Queen Of The Damned

Movie Review by Dr Kuma

Starring: Stuart Townsend, Aaliyah, Marguerite Moreau, Vincent Perez, Lena Olin, Claudia Black

Director: Michael Rymer

Well, this is it people, the Citizen Kane of ‘baaaaad’ movies. This movie is so bad it might become a sort of modern day PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE. These movies have two things in common; the first being that both the films two stars tragically died before it was released (Aaliyah and Bela Lugosi) and the second, they are both bloody awful.

The plot speaks for itself. Legendary vampire Lestat (Stuart Townsend) has risen from centuries of slumber, because he is tired of being banished into the shadows. He hates the dark (both the actual thing and keeping people in it) and is desperate to step into the light. This vampire doesn’t just want daylight however; he wants something far more – the limelight. What has brought Lestat to this decision is the sound of modern day Goth rock. He finds the sound so fantastic that he decides to investigate it further. When he sees that the Goths look like vampires anyway, he knows that he can pass himself off as one of them. He’s the first real vampire rock star and he’s bent on goading the other vampires to challenge him via his records and MTV. Fans as well as vampire hunters find clues on Lestat’s history and location by hearing clues left on his records. In one fantastic scene, our attractive female vampire hunter (Marguerite Moreau) finds directions to Lestat’s hideout (another ‘vampire night club’ folks – see my review of BLADE 2: BLOODHUNT for further details on this new phenomenon) by showing a group of old ‘Van Helsings’ some lyrics from Lestat’s new album which talk about “Coming into the arms of the King”. She then explains that THERE WAS A PUB called the Kings Arms in London around 1642 that Lestat probably drank in ! This Pub is now a club and she bets the Vamp Hunters circle that he will be there. Still drinking red wine obviously and that’s the plot- wow !

When the DVD is released I wonder if we try and play it backwards it will say “This movie is crap, this movie is crap”? Music is supplied rather uncreativly by Marilyn Manson and Jonathan Davis of Korn (or should that be Corny?).

There really are so many fantastically bad scenes I couldn’t do it justice, but a couple of lines that spring to mind are:

Lestat – “How did you get through the fifties wearing purple silk”

Marius (Vincent Perez) – “I slept through them”

Lestat – “What even Elvis?”

Marius – “Ah yes, Elvis”

Or

Lestat’s opening voice over – “being eternal can get so boring”.

In another scene to bring Akasha (Queen of the Damned) back to life, Lestat bites through a stone statue of her and strangely feeds on her energy. That’s really what I call getting blood from a stone.

Where as I truly hated the film RAT RACE for being crap, this movie is soooo bad it’s bordering on camp, and will I’m sure gain a huge cult following for a short time with bad movie aficionados. It’s a little too “now” to last the test of time and will become dated in a similar way to the LOST BOYS (a good film but a victim of fashion), but I’m sure it will always be a corner stone of ‘movie turkey’ books.

As it started I drew parallels between this movie and THE CROW in the fact that it’s stars would never see the way they looked on screen. When Stuart Townsend walked into shot I couldn’t believe it. He was the double of Brandon Lee !. How spooky was that. That movie has a large following although it too is very much “of it’s time” so you never know, perhaps I’ll look back on the privilege of being one of the few people not to walk out on this, on it’s original release. The attraction for many of course will be Aaliyah and she, it must be said, really seems to enjoy herself. She looks fantastic and just isn’t on the screen long enough, although it’s fair to point out that the movie was – about an hour and a half too long.

Dr Kuma’s verdict: DRACULA AD 1972 remade badly as DRACULA AD 2002.

It was an error to release it theatrically as it should have gone directly to the video graveyard where it would appeal to fans of schlock. As far as vampire flicks go, a grave error indeed.

1 out of 6 stars

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