Queen of the Damned – USA, 2002

Queen of the Damned is a 2002 American horror feature film directed by Michael Rymer from a screenplay by Scott Abbott and Michael Petroni. It a loose adaptation of the third novel of Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles series, although the film contains many plot elements from the latter novel’s predecessor, The Vampire Lestat. It stars Aaliyah as the vampire queen Akasha, and Stuart Townsend as the vampire Lestat.

Vampire Lestat is awakened from decades of slumber by the sound of a Nu Metal band, which he proceeds to take over as lead singer. Achieving international success and planning a massive live concert, Lestat is approached by Marius, and warned that the vampires of the world will not tolerate his flamboyant public profile.

Jesse Reeves, a researcher for the paranormal studies group Talamasca, is intrigued by Lestat’s lyrics and tells the rest of the group her theory that he really is a vampire. Her mentor, David Talbot, takes her aside and tells her they know he is and that a vampire called Marius made him. He also shows her Lestat’s journal that he recovered and is now in the Talamasca library. In a flashback to his origins, Lestat recalls how he awoke Akasha, the first vampire, with his music. Jesse tracks him down to a London vampire club where he confronts her, and she follows him to Los Angeles for the concert, where she gives him his journal. Shortly after they leave London. Akasha, awakened by Lestat’s new music, arrives and torches the club, and all the vampires inside, who want Lestat dead.

Reviews:

‘Want to know what eternity feels like? The slow grinding of interminable, inescapable, inexorable time? You could try being a vampire. Or then again you could just sit through Queen of the Damned. The former might seem shorter though…’ Total Film

‘If Anne Rice was upset over the film adaptation of her ”Interview With the Vampire” a few years back, then she probably already has Johnnie Cochran preparing legal briefs over ”Queen of the Damned,” the latest movie version of one of her books. The message of this florid and dull ”Queen,” about the lonely ways of the undead, boils down to this: Just Say No to Blood’. The New York Times

‘Making Anne Rice’s literary Queen look like Grace Jones in Vamp (1986), Aaliyah’s much-touted role leaves her little to do except slink around looking vampish, or romping in a petal-filled tub like she’s some sort of American Beauty (1999). But there’s no disputing her substantial screen presence’. Horror News

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‘The film’s erotic subtext has been devoured by silliness. There’s plenty of titillation, but no payoff (the R-rating is strictly because of gore; Queen of the Damned‘s sexual elements are strictly PG-13). There are no characters to care about or despise. The only reason the movie can occasionally be considered watchable is because individual scenes are so outrageously dumb that they are hilarious.’ ReelViews.net

Music From The Motion Picture Queen Of The Damned (Non-Pa Version)Buy soundtrack CD from Amazon.co.uk

Cast and characters:

  • Aaliyah as Akasha
  • Stuart Townsend as Lestat de Lioncourt
  • Marguerite Moreau as Jesse Reeves
  • Richael Tanner as young Jesse
  • Vincent Perez as Marius de Romanus
  • Paul McGann as David Talbot
  • Lena Olin as Maharet
  • Christian Manon as Mael
  • Claudia Black as Pandora
  • Bruce Spence as Khayman
  • Matthew Newton as Armand
  • Tiriel Mora as Roger
  • Megan Dorman as Maudy
  • Johnathan Devoy as James
  • Robert Farnham as Alex
  • Conrad Standish as T.C.
  • Andrew L. Urban as Himself
  • Jonathan Davis as Ticket scalper
  • Nathan Hill as Attacking Vampire

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