Queen of the Damned
In place of coherent plot, director Michael Rymer's delightful compression of Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles presents a totally bitchin' Idea: What if the Vampire Lestat (Stuart Townsend), the most totally awesome vampire, like, ever, were to become an industrial-metal-band god? And what if Lestat were to out every closeted vampire on earth, causing an undead High Noon at a modern-primitive version of Burning Man? Rymer blithely steals from Nosferatu, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Andy Warhol, Roger Corman's Poe series, and, one gets the feeling, the kitchen sink, as long as it isn't nailed down. The result is an often hilarious campfire that suggests Ken Russell directing a gothed-out Queer as Folk after taking in repeated showings of Hammer Studios' Dracula films. Meanwhile, the film proves a melancholic tribute to the late Aaliyah; her vampire Queen Akasha is sizzling, sexy, and soulful, making one ache for the missed opportunities allotted by lousy fate.