Lee died making this supernatural rock-star revenge movie, and, after the lawsuits, recriminations and distribution problems, it has mopped up at the US box office. Lee had almost completed filming, so the thrust of the story (from James O'Barr's graphic novel) is intact. The footage has been bumped up with flashbacks, stand-in shots, and hi-tech tweaking whereby Lee was extracted from spare scenes and installed in new ones. It's unobtrusively done, but makes the action a touch repetitive. More radically, the sicko storyline has been softened, becoming an elegiac, not to say maudlin, portrait of lost love. This has, sadly, worked to the advantage of the film: what was once slick, vacuous and trashy is now shot through with a terrible post-production irony. This is a most morbid film, a twisted Gothic romance with shards of the original black wisecracking splintering through the portentousness. Visually, it's a treat; characterisation is sharp, particularly the nicely defined villains; and the action scenes, though soft-pedalled, still pack a satisfying crunch.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||David Schow, John Shirley|
David Patrick Kelly