STUDIO: Dimension
MSRP: $29.99
Deleted Scenes

The Pitch

“It’s The Crow with Angel and Pecker!”

The Humans

Edward Furlong (Pet Sematary II, Brainscan), David Boreanaz (Valentine, I’m With Lucy), Tara Reid (Body Shots, Cruel Intentions), Dennis Hopper (My Science Project, Waterworld), Danny Trejo (Reindeer Games, Bubble Boy)

The Nutshell

Somewhere in the Southwest, Jimmy Cuervo (Furlong) is an ex-con facing resistance by the neighborhood Native Americans for his relationship with local hottie Lily (Emmanuelle Chriqui, who sadly remains clothed), but none of this really matters because Jimmy’s malicious old chum Luc Crash (Boreanaz) has rolled into town with his gang of goons, each named after the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Pestilence is a sick guy, War likes to shoot people, Famine is… a big muscular dude who for reasons I’m not entirely sure of is named Famine). They string up Jimmy just before he can propose to his lady (and who really cares — as a couple they have almost as much romantic chemistry as Vin Diesel and Asia Argento in XXX). Then Lola Byrne (Reid), the apparent brains of Crash’s gang of literal hellraisers (Crash and Byrne, get it? Eh? Eh.), steals Lily’s eyes while Crash cuts out Jimmy’s heart as part of some black magic ceremony to turn into the antichrist or something (this involves “666” appearing several times on his torso). As the newly Satanized Crash and his cronies head off to eat deviled eggs and deviled ham (seriously) and terrorize the township, Jimmy comes back from the grave thanks to Crow Power and goes on a bloody quest to avenge the death of his sweetie.

Eddie impatiently waits for his favorite cover band to kick into "Black Diamond".

The Package

While the movie itself may be abundantly moronic (see below), at least the DVD is pretty good, with a moody anamorphic 1.85:1 widescreen transfer and a spirited Dolby 5.1 audio that could almost lead you to believe this movie could’ve been considered worthy to be shown in actual theaters instead of reality, where the movie was rightfully stuffed in the brimming Miramax Vault of Garbage until now being liberated. There’s also a pair of commentary tracks (both with director Lance Mungia and various others), a behind-the-scenes featurette and a few other quickie bits, all of which show the cast and crew taking the movie far, far more seriously than they ever should. And there are some deleted scenes which remarkably don’t total 99 minutes.

The Lowdown

I wasn’t wild for director Lance Mungia’s debut Six String Samurai, which admittedly looked great for a low-budget flick and had some inspired moments, but The Crow: Wicked Prayer is at least seven and a half steps backwards. The Crow (the original) had stylish visuals and a charismatic lead actor, whereas The Crow: Wicked Prayer is merely an exercise in goofiness of the highest (or lowest) order. For example, the reborn Brandon Lee dramatically clawed his way out of his grave on a rain-drenched night. For his resurrection into living-dead Crow state, Furlong emerges from a crappy old refrigerator in the middle of a landfill, which is perhaps some unintentional insinuation about the movie itself.

With his reedy voice and feminine features, Furlong was barely convincing as a KISS fan in Detroit Rock City – slap on some makeup and bad 80s rock hair (I found myself humming Scandal’s “The Warrior” every time Jimmy Crow sauntered slo-mo onto the screen) and you’ve got a casting problem surpassed only by the inclusion of Tara Reid, whose thoughts you can almost see (“I am acting. I am acting.”).

"Time to celebrate a successful transition from television to feature films!"

Besides all that, I have no idea what’s happening in much of the movie because none of it really makes sense, which at least provides consistent accidental hilarity. Crash and his crew seem pissed that the nearby mine was closed and the residents are opening a casino instead, and yet the mine itself is toxic and caused the terminal illness afflicting Pestilence (who is inexplicably Japanese). When the Horsemen attack the town’s Rave-N Fest celebration (get it? Eh?), War sets up a sniper rifle in a dance hall that’s all of forty feet long, while Famine smashes papier mache decorations with a baseball bat (so fun to be evil!). Although Boreanaz’s third-act scenery-chewing makes Angelus seem Amish by comparison, Dennis Hopper shows up as an over-the-top bebop pimp/priest named El Niño just to slather the icing on the idiot cake. The costumes and set dressing are somewhere between The Sword and the Sorcerer and Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone, the fight scenes are almost on par with an average A-Team episode (which has better wire-work), and the movie’s climax involves a shirtless Danny Trejo dancing. Wicked Prayer is obviously meant to tell a tragic story, but instead it’s just a tragedy.

3.0 out of 10