Queen Of The Damned

The long-awaited sequel to Anne Rice's blockbuster Interview with the Vampire, this monster mishmash looks luscious but feels as though a whole lot of story got lost between the page and the screen. A secondary character in Interview, Lestat (Stuart Townsend) is summoned from a death-like slumber by the siren call of rock and roll. Flamboyant and selfish...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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The long-awaited sequel to Anne Rice's blockbuster Interview with the Vampire, this monster mishmash looks luscious but feels as though a whole lot of story got lost between the page and the screen. A secondary character in Interview, Lestat (Stuart Townsend) is summoned from a death-like slumber by the siren call of rock and roll. Flamboyant and selfish (in life and undeath), Lestat's lust for the limelight made him an outcast among his dark brethren, who live perpetually in the shadows. Now he's determined to embrace celebrity and avenge himself on the other vampires whose rejection doomed him to wander the darkness alone. He forms a band — The Vampire Lestat — makes music videos in the style of NOSFERATU and THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI, and pens lyrics chockablock with references to arcane supernatural lore. Of course, no one believes Lestat is really a vampire except other vampires, and they're enraged by his flagrant breach of undead protocol. Lestat's antics attract the attention of the Talamasca's Jesse Reeves (Marguerite Moreau, whose lackluster presence is a serious liability); though the centuries-old Talamasca observes supernatural phenomena, Jesse isn't content to simply observe Lestat, for reasons that may be connected to her shadowy past. An orphan, Jesse is haunted by dreams of an isolated house, an elaborate bas relief of a family tree and the pale, beautiful aunt (Lena Olin) who told her she must live among her own kind. As Jesse delves into Lestat's background, uncovering his connection with ancient vampire Marius (Vincent Perez) and the legendary Egyptian Queen Akasha (Aaliyah), a blood-drinking demon whose thirst once nearly depopulated the world, Lestat plans a blowout concert in Death Valley. His not-so-hidden agenda: To bring all the world's vampires out of the darkness. Devoted fans of Rice's baroquely detailed Vampire Chronicles will be dismayed by the many liberties taken by director Michael Rymer and screenwriters Scott Abbott and Michael Petroni, who condensed, rearranged, pared down and cobbled together two novels, The Vampire Lestat and Queen of the Damned, each a weighty read in its own right. But newcomers may well wonder what the fuss is all about. Sure, the pallid, sinewy vampires are self-consciously sexy in a surprisingly potent way, swanning around in leather, fishnet and velvet like the preening predators they are. But Rymer's film doesn't revitalize vampire clichés in any significant way and, frankly, VELVET GOLDMINE is a more seductive movie about sex, death and rock and roll — and it's not even about vampires.

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  • Released: 2002
  • Rating: R
  • Review: The long-awaited sequel to Anne Rice's blockbuster Interview with the Vampire, this monster mishmash looks luscious but feels as though a whole lot of story got lost between the page and the screen. A secondary character in Interview, Lestat (Stuart Townse… (more)

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