To capitalize on the great success of best-selling comic book The Crow a movie came out in 1994, followed by a bunch of subpar sequels and one season of a TV show, the subject of this review. The Crow: Stairway to Heaven follows the same general plot of the comic book, with Draven returning to avenge his and his girlfriend’s death. After the show burns through this major plotline in the first two eps, it has no idea what to do with the angst-ridden avenger. I mean, if he’s “put things right,” as was his assignment, why is he continuing to hang around? DVD Verdict sums it up:
It’s clear that the creators of the series didn’t have a long-range plan for the show. The first two episodes cover the basic plot of the film, and then the series settles into a “freak of the week” groove, as Eric takes care of a new baddie in each episode.
Having never read or seen anything else of The Crow, I have to say that there’s an interesting idea buried in the series. The Crow supposedly comes back to “set things right,” which he interprets as killing his killers. At the same time, besides supernatural butt-kicking skills, he also has the much more fascinating power of reading emotions and memories from his surroundings and transferring these to other people, as when he sends all Jenko’s victims’ pain back on Jenko: “All their pain, all at once, all for you.”
This is truly cool, as it explores the tension in the Crow’s nature. Killed because of violence, brought back because of violence and adept at dealing violence, he nevertheless illustrates all that is detrimental about violent solutions. Furthermore, in his painful power of empathy, the Crow illustrates an alternative means of dealing with suffering: putting the criminals in the mindsets of their victims.
In summary, The Crow: Stairway to Heaven represents a host of missed opportunities, further dragged down by thoroughly mediocre acting [with the exception of Katie Stuart as Sarah Mohr, a grungy skater girl who somehow is friends with the Crow] and too many electric guitars. [Filed under “vampires” because the Crow is undead, indestructible, funereal and out for blood.]