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Queen of The Damned (2002)

Queen of The Damned
African American Beauty.


Stuart Townsend

Released By:

Warner Bros

Released In:




Reviewed By:

Adam Mast



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Last year we lost the up-and-coming actress Aaliyah in a tragic accident. Although primarily known for her singing career, she had been trying to break into acting. She had a charismatic turn in the silly Romeo Must Die and had just finished Queen of the Damned shortly before her death. Needless to say, this movie will probably make some money for all the wrong reasons.

Queen of the Damned is part of Anne Rice's famed Vampire Chronicles. It features the Vampire Lestat (Stuart Townsend) re-awakening in modern times and finding a place in the world of rock and roll. What better cover for a vampire than the front man of a rock band. Lestat finds that he's bitten off a little more than he can chew, when he makes an army of undead enemies, who are outraged over the fact that Lestat gives away trade secrets in his lyrics. Coming to Lestat's aid is Akasha (Aaliyah), an ancient vampire queen who seems to have the upper hand in the situation. Unfortunately, Queen of the Damned is an intriguing premise gone wrong.

I really liked Interview With a Vampire. It had a strange eroticism about it that was fascinating. It also played like a vampire memoir, giving an all too real insight into the world of the undead. Alas, Queen of the Damned lacks it's predecessor's passion and sheer sense of scope.

Part of the problem here is that the film makers have actually combined elements of more than one book. They skipped The Vampire Lestat and opted to mesh elements of that book with Queen of the Damned. As a result there is far too much going on and we never really get any of the character dimension that made "Interview" work so well.

Strangely, this movie is much more about Lestat than it is the Queen of the Damned, and I found that frustrating. Stuart Townsend looks the part, but isn't able to inject the same brash, ferociousness that Tom Cruise nailed in the last movie. Cruise was able to win over the harshest of skeptics as Lestat including Anne Rice herself. Townsend isn't nearly as commanding in this part. Aaliyah is an absolute beauty as Akasha. She is the only performer in the picture that really sinks her teeth into the role, and gives us that sensual side that you expect from a bloodsucker. The first time we see Akasha unleash her fury, is easily the best sequence in the film. Sadly, there is very little of her character throughout the movie. Like I said, this film is more about Lestat and his dull quest to learn how to co-exist with humans.

The special effects are not that impressive. The CGI stuff is quite run of the mill. I did, however, like some of the old school make up effects. Queen of the Damned is a weak follow up to Interview With a Vampire. They've tried to condense far too much material into a one hour and forty minute film. This movie certainly could have used the sure hand of director Neil Jordan. Film maker Michael Rymer (Angel Baby) never really seems up to the challenge. And given that this was Aaliyah's final film appearance, it is a shame it wasn't a better picture.

:: zBoneman.com Reader Comments ::



Personally I think this movie was amazing. Aaliyah played an incredibly amazing part as Queen Akasha. Stuart Townsend played an awesome part as well, and you can tell that he is a true actor dedicated to his work, and it shows. The whole idea of the movie was fabulouse and the director did a great job on the way the vampires moved and acted. It was a gripping,tantric movie and even though the movie is more about Lestat than the Queen, I believe that they had to change the script in a 'still catchy' way because of Aaliyah sudden, and tragic passing. She passed in the making of the movie so i think they made the right choice to continue on and change the script based on what she had already finished. I wouldnt have wanted it any other way. Congradulations!!

Cecily Weekusk

Cecily Weekusk

That was the best vampire movie i have ever seen hopefuly you make more going on about it becuase if you do i want to colect all the movies for it !! I LOVE THAT MOVIE




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