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S01e04 The Crow Main

Cursed Films – Season 1, Episode 4: "The Crow" TV Episode Review

Written by Stuart D. Monroe

Premiered on Shudder

cursed films s01 poster large

Written and Directed by Jay Cheel
2020, 28 minutes, Not Rated
Premiered on Shudder on April 16th, 2020

Starring:Ryan Turek as Himself
Phil Nobile, Jr. as Himself
Jeff Most as Himself
Bridget Baiss as Herself
Colin Geddes as Himself
Lance Anderson as Himself
Michael Berryman as Himself

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Review:

Well, you knew we were going to get here, folks. After the first three episodes of writer/director Jay Cheel’s excellent docuseries – The Exorcist, The Omen, and Poltergeist – we come to the movie that rocked our world (at least for my generation). In 1994, I was fifteen years old and at the height of my teenage madness and drama. Alex Proyas’ The Crow was a movie that spoke to me on a different level. The tale of love and revenge, the killer soundtrack, the groundbreaking cinematic visuals…they soothed me in a way. It remains one of the best films of the ‘90s and a snapshot of its time.

The tragic death of Brandon Lee is one of the saddest events in the history of film. It’s understandable that people say the film was cursed. When you consider the theories about his father’s death along with the wild events that occurred on the North Carolina set, it makes even more sense. However, Cursed Films remains true to form in playing it as point-counterpoint with a lean toward the skeptical side. The other accidents and production issues are covered here with accuracy and respect by the film’s producer, Jeff Most. As with the other episodes, chances are it is stuff that you already know. Many may not, however, and it will make you question things. The whole affair is well-handled in that regard.

Still, we know that’s not what this story is about.

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This episode of Cursed Films is the strongest to date, and much of that sits on the shoulders of the film’s SFX Artist, Lance Anderson, and genre legend Michael Berryman (who played the Skull Cowboy). These two are the heartbeat of this episode. The pain of both at the loss of Brandon Lee is still plain to see, and you feel it. They speak honestly and from the heart. It’s Michael Berryman, though, who shows some anger at the corners cut and the mishandling of the armaments on set that tells the story. It was an unnecessary death of a true rising star for the sake of money and red tape, and if it doesn’t make you a little pissed then you’re missing the point. Like Gary Sherman in the Poltergeist episode, Berryman scoffs at the notion of a curse and how it cheapens the whole story. His closing comments are essentially a eulogy of Brandon Lee, and I warn you now that they will bring a tear to your eye.

In addition to the raw emotion of all that is a technical display, Mythbusters-style, of the firearms mechanics that led to the accident. It’s damn sobering stuff to see it in real time. Kudos to Cursed Films for showing the unvarnished truth and teaching a lesson in the process. Your jaw will be a little on the floor and how easy it is for something like that to go wrong. You’ll gain a new appreciation for doing your safety checks.

At the end of the day, though, it’s an acknowledgement of the power of Brandon Lee’s performance and the power of this criminally underrated film. This episode is frankly less about the curse aspect of the film (which may go against the intention of the series) and more about Brandon Lee’s shocking death, but it’s the most human so far in a series that has focused more on the people behind the movies.

Sure, it strays a little from the formula after the first few minutes, but that’s not always such a bad thing. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and watch The Crow with my daughter. She’s never seen it, you see.

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Grades:

Episode: 2.5 Star Rating Cover
Buy from Amazon US

About The Author
Stuart D. Monroe
Staff Writer
Stuart D. Monroe is a man of many faces – father, husband, movie reviewer, published author of short horror, unsuccessful screenwriter (for now), rabid Clemson Tiger, Southern gentleman, and one hell of a model American who goes by the handle "Big Daddy Stu" or "Sir". He's also highly disturbed and wears that fact like a badge of honor. He is a lover of all things horror with a particular taste for the fare of the Italians and the British. He sometimes gets aroused watching the hardcore stuff, but doesn't bother worrying about whether he was a serial killer in a past life as worrying is for the weak. He was raised in the video stores of the '80s and '90s. The movie theater is his cathedral. He worships H.P. Lovecraft, Stephen King, and Clive Barker. When he writes, he listens obsessively to either classical music or the works of Goblin to stimulate the neural pathways. His favorite movie is Dawn of the Dead. His favorite book is IT. His favorite TV show is LOST.
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