Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Crow, The [1994]

US movie (1994). Miramax/Entertainment Media Investment. Pr Jeff Most, Edward R Pressman. Exec pr Sherman L Baldwin, Robert L Rosen. Dir Alex Proyas. Vfx Andrew Mason. Screenplay David J Schow (1955-    ), John Shirley (1954-    ). Based on the Comic by James O'Barr. Starring Rochelle Davis (Sarah), Ernie Hudson (Albrecht), Brandon Lee (Eric Draven), Bai Ling (Myca), Michael Wincott (Top Dollar). 101 mins. Colour.

According to legend, when someone dies a crow comes to take away their Soul; if their death marks something sufficiently Evil, the crow may return the soul so it may right the wrong. Eric and Shelly are hideously murdered on the eve of Hallowe'en by a gang of thugs sent by vile boss Top Dollar. A year later the crow returns, and Eric rises from the grave; invulnerable (see Invulnerability), his face painted in a clown's Mask, he gorily slaughters the gang members before, assisted by cop Albrecht, doing likewise to Top Dollar and his incestuous half-sister Myca. His task over, he returns to his grave, where Shelly welcomes him. TC is a notably nasty movie; it would perhaps have some style were it not for muddy cinematography and an equally muddy soundtrack. Lee died in the final stages of filming, and audiences flocked in hopes of spotting the moment of genuine, rather than simulated, anguish: such sadism was a matter of life imitating rather poor art. [JG]

This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.