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The Crow is a 1994 American supernatural action film directed by Alex Proyas, written by David J. Schow and John Shirley, and starring Brandon Lee in his final film appearance. It was based on the 1989 comic book of the same name by James O'Barr, and tells the story of Eric Draven (Lee), a rock musician who is revived from the dead to avenge the murders of him and his fiancée.
Lee was accidentally killed during filming, and The Crow was consequentially his last film. Unfinished scenes that were to feature Lee were dealt with by rewrites and digital special effects, allowing for the film to be finished. The Crow was dedicated to Lee and his fiancée, Eliza James O'Barr The Crow (movie 1)
On October 30, during the annual Devil's Night crime spree in the city of Detroit, Michigan, Sergeant Albrecht (Ernie Hudson) is at the scene of a crime, where Shelly Webster (Sofia Shinas) has been beaten and violated, and her fiancé, guitarist Eric Draven (Brandon Lee), has been killed. The couple were to be married the next day, on Halloween. As he leaves for the hospital with Shelly, Albrecht meets a young girl, Sarah (Rochelle Davis), whom Shelly and Eric cared for due to her mother, Darla (Anna Levine) being a negligent drug addict who works as a waitress for one of the criminals who killed Eric and Shelly. Albrecht lies to Sarah, telling her everything will be okay and that Shelly will be fine.
A year passes since the tragic events, Sarah visits Eric and Shelly's graves and leaves flowers. As she leaves the cemetery, a crow swoops down and lands on Eric's headstone and taps it as if to wake Eric. Later that night, Eric awakens from death and climbs frantically out of his grave, trembling and wracked with convulsions. Eric follows the crow through the streets of Detroit and finds some boots in a dumpster for him to wear. Eric is led to his old apartment and finds it derelict. He is met by his cat Gabriel who is still alive and remembers his old master. He goes into flashbacks of his death, remembering that he and Shelly were murdered by local thugs T-Bird (David Patrick Kelly), Tin-Tin (Laurence Mason), Funboy (Michael Massee), and Skank (Angel David), all of who work for a notorious gang boss named Top Dollar (Michael Wincott). Eric swings out the window he was thrown out of, piercing his hands on shards of glass. He sees his wounds regenerate and close, discovering that any wounds he suffers heal immediately, and that he, being dead, is now immune to physical harm. He then replaces his burial clothes with dark, imposing attire, and paints his face in a parody of a porcelain harlequin mask, decorating his lips and eyes with black, scar-like slashes. Guided by the crow, he sets out to avenge his and Shelly's deaths.
Eric finds out that he can see what the crow sees telepathically. The crow helps Eric locate Tin-Tin, and they engage in a one-on-one streetfight after which Eric kills Tin-Tin with his own knives. Eric takes Tin-Tin's coat, leaving a large crow-shaped bloodstain on the wall of the alley as his calling card. He then goes to Gideon's pawn shop where Tin-Tin pawned Shelly's engagement ring the year before. Eric forces his way into the shop, and demands to see a particular gold ring. Gideon (Jon Polito) shoots Eric in the chest with his revolver and is shocked and frightened when the wound heals. Eric then forces Gideon to return the ring and interrogates him about Tin-Tin's associates. Gideon tells him that they hang out at a bar called The Pit and that Funboy lives upstairs. Eric starts throwing rings at Gideon, telling him that each one is a life that he helped destroy. Gideon pleads for his life, and Eric lets him live to deliver a warning to the rest of the gang. As he leaves, Eric blows up the shop by firing a shotgun loaded with stolen rings into a puddle of spilled gasoline.
Eric meets Sgt. Albrecht at the scene of the explosion. Eric calls out his name which surprises Albrecht, who doesn't remember who he is. Eric asks if he knows Shelly Webster. Albrecht answers that she is dead and tells him to sit at the curb nervously, hesitant in arresting him. He turns away distracted by looters and Eric vanishes. Later, Sarah leaves The Pit on her skateboard and is nearly hit by a passing taxi when she is saved by Eric, who hides his identity from her.
Eric finds Funboy getting high on morphine in an apartment with Darla. Funboy tells him to leave - with his bird - at gunpoint. Eric places his hand on the barrel, and Funboy shoots him in the hand and watches in shock as the wound closes up before his eyes. Eric disarms Funboy and then telepathically forces him to feel the emotional and physical pain of his assault on Eric and Shelly. He then confronts a hysterical Darla, grabbing her arm and showing her the reflection of her track marks in the mirror as the morphine pushes its way back out of her arm. Eric tells her to quit drugs in order to be a good mother to Sarah. Seeing Darla fleeing the bar, Top Dollar's bodyguard Grange (Tony Todd) goes upstairs to investigate, finding Funboy dead on the floor with multiple syringes stabbed into his chest.
Eric later visits Albrecht at his apartment. They discuss Eric and Shelly's murder, and Albrecht relates that he stayed by Shelly's side and watched as she suffered for 30 hours before dying, and that he was demoted for asking too many questions about the crime. Eric touches Albrecht's face, and all the pain and memories of Shelly's death are transferred to Eric. Meanwhile, Gideon goes to meet with Top Dollar and pass on Eric's warning. Not believing Gideon's story, he kills him by stabbing him in the throat with a rapier and then shooting him with Grange's gun.
As T-Bird and Skank stop at a convenience store to get some supplies, Eric arrives and kidnaps T-Bird, before leading police on a high-speed pursuit through the streets of Detroit. Skank follows the pair in a (Yugo) he carjacked and is injured when he is hit by the pursuing police car. Eric drives T-Bird to the docks, tapes him to the driver's seat, and fills the car's trunk with explosives. T-Bird remembers who Eric is, uttering in disbelief that the situation is impossible because Eric is dead. Eric then puts the car in gear, causing it to careen off the pier and explode in mid-air, killing T-Bird. Eric leaves a fiery symbol in the shape of a crow burning at the scene.
The next morning, Sarah and Darla begin to repair their relationship. Sarah, having realised Eric's identity, goes to his old apartment and tells him that she misses him and Shelly. Eric explains that, although he cannot be friends with her anymore now that he is dead, he still cares for her and asks her to take care of their cat Gabriel. Meanwhile, Top Dollar and his lover/half-sister Myca (Bai Ling) have become aware of Eric's existence and his actions. He holds a meeting with his associates where they discuss new plans for their annual Devil's Night crime spree. Eric arrives at the meeting, looking for Skank, and a massive gunfight ensues. Top Dollar escapes with Myca and Grange, while Eric systematically kills everyone in the room, throwing Skank out of a window to his death. As the police arrive, Eric escapes and heads to the cemetery.
Now having finished his quest, Eric returns to his grave where he sees Sarah. She says goodbye to him and he gives her Shelly's engagement ring. She is then abducted by Grange, who takes her into a nearby church where Top Dollar and Myca are waiting. Through his telepathic link to the crow, Eric realizes what has happened and goes to the church to rescue her. Grange shoots the crow as it flies into the church, causing Eric to lose his immortality. Just after Top Dollar shoots and wounds Eric, Albrecht arrives, intending to pay his respects to Eric. A shootout occurs in which Grange is killed and Albrecht is wounded. Myca then grabs the wounded crow, intending to take its mystical power. Top Dollar ties Sarah up and climbs the bell tower.
Eric pursues Top Dollar in an effort to save Sarah. On the way up, he encounters Myca. However, just before she is about to shoot Eric, the crow escapes Myca's grip and pecks out her eyes, causing her to fall down the bell tower to her death. Eric reaches the roof of the church and fights Top Dollar; due to Eric's weakened condition, Top Dollar gains the upper hand. While Eric is down, Top Dollar admits ultimate responsibility for what happened to Eric and Shelly. As Top Dollar is about to deal the final blow, Eric lunges forward and telepathically gives him all 30 hours of pain that Shelly suffered. This overwhelms Top Dollar and sends him falling off the roof of the church to be fatally impaled on the horns of a gargoyle. Eric saves Sarah and tells her to stay with Albrecht until help arrives. Eric makes his way to Shelly's grave. As he begins to succumb to his injuries, he is approached by Shelly's spirit to reunite once again in death, knowing that both will now be able to rest in peace.
Sarah pays a final visit to the cemetery, and sees that both Eric and Shelly's graves now lie undisturbed. The crow, perched on Eric's headstone, gives her Shelly's engagement ring, dropping it in her open hand before soaring over the city and into the night.
- Brandon Lee as Eric Draven/The Crow
- Rochelle Davis as Sarah
- Ernie Hudson as Sgt. Albrecht
- Michael Wincott as Top Dollar
- Bai Ling as Myca
- Sofia Shinas as Shelly Webster
- Anna Levine as Darla
- David Patrick Kelly as T-Bird
- Angel David as Skank
- Laurence Mason as Tin-Tin
- Michael Massee as Funboy
- Tony Todd as Grange
- Jon Polito as Gideon
- Bill Raymond as Mickey
- Marco Rodríguez as Torres