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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 Rob Gonsalves

"Tepid, boring Anne Rice adaptation."
1 stars

They've gotten it all wrong. A vampire movie is supposed to be either great, or so ludicrously terrible you spend half an hour out in the parking lot laughing at it with friends; either way, it's supposed to be fun.

Those responsible for Queen of the Damned, which throws together two of Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles books (The Vampire Lestat and The Queen of the Damned), seem to have forgotten that. Certainly the movie isn't good, but since it was headed for mediocrity the minute Warner Bros. greenlighted the script (by Scott Abbott and Michael Petroni), couldn't they have tossed in some flamboyantly stupid moments? Just for me?

The movie takes itself with the grim seriousness of a bad rock video; it's too dull and grinding to be any fun to laugh at. A pall hangs over the proceedings anyway, since this is the well-publicized last appearance of the singer Aaliyah, who died in 2001 in a plane crash. Aaliyah plays the titular vamp, Queen Akasha, who used to reign over the vampire race and now wants to spend eternity with the rakish bloodsucker Lestat (Stuart Townsend) at her side.

How is Aaliyah? Her line readings are hard to judge (she's been dubbed and sub-woofed a lot), but she seems to be having a good time hissing, slinking about, and making disobedient vampires go poof in balls of flame and dust. Whatever life there is to the movie is what she brings to it; she had star presence, and her eagerness to play a glamorous villain in a big-budget horror movie gives her scenes a lift the film sorely needs.

Put Aaliyah next to Stuart Townsend and he looks twice as bad as he does otherwise. Townsend's Lestat is supposed to be a rock star -- a goth-grunge-metal icon, with music and singing voice helpfully provided by Jonathan Davis of the band Korn -- but Townsend comes off more like the kind of high-school kid who gets beat up a lot. Queen of the Damned veers closest to the hilarious when it's trying to sell us this guy as some sort of dark undead Svengali. Unfortunately, Lestat is who we're stuck with for most of the movie, occasionally trailed by a vampire-huntress with obscure motives (Marguerite Moreau, in an awful performance) and by Marius (Vincent Perez), the vampire who "made" Lestat centuries ago.

Lestat issues an open challenge to his vampire brothers and sisters to come and get him, an apparently suicidal agenda (he's tired of spending eternity alone) that results in a bunch of them attacking him onstage at a big concert. The hardcore, eyebrow-pierced audience is horrified when Lestat flits around slaying his own kind in self-defense; if director Michael Rymer (another rock-video veteran) had any wit, he'd have had the audience go nuts, thinking it was all part of the show. The movie doesn't tell us whether the crowd demands its money back after Lestat is whisked away by Akasha; after all, he barely gets through one song.

Queen of the Damned obviously isn't for Anne Rice devotees; it gives us blink-and-you-miss-them appearances by the vampires Armand and Pandora (who each later got their own books), without explaining who they are -- they're just vampire furniture. The humans, in turn, are human furniture -- I was dismayed to see Paul McGann, forever cool in my book for being the "I" in the British classic Withnail & I, reduced to a Basil Exposition role as a studious type who gives the vampire-huntress much-needed tips (hell, just throw some tweed on him and call him Giles). It's not much for vampire fans, either (they're all waiting for Blade II), and it's not really for Aaliyah fans (she doesn't turn up until about the halfway mark).

Who's it for, then? Whoever happens to wander into the theater with nothing better to do with the afternoon? It was rumored (falsely, claimed the studio) that 'Queen of the Damned' had been consigned to a direct-to-video fate, and that only Aaliyah's death helped avert that fate. Whatever the truth, this is the kind of disposable, watch-it-while-doing-household-chores film that was made for video.

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originally posted: 01/15/07 05:09:21
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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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