‘The Crow’: The Disturbing Story Behind the Film’s Supposed Curse

The 1994 horror flick, The Crow, was based on a gripping graphic novel. In the story, a young man and his ladylove are killed, and the man returns as an undead vigilante determined to exact vengeance. Film producer, Jeff Most, decided to turn that story into a film.

Since The Crow’s release, rumors have persisted that the production was somehow cursed. Shudder’s Cursed Films examined the origin of those claims. Here’s what we learned from the docuseries.

Brandon Lee of 'The Crow'
Brandon Lee of ‘The Crow’ | Barry King/WireImage

‘Cursed Films’ explored ‘The Crow’

AMC’s streaming service, Shudder, launched Cursed Films, an original documentary series that explores so-called jinxed horror movies. Episode 4 of the show takes a look inside the supposed cursed movie, The Crow. The episode synopsis reads as follows:

“Years after actor Bruce Lee’s mysterious death is attributed to the Lee Family Curse, his son Brandon’s life is cut short due to a tragic on-set accident during the making of The Crow.”

The episode features interviews from movie pros who discuss the strange occurrences surrounding the film and its rising star, Brandon Lee.

Bad omens surrounded ‘The Crow’ production from the beginning

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The Crow began filming in Wilmington, North Carolina, in 1993. Cursed Films revealed that before production got underway, a mysterious caller left a voicemail message warning the crew not to shoot the movie because bad things would happen.

Eerily, two on-set electricians were involved in an accident in which their truck hit a live wire. One of the men experienced second and third-degree burns and lost both ears.

Disaster also struck the entire production when a hurricane destroyed the movie set. That is when the “curse of The Crow” rumors began circulating in Hollywood.

Some fans blamed the mythical Lee Family Curse

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The star of The Crow, Brandon Lee, was the son of martial arts legend, Bruce Lee. The elder Lee died during the production of his final film. Some fans speculated that the Chinese mafia had placed a hit on the actor for betraying martial arts secrets. Others suspected that he had been struck by an insidious death blow at an earlier time.

The most popular theory about The Dragon’s death is that he was a victim of the Lee Family Curse. His older brother had died, and Lee’s parents believed there was a demon targeting the males in the Lee family.

Like his father, Brandon Lee died before he finished filming The Crow. In a fluke accident, the performer was shot while completing an action sequence, as described in Cursed Films. The crew used what are called ‘dummy rounds,’ for the scene, but there was something in the barrel of the gun that acted as a lethal projectile, killing Lee.

In order to complete the final photography for The Crow, the man who had been working as Lee’s stunt double wore a mask in his image.

Is ‘The Crow’ really cursed?

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Decades after the movie wrapped production, horror fans still buzz about the curse of The Crow. But the general consensus from those involved is that there is no curse. Actor, Michael Barryman, who worked with Lee on the film, summed it up by saying this:

The Crow is not cursed. The Crow was created out of love and loss. In my opinion, Brandon died because a studio cut corners.

Someone was overworked, and you miss one little oops, and something happens. Makes you appreciate every day. And then you should appreciate every hour. And pretty soon every moment. I’m at most calm when I can appreciate each breath. And especially appreciative when I hear that beautiful note of a heartbeat. Life is very precious.

You can’t be prepared for these moments, but you can carry on in honor of those that have left us.

Michael Barryman on Cursed Films

Fans can check out the full episode of Cursed Films: The Crow now streaming on Shudder.

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