It’s funny how time works. When I picture myself in high school, I don’t think myself as being terribly young. I mean, I don’t usually feel like me ten years ago was that different from me now. I guess it’s kind of like how you don’t notice your parents aging, because you see them all the time and so the differences are really subtle, but then suddenly one day you look at a picture of your dad from fifteen years ago, and you look at the dad standing in front of you, and you’re like, “Wow. You do look a little different.” No offense, Dad. You still look great.
Anyway, my point is that I must have changed sometime in the last ten years, because apparently The Crow: Wicked Prayer came out when I was 16 or 17 years old – at an age when, before coming to this realization, I would have claimed to have had some measure of taste – and I liked it. Before rewatching this film, I was positive that I was only, like, 13 when I last saw it, and I assumed that accounted for my incomprehensible love of it. But no. It turns out I was just much, much stupider at 16 than I knew. Which doesn’t help me come to terms with the intense crush I had on Edward Furlong at the time. At all.
I never saw the original The Crow, so I have no idea how Wicked Prayer relates, aside from the makeup choices. I will say that you don’t need to have seen the original, or any of its sequels, to appreciate the fourth and final installment. This movie stands all on its own. So let’s get started.
It opens with a satanic biker gang breaking its leader, Luc “Death” Crash (David Boreanaz, yes), out of prison. Although that nickname may not seem very clever, it's made even less so by the fact that Luc’s henchmen are named “Pestilence,” “Famine,” and “War.” Get it? And they’re introduced with screenshots like this:
Cut to Jimmy Cuervo (his real name, I guess), played by the baggy-eyed, sideburn-toting Edward Furlong of my adolescent dreams. Jimmy was recently paroled after beating a rapist to death. Take note, because this is exactly the kind of tortured/sensitive character trait that my 16-year-old self ate up. Jimmy is in love with Lily, played by Emmanuelle Chriqui, who I also kind of had a crush on. This scene was therefore much racier in my head than in reality:
Back to the satanic cult. For some reason, they decide to kill Lily and Jimmy in a satanic ritual (the word “satanic” is going to come up a lot in this post, and I refuse to cut it out, because the movie never lets you forget that these are satanists we’re dealing with here). I don’t know if it has to be Jimmy and Lily, or if they’re just unlucky, but I lost my train of thought for at least ten minutes around this part. So they hang them, then cut out Lily’s eyes (to give Lola the power to see the future) and Jimmy’s heart (to conjure up the Devil, and also give Luc super powers?). The group is really into masks, so Lola wears this one:
Jimmy goes and kills Pestilence (I’m not going to delve too far into some of these plot points, as there is so much more that is ripe for delving into), then he steals Lily’s body and buries it under their special tree into which he carved their initials. Aw. Next he goes to confront Luc, who’s having a nice dinner with Lola, wearing a construction paper hat that it looks like a four-year-old made for him:
Luc thinks he’s killed Jimmy, so he and Lola go off to meet some guy in a satanic church slash night club, and it turns out it’s Dennis Hopper in a fur coat.
Luc needs El Nino to marry him and Lola (I don’t know why, but evidently it will bring Luc closer to Satan), so some women in lingerie and cat ears wash him…
The wedding ceremony makes Luc into a vessel for the Devil himself, and I guess they don’t need El Nino anymore, so Lola kills him. She gets real mad, too:
Unfortunately for her, Jimmy arrives right as she and Luc are about to get it on. Luc buttons up his pants and says my favorite line from the entire movie: “The Dark Prince was almost crowned, baby!” He says it with a lot of gusto.