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Overall Rating

Awesome: 16.44%
Worth A Look: 15.07%
Average: 8.22%
Pretty Bad: 29.45%
Total Crap30.82%

6 reviews, 110 user ratings

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Queen of the Damned
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by Scott Weinberg

"Rock Star Vampire! Sounds COOL, huh? Nope..."
2 stars

After all of the hardship and tumult surroundung this production, it would be great to announce that Queen of the Damned somehow turned out to be a fun little horror flick. Unfortunately, that’s not even almost the case, and the only real entertainment you’ll derive from this choppy and sloppy movie will be from unintentional giggles – several of them.

The birth of this Anne Rice adaptation has been a messy one indeed. Tom Cruise turned down the chance to reprise his role of the moody vampire Lestat, second choice Wes Bentley (American Beauty) dropped out at the last minute, Josh Hartnett (Pearl Harbor) also passed on the gig, and producers scrambled to hire Stuart Townsend (About Adam), an actor who had recently been cast in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, only to be fired by director Peter Jackson after one day of filming. (He was set to play Aragorn, a role that would quickly be filled by Viggo Mortensen.) Anne Rice, apparently concerned that her novels would be adapted less than successfully, offered to throw together a screenplay for free. Warner casually ignored her offer, opting to hire two younger TV writers to do the job. Most tragically, lead actress Aaliyah (Romeo Must Die) was killed in a plane crash as the production was coming to a close, thereby requiring some hasty re-edits and a creepy voice-over dub – delivered by the actresses brother.

Based on the third novel of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles (after Interview with the Vampire and The Vampire Lestat), Queen of the Damned re-introduces us to the devious Lestat as he is awakening from a century-long slumber in a New Orleans crypt. (How Lestat could have participated in his earlier “Interview” while being asleep for 100 consecutive years is only one of the more minor flaws in logic that appear throughout the film.) Immediately after getting a taste of the modern world of sleazy women and rock music, Lestat sets out to become a massive rock star. OK, perhaps “sets out” isn’t the right phrase, since the vampire becomes a world-renowned rocker in less time than it took you to read this sentence.

Discontent with his eternal miseries, Lestat hopes to provoke the undead minions across the globe to end his suffering. To this end, he liberally breaks the “vampire code of eternal secrecy” by filling his rock lyrics with all sorts of arcane vampire information, methods and recipes. Lestat’s sudden notoriety catches the eye of a British organization which is dedicated to observing (but never intruding upon) supernatural phenomenon. One such member, the plucky and doe-eyed Jesse, learns more than she wants to about Lestat, and sets off to discover his secrets. OK, perhaps “sets out” isn’t the right phrase this time either, as Jesse gets chummy with Lestat (the world’s biggest rock star, don’t forget) in about 9 seconds.

Plotwise, that’s basically it. The rest of the film is a tiresome concoction of cheesy CGI effects, atrocious acting performances and…oh yeah, the QUEEN! I knew I forgot something! Lest you think the title character (the one plastered all over the posters and TV ads) should prove to be integral to a film’s plot, Queen of the Damned ends that idea right away. Aaliyah’s role amounts to approximately 17 minutes of the film’s running time, and most of that is during the truly illegible finale.

Back when Interview with the Vampire was nearing production, Anne Rice made a national spectacle of herself by taking out a full-page ad in Variety Magazine stating that Tom Cruise was totally wrong for the role of Lestat. While I don’t think Interview ranks among Cruise’s best performances, it’s generally accepted that he acquitted himself quite well in the role. My question to Anne Rice is simply this: Where’s your full-page ad NOW? If you thought Tom Cruise was the wrong actor to play Lestat, I cannot IMAGINE what you think of Stuart Townsend!

With a complexion that would make an albino look like George Hamilton, an accent that ranges from Hungarian to German to Yiddish and face that looks like Johnny Depp after about 3,000 bee stings, Townsend is a grade-A B-movie hoot. If melancholy mugging and nonstop frothmouth are ever considered art, Townsend’s performance will win a retroactive Oscar. Faring even more ridiculously is poor Aaliyah herself. I realize it’s a touchy subject considering that the girl is now deceased, but if WB wants to release a movie with her in it, I figure her performance is fair game. Simply put, she’s fall-on-the-floor funny in this movie. In a bad way.

While any movie that features such a wretched screenplay, several terrible performances and some truly atrocious editing techniques would be easy to bash, there are some components that are not entirely awful. Director Michael Rymer (In Too Deep) and his production designers have done a bag-up job in making Queen of the Damned at least look quite impressive. A handful of (very brief) action sequences are welcome sights, despite the nonstop overuse of dead vampires caught in full CGI “meltdown”.

The set design and visual flair evident in the movie’s first half (particularly in the relatively entertaining flashback sequences) manage to keep the movie afloat, but the weight of too much overt stupidity, zeppelin-size plot holes, stunning lapses in simple storytelling, and (again) the pathetically choppy editing force this one to sink without a trace.

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originally posted: 02/22/02 16:07:36
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User Comments

10/12/10 gfdggdfg CfIiHo pepyaka 5 stars
2/28/10 art A GREAT FABLE!,IT WAS SAD that AAYIAH DIED before it's release! 3 stars
11/29/09 slushie that movie sucked ass. 1 stars
12/01/08 Kimmy Not even close to being true to Anne Rice's books. A disappointment! 1 stars
6/26/08 flora the guy (sven) who said its better than Interview with the Vampire needs a kick to the face 1 stars
5/26/08 Roz Movie sucked. Cast sucked (pardon the pun). Soundtrack was great. 2 stars
2/02/08 thomas donaldson great movie...not overblown or hokey and true to annies book series.. a must see 5 stars
1/22/08 ur romeo thz movie iz da shyte best vMPIRE MOVIE EVR 5 stars
5/16/07 fools♫gold Honestly, spend time on "About Adam" (same actor) instead. 1 stars
1/15/07 del Absolute garbage. 1 stars
11/26/06 manu even more shitty than the book is.watching this movie is a horrible way to waste your time. 1 stars
11/08/06 Ayla__Rawr crap movie, good book. They twisted the story into another.LAME! 2 stars
1/26/06 sweetgrrl1972 Embarrassingly bad adaptation of the book. 1 stars
12/10/05 cody sexy vampire movie with good perfomance by Aayiah, l miss her! 3 stars
8/19/05 Indrid Cold Beautiful atmosphere I suppose, but really really boring. 2 stars
8/16/05 ES People who raved about being JM thought this movie was 'dull and wierd= ya right guys 4 stars
8/09/05 tatum Good cast, second rate execution 3 stars
7/09/05 Moctezuma It's all right. It does have a fucking kick-ass soundtrack, though 3 stars
6/22/05 sasah bote good 5 stars
1/17/05 Feliciano this movie blasts away interview with the vampire 5 stars
1/08/05 Ryan Dortmans Worst... movie... ever... 1 stars
10/24/04 sven Much better then the interview with the vampire. And it's greath that's Modern 5 stars
7/12/04 TLN Like it alot...a vampire 'chick flick' Loved Townsend 4 stars
6/14/04 valerie hart brill very classy with fantastic music sexy and slick stu is hot! a GREAT MODERN VAMP FLICK 5 stars
6/12/04 Daveman Much more fun and imaginative than the first film. 3 stars
4/11/04 valerie hart i thought it was a fantasic film with great music and with class and style. 5 stars
2/11/04 Jingo P. Proof that horror movies, even those based on such great books, are utterly failing. 2 stars
1/19/04 Gopher Avenger Vampires. Blood. Sex appeal. DAMN good music. Based after a good set of books. Thunbs up. 5 stars
11/25/03 Thiago "Queen" is fun. Stuart, Aaliyah and Vincent are inspired. Check it out. 4 stars
11/14/03 unkown its brill im watching it again 5 stars
11/01/03 I Would Takes the worst book of the series and manages to be better than IWTV 2 stars
9/05/03 Juanita This makes a mockery of a sham of the books-but Townsend is HOT! 1 stars
8/24/03 Jen I have read the book, and I had no idea a book could be so butured in it's portrayal. 1 stars
7/24/03 Kit It was nothing like the two books. In fact, it ruined the actual book for me..-.-; 1 stars
7/16/03 Asiana125 when i 1st saw tha movie i wasnt impressed but as i saw it more 4 stars
7/15/03 Alida Louis+Daniel didn't appear... and can't believe they cut off the Lestat x Louis scenes! 2 stars
7/11/03 Eloise satisfactory.....there's alot worse vamp flicks out there 4 stars
7/02/03 Vicious This film is why i hate goths and vampires (one reason anyways) 1 stars
4/13/03 Jon I really wanted to like this movie. Too bad it failed in so many ways. 2 stars
3/18/03 Goofy Maxwell Damn it all to hell! I watched this godforsaken mess 4 aaliyahs last 15 min? Sadly it sucks 1 stars
3/13/03 The Talking Elbow This movie didn't suck, it was entertaining, and better then most vamp. movies. 5 stars
3/06/03 Dina Smith Hee hee. I love vampires. Stuart Townsend. I'm drooling. 4 stars
3/04/03 Jack Sommersby Colorful and interesting, but just too dmn stiff and overly mannered. 2 stars
11/05/02 Vicious vamp/goth faggotry. I hate this film and anyone who likes it with all my heart. 1 stars
10/28/02 Zargo it's entertaining enough. sad about aliyah's death 4 stars
9/25/02 Julianie Ferguson great performance by aaliyah, but they should have sticked to the story from the book 2 stars
9/09/02 othree learning Lestats history was interesting, the rest sucked omg ass, Aaliyah was beautiful 2 stars
6/12/02 Eloise nice looking man redeemed whole film, YEY! 5 stars
5/28/02 angel fucking great, lestat is gorgous 5 stars
5/19/02 Chowie pretty shit, aaliyah was only in it for like 20 mins!! 1 stars
5/19/02 Carmen This movie was ok. Aaliyah's walk was da' bomb! 3 stars
5/13/02 Cleo now why oh why was she walking as if she had just dislocated both her shoulders 3 stars
5/13/02 Me Me Didn't anyone check out the way that alliyah walked. 2 stars
4/27/02 Jessica EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW! Sucks Ass! 1 stars
4/23/02 D I like Vampire shit anyways, but it kicked ass, it had awesome effects. 5 stars
4/23/02 Natalie Brilliant movie i luved it it rules 5 stars
4/22/02 Danielle I loved Stuart Townshend's portrayal of Lestat. The book is different than the movie though 4 stars
4/21/02 Asia The movie sucked in a BAD way.none of the charectors are deplicted correct......... 1 stars
4/21/02 Mickey What????? 2 stars
4/21/02 sim the fiilm is soo fucking good u got to see it 5 stars
4/20/02 Chris up on the hill Wonderfully filmed, amazing effects,fast-paced. 5 stars
4/19/02 jean paul remember that feeling you got when you watch matrix 5 stars
4/17/02 beamie so so, could have been better, but was a good movie. 4 stars
4/15/02 Steph It was good - for an adaptation, the soundtrack kicks ass and Stuart was good as Lestat 4 stars
4/15/02 Kris Best Vampire movie Ive seen, cant wait for it to come out to buy. 5 stars
4/14/02 Lewis The score rules, and it feels as though you are in a WW Masquarade game. 5 stars
4/14/02 Nathan Wolfenden SO TOTALLY F@#KED!!! Return it to the can and forget it ever existed. Worst film ever! 1 stars
4/13/02 Arisa What a ridiculous and crappy group of vampires.No depth, no story.Aaliyah is great though. 2 stars
4/12/02 Karen Lytollis a bit more than average-Im a big fan 4 stars
4/11/02 Akasha I was in the Cinema yesterday. And I like this film very much! I've read the book, too. 5 stars
4/10/02 Jo Don't know about Lestat but Marius was one hell of a sexy beast. 4 stars
4/10/02 kristen green queen of the damned was great and I liked the music I could not stop bouncing my head. 5 stars
4/06/02 Marlee Pappas I luv Buffy but Rymer puts a BIG! eww on vampires. 2 stars
3/30/02 troika More like "King of the Bombs". 1 stars
3/24/02 phantom honestly the worst piece of shit in years 1 stars
3/17/02 J. Lyons Okay movie, but Aaliyah's part didn't impress me much. 3 stars
3/17/02 Rampage One word: BOOOOOOORIIIIIIIING 1 stars
3/12/02 Veronica Foxx aka The Raven-Haired Temptress Too bad Aaliyah didn't have a better movie as some her final work. This was rather poor. 1 stars
3/11/02 Rgtp Crap, Crap, and worse than Crap 1 stars
3/11/02 Alex i have never liked aailya her death ddint make me like her any more and this movie didnt 1 stars
3/10/02 Cat I liked that movie! then again Lestat was damn sexy...and hey it was aaliyah's last movie 4 stars
3/06/02 Jamesiegod What do you expect? I liked it, so slap me! 4 stars
3/05/02 gromm If you liked the book, don't bother seeing this. Horrible acting, and the plot is way off. 2 stars
3/04/02 parkallan This made the top box office list because of stupid people like myself.... 1 stars
3/03/02 Napalousa Not as bad as it could be but sadly not as good as it could be either. 3 stars
3/01/02 Shaun Quismorio Filled with clichés and cheap special effects. No atmosphere whatsoever. 1 stars
2/28/02 Todd SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
2/27/02 Melissa Daniel-Louis finds Lestat in the 1980's; he bites Louis' interviewer afterward.SW is right. 1 stars
2/27/02 daniel regarding what the review calls an inconsistency- louis was the interviewee, not lestat. 1 stars
2/27/02 Xalt Eh. Didn't get much reaction besides mild interest. 2 stars
2/26/02 Greyjack Wasn't totally awful, just pretty awful. Some nice atmosphere, I guess. Overall: bleah. 2 stars
2/26/02 Hank Graham Yes, it *WAS* that bad--worse than the book, which I hated 1 stars
2/26/02 Nyartholep Wasn't _that_ bad. Still, nothing special, and it has it's problems 3 stars
2/26/02 shelley smith What happened to the whole story about the twins? I won't forgive them for this film. 1 stars
2/26/02 KMG I would rather walk into Roger Ebert's fart, than watch Townsend "act" again. 1 stars
2/25/02 gdb Like most movies, would most likely have been worse if I read the book. But I didn't. 5 stars
2/25/02 John Timon did the screenplay writers read any of the books? 1 stars
2/25/02 Andrew Carden Boring and Lame Vampire Flick. Many Corny Lines and Many Confusing Subplots. 1 stars
2/25/02 Bendrix Betrayed Lestat's character- God awful film 1 stars
2/25/02 silver raven do yourself a favor and read the books. the movie is just an excuse for a good soundtrack. 1 stars
2/25/02 Kiakim wonderful! 5 stars
2/24/02 lizzietizzie It was decent... a bad combo of the books... but good for entertainment... 3 stars
2/24/02 asdfk; So harsh, the criticisms. Yet it was entertaining. 3 stars
2/23/02 Rogue despite Aaliyah, the movie wasnt all bad...neat effects 4 stars
2/23/02 Madolan Ivy Sorry-- liked it. Sexy vamps, great sets, decent actors-- but needed more vamp backstory. 4 stars
2/23/02 Jesus Christ I condemn Aaliyah. 1 stars
2/23/02 Heather Love the Books, BUT They MAKE AWFUL movies 1 stars
2/23/02 Jimmy James oh. my. god. 1 stars
2/22/02 Cheryl This isn't a movie, this is a music video. 100% cheese! 2 stars
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  22-Feb-2002 (R)



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