Today felt like a good day to watch The Queen of the Damned for the first time. I’m moving to New York in four days, our President won’t take a hard stance against Nazis, rule of threes; so it feels right to watch Aaliyah’s first and last movie (do we count Romeo Must Die?) today.
The premise of this movie seems to be, “What if a member of the immortal undead started a Nu Metal band?” and it mostly is. Our protagonist, Lestat (Stuart Townsend???? This is a far cry from Robot Chicken, ok) was changed into a vampire but he really longs to be “known” so he finds a goth No Doubt and becomes their front man. They become famous and he is very open about how he is a vampire, which is a big no no in the vampire community (can you imagine the message boards?). Many of them decide to come to his big concert at Death Valley to dismember him, as you do.
While onstage at the concert fighting the vampires off (he beheads one of them in front of thousands of people in jenko’s, no one cares) Lestat is reminded of the very powerful friend he made, Queen Akasha (Aaliyah) who is like, the hot grandma of all the vampires, when she comes and murders all of them. She can kill other vampires with fire (also in the vampire club she pulls someone’s heart out and eats it!!) and once she does that to all of them, then she portals herself and Lestat into the sky.
I forgot to mention the white woman all of this is centered around, (lol isn’t there always?) Jesse, (Marguerite Moreau) who is in some sort of history vampire justice league to study them but she wants to be one? The other history guys don’t like that part and they try to forbid her, but she is really set on maybe dying. So she goes by herself to this vampire club, which for some reason she needs Sailor Moon buns to do (her outfits in this movie are VERY interesting), then of course she almost gets eaten because she is a human in a vampire bar, but Lestat saves her because she read his journals. Normally people don’t like but I guess when you’re immortal you don’t really care about invasions of privacy, and remember, he just wants to be “known!” Later Jesse gets chosen as one of the groupies to be eaten after one of his shows but when he sees it’s her they just have sexual tension on a balcony instead. She tries to convince Lestat to turn her into a vampire by cutting herself on the boob with a paperclip (girl) but he wants to show her the magnitude of her decision so he murders someone in the park in front of her to feed and is like, “Do you want it now??” and she’s like, “No jk” and leaves. That outfit by the way, was a plaid bondage dress with a choker and some platform boots and eye makeup that says, “I’m ready to be undead!” A lot of this fashion has come back around and is stylish again. For most of the movie Jesse just looked like she was headed to a Grimes show.
Something I forgot to mention: the man/vampire that turned Lestat was this guy Marius, who had a secret fire basement that Lestat found one night when he was playing violin too intensely. Once down there, (“there” looked a lot like the Chamber of Secrets in Harry Potter btw) he summoned Aaliyah from the dead by playing the violin and then drank her blood through the stone that she was. Did I mention she was stone? Yes, she was a marble statue that slowly came to life and had veins and was awoken by some fast violin. You guys know how stone is!!!!
So she’s alive again and she hates people!!! (Girl I get it!!!) After she and Lestat leave his concert by upwards tornado funnel they go to this mansion and have weird blood sex in a tub filled with rose petals (aww!) and then when he wakes up, the pool and surrounding beach are filled with corpses (aww 😦 ). Her blood makes him able to walk in the light (but honestly I didn’t even notice that there was no sunlight in the movie prior to that scene which makes me think I’ve been doing too much stand up) and stronger.
Meanwhile Jesse has reconnected with her long lost Aunt who she assumed died, but guess what! She’s a vampire! They’re having a reunion/meeting with some other vampires when Aaliyah and Lestat crash it. Aaliyah is like, let’s kill all the humans and the others vampires are like Nah, so she decides to kill them first. Lestat tricks her by making out with her arm too long and weakens her and everyone else attacks and kills her. (Aaliyah is in this movie for 30 minutes I swear to God. She doesn’t come into it until 52 minutes, then dies around 1:32).
Before any of that though, Aaliyah made Lestat prove his love to her by killing Jesse. He did, but then after Queen Akasha dies he makes Jesse drink his blood and turn into a vampire. A little dark eye makeup later, she is immortal!! There is a cool time lapse shot of Jesse and Lestat walking towards Big Ben to let us know they stay together for all of eternity, and that this movie was supposed to be in London this whole time, even though no one had accents.
Some things: I have never seen a fat vampire. Fat vampires deserve representation!! Where are they?? Also, they had a classic in-movie MTV news update and I miss when that was a thing. Is MTV news still a thing? The only other movies I can remember using this as a way to show news are Josie and the Pussycats and Zoolander. So, that’s a pretty good record. This movie also made me look up a listicle of black vampires which was a good list. I think Blade is still my favorite (but I’ve never seen Blacula or True Blood or the Eddie Murphy one or the Grace Jones one, or any of the others really).
It’s insane how tiny Aaliyah is in this movie, also her costumes were unreal and it made me want to see Queen of the Damned cosplay or a burlesque act of someone as Queen Akasha (I really have been doing too much stand up). Most of the time she just had metal swirls covering her boobs and a long skirt and a headdress with more jewels than you would think would be there. She also does this thing where her eyebrows extend into her hairline? It sounds bad but it looks good, it’s like the most extreme cat eye.
I’ve talked about some specifically but the costumes in general in this movie were PHENOMENAL. Lestat especially has a cool vibe, he starts out as someone who would own a horse in the 1700’s and then goes to power goth, then a glam undertaker situation. The huge concert he does he is wearing this gauzy mesh shirt with ARM TIES which maybe I can’t describe and you should just look up but he looks like a sexy bread bag.
Ooh also lastly-Interview with the Vampire and Queen of the Damned are both Anne Rice novels- Queen of the Damned is the third one, but it’s the same main dude- I guess they just didn’t have Tom Cruise money for this one though.
I was surprised, the way people talk about this movie (or don’t talk about it am I right??) I was expecting it to be terrible but it wasn’t at all, I really liked it!! I am particularly partial to this type of movie, I don’t really know how to describe it but I know it when I see it. Blade is one, the club scenes in the Matrix are another, XXX might be? Maybe I just like fight scenes in night clubs and a blue/green filter on film. Who knows! But I did like it, I don’t think it’s bad. You want a bad movie, I tried to watch the BFG on Netflix before this and couldn’t finish it, that one was bad. This was fun. Maybe Aaliyah’s death put this pressure on it, because it wasn’t this amazing piece of art people felt like it wasn’t worth her death and it made the movie seem worse at the time? Couldn’t tell ya. Like I said–in 2017, I liked it.
3 out of 5 undead sailor moon buns, will definitely masturbate again!