‘The Crow’ to screen at the Redford Theater on Saturday – The News Herald
“The Crow” is rooted in tragedy.
During the filming of the 1994 hit – which will screen on Saturday October 2 at the Redford Theater in Detroit (see box) – its star Brandon Lee, son of martial arts legend Bruce Lee (“Enter the Dragon”), passed away. of an accident on March 31, 1993. He was 28 years old.
In 1978, James O’Barr’s girlfriend, from Detroit, was killed by a drunk driver.
This is what prompted O’Barr to write and draw “The Crow”, which ultimately inspired the film of the same name.
“It’s a love letter to my girlfriend who is deceased,” said O’Barr, who has downstream roots including Allen Park, Taylor and River Rouge.
O’Barr also read an article about a Detroit couple who were murdered for a $ 20 engagement ring. It also provided more inspiration. During his time in the Marine Corps, O’Barr designed the look of the Raven – a gothic-looking avenger dressed in black leather with his face covered in black and white makeup.
“The Crow” is set in Detroit, where musician Eric Draven and his fiancée Shelley are brutally murdered. A year later, Eric’s restless soul returns from the dead, guided by a supernatural crow, to avenge their death.
“My character Eric is able to come back from the grave because some things just cannot be forgiven. And I believe there could be a love so strong that it could transcend death, that it could deny death. dead, and that soul wouldn’t rest until it got it right, ”O’Barr explained.
Initially, O’Barr had no intention of releasing “The Crow”. It was just meant to be a catharsis exercise.
“I just had all this anger and this rage and all this love that I still needed to put somewhere, so I decided to open a vein and let it flow on paper,” he said. he declares.
In the late 1980s, after leaving the military, O’Barr was painting comic book characters on T-shirts at comic book stores in the Metro Detroit area owned by the late Gary Reed, who was also the founder / publisher of Caliber Press, a Michigan- based independent comic book company. Impressed by O’Barr’s artistry, Reed asked him if he had drawn any comics. Once Reed saw “The Crow” he asked O’Barr if he could post it.
In 1989, the character made her debut in “Caliber Presents” # 1. The Crow switched to their own eponymous 4-issue miniseries later that year and garnered a solid following. The collection is the best-selling independent black and white graphic novel of all time with over 1.5 million copies sold. It was made optional in the early 90s after the success of 1989’s “Batman” and 90s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”, both based on the properties of the comic book.
“I just thought it was free money,” O’Barr said. “I never thought it would be made.”
However, Lee and director Alex Proyas (“Dark City”) were fans of O’Barr’s work and believed in the character. Lee portrayed Eric.
Paramount Pictures chose not to distribute the film after Lee’s death, but Miramax reclaimed the rights and oversaw the film’s completion. After Lee’s death, the film was completed by digitally composing Lee’s face onto a body double.
“The Crow” debuted on May 13, 1994 – Friday the 13th – opening its first weekend at No.1 and receiving mostly positive reviews. It grossed around $ 94 million against a budget of $ 23 million. It is dedicated to Lee and his fiancée Eliza Hutton.
“I think the mystique of the film has to do not only with the strangeness of the actor’s death during filming, but most of all with who it was – Brandon Lee, the son of the great Bruce Lee, him – even tragically died young (in 1973 at age 32). I think Bruce Lee’s greatness is still widely recognized today, almost 50 years after his death and almost 30 years after Brandon’s death, “said Steven Shaviro, film professor at Wayne State University.
The film starred Ernie Hudson (“Ghostbusters”) as Sgt. Albrecht of the Detroit Police Department. Hudson received his undergraduate degree in theater from Wayne State, which awarded him a Distinguished Alumni Award in 2006.
“I thought Brandon was incredibly talented. It was a great chance to show what he can do. I’m glad we had the chance to finish because Brandon worked so hard on it, ”said Hudson. “I think Brandon would be very proud of it. I love that it happened in Detroit. I’m glad the movie holds on and people are seeing what Brandon can do.
However, Hollywood was not done with “The Crow,” which has since spawned a media franchise. There have been three films – “The Crow: City of Angels” from 1996, “The Crow: Salvation” from 2000 and “The Crow: Wicked Prayer” from 2005 – as well as a television series from 1998-99 called “The Crow: Stairway to Paradis. ” None of the sequels did as well as the original film.
At first, O’Barr thought the sequels would desecrate Lee’s memory, “but the fans, they drew the line between the first movie and everything that followed… Fans go to the movies, they watch the show. television, but they know it’s not the same.… “
“The Crow” at the Redford Theater
“The Crow” will screen for one night only on Saturday, October 2 at 8 p.m. at the Redford Theater, located at 17360 Lahser Rd. In Detroit. Tickets cost $ 5. For questions or more information, call 313-537-2560 or visit www.redfordtheatre.com.