And now, for something completely different, By that, I mean a review for a movie script that was never made. So, here goes.
I have conflicted feelings when it comes to Rob Zombie. I think White Zombie's "Astro Creep 2000" is the second best Groove Metal album ever made, and the prior album "Le Sexorcisto" is almost as good, though I don't care much for his solo work. As a director-well, I love "The Devil's Rejects", but I find "House of 1,000 Corpses" to be less than satisfying. "El Superbeasto" is an amusing concept, the the execution is nowhere near as funny as it thinks it is. The less said about his "Halloween" movies the better.
All of that out of the way, his first movie wasn't supposed to be "House of 1,000 Corpses." It was supposed to be "The Crow 2037: A New Age of Gods and Monsters." Originally intended to be a follow up to "The Crow: City of Angels", it fell into the wayside after that movie tanked with critics and was poorly received by audiences (even though it did make it's money back) and "The Crow: Salvation" only played in one theater and was unceremoniously dumped to video. He apparently rewrote it as "Black Racer X", though whether or not that becomes a movie is yet to be seen (it probably won't.)
The movie starts on October 31st, 2010. A young boy and his mother (who probably would have been played by Rob's wife) are killed by a Satanic priest (who would have been played by Christopher Lee) for a cult who worship "the fallen one." The boy rises from the dead...and then grows up to be a tough as nails assassin. How a dead body would grow up is beyond me. Twenty seven years later, life is good-until painful memories start to resurface, and since this is a Crow movie, he soon begins to seek revenge.
I will give Rob this much-the script has all kinds of ambition, and is different from all of the other Crow movies. Whilst this still has the action with horror undertones feeling of the other films, it's also heavily indebted to science fiction. It also has some great visual ideas (a "Red Riding Hood" inspired vignette and a torture chamber inspired by Frankenstein's laboratory from the old Universal horror films), though that's where the good points end.
For one thing, a lot of this doesn't really feel like "The Crow." It lacks the tragic romance of those movies, and feels a lot more like what would happen if some fan fiction authors tried to mix "The Crow", comic books, old horror movies and anime into an incoherent mesh of things that are supposed to be cool, but aren't. Random mutants, alien gods and bouts of ultra violence peppered with a too cool for school anti hero might seem like a good idea at first, but "The Crow" it is not. The end result makes little to any sense, and I can't help but be glad that it didn't get made.
It's also sloppily written. None of the characters apart from the dark priest are interesting. It's mostly a bunch of tough guy posturing and "cool" one liners with little tension or reason. Plus, the crow itself doesn't figure a whole lot into the store. Sure, the main character is mostly invincible and there's a crow, but as I said, nothing about it feels like "The Crow." It feels like something made by somebody who has a very thin grasp on the mythos and what made the original so great. It's different, but that doesn't make it good.