March 19, 2015

Give ‘The Crow’ Remake a Chance

“It will never be as good as the original.”

“It’s disrespectful to the memory of Brandon Lee.”

The above have been said by many fans of The Crow ever since the announcement that the gothic horror film will be receiving the remake treatment starring Luke Evans Jack Houston (Boardwalk Empire) as the character Eric who comes back from the dead to avenge the murder of hisJfiance and himself.

Statements in the press have revealed that the upcoming revised version will be going in a different direction and that it will not be a simple retread of the mid 1990’s cult classic. And that is precisely one of the main reasons that devoted fans need to give it a chance!

Brandon Lee, son of Bruce Lee, was fatally shot on the set of The Crow sparking a lawsuit initiated by the Lee family in regards to the lack of health and safety checks on movie sets, something that is now pursued vigilantly. While The Crow quickly became a burden to make on behalf of the film crew, thanks to lack of finance, the movie became a quick success. It amassed fans all over the world to this current day. However it cannot be denied that Lee’s death has had a heck of a lot to do with that.

But while the love and respect for Lee’s death is admirable his final movie was not born without taking some liberties of it’s own.

Let’s get this out of the way first. The 1994 movie was nowhere near faithful to the graphic novel created by James O’Barr. I am going to list some of the major differences between the 1994 incarnation and the source material.

  • – In the book Eric was a car mechanic. The movie had him as a moderately successful rock star.
  • – Eric did not have a surname in the graphic novel but one was made up for him for the film.
  • – Sarah in the film was named Sherri in the book. 
  • – Eric’s memory of his tragic past is sketchy in the film while he remembers it clearly in the book.
  • – The villain T-Bird is the leader of the murderous gang in the book but a new character named Top Dollar was created for the film. Top Dollar was also made the leader for the film.
  • – Perhaps the most notable difference is perhaps the exclusion of the Skull Cowboy character in the film. He was dropped as director Alex Proyas felt that his scenes interfered with the route of the plot.

As you can see there are many things to work with when creating a remake of this particular film. It has been said that the remake will follow more closely to the graphic novel. And to this writer, that was the *only* valid reason for doing this project. Not attempting to make anybody angry reading this but I have been amazed at how many so called fans say they respect Brandon Lee’s death so much yet they never knew the most simple things about the actor. Such as the fact that he is the son of the most respected martial artist that once graced this world. Even if you have never seen a Bruce Lee movie you have at least heard of his name. I once knew somebody who apparently respected him so much yet she did not know what Brandon Lee was most famous for besides breaking into Hollywood after filming The Crow.

If you have only seen The Crow and not any other of the late actor’s work then it is time to stop being pretentious and let your superficial feelings about Brandon go. Yes, it is very sad when an actor dies. When anybody dies, for that matter. But I think we have seen enough rehashes by now to know that 90% take a different path, not hurting the original that inspired it. Even if it was a carbon copy of the original film it may be safe to say that it would probably be quickly forgotten. All we have to do is think of the 1998 Psycho and the 2006 The Omen remakes for proof.

As it stands right now we are looking at something original that is being created. And we should be applauding that. Nobody, including the filmmakers of the redo, are intentionally disrespecting the memory of Brandon Lee while going about their own design. I like to think that Lee himself would give his blessing if he were alive. After all, it would be highly unlikely that he would still be involved with this series of movies after twenty years.

Time does not stand still. It only moves forward.

Let’s embrace the new while still respectfully retaining the memory of the old.

About the Author

Lee Skavydis
Lee Skavydis
I am a die hard movie fan, owning over 500 movies on both DVD and Blu Ray. I try to go to the cinema at least once a week when time permits. My other hobbies include following fight sports such as boxing, travelling around, writing and editing, listening to heavy rock and cook the odd occasional recipe. I used to write for several prolific boxing websites, interviewing some of the most famous names associated with the sport around.



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