A fantastic soundtrack covered in a shit movie.
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I saw this movie twice in the theaters. The first time I saw it, I thought it was great. The second time I saw it, I thought it was OK. After buying it on DVD and attempting to watch it again, I found it to be akin to masturbating with sand paper. I found myself thinking “How the hell could they allow this to be made?” Especially after 1994′s incredible Interview With The Vampire. It seemed like the powers that be at Warner Bros were TRYING to find ways to reverse everything that made Interview a pleasure to watch. It really is that bad!
But, before I rip into this piece of shit. I want to bring to light the three things I DID enjoy about Queen of The Damned.
1: The soundtrack – If there is only redeeming quality about this abomination, it’s the soundtrack. Being a huge fan of alternative rock and metal music, I really got into this album. All of the original tracks in the film were written by Korn frontman Jonathan Davis. Davis was also Lestat’s singing voice in the film, but unfortunately, he was unable to perform on the album due to contract limitations with Sony. So instead, we are given original tracks written by Davis and performed by the frontmen of some of the most popular alt rock and metal bands at the time such as David Draiman of Disturbed, Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, Wayne Static of Static-X, Jay Gordon of Orgy, and Marilyn Manson of…Marilyn Manson. I would totally recommend this album to anyone who’s a fan of any of the above listed bands, and of alternative and metal music.
2: Stuart Townsend as Lestat – As mentioned in my Interview With The Vampire review, I thought Tom Cruise made a wonderful Lestat. The same could be said for Stuart Townsend. Townsend plays Lestat very well considering what he’s given to work with. He embodies Lestat’s charm, confidence, and sensuality. He also plays Lestat the rock star very well. I still think that Cruise makes a better Lestat overall, but Townsend did nothing to disservice the character.
3:……….Ok, I have nothing for a third. I tried, people.
Queen of The Damned centers around Lestat de Lioncourt (Townsend) as he awakens from a self imposed slumber by the hustle and bustle of modern day New Orleans. One of the more interesting sounds contributing to his resurrection is a rock band who has taken up residence in Lestat’s old house. He outs himself to them and promises them fame and riches if they let him join the band. Along the way, we get a little bit of Lestat’s back story which involves how he was turned by the vampire Marius (Vincent Perez) into a vampire himself. We also see how Lestat comes across Queen Akasha (Aaliyah, in her final performance before her death) and manages to stir her from her slumber.
Will Lestat lead his band to superstardom without getting killed by vampires who are upset that he’s revealing all of their secrets in his lyrics? And what of Akasha?
The first major flaw in this movie is that they tried to take two books and condense them into a movie a little over an hour and a half long. Had they adapted The Vampire Lestat into a movie and just focused on telling Lestat’s story it would have worked out much better. But cutting down both books and trying to shoehorn them into a single film just doesn’t work. The novel Queen of The Damned is such a convoluted read as it is that to try and not only distill it down into its basest form, but combine it with another narrative, is a recipe for failure. The other major flaw for me was the exact opposite of what made Interview stand out for me. Queen of The Damned was too much like a typical modern horror movie. Lots of over the top special effects, and lots of excessive blood and gore. Not that there’s anything wrong with blood and gore, mind you, but part of what made Interview With The Vampire so enjoyable for me was its simplicity and its focus on atmosphere and storytelling over cheap scares and excessive violence.
Then there’s the acting. It’s not very good at all. The only actor I can stomach in this movie, as mentioned above, is Stuart Townsend. He plays a great Lestat. Everyone else was lacking to me.
I’ve seen worse horror movies. I’ve seen worse vampire movies (I’m looking at you, Vampiyaz), but Queen of The Damned is bad. Pretty fucking bad. It nowhere near lives up to the source material of Anne Rice’s novels, or to the movie it’s supposed to be a sequel to, Interview With The Vampire. The only reason I’d even remotely recommend this shitfest to someone is if they wanna see another take on Lestat in film besides Tom Cruise. Other then that, buy the soundtrack. Stay away from this film!
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