"The Crow: Wicked Prayer"
DVD Review
by Kevin Carr

    MOVIE: zero (out of 5 stars)
    DVD EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5 stars)

    Edward Furlong as JIMMY CUERVO
    Tara Reid as LOLA BYRNE
    David Boreanaz as LUC CRASH/DEATH
    Emmanuelle Chriqui as LILLY
    Dennis Hopper as EL NINO

    Rated R
    Studio: Dimension

    Directed by: Lance Mungia
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A couple nights ago, I was talking with Eric, a fellow reviewer. We were debating how often it’s appropriate to give five stars to a film. He claimed they should be incredibly rare and should only be reserved for life-changing films. His example was “Saving Private Ryan” because it forever altered his view of war. I, however, am from the school of thought that believes that five star films represent the best of recent months and that a good critic will hand out at least four or five over the course of the year.

Now what does a five-star rating have to do with “The Crow: Wicked Prayer”? Absolutely nothing. But it has everything to do with a zero star rating, which is the polar opposite of five stars, but follows a similar philosophy.

Whether you come from my school of thought or Eric’s, “The Crow: Wicked Prayer” earns its zero stars. Taken against the rest of the sewage of substandard DVD releases, or as a life-changing bad film, this movie is terrible.

Supposedly “The Crow: Wicked Prayer” is based on a novel, which I’ve heard isn’t so bad. I think it is the cast that brings this film to its knees. After “The Crow: Salvation,” if you ever thought that this series couldn't get worse, I have two words for you: Edward Furlong.

If that doesn’t do it for you, here’s another two words: Tara Reid.

Just look at the cover box. Edward Furlong in make-up is enough to turn your stomach. Tara Reid was hot once - in the days of “The Big Lebowski.” After losing all her appealing weight after a nasty break-up with Carson Daly a few years ago (boo hoo), she’s sunk to a level of quality reserved for people like Steven Seagal and Marc Singer. It seems that in her earlier days, Reid’s brain must have been full of fat and when she went anorexic, she lost any sort of cognitive power she ever had. Now we’re left with Hollywood table scraps like “My Boss’s Daughter,” “Van Wilder” and this latest piece of celluloid waste.

This film is so bad, I couldn’t even make it past the cast. David Boreanaz is the best actor of the leads, but please don’t take that as an endorsement of his performance. He just wasn’t as godawfully dreadful as the others in the cast. You’d think that maybe Dennis Hopper might bring a little bit of freak dignity to the whole thing, but the world is not so lucky. Hopper’s pimp-daddy Satan-worshipper is so whacked out it makes the ending of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 4” seem clear as a bell.

Probably the most arrogant and ridiculous statement made by the filmmakers was in the audio commentary when the director declares that the cast behind this “Crow” film is the best ever assembled. Now there’s something to carve on Brandon Lee’s tombstone: “Edward Furlong was Better Than You.”

If that’s not something that would inspire him to come back from the dead, who knows what will?

David Boreanaz plays a Satan worshipper named Luc Crash in love with a prostitute named Lola Byrne. (Crash & Byrne... get it?) They kill Jimmy Cuervo (Edward Furlong) and his girlfriend because they hate Indians and need sacrifices to become the king and queen of hell on earth. Crash represents Death as one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. His other cronies include Pestilence, Famine and War (who recites every lame quote about war). But that’s not the end of this film’s inanities. After starting their killing spree, Crash makes a Satanic feast of deviled ham, deviled eggs and devil’s food cake. No kidding. They really do this.

I know I’m being hard on this film. I can’t help it. It’s one thing to watch a tremendous concept like “Hellraiser” fall into the cycle of direct-to-DVD releases every six months. At least these films can be fun. But “The Crow” was a classic that is being ruined by this film.

With all this said, if you can get past the awful film, the DVD selections are actually quite good. There are two feature commentaries, some deleted scenes and storyboards. There’s also a standard “Making of” documentary, set design and music docos, photo galleries and an ego-driven three minute conversation between the director and producer. The behind-the-scenes pieces are interesting, if not ridiculous and needlessly self-congratulatory. But if you can make it through this movie, you can make it through anything.

Specifications: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. Widescreen (1.85:1). French and Spanish subtitles. English language subtitles for the hearing impaired.

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