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April 2001

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In this issue:    Eeyore Takes on Easter!    Ash Gets Spicy!    Crankenstein Returns!    PLUS: St. Irish Day!    And an honest to goodness REAL MOVIE REVIEW!
The Crow: Salvation *****


Yeah, yeah, I know, I didn't think it existed either. Sure I'd heard rumblings about the film back when Rob Zombie was supposed to direct it, and I bought the soundtrack when it came out a full year ago, but I always assumed it was one of those mythical sequels that float around somewhere but are never seen, like Cruel Intentions 2, Viva Rock Vegas, and Life Is Beautiful: The Resurrection. But, lo and behold, it does actually exist, in video form. I'm sure most PULP readers will remember the original Crow, which is an astounding film, and its sequel, The Crow: City of Angels, which is not. City Of Angels decided to adapt the much-used sequel tactic of making the exact same film as the original except worse and with a foreign guy. There are a few subtle differences, however. Whereas the first film had Brandon Lee returning from beyond the veil of death to take revenge upon the hoodlums who killed his fiancee, City of Angels has Vincent Perez murdering the Hollywood moguls responsible for boring him and his daughter to death with the treacly and slow-moving romance between Nicholas Cage and Meg Ryan. Perez, for the 5 billion 999 million 999 thousand 998 people who haven't seen the film , has a rather unfortunate screen presence, as he speaks like a slightly more incomprehensible Gerard Depardieu, except possibly drunk. But this is all beside the point, as that flick languishes in the past. The present holds the unimaginable treat that is The Crow: Salvation, one of the best films I have ever seen. Regular readers may suspect that I'm being sarcastic, but I assure you that I am merely lying. That's right, lying. I'm so bitter and angry that I'm deliberately trying to convince you to see an awful film in the hopes that it'll make you as miserable as I am. So on that note, allow me to reiterate that The Crow: Salvation is a fantastic and stunningly original film. Instead of the trite and tired theme explored in the original of a wronged man rising from the grave to avenge the rape and murder of his fiancée, Salvation is about a wronged man rising from the grave to avenge the rape and murder of his girlfriend. Brandon Lee in this case is played by Eric Mabius, a young man wrongly executed for the murder of his girlfriend Jody Lyn O'Keefe, who no one will remember from the classic Halloween H20. Mabius is electrocuted, which leaves him horribly scarred but miraculously still possessed of a rather fancy pompadour. Guided by the ever-present titular crow, Mabius begins hunting down the crooked cops responsible for her death, one of whom I believe is the dad from Pet Sematary. Mabius is aided on his quest by Kirsten Dunst, a fine actress slumming after her numerous Academy Awards for such fine films as Dick and that suicide one that felt like a bad Wonder Years episode. The film is full of surprising twists and turns, like when it turns out that making sequels to fluke-ishly popular goth films is a really bad idea. There's also this absurd Fugitive-esque sub plot about a guy with screws in his arms who turns out to be Police Chief Fred Ward, whom I've dubbed the 'Most Grizzled Man In America' after his fine performance in Tremors. Aside from that, every major plot point from the first two films is mirrored here, from the big bad guy with the gravely voice and the freaky girlfriend, to the overly dramatic wise-cracks, which somehow avoided being stupid when Brandon Lee said them, but now are about as snappy as Anne Rice doing stand-up. Also, the dark and gloomy urban atmosphere of the first film has been replaced by a colour-blind art director's version of a really wealthy slum, kind of like what happens when MTV tries to get gritty. So, as you can see, this is quite clearly the best movie of the year, maybe even the greatest story ever told, and I urge you all to go rent it as soon as possible. And while you're there, why not pick up some more 'Ash Recommendations' sure to lift your flagging spirits, like the Corey Feldman vehicle South Beach Academy, or one of the plethora of fine Yahoo Serious films available in your local video store. Or perhaps just make it a Ken Russell evening, complete with such psychedelically depressing films like Lair of The White Worm, Gothic¸ and Altered States. They're all guaranteed to make you smile, laugh, and hopefully kill yourself before you can send me any more hate mail.

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