Posts Tagged ‘The Crow’

Ah, “The Crow” series. It started out so well, but has become so pathetic after just four installments, that it almost makes you feel pity for the poor souls with the bad luck to get involved in it (including self-pity as well). Each subsequent sequel has been worse than the previous, their scripts little more than carbon copies of the original. “The Crow: Salvation” was so bad, it will only be remembered for one thing: it co-starred a young Kirsten Dunst. Which brings us to “The Crow: Wicked Prayer”, a movie that is so bad on so many levels that it makes our critique of “Salvation” seem unfair. So here goes nothing.

the-crow-wicked-prayer-2005Emo edition

Let’s start from the beginning. Intro: Starring Edward Furlong from “Terminator 2”. Hm if he even had quit his usage of drugs during filming, he for sure had increased dose after this mess was over. Next, yet-to-be washed up whore Tara Ried. Then she was just plain whore. Dennis Hopper from “Apocalypse Now’ (and “Space Truckers”)? Boy, did he go low! Wait? Who is this? Recently retired MMA fighter and ex-husband of Jenna Jamison – Tito Ortiz? Now I know why this franchise went dead! Oh and Danny Trejo had also found his place in this travesty.

man-he-is-both-ugly-and-dumbMan, he is both ugly and dumb

The honor of the opening scene belongs to chef Famine (played by Tito Ortiz – the creature from the picture above). He works as a fry cook for mining company. There is some riot nearby. Local Raven Aztec tribe wants to close the toxic mine which polluted their land. Instead of it they want to open, guess what? An fucking Indian casino! I mean, it is year 2005, come on! So Famine uses his position to poison miners who were quietly eating his food. Their cause is also helped by Pestilence (played by Yuki Okumoto) and War (played by Marcus Chong). It is clear that these guys are trying to resemble 4 horsemen of apocalypse (although there are only 3 of them), All 3 of them rescue Death/Luc Crash/Satan (played by David Boreanaz) from jail. And his mistress is none
other than Lola (played by Tara Ried). All together, their goal is to raise hell on Earth.

death-coupleDeath couple

Total of 7 people were attending grand opening of Raven Aztecs Resort Casino. Such public interest surely justifies all that previous killing. One of them is white-trash Jimmy Cuervo (played by Edward Furlong). Jimmy seems not to be that much interested in gambling as in Lily (played by Emanuelle Chriqui, best known for her role in “Wrong Turn”) who is daughter of tribal chief. Two of them are having an affair despite the will of her father Harold (played by Danny Trejo) and her brother Tanner (played by Dave Lortiz). Determined to ask Lily for her hand (despite the fact that he is convict on parole who lives in a trailer) Jimmy comes to her workplace only to find her captured by Crash and the company. Their plan is to resurrect demons or something supernatural like
that. To this end, they have extracted lovely Lily’s eyes and poor Jimmy’s heart (which continued to beat long after extraction) as part of some kind of ceremony. It’s all very black magicish. At least as black magicish as it can get with Tara Reid chanting random “magic” spells. Needless to say that young Tara looks much better while wearing mask which covers almost her entire face. As for ritual itself, after it was completed, Crash got very poorly carved “666” into his chest.

if-you-are-into-gay-hotline-call-666If you are into gay hotline call 666

Crash dumped their bodies locked up in two old fridges onto nearby depony. As it always happen, crow flies over there and resurrects poor Jimmy. Unfortunately, things go downhill from here. Young Eddie Furlong, long removed from battling evil cyborgs from the future, makes for a poor Crow. Haunted by memories of his lost love (shown in quick cuts MTV style), he burned down his trailer, used a REGULAR marcer to paint his face and sets on path of playing a vengeance-fueled zombie avenger who looks more like transsexual emo teenager than a person of whom you should be afraid of.

get-out-of-hereGet out of here!

Everything is ready for payback. First one to go is Pestilence. Jimmy confronts him at local bar. Of course, Pestilence wouldn’t take him serious. Not a surprise keeping in mind Jimmy now looks like a sad clown. Anyway, it turned out to be huge mistake since Pestilence ended up beaten like a crap and electrocuted. Famine had no better luck either. Crow smashed him at Raven Fest party where bad guys had crashed in. Then he sits down to have a long, boring chat with Crash and Lola. Seriously. In that order. Entire crew saw resurrected Jimmy so all cards are on the table now.

 

This havoc had  just speed up Luc’s plans to become the Satan himself. In order to achieve that he needs to marry with Lola and sacrifice a virgin. Since they couldn’t find any virgin girl (no surprise there) they had to move onto the next best thing. And that is 40 years old fat black man virgin. This movie has just became 20 times worse than it was. And it was baaaaaad. So they visit El Nino (paled by Dennis Hopper), a black priest who owns a church/striptease bar (no naked nuns there, if such thought came across your filthy mind) and who will perform the ceremony. Crow crashes Crash’s party but it was too late. The ritual was over and Crash managed to become the Satan. It is really silly that Luc Crash had done all of this just to have his revenge on God because his
father died. Lola took her revenge as well on El Nino, because he was forcing her to sleep with fat people when she was younger. It seems that everyone here had a deal with the devil. The only thing remained to do is to produce new antichrist. But Crow interrupts Luc’s honeymoon at nearby Indian burial mound (with loud Lora’s protests about not getting what she needs the most) and all night matrix-style battle commenced. In the morning Crow was the last man standing and now he can go back and live with his memories. Forever, and ever, and ever…

 

Conclusion: The most unfortunate thing about “Wicked Prayer” is that it’s actually a serviceable drama in the early parts, when it just involved white trash Jimmy’s romance with Indian princess Lily, and the fact that Lily’s family doesn’t approve. Alas, once the lovebirds are knocked off and Jimmy resurrected, things go downhill from there. It was directed by Lance Mungia, who made a name for himself with the low-budget “Six-String Samurai”, an action-packed martial arts film shot entirely on weekends, and was as nonsensical as action movies from the ’80s, of which it was patterned after. Coming off that film, it’s easy to see how Mungia could forget that this is supposed to be a dark and somber revenge tale, not some chop socky kung-fu flick, Nothing about “Wicked Prayer” works. Even its first reveal of Furlong as the Crow is barely serviceable, with not even one-tenth of the grand entrance of Brandon Lee climbing out of his grave in a rain-soaked night. Unfortunately the writers do manage to keep the most annoying constant of the “Crow” films — namely the bad guys’ uncanny ability to figure out that the Crow’s power is dependent on the crow that follows him around. The bad guys, the supposed source of the Crow’s hatred and rage, are barely bad enough to qualify as villains at all. Whenever they are about to kill someone, these guys can’t decide if they are cold-blooded killers or just poor schmucks in the wrong place at the wrong time. It’s a little hard to get behind the whole, “Kill’em all and let God sort’em out” mentality when you can’t even be sure if the bad guys are all that bad. Entire decade had passed since and another Crow sequel was not made. We pray things stay that way.

After the surprising success of the original The Crow movie, directed by Proyas and staring the late Brandon Lee  the studio decided that The Crow concept is good enough to warrant a series ala Nightmare at Elm Street. Unfortunately The Crow mythology was never really built for a franshize. The author of the original comicbook James O’Barr did his best to keep the control of the projects with different pitches for sequels like the one with a Native American of the Crow tribe coming back from the dead to avenge his family (later comic-ized as The Crow: Dead Time) and the female Crow who died on her wedding day (now a basis for O’Barr’s still unpublished The Crow: Engines of Despair) but both were rejected.

obarr-engines-pinup

Still unpublished The Crow: Engines of Despair

The second part ended up being a The Crow: City of Angels with Vincent Perez, actually a fairly decent film that still failed to live up to the expectation after the original. Dimension Films decided not to stop there so another sequel was put into production, this time with even less of a budget.

The movie starts with an overly dramatic execution scene of conveniently named Alex Corvis via the electric chair in the local prison. Our hero is accused of stabbing his girlfriend 20- something odd times and people are cheering his demise. He is of course innocent and as it usually goes returns from the dead with a roasted face that somehow evolves intro something alike a classic The Crow jester make- up. As he runs away we are treated to a not so good suicide dive  followed by a really bad shapeshift moment! So the Crow flies with him but he also turns into a crow too, isn’t that a bit too much?

The mystical crow leads him to the police department’s evidence room, where he discovers proof that his girlfriend Lauren was killed by a group of corrupt cops. He also has a vision of the leader of the killers who has a scars on his arm. He goes to her grave and there, he runs into Lauren’s younger sister Erin, played coincidentally by young Christine Dunst (who would find much bigger success in another comicbook series some years later).  She doesn’t seem to recognize him at first but when she does she gets really angry still believing he is the killer but he promises to prove otherwise and then disappears.

vlcsnap-2017-01-30-21h44m15s717Unfortunately Morbus  is just too gangly and funny to be a convincing angel of revenge

He tracks down his friends Leonard who testified falsly and got him in all this jam. Turns out he testified in return for a job at a CONSTRUCTION! This just might be the single worst deal in the history of film. He gets names of the corrupt cops out of him and goes on a wild killing spree.

After killing a cop via car crash (you can do fun stuff like that when you’re invulnerable) he uses the evidence he found on him to convince Erin of his innocence. It turns out her father Nathan had dealings with the cops and that started this whole mess.He owns a business company cops used for smugling drugs.After trying to prove to her that her death was a mistake he ends up killing himself. In a really cheep twit  it turns out the main leader of the evil cops is- the police chef! Also a dabbler in the occult (I mean, who isn’t) and the man with the scars. Already knowing the way to cheat the crow (not so smart animal after all) he organizes and ambush for Alex in a “modern” night club (they have computers and really bad cameras and stuff). Alex of course thrives in the chaos and kills more than couple of cops. We even have a default impalement on a pipe, a staple of American cinema.

impaleImpalement pipe- don’t leave your home without it!

Now one of the detectives manages to ignite a gas leak (remember that pipe from minutes ago) and the whole place goes up in flames and then in all the dead bodies Alex finds a severed arm with the scars. His mission is finally done. Or is it? Of course not. It turns out the Cheif of police faked it, and managed to trick the fate itself.You see having finished his task Alex is now without his powers and can finally be stopped. This moment really drags movie (even further) down. I mean if the mystical crow is this stupid I don’t thing a single death would be successfully avenged.

He confronts the Cheif but knowing he has an uper hand he stabs him to death all the while convincing him he really is guilty of his girlfirends death. What a deranged prick! He with a help of detective Madden and his slut secretary drag him to the taxidermy room (that exist in a police station- for some reason) and we find the sister Erin there too- with her mouth stitched shut. Now when all seems lost the crow shows up, take’s Erins bracelet, drops it on Alex and he finally comes back to life all reachached and ready to go. Man, this movie loves it’s clishes so much!

Alex being back in revenge mode manages to defeat everyone and he chooses to place the Cheif on the same electric chair that he was on. Poetic justice all the way. After that he returns to being dead, the necklaces now resting on the cross on his grave.
Trivia: This movie does continue the cool tradition of having cool alternative rock/ industrial/ metal bands contribute to the soundtrack. Just listen to this Danzig track.

Unfortunately by the time the forth movie rolled over (more on that one soon) the budget for the soundtrack became non- existent and they stopped that particular tradition.
Trivia, continued: It’s interesting how almost every move post- the original Brandon Lee hit turned out to be such a miss. Like I said, Dimension Films ignored some really descent story ideas from James O’Barr, just the damn author of the whole thing. Then there was a whole crazy script treatment for The Crow V that involved resurrection of a good and evil rappers starring (then young) Eminem and Doctor Dre. That leads us all the way to today with Relativity Media remake that was supposed to be directed by Javier Gutierrez (who even went as far as to ask for O’Barr’s blessing) with Luke Evans as Eric, after that fell trough Jack Huston has signed to direct with Andrea Riseborough as (female) Top Dollar, Corin Hardy after that and then Relativity bankruptcy happened. Strangely they kept pushing the project even after the bankruptcy now with Jason Momoa (Game of Thrones, Justice League) attached as a lead by trust me- don’t hold your breath.

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Bradley Cooper, once attached as Eric -thankfully that never happened.