Queen of the Damned (2002)
By: Devon B. on December 1, 2010  | 
Reel | Region 4, PAL | 2.35:1 (16:9 enhanced) | English DD 5.1 | 98 minutes (Full Specs)
The Movie
Cover Art
Director: Michael Rymer
Starring: Stuart Townsend, Aaliyah, Marguerite Moreau, Vincent Perez, Paul McGann, Matthew Newton, Tiriel Mora
Screenplay: Scott Abbott, Michael Petroni
Country: USA/Australia
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KoЯn's first album had a big impact on me in high school. Their second album had a big impact as well, in that it made me think the first album was a fluke and the band's time for producing quality material was already over. While the next album was an improvement and I quite liked the fourth, I eventually got tired of following the band. I still take a passing interest in them, though, so I did take notice when vocalist Jonathan Davis was involved in Queen of the Damned. This is the only reason I can give for subjecting myself to another vampire movie, but this one is so godawful that I may avoid them forever more.

Queen of the Damned is a jumbled mess of a film, but I'll try to outline the story without giving too much away. Lestat is a vampire that's been asleep for 100 years (I got confused because I thought he was in Interview with a Vampire, but I'm not going to re-investigate either film to see how the timelines work). He wakes up when he hears a nu-metal band playing, then he joins them and uses the band to promote his vampirism. A researcher of the paranormal works out he's a real vampire not just a show pony, does her hair like Björk and crashes a vampire club where she meets Lestat. Lestat's in trouble because other vampires aren't happy he's making their kind public, and eventually the queen of the damned turns up. I've had to outlay more than the first half hour of the film, which I usually try to avoid to prevent spoilers, but this film is flashback heavy and features terrible narration from both Lestat and the researcher which means the film jumps all over the place making a standard plot synopsis difficult if I'm trying to stay in the first 30 minutes of the film. The film is attempting to cover the story of two of Anne Rice's books, so that must be why it's so convoluted, but excuses don't give me back my 98 minutes it took to watch this rubbish.

This is as bad as a big budget movie can get. Bad writing, bad accents, bad voiceover, bad acting, bad everything...even the FX often leave much to be desired. This festering bat turd may be the ultimate goth chick fantasy put to screen, as the paranormal researcher is reading a book about Lestat (his journal) and then meets her vampiric fantasy man in the flesh and hooks up with him. This twaddle must've been what led to Twilight, which is just one more mark against it. The slight boost the film might've gotten by having a gothic nu-metal score involving many popular artists is lost completely, and Jonathan Davis providing Lestat's singing voice can't hide the fact that the actor playing him, Stuart Townsend, is a smug git.

The movie was made in Australia, so we get to see Matt Newton as a gay vampire and Tiriel Mora also has a small role. It took me a while to work out who he was, but that's not really a surprise because that's happened to me once at the local supermarket as well. Even the novelty of having Martin di Stasio make an appearance is of no real value because Queen of the Damned, in case I forgot to mention it, is bad.

The film is dedicated to Aaliyah, who played the Queen. She clearly didn't want to be outdone by Poltergeist star Heather O'Rourke and got herself killed in a plane crash before Queen of the Damned was released.
Queen of the Damned is a big budget film less than a decade old, so it looks good, sharp and clear.
The audio's a 5.1 mix. The dialog clear is always clear and the score utilises the surround well, but sometimes the rest of the mix is uneven. The disc has subs for the hearing impaired which sometimes included lyrics to the songs. That's a bit unusual since Davis has always been such a bastard about his official lyrics.
Extra Features
Talk about luxury, this DVD offers a list of the cast and crew. If you are greedily craving more there're 13 deleted and extended scenes, as well as a roughly 10 minute behind the scenes featurette, a short featurette about Aaliyah, about 11 ½ minutes of interviews, 3 music videos from Lestat and one from Static X, a gag reel, a stills gallery, the trailer, a write up on Vampire Chronicles, and a commentary. The commentary features director Michael Rymer, composer Richard Gibbs and producer Jorge Saralegui. Listening to them talk about the movie is only slightly less boring than watching it. The commentary has gaps and info repeats from other features.
The Verdict
If I could unwatch it, I would.
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score

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