Queen of The Damned [2002]

Queen of The Damned [DVD] [2002]

Release Date: October 28, 2002
Studio: Warner Home Video
Actors: Aaliyah, Stuart Townsend, Marguerite Moreau, Vincent Perez, Paul McGann
Directors: Michael Rymer
Runtime: 101 minutes

Queen of the Damned combines the plot elements from the two disappointing novels Anne Rice cranked out as the sequels to Interview with the Vampire and contrives to be better than the book it is named after, but not by much. The vampire Lestat (a pale, pretty Stuart Townsend) awakens after a century-long nap and discovers flamboyant metal music, then irritates the vampire community by "coming out" and courting celebrities. His sub-Marilyn Manson songs interest paranormal-watching human librarian Jesse (Marguerite Moreau), who looks him up in a Mile End Goth club that caters for an undead clientele, but his tunes also awaken Akasha (Aaliyah), eponymous mother of all vampires, who makes him her number one disciple and sets about devastating the world, opposed by a cadre of conservative vampires who include Lestat's sire Marius (Vincent Perez) and Jesse's Aunt Maharet (Lena Olin).

The plot is of the "one-damn-thing-after-another" variety, zipping about the world from New Orleans to Glastonbury to a huge concert in Death Valley as broody characters exchange solemn but comical dialogue and indulge in fight scenes too swift for the camera to catch. Like Blade 2, it offers some spectacular vampire combustions, but its romance is strictly 15-certificate blood-nuzzling and it's hard to take Lestat himself seriously when Townsend plays him as such a feckless twit. --Kim Newman