Queen of the Damned
directed by Michael Rymer
(Warner Brothers, 2002)

Let us get the formality out of the way by stating that Queen of the Damned is allegedly based on the books by Anne Rice. I have read the books and have difficulty with this allegation. Only the names have remained the same. I am sickened by this interpretation of Anne Rice's great work. Save your money and just look at the picture on the front of the movie box. You will get almost as much from that as from watching this film. It is not scary. It is not gory. It has little plot and no substance. The "queen" of the vampires does not even appear until more than three-fourths of the way through the movie.

The plot is that Lestat wakes after several long decades (already a problem since he was just up in 1990, according to the film Interview with the Vampire) and is sick of living on the dark side of the clock. He becomes a rock star. His music wakes the mother of all vampires, Akasha. She has been sleeping for centuries, waiting for the right moment to come out and rule the world. She plans to share her dominion over the world with Lestat.

I do not mean to take away from Aaliyah's performance as Akasha; the poor girl played the part into which she was cast. It is certainly not her fault that she had no lines, little activity and practically no screen time. I thought she was perfect for the role of vampiress: beautiful with a haunting look and those subtle, sexy, graceful movements. This girl was the ideal for the character. It is a shame that she was not given a better part!

I disagree with many viewers that Stuart Townsend was a better Lestat than Tom Cruise. I will concede that the physical appearance of Tom Cruise does not fit the Lestat in the book. But neither does Townsend's. Physical appearance aside, Townsend cannot hold a candle to Cruise in the role. He lacks the depth and intensity that Cruise portrayed so well. He comes across as a superficial punk.

If you do not like loud, raucous hard rock, avoid this movie like the plague! Although many have raved about the soundtrack, it grated on my nerves. I thought I was going to see a scary vampire movie and instead, I got a rock show. I could not possibly have been more disappointed with this movie.

- Rambles
written by Alicia Karen Elkins
published 22 March 2003

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