Revisiting the Reviled — ‘The Crow: Wicked Prayer’ Finally Killed the Series of Resurrection

crow-wicked-prayer-005

Sometimes a movie is just a product of its era. Sometimes a movie has a beginning, middle, and end that has no call for continuation. This is especially true of The Crow. Not only was the film marred by the tragic death of Brandon Lee, which added a somber reality to the film’s fantastical story of vengeance, but it was very much a product of its time. The Crow was influential in establishing the goth aesthetic of the ‘90s and its alternative rock soundtrack made the rounds on radio stations coast to coast. After the first lackluster sequel, The Crow: City of Angels, proved to be a box office flop, the next two films based upon James O’Barr’s comics would be released straight-to-video. The final of the series, The Crow: Wicked Prayer, would prove to be the breaking point, where the recycled stories of resurrection would finally be put to rest.

Aside from its southwest motif and overall look of low production design and general incompetence, the story of Wicked Prayer is almost a carbon copy of the first. This time around, Jimmy Cuervo (Edward Furlong) is murdered with his girlfriend Lilly (Emmanuelle Chriqui) by a satanic cult led by Luc Crash (David Boreanaz), who also goes by the moniker Death. It doesn’t take long for Jimmy to be reborn complete with black leather and makeup and seek vengeance with the help of the guiding crow. Luc Crash is hoping to bring about Hell on Earth and become the physical manifestation of Satan with the help of his evil henchmen, War (Marcus Chong), Famine (Tito Ortiz), and Pestilence (Yuji Okumoto), as well as his girlfriend Lola Byrne (Tara Reid). If you’ve seen any of The Crow movies, I don’t need to paint you a picture to illustrate how Wicked Prayer ends.

crow-wicked-prayer-004

It’d be easier to overlook the shoddy production values, incompetent action staging, and the wooden performances of everyone involved had Wicked Prayer attempted in the least to tell its own story. Through adapting Norman Partridge’s take on O’Barr’s story, director Lance Mungia crafted a Crow film that is paint-by-numbers alongside the other entries: A violent act kills a man and his lover; the dead man awakes to seek vengeance upon the perpetrators; though at first invincible, the forces of evil find a weakness in the hero; before a mystical ceremony takes place which will grant evil unlimited power, the resurrected man defeats evil and sets things right before returning to the afterlife. And scene. Amazingly, it took three screenwriters to craft this generic tale of revenge, Mungia, Jeff Most, and Sean Hood.

Poor, poor Edward Furlong. Not only was the young actor subject to a number of public substance abuse issues, but the young actor had the misfortune of being woefully miscast in what could’ve been a comeback role. He is incapable of finding the right balance between the heartache of a lost soul and the menace of a specter searching for vengeance. It’s painful to watch this awkward performance in a terribly awkward film.

crow-wicked-prayer-003

If there’s some consolation for Furlong it’s the simple fact that he’s not the only one that is completely out of sync. As the leader of a satanic cult, David Boreanaz dons a laughably obvious wig and is never more menacing than your average birthday party clown. Later in the film, as he tries to become the physical reincarnation of Satan, Boreanaz’s Luc Crash is coached by El Niño, played by Dennis Hopper likely paying off some modest gambling debts. Amazingly, Hopper’s performance is easily the most embarrassing aspect of the film, his face slathered in Just For Men and given lines that are punctuated with the legendary actor/director saying, “Homey.” Because The Crow: Wicked Prayer is an equal opportunity embarrassment, Tara Reid plays the villainous love of Luc Crash’s life, who has a sudden moment of realization that her evil ways might be going too far. This only happens after she’s been an active participant in a number of murders, including the removal of Lilly’s eyes. There’s a line between good bad, not evil and she just won’t cross it.

Whether it’s the murder of Lilly or the out of the blue redemption of Lola, The Crow: Wicked Prayer treats its women as props, not as characters with agency that make choices. Lilly exists only to be murdered and avenged, and maybe to appear in a few flashbacks where she can recite some nonsense about the crow being an animal of another realm. Conversely, Lola exists to be a force of evil until she isn’t. The reasons for her choice are vague and ill-defined, as if she grew a conscience because it was convenient for the narrative. Does the Bechdel Test still count if the two women are props for men and still have a conversation that’s not about men? I’m only asking because The Crow: Wicked Prayer seems to occupy some kind of Bechdel Test purgatory.

crow-wicked-prayer-002

Wicked Prayer killed The Crow franchise, only it did so far too late. Whatever gun powder that was employed in The Crow: Wicked Prayer was powerful enough to kill the franchise almost for good. A remake of the original has been in the works for a number of years with Jack Huston and Bradley Cooper cast as the lead at various points during its time in development hell, but with the recent bankruptcy troubles of Relativity, the studio that holds the rights to the property, it seems that The Crow will never be resurrected. That’s not a bad thing, because we know the story has its limits. It has been told adequately once before, and only once before. There’s no need to resurrect what has already been dead and buried for over decade. I don’t care who’s involved, dead is dead and The Crow: Wicked Prayer merely proved how dead it was.

Shop Deadpool tees in our officially licensed Marvel store!

Leave a Reply

Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
The Tiger Hunter
Now on Blu-ray: ‘The Tiger Hunter’ Glides by with its Charming Heart

Always a hot-button issue, the topic of immigration has recently dominated...

'12 Strong' Press Conference
Chris Hemsworth and the Cast and Crew of ’12 Strong’ Discuss Bringing the Declassified True Story to the Big Screen

In the days after 9/11, as the United States grieved the...

Matinee
Shout! Factory Unleashes Joe Dante’s Cult Classic ‘Matinee’ on Blu-ray

We’re at this point in pop culture where everything seems to...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Vr Change
Guest Author: Katie Green – How Might VR Change the Way We Play

Super Guest Author, Katie Green, shares how VR might change the...

Yu-Gi-Oh Wave of Light
A Big Wave is Coming – Yu-Gi-Oh Wave of Light Structure Deck Releases Friday

A big wave is coming in the form of light, Yu-Gi-Oh...

Yu-Gi-Oh Lost Cards
Ancient Treasures Uncovered – Yu-Gi-Oh Lost Art Cards

Beginning in February, ancient treasures will be revealed and fans will...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Die Hard Christmas
The Greatest Christmas Movie Becomes The Greatest Christmas Book – A Die Hard Christmas Review

The greatest Christmas movie ever made becomes the greatest Christmas storybook...

8.3/10
‘The 49th Key’ is a Familiar Story Told with Soul

Title: The 49th Key Written by: Erika Lewis Art by: J.K....

9.5/10
Tick Tock, Tick Tock, the ‘Doomsday Clock’ is about to Strike!

Title: Doomsday Clock #1 Writer: Geoff Johns Artist: Gary Frank Colorist:...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
WWE Slam Crate Starts the Year Off Right

In just two weeks time WWE’s Royal Rumble not only continues...

January’s Loot Crate is Here!

January is a month where resolutions are made, hopes are extended...

Yu-Gi-Oh Kaiba
Yu-Gi-Oh March 2018 Will Be Great For Your Yu-Gi-Oh Kaiba Cards

Yu-Gi-Oh March 2018 will be great for your collection of Yu-Gi-Oh...

Arena Football Automotives MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Bellator 192 Full Results including the Welterweight Championship and Heavyweight Grand Prix

January 20, 2018 – Tonight, airing for the first time on...

Bellator 192 Prelims Live on FanboyNation

Bellator: Lima vs. MacDonald – Live Tonight 9/8c, on Paramount Network...

LFA 30 Full Results

Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA), one of the most recognizable names in...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Adult Continuity #11 Star Wars Underworld: A XXX parody

ADULT CONTINUITY ISSUE # 11 STAR WARS UNDERWORLD A XXX PARODY...

New Year's Resolutions for Fandom
New Year’s Resolutions for Fandom

It’s the start of another year and while everyone out there...

Samo Says: Star Wars – The Last of My Patience

When I was a child, I loved Star Wars. I had...

Event News Event Reviews
dough bar
The Dough Bar and the Protein Donut

Created by Marquez and Ondrea Fernandez, The Dough Bar Doughnuts are...

truedark
Improve Sleep and Performance with TrueDark

TrueDark by Biohacked aims to improve your sleep, performance, and health by...

Pyramid Escape Room Review
Escape Room LA’s The Pyramid Escape Room Review

Overview of The Pyramid Escape Room The Pyramid Escape Room, Escape Room...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Gaming Uncensored: Year in Review 2016

A look back at the year in gaming.

Gaming Uncensored Roundtable: December 2016

December’s roundtable discusses story in games with Chad, Josh, and Spencer....

Gaming Uncensored: Podcast #349

Jamie reflects on some of his time with the HTC Vive....

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Rising Country Music Artist Kaylin Roberson Talks About her work with St. Jude

Kaylin Roberson is a singer, songwriter and pianist from Raleigh, North...

MTV Unveils Performers for ‘TRL Live’ on October 3rd at 3 p.m. E.T.

NEW YORK, NY (September 26, 2017) – MTV today announced that...

Long Beach Punk Band ‘Spider’ Rocks ‘It’s Not Dead’ Festival

Spider is a heavy hitting punk band out of Long Beach,...