Science fiction and fantasy                                            

Queen of the Damned

a Michael Rymer film

Queen of the Damned poster  
Interview with a Vampire was a classic film that redefined the vampire genre. But for some reason the filmmakers decided to bypass the second book in the series, The Vampire Lestat, and film Queen of the Damned instead. They have also abandoned the original Lestat in order to bring on a whole new version of the character. It's not merely that Lestat is supposed to be blonde, or that he is no longer played by Tom Cruise. In this movie he has none of the subtlety of the literary character, and is played by Stuart Townsend with all the charm of a male version of a petulant diva. (A dive, perhaps?)

Lestat has risen after a long sleep underground, to find the world utterly changed. Immortality has made him lonely, so he decides to become a rock star and openly announce his presence. He calls his band The Vampire Lestat and challenges all the other vampires to meet him at his concert.

In fact the plot of Queen of the Damned bears only a passing resemblance to the book. The bare bones are there, but so many details have been altered or omitted that it will grate with anyone who has read it, and confuse anyone who has not.

In this film Marius plays the role of Lestat's sire and mentor, teaching him the ways of vampires such as how to feed and avoid being seen. Marius is also the one responsible for keeping the oldest and most powerful vampires, the almost-petrified king and queen of the damned.

In the present day Jesse, a member of the Talamasca, is researching Marius. This leads her to Lestat in order to find out more. Unfortunately we don't learn much about what makes J tick or why she's so interested in vampires in the first place. The movie is far more focused on presenting Lestat as some kind of vampy rock star, complete with leather pants and pasty complexion. Stuart Townsend certainly looks good in the clothes (or lack of) and knows how to strut and pose on stage. Likewise Aaliyah vamps it up as the queen Akasha, moving sensuously and slaughtering gracefully in a kind of destructive dance. The soundtrack is excellent, especially for fans of rock, but the film plays like one long music video. It's all image, atmosphere and clothes, with sparse dialogue and no storyline worth a damn.

This film is too short to make sense of many of the character's stories, and too long for the clichéd goth-parade/rock soundtrack that it has become. It has none of the nuance of Interview with a Vampire, and in spite of all the flesh on display and the attractive cast, it leaves you cold. It's no wonder that none of the original cast wanted anything to do with this dire sequel.

Film Details

Year: 2002

Categories: Films


Classification: 15

If you like this, try:

Interview With The Vampire: Claudia    

Interview With The Vampire: Claudia's Story by Anne Rice and Ashley Marie Witter
This graphic novel tells the story of a child vampire destined never to grow to adulthood.

Queen of Kings cover    

Queen of Kings by Maria Dahvana Headley
What if Cleopatra became an immortal monster?

Interview With The Vampire cover    

Interview With The Vampire by Anne Rice
In the first episode of The Vampire Chronicles a reluctant vampire recounts his life story to date.

1 star rating

Review © Ros Jackson


Peter Robinson     10th January, 2006 12:26pm

This film ruled! I loved all the guts haha!

Mercy     14th March, 2007 19:33pm

I think the movie has a certain aura about it its touching and has a message we all can relate to it totally rocks.

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