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Queen of the Damned
2002 - R - 101 Mins.
Director: Michael Rymer
Producer: Jorge Saralegui
Written By: Scott Abbott and Michael Petroni
Starring: Stuart Townsend, Marguerite Moreau, Aaliyah, Vincent Perez, Paul McGann, Lena Olin
Review by: Carl Langley
   
Despite a killer soundtrack, 'Queen of the Damned' is far more dreadful than Neil Jordan’s slightly overrated 'Interview with the Vampire,' both films adapted from Anne Rice’s ceaseless novels on The Vampire Chronicles; although personally, I never found 'Interview with the Vampire' that intriguing either.

Stuart Townsend (the womanizer in 'About Adam' and Dorian Gray in 'The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen') plays Lestat, portrayed by Tom Cruise in Jordan’s aforementioned this time around. He voluntary takes a 200-year nap and decides to remove his headstone when, according to him, “the world didn't sound like the place I had left--but something different, better." In what supposedly is the romping portion of the picture, the bloodthirsty vampire becomes an international rock star, which causes his former creator, Marius (Vincent Perez), to return enviously. It also causes a vampire research student (Marguerite Moreau) to obsessively follow his tracks, and the vampire queen, Akasha (Aaliyah), to be beckoned in search for her king. The problem is, all of the other bloodsuckers in the world revolt against Akasha. I honestly do not know how she can ever lose because all she does is point at somebody and they combust into flames.

The stupidly primitive dialogue is the film’s ball and chain; never did I suspect spooky phrases such as “Come out, come out, wherever you are” and “Boo,” commonly used in the tone of sarcasm, to be spoken deliberately in a serious matter. Unintentional laughs outweigh the spooks here. The screenwriters, Scott Abbott and Michael Petroni, were visionless to their own humor. Every one of their characters, exempt Aaliyah’s scantily dressed and undulating Akasha, humorously appear as if they suffer from androgyny. The film turns out to be a hoot unintentionally, marking another failed horror motion picture.

Vampire films truly have become a waste of time. The freshly released Underworld took a different approach and battled werewolves against the bloodsucking beasts. Give points for creativity, but the genre still has to fall back on the cliché. As exciting as it looks, it makes the much-anticipated 2004 release of 'Van Helsing' mighty skeptical.

'Queen of the Damned' marked the last of only two screen appearances for pop-star diva Aaliyah. In the token screen time she has, her brother electronically dubbed her lines because she perished on a plane crash during post-production. The film was heading straight for video shelves for fear of its own doom in theaters, until Aaliyah passed on and they figured it would gain more attention, never cogitating the damnation of its audience.

Note: The composer, Jonathan Davis, is the leader singer of Korn. He appears briefly outside a concert trying to sell tickets. His voice is also dubbed as the singing voice for Lestat.
 
Movie Guru Rating
A train wreck.  So bad some may find it unintentionally entertaining.
  1 out of 5 stars

 
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