Queen of the Damned

Year: 2002
Studio: Warner Bros
Director: Michael Rymer
Writer: Scott Abbott/Michael Petroni
Cast: Stuart Townsend, Aaliyah, Vincent Perez, Lena Olin, Paul McGann

Little fright and all mystical action in this unofficial sequel to Interview With the Vampire. Based again on Anne Rice's lavish, sensual, far superior and far more explanatory novel, Lestat has gone to sleep after the events of Interview, only to be woken up by death metal music. For reasons never fully explained in the film (although they were in the book), he wants to expose the truth of vampires to the world, and does so by joining a goth metal band, vampirism his gimmick. When his music awakens the mother of all vampires, Akasha (Aaliyah, in her last performance before her death soon after), the blood hits the fan.

The almost unrelated subplot of Jesse's vampire family and the Talamascan society that must defeat Akasha has little to do with the rest of the film, although they (along with the red headed twin girls) formed the crux of the story in the book.

Townsend is a sexy, svelte, Michael Hutchence-type rocker and Aaliyah is menacing thanks to perpetually slow movements, piercing eyes and dubbed demonic voice. Former Mickey Rourke babe Olin and the hunk of French intelligentsia cinema Perez (and onetime Crow) have aged considerably but both have poise and grace. Too little was made out of far too much material to fit into a 90 minute film, and the result is storytelling mess but a visual feast.

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