Directed by Alex Proyas
Written by David D Schow and John Shirley, based on the comic by James O’Barr
The Gothest movie which ever Gothed? This movie came out in 1994 with a wicked soundtrack, a story based on true loss and the death of the main star. I was too young to see it at the movies, it was an R18 and I was 14/15 but I remember the buzz around it and wanting to see it.
I remember my brother bringing home the video and letting me watch it. I remember becoming ever so slightly fixated on the uber cool styling, the iconography of the crow and the depth of love and loss in the story. The darkness of an anti-hero who has no problem with killing the villains and exacting his revenge.
Watching it again for the list for the 900th odd time, I watched with Anna who had never seen it before. We didn’t watch it in the dark so some of the action was tough to follow. It struck me how very unsubtle this film is though. The symbols are blatant, the metaphors heavy handed. The music is atmospheric but also perfectly paired to the content of the scene.
The heroes of the story are really Sargent Albrecht and Sarah, the ordinary humans caught up in the story of a resurrected vengence ghost. Sarah is an awesome character, worldly wise and cynical as well as showing her vulnerability.
Does it make me love the people? Yeah, I love Eric, he’s such a dreamboat, and the idea of someone coming back from the dead to avenge the death of their true love is pretty romantic. Plus he’s a sweetheart, kind to Sarah and joking with Albrecht.
I love Sarah too, because of the depth they give her. Albrecht too because I’m a bit of a sucker for a cop character.
Bechdel test: Pretty rich for named female characters, we have Myca the evil woman, Coopersmith the black cop, Darla the messed up mother, Sarah the bad ass kid, Shelley the dead perfect love interest. It does pass, Darla and Sarah talk about what Sarah wants for breakfast. Shelley and Sarah are shown to be talking and interacting in flashback montages but they don’t actually give us conversation.
I was always very fond of “Take your shot funboy, you got me dead bang” but.. I think there are deeper more moving lines, such as “It can’t rain all the time” and
“If the people we love are stolen from us, the way to have them live on is to never stop loving them. Buildings burn, people die, but real love is forever.”
State of Mind: Okay I still love this movie but it’s totally wrapped up with the loving memories of my wannabe Goth teen self. Anna was a bit sleepy to form an opinion about it, she may have dozed off in certain parts.