"Queen Of The Damned"

(Original review October 14, 2002)
Dreamlike, that's how Julia had described the Anne Rice vampire books. Actually, the movie Queen Of The Damned retains some of that dreamlike, sensual quality. ''Shamelessly self-indulgent'', one critic called it. But I like the 'shamelessly self-indulgent'. It's fun. Lestat is a gorgeous bad boy, as Anne Rice, who wrote the book this movie is VERY loosely based upon, describes him in an interview: ''He's a tragic hero...he hasn't conquered his instincts, and half the time he acts very impulsively and very spontaneously.''

Well, this time he got taken in by the EEE-E -VIL Queen. Aaliyah, who tragically died in a plane crash shortly after this film was finished, makes an interesting green eyed Egyptian Queen. Too bad this is her last film, but she's immortalized in youth, a celluloid vampire at least.

There's one thing to be said about going into a movie with such low expectations as the reviewers have set for us. I was very pleasantly surprised. I expected true garbage such as Dracula 2000. The only thing right about THAT film was Gerald Butler's penetrating eyes. It wasn't his fault, he had an abysmally crappy script.

The vamps in QOTD ARE gorgeous. There's lovely eye-candy through out, and that alone is worth the look-see. I, do, however, want to read Rice's books. Cry To Heaven, about castratos, was so lovely, sensuous, dreamlike, and yet capturing the pathos of life, that I'm sure the rest of her books will be a rich treat.

The movie QOTD tried to capture the pathos of the lonely, bored vampire. I think their pathos would be much deeper than simple boredom. The pain would be much deeper, the hunger, much more intense. Yet, there would be the richness of watching the span of time evolve. Their mental lives would be extremely complex, which this movie fails to capture. But, as I've said, its eye candy is sufficient.

(Later note of December 25, 2002:)
Having read Anne Rice's tightly contructed novel, Queen Of The Damned, I now have a different perspective on this movie. It bears not much relation to that wonderful novel. Those who have read the book first will be sadly disappointed to learn there are NO RED HAIRED TWINS, who are so crucial to the book's plot. Also they will be dismayed as to the alteration of many smaller details, such as the making of Jesse. Her 'aunt' Maharet isn't the maker in the movie. Obviously, one can't expect a short movie to encompass the breath of the book.

Still, a more skilled screenwriter might have done better. As I am now reading the book Interview With A Vampire, I am impressed with how well its movie version captured the essence. But of course, for that movie, Anne Rice herself wrote the screenplay.)

But, as I've said before, there are PRETTY, PRETTY vamps!

ONE OF THE PRETTIEST
ARMAND,

Definitely one of the 'come hither' types . . .

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