Queen of the Damned
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Time Out saysThis Anne Rice adaptation sees vampire Lestat (Townsend) roused from a century of elegant ennui by the power of rock'n'roll - or nu-metal goth, to be precise. As the world's first openly vampiric rock singer, he recklessly enrages fellow bloodsuckers by blowing their cover with coded messages in his lyrics. His unearthly pallor, shiny trousers and blood-curdling wails attract the attention of mortal woman and vampire-stalker Jesse (Moreau); more worryingly, he also awakens Akasha (the late Aaliyah), mother of all vampires, who desires him as her new king and partner in carnage. Rice's complex, sprawling novel is rendered virtually incomprehensible by a combination of lacklustre direction, risible dialogue and shoddy effects. The narrative pointlessly and confusingly globetrots from New Orleans through London and Los Angeles, to 'Glastonbury, West England'. The acting's rarely at fault. Townsend's heavy-lidded sensuality works well, while Aaliyah is a brittle, voracious goddess, a memorable presence in a tiny role.