13 May 1994 is the release date of The Crow, the film based on the 1988-89 comic book series of the same name by James O’Barr. This author had been inspired by the true story of a Detroit couple barbarously killed by a gang of criminals for a ring worth 20 dollars, and his black-and-white graphic novel had sold over a quarter-million copies worldwide and had been translated into almost a dozen languages.
First lines 🎥 🎥 🎥 Sarah: [voiceover]
“People once believed that when someone dies, a crow carries their soul to the land of the dead. But sometimes, something so bad happens that a terrible sadness is carried with it and the soul can’t rest. Then sometimes, just sometimes, the crow can bring that soul back to put the wrong things right.”
The film is about a man who returns from the grave to seek vengeance on the gang that killed him and his fiancée. He doesn’t have much in common with a superhero: he is angry, inconsolable, filled with hate and kills without remorse.
The story, halfway between science fiction and horror, is set in a dark and gothic atmosphere and shows some references to Edgar Allan Poe’s poem, starting from the protagonist Eric Draven’s surname, which recalls “The Raven“.
Eric is a rock musician who is brought back to life by a crow a year after his death to avenge the rape and murder of his fiancée, as well as his own death.
Guided by the crow, a link between the world of the living and that of the dead, he sets out to find the killers, with the help of a policeman and his little friend Sarah.
The main actor was 28-year-old Brandon Lee, the only son of martial artist and film star Bruce Lee, who had died of a cerebral edema in 1973 when he was 32, although Brandon believed that he had been killed by the Triads, the Asian mafia.
Brandon had already acquired celebrity through some action movies in roles that mainly exalted his martial arts skills. Director Alex Proyas’s offer gave him the possibility of shaking off this image that had become a little stereotyped.
But this was his last film, since on 31 March 1993, during the final days of filming, Brandon Lee, was accidentally wounded on set by defective blank ammunition.
The tragic episode, in which a revolver was actually fired at Lee from a distance of 12–15 feet, was due to the lack of control of the weapon by the staff, namely a prop assistant, and not the usual firearms specialist who been sent home early.
He was hit in the stomach and at first no one realized that he had been really shot.
Two decades earlier, Bruce Lee’s character in the “Game of Death” had been killed with a prop gun secretly made to fire a real bullet. A terrible premonition of his son’s death?
Brandon Lee was rushed to the hospital but died after several hours of surgery on 31 March 1993. His death was ruled as accidental and no one was ever charged in connection with it; however, his passing, like his famous father’s, became the subject of much speculation.
That tragic event was a shock to the world of cinema, which later decided to change gun safety standards in movies and prohibit weapons from being aimed at the actors.
With the consent of Lee’s fiancée, Eliza (whom he was supposed to marry at the end of the shoot), it was decided to complete the filming,
The unfinished scenes featuring Brandon were dealt with using a modified script, digital editing and stunt doubles.
The actor wasn’t alone in being wounded on set, though he was the only person to die. There were several accidents that occurred to the production crew, leading to a widespread belief that the film was cursed.
A carpenter suffered from serious burns on his upper body during the first day of filming; a manual worker pierced his hand with a screwdriver; an equipment truck burst into flames; a stuntman broke several ribs after a fall ; an electrician was horribly electrocuted; a resentful set sculptor drove his car through the props room destroying it; and a hurricane demolished several sets.
Brandon Lee himself, in an previous scene of the film, had strangely cut himself quite badly with prop glass which, on the contrary, should have been safe because made of plastic, and was not meant to hurt people.
Last lines 🎥 🎥🎥 Sarah: [voiceover]
“If the people we love are stolen from us, the way to have them live on is to never stop loving them. Buildings burn, people die, but real love is forever.”