Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Devil's Night

The Crow (film)Devil's Night.

I had never heard of such a things until 1994. I somehow snuck into a rated R movie in the small town I was living in at the time. We sat down in the very back and for the first time I watched The Crow.

I'm sure you have seen it. If you love movies, you have seen this movie. It's incredible dark and violent and not meant for kids but even as a child, I fell in love. (I was an odd child.)

Among those who love it, it's a hot debate to this day. I won't try to analyze it. I won't pick it apart until there is nothing left. I only wish to share this with you. (so no angry emails please...)

Our movie begins with Eric and Shelly are to be wed the following day (Halloween) when a band of evil bastards break into their place, rape and pummel Shelly and kill Eric by shooting him and tossing him out the window. (and all to get the apartment they were living in they could tear the building down. McGuffin anyone?) On the anniversary of their death, Erik is brought back to revenge the injustice with the help of his "spirit guide", a crow.

It was shot with such vision. The design and cinematography was so different for the time. It was nothing like I had ever seen before. Toss in an amazing soundtrack and some damn fine acting, you got yourself something special.

As I'm sure you know, The Crow was Brandon Lee's last film. He had been in 3 other films previously, kinda crappy films, but this was to be his big hit. And it was. His performance was everything the film needed. He was perfect.

Michael Massee who played Funboy, as well many other character you are sure to know, fired the fatal shot. Can you imagine the guilt of something so big yet is not your fault? All the things that had to happen in order for Brandon to be shot fatally was so great is was almost as if it was meant to be.

Cover of The Crow (illustration by James O'Barr)The barrel of the gun was accidentally plugged with a blank cartridge from the previous shot. The arms master would usually check this, but he had left for the day. (jerk) Instead of shooting in the direction slightly past Brandon (which is customary if shooting blanks as they can still cause harm), Michael was off balance and accidentally shot him right in the chest. It was a minute or two before anyone knew he was seriously hurt because everyone was still doing the scene.

Stranger than all that, everything I just wrote is contradicted in many other writings. With so many people on the set, so many different factors involved, people can't seem to get the story straight. The only thing anyone can be sure of is that there was a shot and Brandon went down and died.

Much like the lovers in the film, Brandon and his finance Eliza were due to be married two weeks after the film wrapped. The film is dedicated to them. The pain she must have felt and still feels...

So as I lay here on All Hallow's Eve, Devil's Night, I think about Brandon, Eliza, Bruce, and I think of Eric and Shelly and how it can't rain all the time.

Massee talks about the accident here:
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