Welcome to the new century, we have sex, drugs, and cool music all ready for you! Queen of the Damned is an extremely loose sequel to the nineties hit Interview with a Vampire. It’s also based on Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles novels, specifically the third one. However, you wouldn’t know it as the movie is just so fucking pompous and vain. Almost the same thing happens with every decade and generation. They think that this is the freest, decadent, or progressive time in human history. And they are not wrong, it’s just the framing of it that’s hilarious.
Now, a little bit of personal history. I watched Queen of the Damned as a budding metalhead and truly enjoyed its nu-metal soundtrack. Composed and performed by Jonathan Davis of Korn it features some great tracks. Cold by Static-X and Change by Deftones are two of my favorite ones. After all, this music was so good it woke up Lestat from his slumber. As soon as I heard the first few notes, I shot up back to a time when I was younger and the world was a very different place. Or at least I thought so. Strange how nostalgic you can get watching a pretty silly vampire movie with a lot of sappy romance. But hell, at least the vampires are not sparkling.
You ask me just how crazy Queen of the Damned is? Well, let’s just say that vampires are now in rock bands, playing venues and sucking blood all over the world. Well, at least one of them is, the mighty Lestat. I mean, the basic premise is so bold that I ain’t even mad, it’s freaking amazing. And as the story progresses we get more and more into the lore obviously well-thought-out in the original books. This is much, much better than Twilight if you’re looking for your daily fix of vampire romance movies.
All this brings us to the cast. Of course, two of the stars did an amazing job. Stuart Townsend, also known as Keira Knightley’s brother from another mother, had the perfect physique and mannerism for this type of role. And what to say about Aaliyah as Queen Akasha, she was just stellar and very memorable. Sadly, she died in a plane crash before the movie was done. She lives on through eternity as Akasha. The rest of the cast was mediocre at best. And it’s not their fault, they did their best, it’s just this type of movie requires memorable and larger-than-life personas.
The cinematography is very sleek and appealing. I mean, I watched this movie last night and it still looks really good. It definitely stood the test of time. When it comes to the special effects, that jerky flying thing looked nasty but the rest of them are pretty solid. Especially when queen Akasha appears. Queen of the Damned also features a lot of cool sets and locations. They even held a real freaking concert with over 3000 real goths who were bussed to the set. This willingness to go the extra mile really shows. It’s like if they were willing to do that, I guess I’ll watch their vampire movie.
Finally, let’s talk about the things that are not so good. The dialogue was trite and some of the twists were just painfully obvious. The main plot is illogical and you really can’t tell if this is all satire or are they for real. At all times you can feel their burning desire to be cool and stylish. All of this, I think, enriches the movie with this larger-than-life vibe that I just loved. It’s like this movie was made by Lestat himself.
I know that I’m being quite biased here, but I just loved this movie. I know it’s silly, dumb, and probably so bad that it’s good, but I just can’t help it. This is my generation’s The Hunger, 1983 gothic vampire romance starring David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve. And I apologize for it, but at least it’s entertaining and it shows us the zeitgeist of that decade. End of Days features a similar vibe only without vampires. If you want that, I guess you can check out the Underworld franchise. Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t recommend you Lifeforce  – The Weirdest Vampire Movie Ever Released.
Director: Michael Rymer
Writers: Anne Rice, Scott Abbott, Michael Petroni
Cast: Aaliyah, Stuart Townsend, Marguerite Moreau, Vincent Perez, Paul McGann, Lena Olin, Claudia Black
Fun Facts: Aaliyah was the first actor to be cast for the film. She was enthusiastic about taking the role due to her fascination with Egyptian mythology and also being a huge fan of vampire horror fiction.