Queen Of The Damned

Queen Of The Damned

*

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Dracula cartwheels in his coffin. A vampire as rock star? Having survived centuries in the shadows, the idea that one of their kind would turn into Black Sabbath is beyond comprehension.

The film is a travesty of the genre and even as spoof takes itself too seriously. Blade II reintroduced horror again. That's been missing for a while. Now director Michael Rymer trivialises Anne Rice's The Vampire Chronicles, transforming it into a full-length pop video.

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Lestat de Lioncourt, last seen in the form of Tom Cruise in Neil Jordan's memorable Interview With The Vampire, has become a narcissistic poseur, the lead singer in a heavy metal supergroup, about to hold a concert in Death Valley, California. Stuart Townsend, an Irish actor who has done real work in movies such as Trojan Eddie, flaunts his brooding good looks, while attempting a watery French accent. Frankly, it's pathetic.

A shorn Vincent Perez, unrecognisable from the romantic lead in La Reine Margot, plays Marius, the vamp who "made" Lestat. He is there as advisor to the rock god, not that he makes any difference. Lestat does what he wants, which is feed off groupies and flirt with Akasha, the Queen of the Damned (Aaliyah), who begins as a stone sculpture and ends as a pile of dust. Other than having the power to ignite other vampires, simply by pointing at them, her purpose in the story is confusing to say the least.

In the human world, an American girl (Marguerite Moreau), working in London, has studied Lestat for so long that she wants to experience "the feeling", which means going all the way. Her boss (is that really Paul McGann with a prison haircut?) tries to dissuade her. You don't care enough, because she bores for the New World.

This may be bad, but is it so bad it's good?

"How did you slip through the Fifties in red velvet?" Lestat asks.

"I slept," Marius says,

"You didn't miss much."

"Elvis?"

It makes you nostalgic for The Hammer House of Horror. At least, they knew they were being silly.

Reviewed on: 10 Apr 2002
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Stuart Townsend plays a vampire as rock star who brings the stone statue of a queen to life.
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Director: Michael Rymer

Writer: Scott Abbott, Michael Petroni, based on The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice

Starring: Stuart Townsend, Marguerite Moreau, Aaliyah, Vincent Perez, Paul McGann, Lena Olin

Year: 2002

Runtime: 101 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US/Australia

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Interview With The Vampire