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Queen of the Damned is a 2002 movie based on the third installment of Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles, and is a sequel of sorts to the acclaimed 1994 film Interview with the Vampire. Unlike its predecessor though, QOTD played very fast and loose with the events of the original novel, was panned by critics, and was greeted with scorn by many Vampire Chronicles fans. It did, however, enjoy considerable commercial success and has acquired something of a cult following over the years – probably on account of its sexy cast, killer soundtrack, and general fun, campy vampire action.
The story begins when the Vampire Lestat (Stuart Townsend) awakens after decades of slumber, and decides to launch a career as the frontman of a Nu-metal band. He soon achieves international stardom, but also earns the wrath of his vampire brethren, who despise him for flaunting his vampiric status, and fear the exposure of their secret world. Yet Lestat's music also awakens a far more potent threat – the ancient Egyptian vampire queen Akasha (Aaliyah) who promptly embarks on a murderous rampage, mowing down humans and vampires alike in her ascent to power. She chooses Lestat as her new consort, and forces him to become an accomplice in her brutal massacre of humankind. It is down to a handful of friendly-ish neighbourhood vampires – including Lestat's maker, Marius (Vincent Perez) – and student of the paranormal, Jessica “Jesse” Reeves (Marguerite Moreau) to rescue Lestat – and, you know, save the world.
This movie provides examples of the following tropes:
- Adaptation Dye Job: Lestat was (repeatedly) described in the books as blond and blue-eyed, whereas Townsend has dark hair and brown eyes. Marius was similarly described as having long blond hair, yet Vincent Perez has short black hair. And then there's Akasha, who got a full-blown Race Lift...
- All Part of the Show: When some disgruntled vampires attempt to destroy Lestat while he performs onstage, the humans in the audience seem to assume the ensuing conflict is staged – despite various vampires getting blatantly decapitated, stabbed and incinerated before their eyes.
- C-List Fodder: Puny humans in general, plus basically all vampires except Lestat and the Ancients.
- Cursed with Awesome: Lestat can fly, has super strength, super speed, is musically gifted, can seduce any girl he wants, is a famous rock star, but still wishes he was human because he's lonely.
- Deadpan Snarker: Lestat. Oh, and Marius. And Pandora in the deleted scenes.
- Dull Surprise: Jesse. In fairness to Marguerite Moreau, it probably wasn't her fault as she was given very little to work with, but the fact that almost every other actor involved is hamming it up to hell makes her lackluster performance stick out like a sore thumb.
- First Girl Wins: Jesse is the first of the two love interests to technically interact with Lestat.
- Food Chain of Evil: Akasha drinks the blood of vampires and humans alike.
- Friendly Neighborhood Vampires: Marius, Maharet and their friends do feed on humans, but prefer to otherwise live in harmony with the human world.
- Happily Ever After: Lestat and Jesse, after he turns her to save her life.
- Heel Face Turn: Lestat turns on Akasha at the first real opportunity, and helps the other vampires defeat her.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: Lestat as part of his rock star image.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Lestat and Jesse.
- Hot Amazon: Akasha.
- If You're So Evil Eat This Kitten: When the other Ancients rejects Akasha's plans to subject the world again, she demands that Lestat kill Jesse to prove his loyalty to her.
- I Hate You, Vampire Dad: Lestat after Marius abandoned him.
- I Just Want to Be Loved: Lestat post-vampirism.
- In Memoriam: The movie was dedicated to the memory of Aaliyah.
- Interplay of Sex and Violence: "This will only hurt a little. In fact, you might enjoy it."
- Just a Stupid Accent: Akasha and Lestat's accents are both rather...difficult to place.
- Reportedly, after Aaliyah's death, the studio had to get her brother to redub some of her lines because her accent wasn't the greatest.
- Kiss of the Vampire: Generally subverted. While the vampires do usually drain blood this way, the victims tends to be horrified out of their minds by the experience, even if they thought they were into it at first.
- Mayfly-December Romance:
- Jesse and Lestat. The first is a human woman in her twenties, the second a vampire several hundred years old.
- Lestat and Akasha. Both of them are vampires, but Akasha is thousands of years older than Lestat.
- Metal Scream: Lestat.
- Monster Progenitor: Akasha.
- Moral Dissonance: Lestat sees nothing wrong with all the girls he kills for their blood.
- Mr. Fanservice: Stuart Townsend.
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: The original songs might have been written by Johnathan Davis but they incorporate Glam Rock, Goth Rock, Industrial and Industrial Metal influences alongside the Nu-metal component of the sound. The result is pretty enjoyable, possibly even for those that dislike Nu-metal generally.
- No Bisexuals: Lestat's canonical male love interests from the novels are nowhere to be found in the film. Nicki's absence was especially jarring to book fans, considering his crucial importance to Lestat's backstory (in The Vampire Lestat, it was Nicki's Stradivarius that he played to wake Akasha). Rife with Unfortunate Implications when you consider Promoted to Love Interest below, and the fact Lestat is only shown having an interest in women.
- Welll... There is Lestat and Marius who have a rather ambiguous relationship.
- No Shirt, Long Jacket: Lestat.
- Offscreen Teleportation: Used by the vampires.
- The Older Immortal: The Ancients, who are hundreds or more years older than most of the current vampire generations. Akasha stands out in particular, being the first of all of them and probably having lived for five or more millennia, dating back all the way to Ancient Egypt.
- Playing with Fire: Akasha's primary means of destruction, as she can immolate most vampires at will.
- Promoted to Love Interest: Jesse and Lestat.
- Romantic Runner-Up: Akasha.
- Shirtless Scene: Lestat is more frequently half-naked than fully clothed.
- Stalker with a Crush: Jesse comes off like this towards Lestat.
- Tears of Blood: Maharet.
- Too Dumb to Live: Jesse throws herself into countless dangerous situations, although she blames this on her curiosity. Lampshaded by Lestat:
Jesse: I know a lot of things.
Lestat: Not how to stay alive, apparently.
- Vampires Are Sex Gods: Lestat, Akasha. There are also nightclubs built around this.
- Vampire Vannabe: Jesse.
- Vegetarian Vampire: Averted. Even the Friendly Neighborhood Vampires drink blood.
- Weakened by the Light: Lestat becomes immune to this after he drinks Akasha's blood.