Directed by Michael Rymer starring Stuart Townsend, Aaliyah, Marguerite Moreau and Vincent Perez.
The big screen makeovers of author Anne Rice's 'Vampire Chronicles' have each, from the outset, had something to interest Irish audiences. A Dubliner, Neil Jordan, was behind the lens for the first - 'Interview with a Vampire' - and now another one, Stuart Townsend, is in front of it for the second. But while 'Queen of the Damned' may announce the young actor's Hollywood arrival, that is the most interesting thing about this very rocky horror.
Night prowler Lestat (Townsend) has grown bored with his crypt and decides to come up for some modern day air. Once topside, he hits upon the idea of becoming a rock star and with his self-titled goth-metal outfit, conquers the bedroom walls and chests of teendom. But the adulation also makes Lestat lippy and he incurs the wrath of the army of the night by revealing vampire secrets to the kids.
With his enemies growing by the day, and a plan to bump him off at a concert in Death Valley, Lestat discovers he has two unlikely allies: Vampire Queen Akasha (Aaliyah) and paranormal expert Jessie (Moreau). Both have designs the man in black - but for very different reasons. Despite having a best selling book to work with (hence a readymade audience) and the presence of lookers Townsend and the late Aaliyah, 'Queen of the Damned' is neither sexy nor scary and ranks as an epic waste of time for fans of Anne Rice.
For a film which should echo its lead characters' traits of being both dangerous but alluring, director Ryman manages to make a film which moves like a death march for almost two hours, enlivened only by the odd blast of ear-bashing nu-metal and the solace that you're getting closer to the end credits by the second. Townsend is a far better actor than the script allows him to be and you'll feel that Ryman should have spent a lot more time planning the words on the page and a lot less money staging big-budget scenes, which only go to show how hollow and lifeless the whole movie is. If it's blood and bites you're after, go see Blade II.