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Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab.

If you haven't checked out VERN's website yet, follow the link at the bottom of his story. He's a serious sumbitch, and he deserves your attention. And, no, he didn't threaten to shank me unless I gave him a good intro. With a pen this sharp, who needs a toothbrush with a razor melted into the tip?

Hey boys it's me, Vern. Remember I am the ex-con who has done a couple reviews for you, etc. I Write in the vernacular and then about 75 people complain about it in talkbacks. But as an acclaimed Writer on the films of Cinema I THINK a motherfucker knows what he's talking about. (In this case me being the motherfucker.)

So I haven't been in touch with you boys in a while but here's what's up. I got hold of a copy of THE CROW: SALVATION which is part 3 for the Crow series. Miramax made this picture and dumped it off in one theater in Spokane, Washington or somewheres. Nobody and their mother saw it so they said, forget it, straight to video for this one. There was some Crow fans on the internet trying to start a petition or something but, fortunately, they failed.

Let's take a moment to talk about revenge. Revenge is a dish best served cold, I believe. Revenge is sweet. Happiness is a warm gun, that was used to get revenge. There are many people who want revenge such as the Jedi, and Sweet Sweetback, and of course the nerds.

Now the Crow series of movies really is about the revenge of the nerds if you really look at the subtext. Believe me, I actually WATCHED these pictures as research for this article, so I know of what the fuck I speak. Turns out these movies are about some sad rock star type dudes who get murdered in the big city. So what they decide to do, they turn into a ghost with makeup like a mime. Then they go around and brutally murder a bunch of individuals involved with their names. Usually these individuals have funny names. And while they kill them these ghosts get all wild eyed and they smile condescendingly and quote a bunch of poetry and what not, is their trademark. Apparently alot of the kids today like this type of garbage. I guess it should be mentioned that there is rock music involved as well. He plays guitar on a rooftop, for one example.

Now what these movies have going for them, in my opinion, is production design. They got a real gloomy artificial type world that they created here, where all this whining existentialist garbage the kids like actually kinda makes sense. In the case of the first picture you also got the charisma. Bruce Lee's son Brandon stars in the picture and though he is DEFINITELY no Bruce, he has a strong presence so you don't really look down on this jackass ghost guitarist he is playing. You pretty much tolerate him and he has some good action scenes and what not, especially they must've seemed good back in that time when america was just discovering John Woo's bloodshed ballet. A more innocent time.

I think in this picture they also had this whole neo-gothic horror deal going, using computerized cameras to film little models of graveyards and crows (actually, ravens, playing crows) and churches and what not. And they got a witch and a bunch of rain like in a Hammer picture but then they mixed in the stylized shootemups from the time period.

I don't think those are the reasons the movie caught on though. I think there is this whole phenomenon going on in america that the filmatists here were keyed into, before Columbine. They knew there were alot of teens out there who felt a little more sensitive than the others, a little more artistic, and they liked to dress a certain way and listen to a certain type of music and they felt that they were a little bit outcast and they were angry about it. And in their fantasies, they would like to be as screwed over as the Crow guy is and get revenge the same way he does, quoting poetry and looking cool and noodling on a guitar with a big black bird on their shoulder. So this really did a number on the zeitgeist and was a big hit and then came the sequels.

The second Crow picture took the exact plot of the first one, changed one or two of the names, and then changed the songs to bands that were more popular at the time. The look is real nice but the whole production is pretty much a snoozer, at least to a fella my age. I don't know about you kids.

Which brings us to The Crow: Salvation, the third and surely final pile of garbage in the series. This one stars the gay football player from Cruel Intentions as some jackass who gets executed for killing his girlfriend, even though he didn't really kill his girlfriend, it was some mysterious man with zig zag scars on his arm. So this guy turns into a ghost and tears off his face and goes out and kills all the corrupt cops who framed him. Now I love killing corrupt cops as much as the next guy, probly quite a bit more, but this is the biggest pile of straight to video hogwash I've seen since AT LEAST Cruel Intentions 2 last week. Hell, this is worse than Tobe Hooper's Crocodile and MAYBE as bad as HEavy Metal 2000. Which is saying alot.

The worst you could say about the original Crow was that it was a brainless, heartless, empty, nihilistic exercise in hollow style. Part 3 is all those things, minus the style. There is no longer the creepy atmosphere, just a bunch of shadowy warehouses and a bunch of electrical sounds and flashes of light they do for little flashbacks. This was made for theaters but SOMEBODY must've known it would be dumped to video because it has that feel of the movies that star either Ice-T, or Mario Van Peebles, or both.

Now let me drop a little bit of Badass Theory on you folks. I think there are two things you need in EVERY good revenge picture. Number one, the main guy has to have a strong charisma and presence that makes you want to side with him even if he's castrating some bitch motherfucker who's only peripherally involves in the caper and deserves, at most, some scrapes and cuts. B, you gotta have either A, some clever and sneaky tricks the dude does for the revenge, or 2, a unifying theme such as biblical plagues, Shakespeare plays, deadly sins, etc. If you examine EVERY good revenge picture from Lee Marvin in POINT BLANK to Vincent Price in THE MAD MAGICIAN you will find that they follow these simple Vern guidelines, and are the better for it too.

The Crow's Salvation tries to break the rules. First of all the main dude is just a complete twit. He is way too much of a dweeb to be convincing in this role. I don't care if he wears a trench coat later on, he's still a pussy. And I don't mean to contribute to the oppression of nerdy kids in trenchcoats who lust for brutal revenge, but I don't think they'll like this fella either. They'll pick on him. There is a certain Badass presence that is REQUIRED in a picture like that , and this motherfucker simply doesn't have it. He doesn't even know where it's kept.

Second of all there are no clever murders or motifs here, he just stabs people and sometimes leaves a puddle of blood shaped like a crow. In one scene two EVil Cops discuss a blood-Crow he made and the main bad guy says, "I know, he's a regular Picasso. What else do you know?" Well apparently more about art history than you, motherfucker. That style is NOTHING like Picasso's.

The person who really needs revenge here is Kirsten Dunst, who co-stars in the thankless fole of dead girl's sister. This young gal was very good in Virgin Suicides as well as the comedies Dick and Bring It On which she elevates just by treating her silly ass characters with conviction. Now you got her in this straight to video garbage and she doesn't even have her usual spark. You'd never even know she was good.

The ONLY thing I really liked about this picture was this whole "The Fugitive" business about the killer having a scar on his arm. The whole movie this jackass mime is trying to find out who the killer with the scar is. Then at the end he blows up the bad guy's night club/cyberporn studio and gets what he deserves - he finds the scarred arm severed in the middle of the rubble, with no clue as to where it came from. And he says, "It's over."

I love that this bitch doesn't even get the satisfaction of finding out just who it was he just got revenge on.

I'm sure later on the dude shows up alive with one arm and reveals his motives and has a showdown and the crow-man slits his throat and then goes to the graveyard and cries and then he's reunited with his fiancee in a sunny dream world of heaven. Fortunately I turned the movie off before the last ten minutes because I wasn't about to let this movie go and fuck up the one solitary bit of irony that I liked. That's what they WANT you to do is watch the whole movie. But I ain't falling for it.

This one's for obsessive The Crow freakos ONLY. If you are just curious or like Kirsten Dunst or whatever, don't bother.

anyway thanks boys hope all is well,

your friend,


Then fuck you jack: the life + Art of Vern

"Moriarty" out.

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