After many years of sleeping in his coffin, the vampire Lestat awakens only to find that the world has changed and he wants to be a part of it. He gathers a following and becomes a rock star only to find that his music awakens the ancient Queen Akasha and she wants him to become her king...Written by
The film was a subject of controversy due to inspiring a real life murder shortly after the film's theatrical release. In December 2002, Allan Menzies from West Lothian in Scotland murdered one of his friends. He claimed in court that it was Aaliyah's character "Queen Akasha" from the film that told him to do it. See more »
At the end, when Jesse and Lestat are walking out of the Talamasca, they switch places between shots. See more »
There comes a time for every vampire when the idea of eternity becomes momentarily unbearable. Living in the shadows, feeding in the darkness with only your own company to keep, rots into a solitary, hollow existence. Immortality seems like a good idea, until you realize you're going to spend it alone. So I went to sleep, hoping that the sounds of the passing eras would fade out, and a sort of death might happen. But as I lay there, the world didn't sound like the place ...
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Dedicated to Aaliyah Dana Haughton 1979 - 2001 See more »
DVD release includes full unedited versions of Lestat's music videos for "Redeemer," "Forsaken" and "System", and Lestat's full concert performances for "Not Meant For Me" and "Slept So Long". DVD also features deleted scenes:
"Original Opening Sequence with Timelapse" - The idea of this opening scene was to show the passing of the decades to which Lestat slept. However, the production team was not pleased with the prelimenary visuals created for the scene, and ultimately, decided to skip the scene altogether.
"Original Jesse Dream Sequence and Meeting Roommate on the Street" - Jesse's encounter with a vampire in her dream was cut due to the fact that it raised too many questions as to wether Jesse herself was a vampire. The roommate scene, featuring Pia Miranda, came right after she watched Lestat on MTV, and before the first visit to the Admiral's Arms. It was deemed expendable.
"Marius talks with Lestat on the Beach" - The scene was trimmed to improve pacing. In it Marius tells Lestat that what keeps him going is seeing what human beings are going to do next.
"Jesse goes to Admiral's Arms #1" - The filmmakers shot a scene where Jesse visits the Admiral's Arms prior to her Talamasca presentation, but cut for pacing purposes. In it we just see Jesse getting off the subway and then walking down a dark alley towards the Admiral's Arms. Footage of vampires entering the Admiral's Arms is used later in the film when Jesse returns for a second visit.
"Band Plays in Admiral's Arms" - The instrumentalists are a who's who of Australian alternative rock. Aimee Nash is a rising young actress and singer. Robin Casinader composed the music. Although the filmmakers loved every second of the footage, they knew they couldn't show much of it in the movie, again because of pacing and timing.
"Groupies with 'Garlic' End" - This scene was cut because the garlic joke was thought to be tonally off. In it, after Lestat's manager, Roger, brings him two groupies Lestat discovers garlic in Roger's coat pocket.
"Jesse on Plane, Lestat in L.A. Mansion, Jesse Dreams of Akasha, Band Watching Videos" - The filmmaker's dropped the scene of Jesse's flight to Los Angeles because they weren't satisfied with the shock dream, featuring Akasha's attack on Jesse. Meanwhile, the scene with the band was trimmed because the filmmakers decided it didn't make much sense to dwell on them here.
"The Ancients Rise" - The scene was originally part of Lestat's satellite dish montage. It was cut as a part of the overall de-emphasis of the Ancients.
"Ancients at Hollywood Sign" - The Ancients storyline was reduced during the course of production because filmmakers felt that there were too many conflicting vampire agendas in the movie. In the final cut of the film, the Ancients are more in the background, and simply serve as allies of Maharet and Marius. In this scene we are introduced to Pandora, Armand, Mael, Khayman and Maharet as they first approach Marius next to the Hollywood sign, and we are given some insight into their relationships with each other. In this scene we hear a line that was used in the trailers, Khayman says "Akasha takes pleasure in only one thing: Destroying life."
"Akasha Dances" - Basically an extended version of the scene where Akasha kills all the vampires at the Admiral's Arms. Despite the fact that the filmmakers loved every second of Akasha's original dance as well as her closing words to Lestat, this scene was trimmed to heighten tension. In this scene Akasha speaks the famous line which was used in the trailers, "Lestat. Come out, come out, wherever you are."
"L.A. Mansion, Jesse Talks with Lestat, Extended Flying Sequence" - The filmmakers felt the dialogue between Jesse and Lestat was unnecessarily long, and tightened it considerably by cutting out a part where Jesse tells Lestat about her dreams. However, they regret trimming the flying sequence, as it establishes a suitably romantic mood.
"Jesse Writes her Aunt and Goes to the Concert" - Originally, Jesse was abducted by Mael at Griffith Park after her encounter with Lestat, and taken to Maharet. After their conversation, Jesse writes a farewell note, and goes to the concert. The scene where Jesse first meets up with Maharet now plays after the concert. After Jesse writes the note she goes out into a desert highway and hitches a ride with some friendly goths on their way to Lestat's concert.
"Band Backstage at Concert, Jesse Walks Through Crowd, Ancients Watch" An extended version of the scene where Jesse arrives at the concert where we see the band hanging out backstage as the Ancients arrive in search of Jesse. As the Ancients watch the partying concert-goers, Khayman notes "Akasha will not be able to resist this."
As a stand alone vampire flick, it's worth seeing.
Combining The Vampire Lestat and the Queen of the Damned novels into one screenplay was, ahem, damned to suffer massive story cuts because of the intricate and detailed background of a dozen or so characters involved. The amount of detail always was the strength of the Vampire Chronicles, in my opinion, and they were certainly worth the read.
That said, the question remains, without the detail and extra characters, can the basic story of Lestat's re-awakening of the Queen of all vampires be entertaining and sufficient enough to sustain itself? While I can not answer the question with a glowing appraisal, I will certainly admit that it did a decent job of combining all of the basic elements into a stand alone movie. The fact that this movie can stand on it's own without any ties to the prequel, Interview with the Vampire, is one of it's assets. You do not need any fore-knowledge of the characters, books, or prequel movie in order to watch this.
Even though it fits into it's own little package does not mean it was packed very well. There were some plot holes, some of which could have been filled by simply restoring the "Ancients" scenes that were on the dvd. I understand, as the dvd points out, that they were left out because it introduced another subplot and characters that would add unnecessary confusion. While I agree with their reasoning, I do think they should have somehow salvaged the scene so that while the introductions of the ancients would have been left out, Maharet's few lines about Akasha's reign of destruction and the vampire's responsibility should have remained. They would have added a needed sense of urgency and motivation that would have made the final confrontation with Akasha and the ancients a bit more reasonable and satisfying.
The character of Jessie is supposed to be the human link for the viewer to empathize through as they are taken into the world of vampires. In some scenes, this works adequately, but on the whole, Jessie's motivations, while they are explained, seem kind of empty. I am not sure if I can fault the actress or script, but when the movie was over, I still felt ambivalent about the character's experiences.
There were other elements that were not as fleshed out as they could be. The paranormal Talamasca needed a bit more background about their vampire tracking as did the character of Maharet and her family tree. Like Jessie, they were given some explanation, but I think a couple more lines of dialogue would have helped.
As I mentioned, the movie did a decent job of the basic story, but massive changes were made from the source material. Characters were dropped completely, or merged together, and huge sections of character history were removed. Most notably, Lestat's history is extremely compacted and revised. Nonetheless, there are some things that remained that I thought were done pretty well. The character of Lestat in this picture is rebellious and reckless which is more true to the character than he was portrayed in Interview. Lestat's re-awakening and concert scenes were exactly like I had envisioned when I originally read the book. The character of Akasha was also as I pictured and a very good casting choice.
If you are a fan of the books, and you need the twins, Gabriel, Magnus, and crew, you are going to have difficulty sitting through this. If, on the other hand, you can set that aside and view this as a vampire movie of it's own, unrelated to the chronicles, you will probably enjoy this for the stand-alone vampire flick that it is.
In summary, worth the rental.
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