Many of us have grown-up trick or treating around our neighborhoods on Halloween and some of us may also remember a time, when Halloween meant a barrage of eggs, toilet paper, rotting vegetables, and other acts of vandalism. In some places this happens on Halloween itself, but in others the "tricks" occur on the night before... This night goes by many names depending on where you live, including Cabbage Night, Mischief Night, Goosey Night, and Devil's Night.
Devil's Night finds its home around the Great Lakes and Michigan. The night became notorious in Detroit in the 1980's as low-level vandalism escalated into waves of arson throughout the city. It is in this setting that we find the 1994 film, "The Crow."
Brandon Lee (son of martial arts film legend, Bruce Lee,) stars as Eric Draven, a musician who is murdered, along with his fiancee, Shelley Webster (played by Sofia Shinas,) by a Detroit street gang on Devil's Night. They were to be married the following day on Halloween. Eric returns from the grave with supernatural powers given to him by a mystical crow, who guides him on a path of vengeance on the gang and the city crime boss they serve. That boss is played by Michael Wincott, who seems to get more than his share of roles as the creepy villain.
Of the course, the very sad real-life event connected with this film is the death of Brandon Lee on the set of the movie. He was accidentally killed (at the age of 28) when a gun that had been improperly prepared by the props-team fired a real bullet. With the blessing of Lee's real-life fiancee and his mother, director Alex Proyas shot the few remaining scenes of the film that hadn't been completed using Lee's stunt-double and CGI.
"The Crow" did very well at the box office, despite the tragedy involved in its making, and has since become a cult-classic. It also produced an impressive soundtrack featuring The Cure, Violent Femmes, Rage Against The Machine, Stone Temple Pilots, and others. The soundtrack went to #1 on the U.S. album chart and was certified Triple-Platinum.
One band that was approached to be on the soundtrack, but refused was New Order. They were asked to cover their old band, Joy Division's song "Love Will Tear Us Apart," but were busy recording their own new album. A Joy Division cover did eventually make the soundtrack in a tune that originally came to light on their 1981 "Still" compilation album.
It's called "Dead Souls" and the remake done by Nine Inch Nails for "The Crow" soundtrack is today's addition to the 31-Days of Halloween playlist. Happy listening! -Kristen