Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Devil's Night Greeting Card

I saw "The Crow" on a thunderous night in May, 1994. I can honestly say the movie changed my life. Yes, I was a horror fan before that, I had my Stephen King books and was experiencing Anne Rice. I knew about The Cure and Nine Inch Nails, but I had no idea who Joy Division were before I saw "The Crow."

No, "The Crow" is not a horror movie, in the common parlance, but there are significant horror tropes in the film. A dude comes back from the dead on the night before Halloween to seek vengeance for the murders of himself and his fiance. He quotes Poe and hangs out with a crow. (The bird in the film is actually a raven because crows aren't that big.)

"The Crow" is also rather violent. It's an action movie, a comic book movie. (If you've never read the original graphic novel, shame on you.)
What's horrifying in the film and book is not the violence. Yes, it's bloody and led to the death of star Brandon Lee. What's truly gut-wrenching is the raw emotion packed into every page and every frame. "The Crow" is one man's lament for lost loves torn away from this mortal coil.

"The Crow" is a love story. How in love would you have to be to come back from the dead and wipe out the people who made your true love suffer? Eric (no last name in the book) suffers not only from being apart from his fiance but also from remembering how they both died. It's the knowledge of her pain that drives him insane.

Yes, "The Crow" is best known for being the movie that Brandon Lee died during the filming of. Maybe it would not have become such a subcultural juggernaut if he had not passed away. He did, so we'll never know. What I do know is that "The Crow" is very special to me. Maybe it is to you, too.

If so, I wish you a safe Devil's Night and a Happy Halloween. And for anyone who has lost a loved one, it can't rain all the time.

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