Disasters plague the set of ''The Crow'' -- Injuries, car accidents, and even bad weather assault the upcoming Paramount horror film

Some movies just don’t want to get made. Take the case of the horror flick The Crow. Although the film won’t be released by Paramount until August, it already has earned a place in the Horror Hall of Fame. The production has been beset by so many disasters, there’s talk of ”the curse of The Crow.”

The most serious incident occurred on Feb. 1, the first day of shooting for this tale of a rock & roller (Brandon Lee, son of Bruce Lee) who returns from the dead to avenge his murder. At Carolco Studios in Wilmington, N.C., a carpenter, Jim Martishius, 27, was severely burned on his face, chest, and arms when live power lines hit the crane in which he was working. ”He’s recovering and can talk now,” says Martishius’ wife, Cindy, who is about to give birth.”The doctor said in two years he’ll be done with surgery. In five years, he’ll be as normal as he’ll get.”

That was only the beginning. On the same day Martishius was hurt, unit publicist Jason D. Scott was involved in a minor car accident in downtown Wilmington. That evening a Crow equipment truck mysteriously caught fire. Among the other mishaps:

· A disgruntled sculptor, who had worked on the set for several days, apparently went berserk on the backlot, and drove a car through the studio’s plaster shop. According to a production source, ”He was a brilliant sculptor, but he was impossible to deal with. Needless to say, he was immediately let go.”
· A construction worker slipped and drove a screwdriver through his hand. ”It was serious,” says publicist Scott, ”but it’s not like he’s going to lose the use of his hand.”
· A drive-by shooting occurred not far from a Crow location in downtown Wilmington. ”The alleged perpetrator was actually stopped by one of our barriers,” says Scott. ”So, in a way, we were contributing to the justice system.”
· The final blow came with a March 13 storm that destroyed Crow sets, as well as some from Ethan and Joel Coen’s The Hudsucker Proxy, which was also filming on the Carolco lot.

The Crow‘s director, Alex Proyas, was unavailable for comment, but other Crow workers insist the production was not jinxed. ”I don’t think this is exceptional,” says production coordinator Jennifer Roth. ”We have a lot of stunts and effects, and I’ve been on productions before where people have died.”

Despite ”the curse,” the movie has stuck to its production schedule and its $14 million budget. And with two weeks left before The Crow nests in postproduction, executive producer Robert L. Rosen (Sniper) is looking on the bright side. ”In many ways we’ve been lucky,” he says. ”We’ve avoided any serious illness among the cast, and when you’re shooting at night, in 23 degrees, and the leading man has his shirt off and no shoes on, that’s pretty good.”

The Crow
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