NOTE: This preview was generated on August 11, 2018. Much of the content was generated in May of 2014, but it has been edited and updated where appropriate.
The reason this preview was generate so long after the initial watch was because it came at special request from someone planning on watching this film for a Halloween double feature. The post introducing the double feature can be seen here. Cheers!
Queen of the Damned was followed by a direct-to-DVD sequel Vampires in Delaware where a family of vampires have a surprisingly fun and educational vacation in the great state of Delaware. They have loads of fun learning about DuPont Co’s origins as a manufacturer of gunpowder and the fact that they are vampires plays no role in the plot of the film. At least … I wish that was what happened. Let’s go!
Queen of the Damned (2002) – BMeTric: 55.0
(I find the rating shockingly low to be honest, and the dip between 2004 and 2007 is very strange indeed. Possibly because the people who would have been fans at the time took a while to get online? It is truly perplexing, a very odd rating/vote plot.)
Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars – Vampire Lestat awakens after a long deep sleep and goes public in the world of rock music, where he seem to blend in perfectly! But his posturing angers the man who “made” him, intrigues a young woman who’s drawn to his world, and lines him up as the perfect mate for the queen of the undead (played by pop-music star Aaliyah, who died before the film’s release). Dopey but amusing. Based on one of Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles novels.
(Wow, I’m not sure how something that’s dopey but amusing gets 2.5 stars when it’s supposed to be a supernatural horror-type film. Would seem to be an insult. That’s all I really have to say about this… so I’ll just make a quick remark about Leonard’s choice to use two descriptors for Lestat’s sleep. It was both long and deep? Glad I knew that before watching the film.)
(Well this is interesting for sure. I love Aaliyah’s “accent” and the effects look like trash. Both of these are exciting prospects from a BMT point of view. Still not totally sure what the plot is. Evil vampire rocker? Is that basically it? Sounds absurd.)
Directors – Michael Rymer – (Known For: Face to Face; Angel Baby; Future BMT: Perfume; In Too Deep; BMT: Queen of the Damned; Notes: After completing film school at USC he attended a two-year acting school where he claims he learned more about filmmaking than in all his years studying at film schools.)
Writers – Anne Rice (novels) – (Known For: Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles; The Young Messiah; Future BMT: Exit to Eden; BMT: Queen of the Damned; Notes: Rice distanced herself from the film, and has stated that she feels the filmmakers “mutilated” her work in adapting the novel.)
Scott Abbott (screenplay) – (BMT: Queen of the Damned; Notes: Seemingly was a big-time TV Movie writer. Got his break to write this and then hasn’t really had any film credits since. He did, however, release a novel two years ago and wrote the Rosemary’s Baby TV miniseries adaption that airs tonight… seriously, it airs Sunday, May 11th, 2014.)
Michael Petroni (screenplay) – (Known For: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader; The Book Thief; The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys; Future BMT: The Rite; Backtrack; BMT: Queen of the Damned; Notes: Started out as a comedian in Australia appearing on the show DAAS Kapital before moving to the United States to study screenwriting.)
Actors – Aaliyah – (BMT: Queen of the Damned; Romeo Must Die; Notes: This movie was released posthumously. She had also been cast and started filming for a major role in the two Matrix sequels. She was subsequently replaced by Nona Gaye and all her scenes that she had completed were reshot.)
Stuart Townsend – (Known For: Shade; Shooting Fish; Under the Skin; About Adam; Wonderland; Simon Magus; Future BMT: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen; Trapped; Chaos Theory; Head in the Clouds; BMT: Queen of the Damned; Æon Flux; Notes: Was originally cast as Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but was replaced after a few days of shooting after realizing that he looked too young for the role.)
Marguerite Moreau – (Known For: Mighty Joe; Runaway Jury; Beverly Hills Chihuahua; Wag the Dog; Easy; Caroline and Jackie; Easier with Practice; Douchebag; Future BMT: Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home; D3: The Mighty Ducks; L!fe Happens; D2: The Mighty Ducks; The Mighty Ducks; Wet Hot American Summer; BMT: Queen of the Damned; Notes: Transitioned into television mostly after being a younger actor in The Mighty Ducks franchise. Now has been on both Wet Hot American Summer series for Netflix.)
Budget/Gross – $35 million / Domestic: $30,336,800 (Worldwide: $45,479,110)
(Not the worst that is could have been, but by no means a winner. Especially when compared to Interview with a Vampire, which made over $200 million. I guess everyone’s hope that Stuart Townsend would be the next Tom Cruise would have to be tempered after this showing.)
#144 for the Horror – R-Rated genre
(Right near Ghost Ship with the Most Ship! The lowest BMT (as of August 2018) is Alone in the Dark, and the highest is (sadly) I Know What You Did Last Summer. I find the dip a few years ago supremely weird. Everyone hates PG-13 horror, so I don’t really get it. The people who love horror films are 14-year-olds and they obvs want that R-rating that they can finally get into. Give it to them!)
#28 for the Vampire genre
(The only Vampire movie we’ve ever seen for BMT (and this was written in August of 2018, although mere weeks before we will have watched Vampire Academy, which is #44, thoroughly trounced by even this). Twilight is obviously the highlight here. These things really did just boom with Twilight and then *poof* … disappeared like a vampire in the daytime (in some interpretations of vampires).)
Rotten Tomatoes – 17% (22/130): A muddled and campy MTV-styled vampire movie with lots of eye candy and bad accents.
(MTV-styled vampires? Doesn’t it tell you how times have changed that just 6 short years later Twilight came out and no one even thought to call them MTV-styled. Also, I can only assume the “bad accent” refers to Aaliyah’s accent of mysterious origin. It will be fantastic.)
Poster – Queen of the Sklogs (C+)
(Things I liked about this poster: The color scheme, and Aaliyah in general. Things I didn’t like in this poster: Stuart Townsend looks like crap and is creeping all up on my girl Aaliyah, and the font used on the poster is garbage (although perhaps it is just the smokey smudging). My initial impression was that it was much better than I expected, but I ended up downgrading it a couple of times as I stared at it. But above average I think.)
Tagline(s) – The Mother Of All Vampires (B+)
(I kind of like the play on words, but I kind of hate how pop-y it sounds. As they say, a little MTV-vampire for me in the end. But clever enough that I think it deserves a top grade)
Keyword(s) – vampire; Top Ten by BMeTric: 88.9 Vampires Suck (2010); 87.5 BloodRayne (2005); 81.7 Ultraviolet (2006); 78.0 The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009); 72.1 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011); 69.1 Stan Helsing (2009); 69.0 The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010); 68.1 Vampire in Brooklyn (1995); 63.7 Dracula 2001 (2000); 63.6 Dudley Do-Right (1999);
(The Twilight Saga is definitely interesting, since I’ve actually seen all of them, just outside of BMT. I’m actually not sure why I would do that … they are obviously BMT material. At least one of them will qualify and drag the series into things.)
Notes – The singing voice of Lestat was supplied by Jonathan Davis of Korn. However due to contractual difficulties, Davis could not sing on the soundtrack album release. The five songs written by he and Richard Gibbs for the movie were then performed on the album by Marilyn Manson, Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, David Draiman of Disturbed, Wayne Static of Static-X and Jay Gordon of Orgy. Davis was still allowed to play several instruments on the album. (Whaaaa, contractual difficulties … what could that mean? To not be able to get Korn to sing on a soundtrack release.)
Aaliyah died in a plane crash shortly after principal photography was completed but had not yet actually performed any ADR redubbing for her character. Michael Rymer called in Aaliyah’s brother, Rashad Haughton, to help with overdubbing her voice following her death due to their similar voices, special vocal technology was also used to make his voice sound more feminine. (That is kind of sad, but also interesting they were able to use the brother’s voice. I wouldn’t have thought that would work very well).
Aaliyah was the first actor to be cast for the film. She was enthusiastic about taking the role due to her fascination with Egyptian mythology and also being a huge fan of vampire horror fiction.
For the scenes of Lestat’s concert in Death Valley, over 3000 goths were recruited from Melbourne nightclubs and on the internet, then driven on a fleet of buses to a quarry in Werribee to act as extras. (Imagine how much you would regret ruining your rave night out during hour two of sitting in a Quarry with nothing to do)
Stuart Townsend shares his name with a character from another Anne Rice novel, “The Witching Hour”. Upon meeting Townsend, Rice handed him a copy of the book and instructed him to turn to a certain page number, whereupon was written “The Life of Stuart Townsend”. Townsend was flattered that she had written him into her new book, until she told him that she had written it eleven years prior. (Haaaaa)
Author of the novel Anne Rice considers this to be a terrible disappointment for her and for many of the readers as she believed it mutilated her own work. (Well, that’s what you get about 50% of the time when you option your work, so …)
Warner Bros. was already into its last year of owning motion picture rights to the first three Vampire Chronicles books which would then have transferred back to author ‘Anne Rice’, who could then sell the rights to another company of her choosing. Knowing what little time they had left, despite the fact they’ve had the rights and opportunity to make the latter two movies for over seven years, Warner Bros. hastily hired writers to condense the books “The Vampire Lestat” and “Queen of the Damned” into one movie with the latter being the movie title. (Yeah basically, pretty dumb idea honestly, but when you got to Wheel-of-Time-the-television-show something, you got to do it I guess)
On the casting of Stuart Townsend as Lestat, Anne Rice stated “Everything I hear about the movie is good. Warner Bros. is extremely enthusiastic. They are working very hard to make it perfect. I have no real news. Let me repeat what I mentioned in a recent message. I met Stuart Townsend, the young man who is playing Lestat and he was absolutely charming. He had Lestat’s excellent speaking voice and his feline grace. I cannot wait to see him in the film”.
Stuart Townsend took the role of Lestat after originally being cast as Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) but was recast with Viggo Mortensen after four days of shooting because the filmmakers realized he was too young for the role. (uh …. Yeah, which is why I kind of don’t believe the story. Makes no sense)
The architecture of Aunt Maharet’s house is based upon Angkor Wat, the stone temple located in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
The film was a subject of controversy due to inspiring a real life murder shortly after the film’s theatrical release. In December 2002, Allan Menzies from West Lothian in Scotland murdered one of his friends. He claimed in court that it was Aaliyah’s character “Queen Akasha” from the film that told him to do it. (Say whaaaaaa)
Josh Hartnett, Heath Ledger, and Wes Bently were all considered to replace Tom Cruise as Lestat after he declined to reprise his role. (Harnett would have been cool)
The fact that the night club “The Admiral’s Arms” was a vampire bar “in the meat packing district” of London is an homage to the night club “Mother” which was a vampyre bar located in the meat packing district of New York City. (Is it though? … IMDb users can sometimes read a bit too much into things)
Wes Bentley was originally cast as Lestat, but he dropped out.
Singer Aimee Nash of “The Black Ryder” duo had a cameo as a vampire singer in the “Admiral’s Arms” vampire nightclub although the majority of her footage was deleted (she is still visible in the background of the nightclub scene).
Queen Akasha never actually attacks anyone by biting their neck. She either sets them on fire, rips their heart out, or bites another area of their body. (Fun facts!)