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Queen of the Damned

movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Queen of the Damned

Starring: Aaliyah, Stuart Townsend
Director: Michael Rymer
Rated: R
RunTime: 101 Minutes
Release Date: February 2002
Genre: Horror

*Also starring: Claudia Black, Marguerite Moreau, Lena Olin, Vincent Perez

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Review by Steve Rhodes
2 stars out of 4

"Sex, blood and rock n' roll" -- that is what you can expect from Lestat de Lioncourt's band, as one of the band's members tells the large, fawning press corp. Lestat, the first vampire to come out of the closet, uh casket, is an instant celebrity with a "monster" debut album.

THE QUEEN OF THE DAMNED is a vampire flick for the MTV generation. Slow, plodding, pretentious and pseudo-serious, it offers only one plausible reason to see it -- it features the late singer Aaliyah. Aaliyah, as the film's eponymous character, receives a fairly modest amount of screen time, which is good since, to be honest, her acting leaves a lot to be desired.

Stuart Townsend -- who, thankfully, was fired by director Peter Jackson after 4 days on the set of THE LORD OF THE RINGS -- plays the central character of Lestat. Townsend is an androgynously sensuous actor who gets the erotic part right and little else. Every night, young groupies come two a time to get their blood sucked by Lestat. Sometimes, as when he cries out "More," meaning blood, he is unintentionally funny.

Based on an Anne Rice novel, the movie is as gory as you'd expect. Typical of its grossness is a bar scene in which Queen Akasha (Aaliyah) rips out a guy's heart and starts chewing on it. Apparently hearts are kind of crunchy. This is something that you probably won't learn on the Discovery Channel.

The movie does have an impressive, cool blue look and contains some great music. But that's about it. The guy next to me started snoring loudly. I can understand that.

THE QUEEN OF THE DAMNED runs 1:41. It is rated R for "vampire violence" and would be acceptable for older teenagers.

Copyright 2002 Steve Rhodes

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