What It’s About: Musician Eric Draven (Brandon Lee), brutally murdered along with his girlfriend by cartoonish gangsters, is resurrected as an invulnerable vigilante with a crow avatar. A good cop (Ernie Hudson) and a young female skateboarder add human interest to the goth revenge drama. Based on James O’Barr’s 1989 graphic novel.
Why Watch it Today?: Eric’s murderers, now his victims, are part of the gang behind arsonist mayhem on Devil’s Night (October 30) in Detroit. Yes, this film is set in an idyllic past when arson in Detroit occurred only one day of the year! The film had production difficulties after Brandon Lee died in a gun accident during filming. But it went on to great success, partly due to the soundtrack, which captures the dark energy of 1994 (The Cure, Stone Temple Pilots, NIN covering Joy Division, Violent Femmes, and the list goes on). Roger Ebert, amazingly, thought it a better film than any by Brandon’s father, Bruce Lee. Don’t watch it for the evil gangster (he looks like he stole Christopher Lambert’s hairpiece from Mortal Kombat). Don’t watch it for the animatronic crow. And don’t watch it to be frightened pre-Halloween (for a real scare, watch The Cure at Lollapalooza 2013).
Editor’s Note: Please welcome another new contributor to the site that I hope will be with us for a while- Keeley Schell. I first met Keeley at a Halloween party (she was dressed as a Bond girl, I was dressed as Jim Belushi in Trading Places), so the timing of her first post seems appropriate. For whatever reason, my strongest movie memory with Keeley is a trip back from a screening of Persona that involved a lot of turning the movie over and over in our conversation in an attempt to “get” it-along with some ridicule. In addition to being an erstwhile classics professor, she’s writing a novel set just before the First Crusade, and favors films from the Sixties, along with some kung fu and music-driven films. I look forward to posts from her in all three of those areas!