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Blu-Ray : Worth a Look
Release Date: March 26th, 2024 Movie Release Year: 2000

The Crow: Salvation

Overview -

Blu-ray Review By: Matthew Hartman
Legend has it that when a flawed direct-to-video sequel only has an old DVD release, an independent will put the wrong things right. Scream Factory carries the soul of The Crow: Salvation from the land of SD to 1080p with a website-exclusive Blu-ray. The film is probably the best of the sequels, but the transfer sourced from older HD elements could have used a little restoration TLC while legacy extras return. The Price is a bit steep for this film and overall A/V quality, so at the very least - Worth A Look

Worth a Look
Rating Breakdown
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
Video Resolution/Codec:
1080p/MPEG-4 AVC
Aspect Ratio(s):
Audio Formats:
English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 Surround and 2.0 Stereo
Release Date:
March 26th, 2024

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take


Brandon Lee’s The Crow was a cultural phenomenon in its time. The combination of J.O. Barr’s soulful graphic novel and Lee’s tragic on-set death, the film was a huge success as one of the darkest comic book films of its era. But things couldn’t be left alone. Success breeds imitation and unfortunately also regurgitation. The first attempt to recapture the magic and heart of the first film was Bill Pope’s The Crow: City of Angels. The film was a critical and box office dud. When it came time for a third entry, Rob Zombie was employed, and after burning 18 months on the project he exited. Director Bharat Nalluri and writer Chip Johannessen entered the fray and successfully delivered the decent but critically under-budgeted The Crow: Salvation.  

Our second sequel finds Eric Mabius as young Alex Corvis who sits on death row wrongly convicted of killing his girlfriend Lauren (Jodi Lyn O’Keef). Framed for the crime by a band of crooked cops, Alex is executed in the electric chair, but not even death can stop justice. Rising from the grave to set the wrong things right, Alex partners with Lauren’s teenage sister Erin (Kirsten Dunst) to follow the clues and evidence to find the real killers and make them pay their pound of flesh. 

On the scale of sequels, The Crow: Salvation isn’t great, but it’s not bad either. Ever see The Crow: Wicked Prayer? Less said about that one, the better. It’s a stretch better than The Crow: City of Angels, but that’s mostly because of all the odd re-edits and producer tinkering made a nearly incomprehensible theatrical cut. Salvation at least stands on its own for approach. Our recently resurrected hero didn’t see his killers or hear their names. All he saw was a man with strange scars on his arm. So the film is more or less played as a “Whodunit?” instead of a straightforward revenge thriller. Unfortunately, that mystery angle is quickly thrown out in favor of tired and predictable 90s action movie silliness. You can also feel the film’s thin budget holding back what is otherwise a halfway decent script. 

Back in 2000, I was excited to see this film come out after its theatrical release was ditched. And it’s alright. It still holds up decently well today. Mabius is a fine performer and fits the makeup and dark coat attire nicely. He apparently auditioned for Eric Dravie in the original film and then again as Fun Boy, but was deemed too young on both counts. He got his crack at the material with this one and you can see he’s giving it everything he can. On top of Kirsten Dunst leading the support team, the film also features some fun performances from Walton Goggins and Dale Midkiff, a nice turn from William Atherton, and a very fun appearance from Fred Ward. Bharat Nalluri and Chip Johannessen did about as well as could be expected for this one. They certainly brought to the screen what they could given the budget. They’ve both gone on to nice careers in television so this film at least gave them that early experience to cut their teeth. 

After one amazing film, three sequels of mixed quality, and a bizarre but entertaining television show, we now have the remake The Crow to look forward to. Or dread horribly if the response to that film’s first trailer is any indication. J.O. Barr created an incredible piece of work that tapped into the raw emotions of tragic loss and injustice. It connected with a dedicated audience of misfits and social outcasts (yours truly included) and that first film was a blessing of an adaptation. No sequel or remake is ever going to touch the legacy of that graphic novel and first film. Made under better circumstances, this third film might have gotten close, but as it stands The Crow: Salvation is just a pretty good follow-up to pass the time.

Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
The Crow: Salvation
haunts its first domestic Blu-ray release as a website exclusive from Scream Factory. Pressed on a Region A BD-50 disc, the disc is housed in a standard case and loads to an animated main menu with standard navigation options.

Video Review


After shuffling around the EU markets for about a decade, The Crow: Salvation lands stateside. At a guess given the overall shape of the transfer, I’d wager this is the same dated HD master sourced for those discs. I don’t see anything to suggest this isn’t also the master that was used to supply the old DVDs twenty-odd-some-years ago. It's far from great, but not completely terrible. It has the look and feel of a better-than-average upscale, there are some decent facial and costume details, but it definitely could have benefitted from a fresh scan and some restoration TLC. Colors look pretty good, flesh tones are respectable, black levels are pretty thick and chunky though and the image can appear quite flat without much depth. 

Audio Review


On the audio side, the film arrives with a pair of tracks to choose, a DTS-HD MA 5.1 and a DTS-HD MA 2.0. I primarily looked at the 5.1 for this review and felt it was a nice mix overall. It can be pretty front/heavy focused at times but for the big action sequences or more active scenes it makes some nice use of surrounds. The score by Marco Beltrami is nicely moody and atmospheric. The 2.0 track handles the workload nicely overall, I only previewed a few scenes with it and if you’re rocking headphones for your viewing it’s a nice mix, but the 5.1 is the better of the two. 

Special Features


On the bonus features front, we don’t have anything new in the stew, but we do have what looks like all of the legacy extras. I couldn’t find my old DVD to immediately compare but what I remember is here. The audio commentary is the meatiest piece of the set, it’s a stacked collection of participants, they were recorded separately but it’s nicely edited together so each individual offers their experiences working on the film. 

  • Audio Commentary featuring Bharat Nalluri, Eric Mabius, Jeff Most, Marco Beltrami, Maia Javan 
  • Behind-The-Scenes Featurette (SD 8:12)
  • Production Design Featurette (SD 2:47)
  • Behind-The-Makeup Featurette (SD 2:03)
  • Who’s That Bird? (SD 8:04)
  • Image Gallery (HD 1:48)
  • Trailer (SD 1:16)

Nothing can touch the original The Crow. Remakes, sequels, prequels, requels, none of them will ever get close to the importance or impact of Brandon Lee’s performance. That said, The Crow: Salvation is a pretty decent attempt. It’s not amazing, you can feel the slim budget as the property moved from the prestige Miramax banner and slid down to the more genre-focused (and budget-conscious) Dimension Films, but you can also feel an effort was made to make this one as good as possible. On Blu-ray for the first time in the U.S. as a website exclusive from Scream Factory, the transfer is alright, it’s dated, but a decent enough visual upgrade over the old DVD. Certainly could use a fresh scan and some restoration TLC. On the audio side, the 5.1 mix is solid and the archival bonus features are informative enough for fans to dig into. All told, as the current second-best film in the franchise it’s at least Worth A Look but given the price tag, a bit steep to spring for given the current A/V materials. 

The Crow: Salvation is Available Exclusively From Shout! Factory