Eric Draven is invincible as long as the crow is nearby. He crawls out of his grave a year to the day since he and his fiancée were brutally murdered on Devils Night. Because their deaths were particularly painful, the crow that carries souls over to the land of the dead carries Eric’s back the other way so he can exact revenge on his killers.
Eric kills each of his killers in a way personal to them. Tin Tin loved using knives, so he’s killed with knives in all his internal organs — in alphabetical order. Funboy dealt heroin, so his body is left overdosed with multiple syringes sticking out of his chest and T-Bird liked arson, so he’s gaffer-taped to the driving seat of his car and forced to drive off a pier with a primed grenade between his legs. At the various crime scenes, so the ineffectual cops know it’s him, Eric leaves some kind of a crow symbol by each corpse.
Sarah is a street kid. Her Mum, Darla, is a heroin-user and, just after Funboy’s execution, Eric helpfully squeezes the heroin out of her veins for her to see the harm it does. He tells her “Mother is the name for God on the lips and hearts of all children”. She becomes reformed and is soon cooking her daughter eggs for breakfast. This favour is accepted by a shocked Sarah as a no-strings-attached attempt at good parenting.
Word reaches Top Dollar that a vigilante is executing his men. The crow is mentioned in many people’s accounts of this new threat. Gideon from the pawn shop tells Top Dollar that “death is coming for him tonight” and wants compensation since Eric torched his shop. Top Dollar gathers this Intel from the man before sticking a sword through his neck — a death then hurried along with two gunshots. Myca, Top Dollar’s enigmatic step-sister, is the first person to suggest a link between Eric’s invulnerability and the crow. If they kill the crow, maybe they can then kill the man.
In a bell tower, the crow realises it’s personally under threat, so attacks and kills Myca by itself. Unfortunately, Grange, Top Dollar’s deputy, then kills the crow. Thankfully, Capt Albrecht is on hand to help Eric — the two having met up a few times already this night. As we’ve seen before, Eric uses his clairsentient ability to gather knowledge about T-Bird’s gang using people, cat Gabriel and even the emotionally-charged engagement ring he originally gave Shelly a year ago.
Eric is now on a dark and stormy rooftop fighting Top Dollar alone. Since the crow died, he now suffers as mortals do. Sadly, he gets impaled on a sword and all hope looks to be lost. But, in a final act of defiance, Eric reaches up to the killer’s face with both hands and channels thirty hours of Shelly’s powerful, intensive-care pain through to him in a heartbeat. A surge of this intensity sends Top Dollar falling off the roof to his death.
Eric meets up again with Sarah and Capt Albrecht — who now swears off cigarettes. We then see Eric and Shelly embracing on a rooftop. And the crow brings Sarah the ring.
Starring Brandon Lee. Michael Wincott. Ernie Hudson. Rated 18. Dir Alex Proyas. Released in the UK 1994. Runtime 1hr 42mins.