Queen of the Damned [Blu-Ray] Michael Rymer

Queen of the Damned [Blu-Ray] Michael Rymer
Here's one for the unintentional comedy files. Shoddily cobbled together from segments of both The Vampire Lestat and Queen of the Damned, the team behind this movie managed to mangle two texts at once from Anne Rice's soapy, but insightful and compelling Vampire Chronicles. It's hard enough to successfully adapt a single novel for the screen, let alone a Frankenstein patchwork that neglects themes and character development for out-of-context plot points from multiple sources. Beyond the ramshackle plotting, context is a major issue for director Michael Rymer's steamy mess of a movie ― few scenes are logically cohesive and even fewer demonstrate clear motivation or purpose. All we really get from this version is flamboyant anarchist vampire Lestat (Stuart Townsend, who eerily resembles Kiera Knightly) playing rock star to lure his fellow ancients out of slumber because he's lonely smooshed against a poorly realized subplot involving a plucky young investigator from a secret society fascinated by the undead. The meaty theme of devouring the past to feed the future from Rice's novels is completely fumbled, as is Lestat's conflicted sense of purpose. Throughout the feature commentary, Rymer and producer Jorge Saralequi make excuse after excuse about why they felt the need to condense so many disparate story elements at the expense of either story's heart, citing the impossibility of satisfactorily adapting a novel for the screen, while neglecting to mention what a masterful job Neil Jordan did with Interview with the Vampire years earlier. Hindsight is obviously not 20/20 for the deeply deluded. Composer Richard Gibbs is a little more sensible, sticking to descriptions of his experience working with Korn's Jonathan Davis on the score and original songs. "The Music of Lestat" is the most dominate special feature, with an orgy of dated nu-metal stars clamouring for attention, but in its trendy star-fucking, neglects to acknowledge the exceptional contributions by violin virtuoso Shankar. "Creating the Vampires" is the usual assembly of cast and crew talking about how wonderful the horrible FX and laughable stunt work are, and "Aaliyah Remembered" is more of the same, but regarding the tragically short-lived pop star's efforts as the titular vampire queen. For the truly sadistic, there are full versions of two of Lestat's poorly lip-synced performances, a couple of music videos and a bland gag reel. The comedy-seekers (who I sincerely hope comprise the entire audience for this travesty of a movie) won't want to miss the remarkably awful deleted scenes. An alternate opening is the stuff of cautionary filmmaking legend, and there's even an extended flying sequence that the director insists he was remiss to cut. Hilarious! (Warner)