It isn't often I post non-Friday the 13th content on this blog, but this is a rare (and important) exception. A couple of years ago, I partnered with Cody Faulk, the maker of Voorhees
(a Friday the 13th fan film released in 2020 that has over 3 million views to date), to begin writing a script for a fan film for The Crow
franchise. I liked the 1994 film but hadn't seen it in almost 30 years, and so the research began. Not just seeing the films, but reading James O'Barr's 1989 graphic novel, wrought from the bitter depths of his own suffering after his love was killed in a car accident. It is truly a great experience if you've never read it. It's great because it's real.
The task of creating a new Crow film, especially in light of repeated failures by Hollywood to capture the magic of the first film, shouldn't be taken lightly. In reviewing all this material, I realized that one of the reasons that the sequels were so bad (beyond the fact that sequels usually are) is they lacked emotional grounding. O'Barr's graphic novel is absolutely dripping with relatable sentiments about grief and loss adorned in poetry and Joy Division lyrics. But where it really hits hard is in the quiet moments the titular
character has with himself -- moments he can barely survive, even as he
can easily dispatch hordes of armed men. Anyone who has connected with James's work or the Brandon Lee film knows The Crow is not something that can be faked. It's not a formula, like a slasher or an action film that can be slapped together out of certain predictable elements and packaged for mass consumption.
For a filmmaker trying to follow in James's footsteps, The Crow is almost more of a medium of expression, a way to speak about your own grief through the mythology he created. While I can't speak for all fans, it seems to me that to really connect with a Crow movie is to connect one's own experience to the themes of loss, grief and redemption in the film. Grief about moments in our lives, great and small, opportunities missed, connections lost, and of course, lives cut tragically short. Grief about what could have been and what can never be. That sense of authenticity is the legacy I wanted to continue in co-writing this project and time will tell if the fans agree we've hit it right.
For now, we have a finished script. Titled The Crow: Days of Sodom, it's feature length and to be honest, wildly ambitious for a fan film. It took two years because we wanted a great story; one with intrigue, emotional depth, violence, despair and reflection. We wanted a tortured hero with a tragic and complex backstory. We wanted him to be real, vulnerable, believable. And we wanted truly horrifying villains -- not just the usual thugs, gangsters or mobsters who just want to be rich and powerful, but people who are truly heinous. As horror fans, Cody and I wanted to push the limits of film the way great horror movies do, but maintain a real emotional core and character depth that horror often lacks. It took us a long time to write this script but we're proud of the result and the few who have read it (including at least one veteran Hollywood actor) have given us overwhelmingly positive feedback.
Today, we're deep in the reeds of casting and location scouting. Four months into the film-making process, we're excited that things are slowly beginning to fall into place. As we continue to make progress, we will be rolling out announcements on our Facebook page in the coming weeks and months, with an expected film completion date some time in late 2024.
The plan is for this film to be crowd-funded, and we've come up with some awesome perk ideas for backers. We're going to be asking for a lot, so we plan on giving a lot. Best case scenario, we create what might be the most ambitious fan film made to date. Worst case, we still create a dark love story with some pretty gnarly villains. The outcome is up to you! Keep an eye on our public Facebook group for details (linked here).