director Michael Rymer
That Queen of the Damned is a pretty awful movie, well, that seems common knowledge, as is the fact that at this point in time, it’s most compelling element is star Aaliyah who died in a plane crash before the film was even released. Her mere existence on film, capturing her as a living being, was already a thing when the film went into general release in 2002.
That this was Anne Rice’s vampire Lestat’s second cinematic incarnation, and still last to date, that possibly is important to her readership. This film is all millennial grunge and goth way up the yin-yang, aching, aching, aching. Everyone is so SEXY, and I mean that in the objective sense: they are meant to be very sexy, they think they are very sexy, probably to someone they in fact ARE sexy.
Rice’s notion of turning the retro-gothic modern vampire into a rockstar might well have been innovative on the page in the time it was published. I can’t speak to that exactly as I’ve never read her books (only seen the movies). And I’m even having a hard time placing myself in 2002 in the context of this film’s initial release, so what I speak for is the now, the present of 2016: this stuff is silly, dated, and cheesy.
It’s hard not to offer some semblance of appreciation, though, for sexy vampires, since Stephanie (Twilight) Meyer turned them into chaste yearners who shine in the sun. It’s kind of refreshing to return (if still campy and passe) to the sexy hedonist vampires who lust and love and are moody about their eternity.
But yeah, this movie is awful. The special effects are cheap and stylized, even for 2002. They’re bad enough to single out for commentary. And so I have.
I guess if you want your sexy vampires you’ve still got True Blood, or at least can visit it. But for my money, I like my sexy vampires straight out of Jim Jarmusch. Only Lovers Left Alive (2013) has only continued to grow in my thoughts. That’s where my current sensibility resides.