Queen of the Damned (2002)

PLOT:

The year is sometime in the late nineties, and bands like Korn, Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson are riding high on the wave of hardcore goth culture. The strains of this ear-melting industrial gothic art rock have woken the vampire Lestat from his centuries-long nap. And instead of pounding on the ceiling of his coffin for them to TURN THAT CRAP DOWN, he rises again, reveals himself to the world and becomes an enormous rock star. Well, his particular brand of ear-melting industrial gothic art rock is enough to catch the attention of the slumbering Queen Akasha, who is either the mother of all vampires or just the consort to the head vampire, it’s never clearly explained in the movie. Either way, the point is, she is greedy and ruthless and extremely powerful, and now she’s awake and wants to start some kind of apocalyptic mosh pit. She has chosen Lestat to be her King, and Lestat must choose between her and a much less interesting girl with a back story and side plot that I honestly couldn’t keep track of because it was so boring and lame. Basically, it’s Interview With the Vampire meets The Crow, but much, much worse than either of those movies.

SCORING:

  • Ambition – 1

Another soulless installment in the long standing tradition to exploit teenagers by making vampires look cool. The fact is, young girls dig vamp dudes, and if Twilight has taught us anything it’s that this is a timeless truth, it will never die, and we all must accept that. Gay vampire movies are here to stay, everybody.

  • Presentability – 5

Unfortunately I am compelled to give a higher number here, despite my reluctance to favor this piece of crap with anything higher than a 3. The theme is rock ‘n’ roll goth vampire, that can go in all kinds of directions. But the most telling evidence of it’s presentability is the fact that I would totally make my friends watch this just to hear their screams.

  • Sex/Violence – 3

Heavy on the combustible people. Some bloody necks here and there, but that’s just meeting the basic requirement for a vampire movie. No actual sex. Just annoying metrosexual overtones.

  • Performances – 2

Oh, Aaliyah, she was awful. I hate to say it because she died so tragically or whatever, but she was just awful. Her accent sounded like Dracula with a huge swollen bee sting on his tongue. No one in it was good. Most of the actors were just mediocre bad, but Aaliyah was terrible.

  • Datability – 5

Again, the somewhat higher marks go against my gut instinct to shoot this thing down as many times as I can. However, I must concede that this movie really captured the feel of the time, and specifically of that moment in pop culture. It’s all mesh shirts, racoon eyes, piercings, everything that is the epitome of goth rock, and the music is dead on. It’s HORRIBLE, but it’s dead on.

  • Script – 2

Surprisingly, the screenplay for this was not, in fact, written by 13 year old girls. It was adapted from an Anne Rice novel by two grown men: the inventor of Trivial Pursuit, and, perhaps most surprisingly of all, a screenwriting graduate of the American Film Institute Conservatory. It seems unlikely that anyone involved in this film could have graduated from anything above junior high, so the fact that one of the writers actually has a degree in screenwriting floors me.

  • Relevance – 2

If I had to propose a serious lesson to be gleaned from the film it would be (and this is really pushing it) something about temptation as a necessary evil that must be overcome, beauty and power being guises for vanity and wrath, and that no one should ever be allowed to wear mesh shirts ever again.

  • Originality – 1

Not even. The one point is for there being a queen vampire, which I’ve never heard of, and that she’s black.

  • Cinematography – 3

The movie is constantly devolving into a shitty music video.

  • Production Design – 4

The music was terrible, even for that genre. The best lyric from Lestat’s ear-melting industrial gothic art rock was, (screaming) “Why is everything so fucking hard for me!?!?” It’s true, it’s hard to be such a morbid, self-absorbed walking sack of self righteous tragedy. The sets were decent; they really captured the look of every smoky, dank garage I hung out in when I was 14. I suppose the costumes were appropriate. To much mesh and leather for me personally, though.

TOTAL: 28
Severe constipation necessitating multiple enemas, which are administered by Trent Reznor.

BETTER MOVIES THAT COULD HAVE BEEN MADE WITH THIS TITLE:
Picture it: fiery hell, a man in drag, and up on Earth God has allowed Marilyn Monroe to come back for a one-time only performance. Now the drag queen must fool Satan into unlocking the gates of hell so he and his tranny friends can go see their idol. Will this band of hellbent flamers make it to the hottest show on Earth? Tim Curry is the QUEEN OF THE DAMNED!
Or: America’s rivers are in trouble! Who will step forward and rescue them from the ravages of man? Who else but….a woman! It’s the QUEEN OF THE DAMNED!

BETTER TITLES FOR THIS MOVIE:
Aaliyah: The Way She Was (but we wish she wasn’t)
Or: Twilight Episode One : The Phantom Mistress

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~ by mgjk on January 3, 2010.

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