June 15, 2024


Without Art It's Really Boring!!!

20 several years ago, Aaliyah made a cult classic that pretty much ruined vampire videos eternally

5 min read

“A negative idea… a doomed project… I believe any respectable script writer would be outrageous to tackle that novel without the need of possessing totally designed the qualifications tale of Lestat.”

It is honest to say that Anne Rice wasn’t in the beginning on board with Warner Bros.’ selection to bypass just about the overall 2nd part of her Vampire Chronicles saga and as an alternative deal with the 3rd novel.

The legendary novelist manufactured her emotions apparent in a 1998 put up about the impending production of Queen of the Damned. And but the studio, who considered that predecessor novel The Vampire Lestat was far a lot more suited to television, shrugged off the criticism.

Rice had been in the same way disgruntled in the course of the making of Interview with the Vampire, the 1994 dramatization of her debut novel, with Tom Cruise’s casting the important source of her wrath. The writer had reportedly wished British thespian Julian Sands to just take on the starring function but was overruled by execs hunting for a house name. Rice explained their preference as “so weird, it is pretty much unachievable to picture how it’s heading to get the job done,” and even tried to influence them to swap Cruise’s Lestat with Brad Pitt’s Louis.

But Rice had been forced to eat humble pie following observing the finished merchandise (“from the instant he appeared, Tom was Lestat for me”), even presenting an apology to the guy she’d so publicly dismissed. And it looked as however another important U-convert was on the cards when she was questioned about the development of its comply with-up in the summer time of 2001.

Akasha (Aaliyah) in her most understated attire. Warner Bros.

Though she’d been adamant that Job interview experienced appointed the erroneous major man, Rice was pretty much effusive about his alternative, acknowledging that Stuart Townsend had nailed Lestat’s “feline grace” and “excellent speaking voice.” And she experienced little difficulty with Warner Bros. capitalizing on her name to market the movie the moment she’d found his overall performance on the huge display.

But fickleness is familiar with no bounds and, maybe burned by Queen of the Damned’s adverse significant response and middling box-business office returns (it only just clawed again its $35 million spending plan), Rice experienced reverted to negative-mouthing a calendar year just after its 2002 launch. Experienced her pride and pleasure actually been “mutilated,” as she claimed to her Fb followers? Or was this merely a scenario of an writer remaining overly-treasured?

Perfectly, even Queen of the Damned’s director appears to feel it’s the previous. In an oral historical past of the film for Vulture practically two a long time on, Michael Rymer admitted that he’d explained sorry to Rice for failing to seize the spirit of her first tale (“I never think I’ve got your book on movie at all”).

Marius (Vincent Perez) lovingly gazing (or not) at Lestat (Stuart Townsend). Warner Bros.

It’s tough to disagree. Many crucial plot details are totally dismissed, including the prepare to massacre 90 per cent of the world’s male inhabitants. There’s also a comprehensive erasure of Lestat’s bisexuality whilst there are homoerotic undertones in his relationship with his maker Marius (Vincent Perez), the vampire is only at any time viewed lusting right after women of all ages.

Yet whilst the narrative, which centers on Lestat’s makes an attempt to bring the vampire underworld out into the open up, ranges from the sacrilegious to the downright incoherent, Queen of the Damned is not fully without having merit.

Townsend, who’d edged out the likes of Heath Ledger, Ryan Reynolds, and Wes Bentley for the purpose, is magnetic as a bloodsucker awoken from a decades-lengthy slumber by the appears of a Korn-esque rock band (the flashy visuals and continuous rapid cuts typically make the movie resemble an prolonged MTV2 promo).

Channeling Jim Morrison with his tousled hair, restricted leather-based clothing, and bare upper body, his Lestat convinces just as significantly as a rock star as he does a vampire, specially throughout a desert concert impressively filmed, not with CGI, but in front of 5,000 of Melbourne’s best goth extras. You can realize why Rice was so enamored.

Lestat and Akasha participating in some American Natural beauty cosplay. Warner Bros.

Even so, it’s the co-star with barely 10 minutes of display screen time which is presented the movie a much longer shelf existence. Sporting an elaborate headdress and piercing black eyes, Aaliyah steals the display every single time she actually slithers into frame as the villain, a single who also stirs from her marble statue state many thanks to the seemingly irresistible sound of industrial metal. A bar scene wherever she feasts on a vampire’s coronary heart prior to turning all the other patrons into blazing fireballs memorably sets the tone for her character.

Queen of the Damned was meant to cement the R&B star’s changeover into acting (roles in The Matrix Reloaded and Sparkle reportedly awaited). But a deadly plane crash just six months immediately after filming wrapped meant that historical Egyptian Akasha would be her ultimate general performance.

It is a shame Aaliyah’s role is so restricted (you have to wait until eventually the 50-moment mark to see her thrilling entrance), as the motion picture suffers when she and Townsend are absent. A subplot involving Marguerite Moreau as a paranormal researcher with a vampire lineage sparks minimal intrigue, and Paul McGann is equally wasted as her joyless mentor.

Performances apart, the motion picture is a mess of a mash-up that is not camp more than enough to be pleasing nonsense yet is much too camp to be taken critically. It’s thus understandable, specifically contemplating Warner Bros. turned down her present to adapt the script herself for primarily absolutely free, why Rice didn’t want to be damned by association.

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