[[quoteright:231:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Crow_ver2_3059.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:231:Goth children rejoice! The last costume you will EVER need is here!]]

->''"Buildings burn, people die, but real love is forever."''

'''''The Crow''''', released in 1994, adapts [[Comicbook/TheCrow James O'Barr's comic book of the same name]] for the silver screen. David J. Schow and John Shirley wrote the screenplay, Alex Proyas directed, and Brandon Lee starred in the film (his final role; see below).

The writers made several alterations to the comic's story for the adaptation -- including the creation of a mythology in which the crow serves as a MagicalGuide who both leads souls to the afterlife and resurrects a 'lost soul' if they suffered an unjust death in need of a RoaringRampageOfRevenge. The film shows Eric [[RiseFromYourGrave coming back to life (and clawing his way out of his grave)]], and his supernatural ability to resist mortal injury becomes linked to the crow (if someone hurts the crow, Eric gets hurt all the same). Other [[PragmaticAdaptation pragmatic alterations to the story]] included development/expansion of both the supporting characters and Eric, who comes off as more human and relatable than the comic's Eric. (Eric also received a [[MeaningfulName meaningful surname]] as a result of the changes.)

The accidental death of lead actor Brandon Lee during filming ended up overshadowing the film; because of this (and the somewhat easier accessability of film in comparison to comics), ''The Crow'' became another example of AdaptationDisplacement in action. Even now, some fans don't know that the lead character in the comic is a mechanic named Eric (not an indie rock guitarist named Eric Draven) or that the "resurrected soul putting the wrong things right" mythology doesn't exist in the comic.

Numerous plans for a reboot to the film franchise have dropped into DevelopmentHell. At various points, writers such as Nick Cave had their names attached to the screenplay and actors such as Mark Wahlburg, Bradley Cooper, and Channing Tatum all came up in talks over who would play the role of Eric. As of March 2013, the reboot has a director (Francisco Javier Gutierrez) and a lead actor (Luke Evans) attached; Edward R. Pressman, who produced the three sequel films in the franchise, will produce this one as well.

The 1996 sequel ''Film/TheCrowCityOfAngels'' features a new protagonist and an adult Sarah; fan reaction proved...mixed. The TV series ''Series/TheCrowStairwayToHeaven'' also followed the plot of the movie, though it returned Eric Draven (played by a new actor, natch) to life so he could serve as its protagonist.

Subsequent sequels ''Film/TheCrowSalvation'' and ''Film/TheCrowWickedPrayer'' have no relation to the plots and characters of the first two films.

----

!! This film contains examples of the following tropes:

* AdaptationExpansion / AdaptationDistillation:
** Eric and Shelly aren't the random victims of a drive-by crime. In the film, they are brutalised and killed after Shelly protests against wrongful tenant relocation.
** Top Dollar was changed from just being a low-level drug dealer to being a [[BigBad twisted crime overlord]] with the gang as his hit squad and Myca and Grange backing him up.
** Sherri in the comic book becomes Sarah in the film, and has a much larger role. She was friends with Eric and Shelly while they were alive, and at the climax of the film Eric has to save her life when she is threatened by Top Dollar and Myca. Sarah's drug-addicted mother (now called Darla) is much the same character in the comic, but a scene shows her having turned over a new leaf after Eric confronts her over her neglect of Sarah, and hints a reconciliation between mother and daughter.
** A lot of drama was added to the climax, unlike in the comic where Eric just rampages unstoppably through the criminal underworld. On the other hand, Tom-Tom was removed, Funboy was given a much smaller role and any scenes of Eric in the afterlife were excised.
* AdaptationalHeroism: Eric Draven is more human and less amoral than his comic book counterpart.
* AdorablyPrecociousChild: Sarah
* AgonyBeam: Eric defeats the Big Bad with this trope by [[spoiler:Agony Beaming his fiancée's experience of being gang raped, beaten and dying from her injuries over 30 hours later into the Big Bad, rendering the Big Bad incapacitated and vulnerable to the final death-dealing blow.]]
* AllThereInTheManual: Top Dollar, Myca, and Grange are never named in the actual film itself.
* ArcWords: "It can't rain all the time."
* AscendedExtra: Sarah has much more focus in the movie than her comic counterpart, Sherri; also, Sherri never knew Eric while he was alive, and called him "Mr. Clown Face". See also AdaptationExpansion above.
* AwardBaitSong: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfZzkhfz89c It Can't Rain All the Time]] by Jane Siberry.
* BadassLongcoat: Eric takes one off the first thug he kills, and wears it for the rest of the film.
* BattleInTheRain: Despite being set in a city of perpetual rain, this only happens during the climatic fight between Top Dollar and Draven.
* BigBad: Top Dollar reveals he was behind everything near the end. He ordered Eric and Shelly's murders, and even started Devil's Night in the first place.
* {{Big Damn Hero|es}}: Albrecht.
* BlackDudeDiesFirst: Tin-Tin, the one black member of T-Bird's posse, is the first to die.
* BrotherSisterIncest: Myca and Top Dollar.
* BrotherSisterTeam: Top Dollar and Myca are a villainous variation of this. They're the closest members in Top Dollar's criminal syndicate, and she serves as his advisor on supernatural matters. [[VillainousIncest Because they're villains]], their relationship is openly incestuous.
* BloodstainedGlassWindows: The final showdown takes place inside and on top of a great Gothic church.
** The focal point of Eric and Shelly's home is a large circular glass window, which Eric was thrown out of to his death.
* BreakOutTheMuseumPiece: Top Dollar is a collector of antique weapons, and he uses a rapier to execute Gideon. Also see KatanasAreJustBetter below.
* CanonForeigner: Top Dollar's henchman Grange and his sister-consort Myca, were created for the movie.
* TheCastShowoff: The final fight makes good use of Brandon Lee's Kung Fu skills. Three guesses [[BruceLee whom]] he learned those from.
* CatchAndReturn: Eric to Tin-Tin, after dodging his first two knives. Then he closes in for the kill with this memorable line: "Victims... aren't we all?"
* TheCommissionerGordon: Officer Albrecht is lower on the totem pole, and eventually gets suspended for helping Eric, but the feeling is there.
* CompositeCharacter:
** Officer Albrecht in the comic is a white rookie patrolman, and reports to a black detective by the name of Captain Hook (ha, ha). If you're gonna pay for Ernie Hudson, you might as well use him.
** Top Dollar in the film was also sort of a mash-up of several gangster characters from the comic - though his role in the story mostly stands him in for T-Bird (who, in turn, was relegated to being Top Dollar's lieutenant) and turns him from a drug kingpin into an almost ludicrously depraved monster.
* CoolOldGuy: Mickey, who runs a hotdog stand across the street from Gideon's pawn shop.
* CoolSword: The sword crafted for a certain [[ThePrincessBride six-fingered man]] is the weapon of choice for Top Dollar.
* CreatorCameo: O'Barr himself appears in the film as one of the looters robbing Gideon's store: he's the long-haired guy with the tv.
* CulturedBadass: The Crow. He's a guitar playing ninja who quotes [[EdgarAllanPoe Poe's]] ''Literature/TheRaven'' and [[WilliamMakepieceThackeray Thackeray's]] ''VanityFair''.
* DarkIsNotEvil
* DeadpanSnarker: Eric in Gideon's shop. Gideon himself too. And Top Dollar. And Albrecht. You know what, pretty much everybody.
** "Is that gasoline I smell?" [[spoiler: said by Eric just before destroying Gideon's shop with the gasoline he spilled all over the counter.]]
* DigitalHeadSwap: Brandon Lee's face was digitally grafted onto a stunt performer's body for a small smattering of scenes not yet shot at the time of his death. Most notable is the BecomingTheMask scene. From the time Eric enters the apartment until the end of the obligatory "runs along the rooftops" scene, a stunt man was playing Brandon Lee.
* DiscOneFinalBoss: Eric kills off the members of the gang, only to find out Top Dollar wants a piece of him. Oh, and it turns out [[spoiler:he was the [[TheManBehindTheMan one who gave the orders]] to kill him and Shelly anyway.]]
* TheDon: Top Dollar apparently has authority over all major crime in the city.
-->'''Top Dollar:''' Nothing happens in this town without my say-so.
* TheDragon: Grange.
* DragonLady: Top Dollar's incestuous consort (whose back is seen to sport a giant, colorful dragon tattoo during her character's introduction) is played by Bai Ling. Enough said.
* DragonTheirFeet: Eric kills off the gang who attacked him and Shelly, eventually killing the leader, T-Bird. Skank, his right hand man, is the last member of the gang to die. While the gang might be considered a QuirkyMinibossSquad to Top Dollar, they were Eric's initial targets.
** Possibly justified, in that Eric is deliberately going after them in the order they raped and attacked Shelly.
* EmpathicEnvironment: It finally stops raining after [[spoiler:Top-Dollar is dead, and Eric returns to his grave at peace.]]
* EqualOpportunityEvil: The criminal gangs in the various movies were pretty ethnically diverse. Even the [[BrotherSisterIncest brother/sister]] team in the first film were of different ethnicities (they were half-siblings).
* EvenEvilHasLovedOnes: In a rather twisted way. Top Dollar, as depraved a villain as he already is, seems to genuinely love his sister despite the incestuous nature of their relationship.
** Although this is subverted [[spoiler: at the end. When she dies he express no grief or sadness showing that is still a selfish monster with no sympathy for anyone expect himself.]]
* EyeScream: Myca has a fondness for eyes. The first eyes she cuts out were from somebody already dead, making it a slightly less horrific example. We later see two eyeballs which are ''hopefully'' from this person, otherwise it means she's cut out even more eyes.
** [[spoiler:[[KarmicDeath Myca's eyes are later pecked out by the Crow]]]].
* FlamingEmblem: Eric did this using explosives and gasoline to turn T-Bird's own car into a bomb. When the car explodes, a trail of flames spread across the pier in a pattern created by Draven's accelerant, creating the crow emblem. This is an interesting case in that the character did not really have an emblem in-universe. The emblem was used in marketing and the film's logo.
* GoodScarsEvilScars: Eric Draven's return from the grave gifts him with a healing factor that prevents him from gaining any new scars - but the scars from the bullet wounds that killed him remain clearly visible on his chest when shirtless.
* GoodThingYouCanHeal: Eric's default strategy despite his fighting prowess. Officer Albrecht even lampshades this when his plan is for Eric to draw the bad guys' fire until they run out of ammo. [[spoiler: Too bad his HealingFactor has been disabled at this point]].
* GroinAttack: Where does Eric place the stick of dynamite when he blows up one of Shelly's rapist-murderers? Between the legs, of course.
* GunsAkimbo: Eric blasts off with both guns blazing during the boardroom shootout, while Top Dollar gets his moment during the church shootout near the end of the movie.
* FakeShemp: Since Brandon Lee [[FatalMethodActing died in an accident with dummy bullets]], they had to use a stand-in for some of the scenes and used CGI to composite Brandon's face over his. It mostly worked [[SpecialEffectFailure unless you were paying close attention]].
* FatBastard: Gideon. Possibily also an [[FatIdiot incompetent one.]]
* FiveBadBand:
** TheBigBad: Top Dollar, as he's the leader of the Detroit gangs and the final enemy Eric faces.
** TheDragon: Grange, as he's Top Dollar's primary muscle and clean-up guy.
** TheEvilGenius: Myca, as she has intimate knowledge of the supernatural.
** TheBrute: T-Bird, Top Dollar's man on the street and instigator of atrocities. His minor gang is its own QuirkyMinibossSquad.
** TheChick: Myca again, as she's physically the weakest and rather weird personality-wise.
* ForTheEvulz: Top Dollar's speech about Devil's Night is about his belief that Devil's Night should be about pointless destruction, not profit.
* GunsAkimbo: Eric during the big boardroom shootout and Top Dollar at the church.
* HeelRealization: T-Bird, an unrepentant rapist and murderer throughout the film, is visibly shaken and on the verge of tears after recognizing Eric Draven, a man he had killed.
** Given his repetition of "There ain't no comin' back," T-Bird could have just been in shock that the laws of his reality had been broken.
** T-Bird dies quoting ([[ItMakesSenseInContext in earnest, this time]]) Lucifer's HeelRealization from ''ParadiseLost''.
* HellBentForLeather: Eric.
* HeroicBloodshed: The action in this movie is very reminiscent of Hong Kong Blood Opera. It certainly helps that Brandon Lee's first movie was a HeroicBloodshed flick.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: Top Dollar is defeated by the misery he caused to Eric and Shelly.
** Also, Tin Tin is killed by his own knives, Fun Boy by his own gun and syringes, and T-Bird by his T-Bird and explosives. The only member of the QuirkyMinibossSquad who isn't HoistByHisOwnPetard is Skank, who's merely thrown out a window
* HorrorDoesntSettleForSimpleTuesday: Eric's death and return from the grave take place on Devil's Night. ''City of Angels'' had its resurrection scene on All Saints' Day, and its climax at a Day of the Dead festival.
* IAmBecomingSong: Music/TheCure's "Burn" (the movie's unofficial anthem) thunders on during the sequence where Eric makes himself into the Crow.
** Although if you listen to the lyrics closely, it's clear that the song was written from the comic's plot, not the movie's.
* ImpaledPalm: Eric Draven first demonstrates his regenerating powers by getting shot through the middle of the palm of his hand.
* ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice: Spoilers.
* ImprovisedWeapon: During his final duel with Top Dollar on the roof of a cathedral, Eric rips off an ornate iron spire to use as an improvised sword against Top Dollar's katana.
* InTheBack: During Eric and Top Dollar's battle on the church rooftops, Eric is momentarily distracted by a distressed Sarah. Top Dollar takes a cheap shot by sneaking up behind him and stabbing Eric through the back with his sword.
* ItAlwaysRainsAtFunerals:
** {{Inverted|Trope}}. It's raining when Eric crawls out of his grave.
** {{Subverted|Trope}} at the end of the film [[spoiler:after Eric returns to the grave, the rain is easing off when the crow gives Shelly's ring to Sarah. ''[[ArcWords It can't rain all the time]]'', after all.]]
* IThinkYouBrokeHim: Used in an unfunny way (unless you've got a [[BlackComedy sick sense of humor]]) when [[BrotherSisterIncest Top Dollar and Myca]] inadvertently kill a woman during a threesome. Hardly nonplussed, [[DepravedBisexual Myca]] decides to keep the woman's [[EyeScream eyes]] as a souvenir.
* JustBetweenYouAndMe: At the end, crime lord Top Dollar gives the avenging Eric Draven the speech after he [[InTheBack impales him through the back]]. He admits that he's ultimately responsible for the death of Eric and his girlfriend Shelly, and expresses admiration for what he considered a WorthyOpponent. [[spoiler:As he gets ready to slit Eric's throat, Eric gives back what Top Dollar's owed - the combined memories of 30 hours of pain as Eric lay dying from his wounds.]]
* KarmicDeath: "I have something for you, I don't want it anymore".
** Also, [[spoiler:the Crow pecking out Myka's eyes]].
* KatanasAreJustBetter: Top Dollar has an entire cabinet full of swords, but uses a katana to fight Eric during the climax. Eric grabs one from the cabinet himself during the gang boss massacre. Ironic since Michael Wincott, the actor who plays Top Dollar, is an accomplished ''fencer'' in real life. The trope is somewhat averted earlier in the film, when a rapier (the [[Film/ThePrincessBride Six Finger Sword]]) is shown to be the centrally placed in Top Dollar's sword cabinet, and is selected to kill Gideon.
* KnifeNut: Tin Tin.
* LargeHam: Top Dollar, especially in his MotiveRant scene.
** Eric himself on occasion, such as when he tortures Gideon for information
** T-Bird and his gang.
* LeParkour: Eric leaps and sprints across the city rooftops in two highly atmospheric scenes.
* LighterAndSofter: Comparably speaking. The movie is very dark, but the character is less manically sociopathic than his comic book counterpart, and the violence is less extreme. This does not imply that the movie is not violent, edgy, and pathos-filled though, merely that the comic it adapts would have reckoned some kind of world-breaking NC-25 rating if it had been adapted in full.
** Put it this way: the film has a touching scene where Eric gives Albrecht a meaningful speech about how "nothing is trivial" and how you have to treasure each moment as they come. In the comic he shoots up drugs and self-mutilates in a frenzy of grief and anger. Repeatedly.
* MadnessMantra: T-Bird's "There ain't no comin' back, there ain't no comin' back...." [[spoiler: And for him, this was true.]]
* ManOfWealthAndTaste: Top Dollar.
* MeaningfulEcho: "It can't rain all the time".
* MetaCasting AsHimself: O'Barr supposedly based the look of Gideon in the comic on the actor Jon Polito. Jon Polito played the part of Gideon in the film.
* MindRape: "Thirty hours of pain! All at once! All for you!"
* MookHorrorShow: Just about the whole movie.
* NoNameGiven: Top Dollar, Myca and Grange are not referred to by name until the end credits.
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Myca (Top Dollar's Chinese half-sister, played by Bai Ling) normally speaks in a childish idiom that suggests a {{Cloudcuckoolander}} and sometimes borders on YouNoTakeCandle. ("I like the pretty lights.") Yet she is really every bit as crafty as her brother, and she even comes up with a scheme to blunt Eric's supernatural power. Plus, she proves herself a capable DarkActionGirl when she [[spoiler:shoots Lieutenant Albrecht]].
* OneLastSmoke: [[spoiler:Subverted. Eric helps a wounded Albrecht have one, but he survives. And (supposedly) quits smoking.]]
** Eric's "You shouldn't smoke these, they'll kill ya" line after taking a puff was ad-libbed by Brandon.
*** A definite HarsherInHindsight moment, that.
* OneManArmy: Eric, when taking out the gangsters in Top Dollar's headquarters. Being invincible probably helped.
* QuirkyMinibossSquad: The gang who killed Eric and Shelly were employees of Top Dollar. Played with in that while Top Dollar is technically the BigBad of the film, they are the targets of Eric's revenge.
* PercussiveTherapy: Eric plays his guitar and then smashes it in a fit of grief and anger.
* PetTheDog: A rare anti-hero centric example, as Eric's relationships with Sarah and Officer Albericht humanizes him and keeps him from becoming the borderline monster that he is in the comics.
* PostHumousCharacter: Eric's girlfriend Shelly Webster was given this treatment, both in flashbacks and from the other characters, such as Eric himself, who came BackFromTheDead in order to avenge them both:
-->'''Eric:''' Little things used to mean so much to Shelly. I always thought they were kind of trivial. Believe me, nothing is trivial.
* PostRapeTaunt: Tin-Tin taunts Eric Draven, whose girlfriend was raped by him and his friends. He comes to regret these words.
* ProperlyParanoid: Skank while not very smart and a coward. The Second he sees a picture of Eric without the make up he instantly knows who it is and is reacts in fear.
* PsychoForHire: Tin-Tin, Funboy, T-Bird and Skank, Eric Draven's targets of vengeance, who do particularly brutal jobs for the city's kingpin, Top Dollar. In something of a subversion of the trope, Top Dollar is [[ForTheEvulz far more evil]] than even these psychotic killers.
* PsychopathicManchild: Skank is a rapist, a murderer, and [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking a car thief]]. He also frequently acts like a brain-dead hillbilly and is treated as a ButtMonkey mascot for the rest of the gang, and he [[SissyVillain cries like a little boy whenever he's in danger]]. He eventually becomes so cowardly and pathetic that he essentially turns into an IneffectualSympatheticVillain, and the film has to flash back briefly to Skank's rape of Eric Draven's girlfriend in order to justify Eric's killing of him.
* PyroManiac: [[TheDon Crime lord]] Top Dollar is a gangster who institutionalized the yearly arsons of Devil's Night that plague Detroit by starting the first fires and then expanding the idea each year while reaping profits on the side. At a conference between the major gang leaders he announces that he's grown bored of it all, and to top himself declares that he's going to burn down the whole city [[ForTheEvulz purely for his own amusement]].
* RaceLift: T-Bird, who is [[AmbiguouslyBrown vaguely African-American or Pacific Islander-American]] in the comic, is played in the movie by Irish-American actor David Patrick Kelly.
* RelativeButton: Tin-Tin [[ButForMeItWasTuesday doesn't seem to recognize Eric's description of the rape and murder of Shelly]], but he uses a PostRapeTaunt to distract Eric and briefly gain an advantage in their fight.
-->'''Eric:''' Her name was Shelley. You [[KnifeNut cut her]]. You raped her.\\
'''Tin-Tin:''' Shelly, yeah. I shanked her pink ass and she ''loved'' it! *headbutts a distracted Eric*
* ReusableLighterToss: "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OB8uD8FaPXU How awful goodness is...]]"
* RiseFromYourGrave
* ShapedLikeItself[=/=]ThisIsReality: "This is the really real world! We killed you dead!"
* ShowerScene: Myca, Top Dollar's consort/sister is introduced taking a shower.
* TheSlowWalk: Eric fighting Tin-Tin. [[spoiler: Averted after Tin-Tin takes a knife to the shoulder. The speed in which Eric is on him is.... scary.]]
* SomethingOnlyTheyWouldSay: "It can't rain all the time."
* StuffBlowingUp: What Top Dollar and his Devil's Night gang like to do. Eric blows up Gideon's pawnshop as well as T-Bird's car with him inside.
* StealthHiBye: Eric does that alot to people. It's lampshaded by Albrecht four times. Special mention goes to the part where a freshly suspended Albrecht rescues Eric from the swat team.
--> '''Albrecht:''' I knew you were gonna do that.
* TemptingFate: When confronting Eic, Tin-Tin takes out his knifes and boasts he never misses. Eric dodges his first throw, slaps his second one aside, and and pulls a CatchAndReturn on the third.
* TooDumbToLive: Gideon, literally so. Just ''could not shut up'' when dealing with either Eric or Top Dollar. Eric blew up his shop. [[spoiler:Top Dollar [[ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice rammed a rapier through his throat]] and shot him twice.]]
* TranquilFury: The beginning of Eric's fight with Tin Tin, he never says a single word or expresses a sound, even when Tin Tin punches him. Then when he finally has Tin Tin pin to the walls he expresses his rage in three words with fury that would make BruceLee and Creator/SamuelLJackson proud.
-->'''Eric:''' [[PrecisionFStrike Fuck you]].....MURDERERRRR!!!!!
* UnhandThemVillain: Top Dollar.
* VillainousBreakdown: T-Bird pretty much loses his mind the moment he recognizes Eric. Considering the verses he's quoting from John Milton's ParadiseLost ("Abashed the Devil stood ..."), this might also qualify as a HeelRealization.
* WorthyOpponent: This is Top Dollar's feeling towards Eric by the end.
-->'''Top Dollar:''' You've got a lot of spirit son. I ''am'' gonna miss you.