It's week 2 of our 3 episode Halloween trio of horribleness. This week Aaliyah stars in a sexy vampire movie called Queen of the Damned from 2002. While it avoided the Razzies completely this film was still quite pandered by critics but in the years since has gained a pretty heavy cult following. Is it because its filled with annoying glitter vampires or is there some merits to the shenanigans?
The film is a loose adaptation of the second and third books of Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles, taking its name from the third novel. Anne Rice is known as a writer of high class, a chief example would be her novel; The Taking of Sleeping Beauty, where sleeping beauty is woken not by a kiss but by a dude humping her comatose body. Which, to get sidetracked, if you haven’t seen Almodivar’s Talk to Her, you should check that out. In 2005, she started a new series entitled: Christ the Lord, it chronicles the early life of Jesus. I just can’t imagine. There is a chance that it is just a gussied up fill in the blanks, there is a larger chance that Jesus walks into the desert and finds so many other young men. She might just turn the desert into a metaphor for an activity that is hot and dry…
Michael Rymer directed this film. His debut film Angel Baby won every award it was put in front of. He seemed to struggle a bit with getting attached to quality projects. Eventually he will be enlisted to direct a pilot miniseries for the sci-fi channel. When I watched the countless hours of extra features in Battlestar Galactica it was evident that Rymer was as key a component as Ronald D. Moore and David Eick. He brought the cinematic element to the show. He would direct key episodes throughout the series run including the premiers and finales.
Stuart Townsend, Son of Peter Townsend. Peter Townsend the professional golfer. Stuart plays the role of Lestat, the main character in the Vampire Chronicles series. He was played by Tom Cruise in Interview with a Vampire. Yes, this is technically a sequel to Interview with a Vampire and yes, Tom Cruise turned it down. I try to not read any plot synopsis when I do these but my eye ran over the top of this: vampire Lestat is awakened from decades of slumber by the sound of a heavy metal band which he proceeds to take over as the lead singer. This is going to blow. As a side note, Rice had a character in her novel The Witching Hour. When he was cast in this film Rice gave him a copy of the book and instructed him to turn to a certain page containing his name. He, flattered thanked her for writing him in. I would imagine what followed was a blank stare as the book had been written 11 years before and she had no idea who he was. Another chink in Townsend’s armor is that he was originally cast as Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. He was replaced by Viggo after 4 days of filming.
Aaliyah plays the Akasha, vampire queen. Aaliyah released her first album Age is Just a Number, as a 14 year old pupil of R. Kelly. After he peed on her he married her illegally, as her age was listed as 18 on the marriage certificate, though she was quite 15. She experienced a vibrant career that was cut short at the age of 22 when she died in a Cessna explosion. That would occur six months before the release of this film. Her younger brother had to come in and do ADR.
A theme lately in the podcast is that Warner spit this thing out in order to not lose the rights to the series.
Josh Hartnett and Heath Ledger also declined Lestat. A great deal of this was filmed in Australia.
Keep an eye out for: Bruce Spence, Claudia Black of Farscape fame, and Jonathan Davis of Korn…