Reviewed by: Charles Phipps
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.
“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.