Prayer Focus
Movie Review

Queen of the Damned

MPAA Rating: R for vampire violence

Reviewed by: Charles Phipps

Extremely Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Romance Suspense Horror
1 hr. 41 min.
Year of Release:
Relevant Issues
Aaliyah in “Queen of the Damned”

Starring: Aaliyah, Stuart Townsend, Marguerite Moreau, Claudia Black, Vincent Perez | Directed by: Michael Rymer | Produced by: Jorge Saralegui | Written by: Giulio Petroni, Scott Abbott, Michael Petroni | Distributor: Warner Brothers

“Queen of the Damned” is the type of movie which manages not only to keep all the offensive elements of its source material, but somehow drain off all the aspects that made it interesting in spite of (because of?) them.

“Queen of the Damned” has a fair amount of blood curdling deaths in it, though none are “realistic”. A great deal of sexuality with some implied homosexuality is in the film. It furthermore has occult elements in the fact that Lestat and everyone involved is a Vampire (vampire groups are furthermore called covens) or are fascinated by said beings. Human corruption is not entirely absent either. Lestat’s manager provides the Vampire Rock Star with young women as food under the pretext they will likely be involved in orgiastic activities instead of meeting their deaths. There is no nudity per say and the language is surprisingly minimal. The musical score is of the heavy metal genre, and while not necessarily offensive per say in lyrics, it’s not to the taste of most who frequent Christian Spotlight.

Vincent Perez in “Queen of the Damned”“Queen of the Damned” is very loosely based upon the novel by Anne Rice in which a Vampire musician named Lestat openly preys on humanity’s fascination with the mysterious to become a public figure. This has attracted the wrath of the entire “vampire underworld” who wish to destroy him for violating their secrecy. On the sidelines is a beautiful scholar seeking to learn more about Lestat to recapture her own unnatural heritage. All this activity furthermore has awoken the most powerful vampire in history from her sleep to compete with the mortal woman for Lestat’s love.

“QotD” lacks Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, and Antonio Bandera’s acting skill. It lacks the original’s breathtaking musical score and uses its metal sound to attract younger viewers rather then to accent the scenes. “QotD” lacks good direction or good scripting. The butchered novel used as its basis comes practically incoherent to the screen. Finally, “QotD” fails to convey what the original “Interview with a Vampire” was mercifully blessed with—the fact was never less than apparent that Lestat was a monster. A monster who was attempting to enjoy being one of the Damned but nonetheless a human one dealing with consequences and life. QotD’s Lestat and indeed entire Vampiric community are evil without a shred of humanity that we are expected to root for.

Ultimately, this film will probably succeed solely because of the tragic death of real life pop-singer Aaliyah before the film was released, instead of on its own merits. Still the movie’s ambition does deserve some credit: a few set designs were quite inspired, some of the acting moves above the subpar to enjoyable, and there is occasional amusement felt at the film’s attempt to be profound.

Viewer Comments
Neutral—I honestly did like this movie. I like Anne Rice’s novels, but have long ago learned that it is necessary to enjoy the film as completely separate from the works that it is based on. If you compare to novels, you’ll never be satisfied. I don’t think that there was anything pertaining to Christian values. It’s a movie about vampires, blood and such. No fuzzy, warm and happy feelings or any deep and profound, life altering revelations. I liked the music, I liked the acting and I enjoyed the story. As for the implied homosexuality, read the novel. Sexuality isn’t really an issue. Rice commented that since a vampire lives for a very long time, friendship is forged where it can be based on availability and the like. If you look at socialization in the 17th century and such, people hugged and kissed as a sign of friendship. No homosexual desires were implied. Perhaps there is merely some confusion based on social expectations changing and said characters not abiding by new social rules…
My Ratings: [Average / 2]
—Lisa, age 20
Negative—Well, being someone who read the book by Anne Rice, I can say that I was extremely disappointed in this movie. I won’t go on and on about the differences because they are limitless. I will mention one thing that disappointed me, since it relates to this Web site. In the book, the characters are better explained (of course) and you get an idea of how decent people would deal with becoming vampires. Being vampires, they have certain urges that they have to control or else slip into the realm of evil. Lestat and Marius are actually good people AND good vampires, feeding only on the criminal element. This is NOT portrayed in the movie and as a matter of fact they come across as being flat out evil. Quite a disappointment.
My Ratings: [Average / 2]
—Chad, age 30
Positive—I saw that Queen of the Damned had mostly been panned by critics, but went to see it with my dad nonetheless. I was quite surprised to enjoy it thoroughly as a bit of camp horror flick fun. it was slick and well performed and quite amusing in parts, as a genre piece it works! Personally I enjoy the epic sweep this film attempts more than the kung fu kickboxing other vamp films attempt. Anyone offended by typical horror violence or the “evil” undertones, obviously, won’t enjoy… but fans of the Hammer Studio Vampire films of the 60s/70s might enjoy this 02 entry to the genre, complete with pagan rock god metaphors and fabulous locations. Rock on, movie buffs!
My Ratings: [Average / 4]
—Pete Weets, age 32
Movie Critics
…DISCUSSION TOPICS—Vampires, eternity, black magic, discretion, immortality, death, family, secrets, ego, love, trust, companionship, jealousy, gods, greed…
…all sorts of vampire related violence where they feed on victims’ bodies (with bloody results) and/or kill humans or each other… a brief decapitation, a vampire eating a removed but still beating human heart…
…There’s a strongly implicit sexual bond between Lestat and Marius, his “maker”—the guy who first burrowed in and changed his mortality status. You couldn’t miss the gay subtext in “Queen of the Damned,” even if you’d been coffin-napping since 1954…
—Ed Blank, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Comments from young people
Negative—Truly does not live up to the novel. The characters lack the truly human complexity rice gave them in her books. It more resembles “blade” in its attempt to simply sell the dark mystique of the Children of Caine set against a modern background. Its dealings with sex lacked rice’s artistic touches and were more to provide cheap thrills to an easily amused adolescent audience than to convey any sense of dark beauty or pseudo~freudian psychological exploration. But if you’re a fan of the book see it anyways.
My Ratings: [2]
—Jake, age 17
Negative—I’ve always been fascinated with thrilling movies, and this one is one of them. I find the story good, but after watching the film, It didn’t get me satisfied like I expected I’d be. I’ve heard a couple of things about the movie and Aaliyah. Just like The Crow (movie) someone died before the movie even finished. After her death, I heard that the scenes were all finished, but the dubbing wasn’t. I wonder why the movie was even dedicated to her, if she’s the evil person in the movie? I like rock music too. but I just didn’t like the way the people were acting during Lestat’s concert. It was plainly conveying demonic worship. That was big turn off for me! it would have been good if they were just screaming and jumping.
My Ratings: [Better than Average / 4]
—Rachel, age 14
Negative—This movie was horrible. I totally do not suggest this movie to anybody, Christian or non-christian. Very bad!
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive / 2]
—James, age 15