upstairs to investigate, finding Funboy dead with syringes stabbed into his chest.
Eric visits Albrecht at his apartment. They discuss Eric and Shelly's murder and Albrecht relates that he watched as Shelly suffered for 30 hours before dying, and that he was demoted for asking too many questions about the crime. Eric touches Albrecht's face, and all the pain and memories of Shelly's death are transferred to Eric. Meanwhile, Gideon meets with Top Dollar and passes on Eric's warning. Not believing Gideon's story, he kills him.
As T-Bird and Skank stop at a convenience store, Eric kidnaps T-Bird before leading police on a high-speed pursuit through Detroit. Skank follows the pair in a Yugo he carjacked but is hit by a pursuing police car. Eric drives T-Bird to the docks, then kills him while a horrified Skank watches in the distance. Eric leaves a fiery symbol in the shape of a crow burning at the scene.
The next morning, Sarah and Darla begin repairing their relationship. Sarah, having realized Eric's identity, goes to his old apartment and tells him that she misses him and Shelly. Eric explains that, although he cannot be friends with her now that he is dead, he still cares for her and asks her to take care of Gabriel. Top Dollar and his lover/half-sister Myca have learned of Eric's existence and his actions. He holds a meeting with his associates where they discuss new plans for their annual Devil's Night crime spree. Eric arrives at the meeting, looking for Skank, and a massive gunfight ensues. Top Dollar escapes with Myca and Grange, while Eric kills everyone in the room then throws Skank out a window to his death.
Having finished his quest, Eric returns to his grave where he sees Sarah. She says goodbye to him and he gives her Shelly's engagement ring. She is then abducted by Grange, who takes her into a nearby church where Top Dollar and Myca are waiting. Through his telepathic link to the crow, Eric realizes what has happened and goes to the church to rescue her. Grange shoots the crow as it flies into the church, causing Eric to lose his immortality. Just after Top Dollar shoots and wounds Eric, Albrecht arrives, intending to pay his respects to Eric. During a shootout Grange is killed and Albrecht is wounded. Myca grabs the wounded crow, intending to take its mystical power. Top Dollar ties Sarah up and climbs the bell tower.
Pursuing Top Dollar, Eric encounters Myca. As she is about to shoot Eric, the crow escapes Myca's grip and pecks out her eyes, causing her to fall down the bell tower to her death. Eric reaches the roof of the church and fights Top Dollar; due to Eric's weakened condition, Top Dollar gains the upper hand. While Eric is down, Top Dollar admits ultimate responsibility for what happened to Eric and Shelly. As Top Dollar is about to kill him, Eric lunges forward and telepathically gives him the 30 hours of pain that Shelly suffered. An overwhelmed Top Dollar falls off the roof of the church to be fatally impaled on the horns of a gargoyle. Eric saves Sarah and tells her to stay with Albrecht until help arrives. Eric makes his way to Shelly's grave. As he succumbs to his injuries, he is approached by Shelly's spirit - reunited in death, knowing that both will be able to rest in peace.
Sarah visits the cemetery and sees that Eric and Shelly's graves lie undisturbed. The crow, perched on Eric's headstone, gives her Shelly's engagement ring before soaring over the city and into the night.
Cast[edit | edit source]
- Brandon Lee as Eric Draven/The Crow
- Rochelle Davis as Sarah
- Ernie Hudson as Sgt. Albrecht
- Michael Wincott as Top Dollar
- Bai Ling as Myca
- Sofia Shinas as Shelly Webster
- Anna Levine as Darla
- David Patrick Kelly as T-Bird
- Angel David as Skank
- Laurence Mason as Tin-Tin
- Michael Massee as Funboy
- Tony Todd as Grange
- Jon Polito as Gideon
- Bill Raymond as Mickey
- Marco Rodríguez as Torres