Queen of the Damned (2002)

R   |    |  Drama, Fantasy, Horror


Queen of the Damned (2002) Poster

The vampire Lestat becomes a rock star whose music wakes up the queen of all vampires.


5.3/10
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  • Aaliyah and Stuart Townsend in Queen of the Damned (2002)
  • Aaliyah in Queen of the Damned (2002)
  • Stuart Townsend in Queen of the Damned (2002)
  • Aaliyah in Queen of the Damned (2002)
  • Vincent Perez and Stuart Townsend in Queen of the Damned (2002)
  • Aaliyah and Stuart Townsend in Queen of the Damned (2002)

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User Reviews


27 February 2002 | jhclues
7
| One You Can Sink Your Teeth Into
If vampire tales are your cup of blood, then this Goth-fest based on the Anne Rice Vampire Chronicles should prove to be a satisfying experience. A veritable consortium of the undead in a contemporary setting, `Queen of the Damned,' directed by Michael Rymer, is a story of shadows and darkness, and of the unfortunate souls who dwell therein for eternity.

The vampire Lestat (Stuart Townsend), bored with a world that no longer excites him, has been `asleep' for many years; but suddenly, the sounds of that world he hears from his extended slumber change, and liking what he hears, he ventures forth to investigate. What he finds is a world filled with new sounds, a new kind of music-- driving and penetrating-- sounds that assault the senses and make him feel alive and welcome. And he knows that at long last his time has come, that it is time for him and those like him to come out into the open and face the world on their terms. Toward that end he becomes the front man for a band-- a singer and performer unlike any the world has ever known. He presents himself as a vampire, and very quickly amasses a following that extends far beyond London (where it all begins), and will ultimately take him to Death Valley, California, where he plans to give a concert that promises to be beyond anything anyone has ever seen or experienced.

Lestat is powerful, without question, but there are those of his kind who do not take favorably to the fact that he has revealed them, one of whom is Marius (Vincent Perez), a vampire powerful in his own right-- the vampire, in fact, who `made' Lestat so many years before-- and they are gathering, coming together and making their plans to meet Lestat at the concert. And they are not going for the music. But there is something else, as well: At one point Lestat has inadvertently awakened the `Mother' of them all, the most powerful of all the vampires, Akasha (Aaliyah), who is about to make her presence known to all, and especially to the one she has chosen to rule by her side as her King: Lestat. And at the concert, rest assured, Akasha will be in attendance, without fail.

Make no mistake, this is Lestat's story, and Rymer presents it amid a setting rich with atmosphere and with some exquisite moments, though his film has less bite to it than say, `Interview With the Vampire,' or `Bram Stoker's Dracula.' He sets a good pace, and there are some scenes that provide some real thrills, but overall the film isn't as soaked in menace as it could be, or as much as one might expect. In the final tally, in fact, the amount of flesh that is incinerated wins out over actual blood-letting, though there is more than a taste of gore, and more than a fair share of lips and mouths dripping with the red stuff. There's some good F/X on hand, too, especially in the sequences that accentuate the speed of the vampires, as they move and hurtle through the air faster than the naked eye can discern. It's a decent job by Rymer, but he could have put more teeth into it had he played up the alienation hinted at by Lestat; as it is, you get a sense of his detachment, but not enough to get you totally involved.

In `Interview With the Vampire,' Tom Cruise brought some charismatic star power to the role of Lestat, but Townsend is even more effective, with a look and an attitude that captures Lestat perfectly. He plays him with a sense of acceptance, and under closer scrutiny you may even find a hint of remorse and longing. It's a good performance, and one that sells his character convincingly.

As Marius, Vincent Perez does a nice job, too-- he is, in fact, one of the strengths of the film-- though his character is a bit ambiguous; that, however, has more to do with the way he was written than with Perez's performance, which is quite good.

Turning in noteworthy performances, as well, are Marguerite Moreau, as Jesse, a young woman too curious for her own good; and the gorgeous Lena Olin as Maharet, Jesse's Aunt, who ultimately plays a pivotal role in the outcome of the drama involving Lestat and Akasha.

And as Akasha, Aaliyah is an absolutely riveting presence. What more can one say about her other than she is a gifted performer, with tremendous talent and beauty. And, tragically, she has left us much too soon.

The supporting cast includes Paul McGann (David), Christian Manon (Mael), Claudia Black (Pandora), Bruce Spence (Khayman), Matthew Newton (Armand), Tiriel Mora (Roger) and Megan Dorman (Maudy). With a much stronger story than the usual offerings of this particular genre, Anne Rice fans, especially, will be pleased with `Queen of the Damned,' a film nicely crafted and delivered by director Rymer and his engaging cast. By focusing attention on the drama of the story-- and the way it's presented-- rather than concentrating on merely providing some cheap thrills, Rymer has succeeded in turning out a true horror film that is definitely a cut above, and one that just may whet your appetite for more of the same. And that's the magic of the movies. I rate this one 7/10.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

On the casting of Stuart Townsend as Lestat, Anne Rice stated "Everything I hear about the movie is good. Warner Bros. is extremely enthusiastic. They are working very hard to make it perfect. I have no real news. Let me repeat what I mentioned in a recent message. I met Stuart Townsend, the young man who is playing Lestat and he was absolutely charming. He had Lestat's excellent speaking voice and his feline grace. I cannot wait to see him in the film".


Quotes

Lestat: There comes a time for every vampire when the idea of eternity becomes momentarily unbearable. Living in the shadows, feeding in the darkness with only your own company to keep, rots into a solitary, hollow existence. Immortality seems like a good ...


Goofs

At the end, when Jesse and Lestat are walking out of the Talamasca, they switch places between shots.


Crazy Credits

Dedicated to Aaliyah Dana Haughton 1979 - 2001


Alternate Versions

DVD release includes full unedited versions of Lestat's music videos for "Redeemer," "Forsaken" and "System", and Lestat's full concert performances for "Not Meant For Me" and "Slept So Long". DVD also features deleted scenes:

  • "Original Opening Sequence with Timelapse" - The idea of this opening scene was to show the passing of the decades to which Lestat slept. However, the production team was not pleased with the prelimenary visuals created for the scene, and ultimately, decided to skip the scene altogether.
  • "Original Jesse Dream Sequence and Meeting Roommate on the Street" - Jesse's encounter with a vampire in her dream was cut due to the fact that it raised too many questions as to wether Jesse herself was a vampire. The roommate scene, featuring Pia Miranda, came right after she watched Lestat on MTV, and before the first visit to the Admiral's Arms. It was deemed expendable.
  • "Marius talks with Lestat on the Beach" - The scene was trimmed to improve pacing. In it Marius tells Lestat that what keeps him going is seeing what human beings are going to do next.
  • "Jesse goes to Admiral's Arms #1" - The filmmakers shot a scene where Jesse visits the Admiral's Arms prior to her Talamasca presentation, but cut for pacing purposes. In it we just see Jesse getting off the subway and then walking down a dark alley towards the Admiral's Arms. Footage of vampires entering the Admiral's Arms is used later in the film when Jesse returns for a second visit.
  • "Band Plays in Admiral's Arms" - The instrumentalists are a who's who of Australian alternative rock. Aimee Nash is a rising young actress and singer. Robin Casinader composed the music. Although the filmmakers loved every second of the footage, they knew they couldn't show much of it in the movie, again because of pacing and timing.
  • "Groupies with 'Garlic' End" - This scene was cut because the garlic joke was thought to be tonally off. In it, after Lestat's manager, Roger, brings him two groupies Lestat discovers garlic in Roger's coat pocket.
  • "Jesse on Plane, Lestat in L.A. Mansion, Jesse Dreams of Akasha, Band Watching Videos" - The filmmaker's dropped the scene of Jesse's flight to Los Angeles because they weren't satisfied with the shock dream, featuring Akasha's attack on Jesse. Meanwhile, the scene with the band was trimmed because the filmmakers decided it didn't make much sense to dwell on them here.
  • "The Ancients Rise" - The scene was originally part of Lestat's satellite dish montage. It was cut as a part of the overall de-emphasis of the Ancients.
  • "Ancients at Hollywood Sign" - The Ancients storyline was reduced during the course of production because filmmakers felt that there were too many conflicting vampire agendas in the movie. In the final cut of the film, the Ancients are more in the background, and simply serve as allies of Maharet and Marius. In this scene we are introduced to Pandora, Armand, Mael, Khayman and Maharet as they first approach Marius next to the Hollywood sign, and we are given some insight into their relationships with each other. In this scene we hear a line that was used in the trailers, Khayman says "Akasha takes pleasure in only one thing: Destroying life."
  • "Akasha Dances" - Basically an extended version of the scene where Akasha kills all the vampires at the Admiral's Arms. Despite the fact that the filmmakers loved every second of Akasha's original dance as well as her closing words to Lestat, this scene was trimmed to heighten tension. In this scene Akasha speaks the famous line which was used in the trailers, "Lestat. Come out, come out, wherever you are."
  • "L.A. Mansion, Jesse Talks with Lestat, Extended Flying Sequence" - The filmmakers felt the dialogue between Jesse and Lestat was unnecessarily long, and tightened it considerably by cutting out a part where Jesse tells Lestat about her dreams. However, they regret trimming the flying sequence, as it establishes a suitably romantic mood.
  • "Jesse Writes her Aunt and Goes to the Concert" - Originally, Jesse was abducted by Mael at Griffith Park after her encounter with Lestat, and taken to Maharet. After their conversation, Jesse writes a farewell note, and goes to the concert. The scene where Jesse first meets up with Maharet now plays after the concert. After Jesse writes the note she goes out into a desert highway and hitches a ride with some friendly goths on their way to Lestat's concert.
  • "Band Backstage at Concert, Jesse Walks Through Crowd, Ancients Watch" An extended version of the scene where Jesse arrives at the concert where we see the band hanging out backstage as the Ancients arrive in search of Jesse. As the Ancients watch the partying concert-goers, Khayman notes "Akasha will not be able to resist this."


Soundtracks

Redeemer
Written and Produced by
Jonathan Davis and Richard Gibbs
Performed by Jonathan Davis and Marilyn Manson
Double Violin and Vocal Improvisation by Shenkar
Jonathan Davis appears courtesy of Epic Records
Shankar appears courtesy of 15 Records

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Drama | Fantasy | Horror

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