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Arguably the best book of Anne Rice's series The Vampire Chronicles. It directly continues from The Vampire Lestat, and begins by telling of the rise to fame of Lestat's rock band. Lestat's music leads to the awakening of ancient vampires all over the world, including the queen Akasha and my favourite, Khayman. The newly arisen Akasha proceeds to wipe out most of the world's vampire population and hatch a plan to create a world-wide matriarchy. Intrigue, angst, and violence ensue. This book has an extremely large cast of characters, as it also introduces Mekare and Maharet, the ancient twin witches, Mael, Jesse, Aaron Lightner, Daniel, Pandora, and Azim. The Talamasca is also introduced in this novel.

The Queen of the Damned shows a considerable departure in writing style for Anne Rice. The book is wide in scope, pulling together threads from characters all over the world. It's comparable to The Stand in the epic scale it brings to popular fiction. Also, Rice avoids the trap she usually falls into of extensive flashbacks. The only major flashback in the novel is short and interesting, concerning the origins of the vampires.

Warner Bros. is currently developing an ill-conceived film based on the novel. Their exclusive filming rights for Rice's books were set to end in 2000, so in the fall of 1999 they threw together a horribly cliched script and began filming. Along with awful dialogue and big cuts, a silly romance has been added between Jesse and Lestat. Much of the filming, including the elaborate rock music show, was done in Australia. The stars include Stuart Townsend as Lestat and Aaliyah (horribly mis-cast as the 6000 year old Akasha). Anne Rice, who has had her own movie adaptions rejected by the studio, has no connection to the film and is not impressed by the project.
Warning: this writeup does NOT contain spoilers for the movie "Queen of the Damned", despite being a review and plot overview of said movie. You CAN'T spoil this movie. It's already ruined.

The movie opens with Lestat, Our Hero, being wakened from a sound slumber by the noise of a truly abysmal punk rawk band playing in, coincidentally, his old house. He breaks in on them, flashes fangs at the only female, then immediately pays all his attention to the men, promising them that all their dreams will come true. They look a bit skeptical, possibly because he hasn't shown them any drugs, any money, or a very large and anatomically-correct blow up doll.

Switch scene, to a lovely young woman dreaming of dolls and bleeding auntie, awakening to her life as a member of the only information-gathering secret society whose name sounds like "Tell and I'll Ask Ya". She is being mentored by David, who is a gay-laced Brit - think a not-so-cute version of Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer with even less taste in clothing... although as the movie progresses we find out that this lack of taste is due to the fact that he is gay.

Girlie (whose name is actually Jessie but hey, Girlie works just fine, as does Chickie, Wenchette, and other assorted titles of grandeur and femmehood) gets her grubby little heterosexual paws on Lestat's Journal and proceeds to have a flashback for him, wherein he starts out by remembering the world's most ugly pair of yellow knee-length pants. I kid you not, these things are HIDEOUS, and they devote a good 2-3 minutes to just taking different views of him to show them off.

These, ladies and gentlemen, are the Magic Gay Pants.

Marius, who we are informed courtesy of a Lestat-as-narrator voiceover, has decided to Turn Lestat (Yeah, I know, in the original book by Anne Rice some random guy, Magus, who killed himself, did. Make NO mistake, this is NOT the book. Or anything close. Or anything in the same galaxy even.) and make him his gay lover, incidentally making him a vampire as well. He does this because the Magic Gay Pants are irresistable to anyone of the same sex as the wearer.

There's a nifty bloodletting scene which really just boils down to an edited-for-film version of gay sex with blood added, and then Lestat and his Pants are dying on the floor, shortly to rise as Lestat With Pale Makeup And Gay Pants.

They stalk the beach of Marius' nifty mansion, coming across a pair of gypsies, one of them a girl who looks suspiciously like our little flashback-stealing heroine, and the other of whom is an ugly man with a guitar. The chick has a violin - coincidentally, so does Lestat... although Lestat also appears to have his Magic Gay Pants tied around his neck in place of a bowtie. On closer inspection we see that no, this is in fact the Magic Gay Necktie. Go go, coordinating wardrobe!

Marius cautions him against anything involving girl or violin, both violins and heterosexuality apparently being forbidden to vampires. Lestat doesn't listen, and starts first playing along with the girl, then playing fast enough that his bow makes tracers - fast moving vampires or objects turn into acid trips in this movie.

Girl panics. Guy panics. Marius drinks the blood of the man and Lestat breaks the neck of the woman.

Scene change, Lestat is playing the violin alone in the house, Marius out painting. He thinks he's safe since Marius can't see him flaunting the 'no violins' decree, but the bow is yanked out of his hands and under the door of a secret panel.

He walks through the panel and into a flaming corridor - and I DO mean flaming - only to find two statues there, one of them whose makeup has smeared on her arm, as she proves to Lestat by moving the arm toward him as he plays for her. Even from the beginning we can see that this lovely *snicker* lady *more snickering* is a bit of a show-off.

Lestat, being a gentleman, bites her arm in hopes of rubbing off some of his own makeup on it; after all, he's got plenty to spare. Instead, he gets a bloody lip and falls down, tripping on PCP dust or whatever other dust was gathering on the statue.

Marius comes in, all offended 'cause hey, it was a FEMALE statue, and chains Lestat to the bed, leaving his pants in place.

(My fiance just suggested we get a lot of people together to watch this movie. "It'll be like Rocky Horror Picture Show," he said, "only more gay." He's right.)

Anyway, Lestat and his Magic Pants are chained to the bed, and Marius is teasing the half-naked chained-down cute bloodthirsty man, telling him how evil and horrible and straight he is. Lestat passes out, only to wake to find his gay lover and the two statues gone. Alone, he leaves the flashback, and poor chickie is forced to console herself with thoughts of a Vampire Club she's discovered and of Lestat.

Her obsession, as we can see when she slides out of the flashback, is due purely to the fact that she has found and proudly wears the Magic Gay Shirt that goes with the Magic Gay Pants. She is, unknowingly, driven by an overwhelming urge to coordinate her wardrobe... something in this particular outfit just does that.

After reading through this tempting tome of Lestat's, she attempts to convince herself to leave well enough alone. Unfortunately, thoughts of the Pants keep drifting through her head and eventually she gives in, denying the will of her fellow "Talk About Lestat, Yeah!" club and heading out for a night on the town.

Since humans obviously can't just walk in to such a wretched hive of scum and villainy unattended, she disguises herself as Bjork and goes to the Vampire Club, which we see is actually a Tacky Vampire Bar. She makes her way to the bar part of the Bar, where she is taunted by a bunch of skinhead vampires who seem either bisexual or just VERY gender-confused, all of whom dress like rejects from 80's music videos. She claims to be Marius' blood doll, but of course they know that's not possible since she's female, and laugh her out of the club.

Once outside, she is cornered by three vampires, two obvious females and one bull dyke. In the midst of nearly-being-eaten, Lestat swoops out of nowhere and rescues her. After discussing his history and teasing him about his violin, she stalks off. He, meanwhile, returns home to take his forbidden love out of its coffin - yes, he has a coffin for the violin. Ok, ok, you could CALL it a violin case, but most people don't have violin cases fit to bury your dead in.

During all of this, of course, we learn that he is openly taunting all the other vampires, urging them to come out of hiding and fuck him, since he can't find his gay lover and the humans just aren't doing the trick.

As you can imagine, this doesn't go over too well with the other vampires.

Marius returns to warn Lestat, and the two of them head to beautiful downtown L.A. where they sit suspended on a nifty little swing just in front of a giant billboard of Lestat and his band. Not-so-coincidentally, they are posed exactly in front of Lestat's crotch, which Marius keeps leaning back against and eyeing hungrily. While discussing their love life, what their favorite positions are, and who is trying to kill Lestat, they end up getting pissy and Lestat jumps off, flying away... Marius elects to stay with the giant crotch, since Lestat gave up the Magic Gay Pants for some tight leather things that just don't work as well.

The statue awakes!

...and, like all newly-awakened oddly-dressed stone carvings, heads straight for the same Tacky Vampire Bar that is, apparently, the only Tacky Vampire Bar on the planet. She dances in, teases the girls, and then kills them all when they become offended by her heterosexual yearnings for Lestat. During this time she wears only a Xena-style metal bra and a skirt - check the skirt for bulges, folks. Flat chest, metal wonder-bra, long skirt, too much makeup, can you say transvestite? Heterosexual yearnings, my - or rather Lestat's - ass.

She is indeed the QUEEN of the Damned.

Girlie has now run away from the Kiss and Tell Club, and is in L.A. looking for Lestat. She starts out at the airport using her cellphone to talk to David, her dear Librarian Father-Figure, who keeps assuring her that she should come HOME, not follow the also-gender-confused vampire who refers to her as a Librarian as well - a LESBIAN LIBRARIAN! Technically, SHE says she's straight, but from the flashbacks with dear Auntie in the dream sequences she has, we come to doubt this.

She doesn't listen to reason, or to David, and ends up with a bunch of ticket scalpers trying to get in to see Lestat, pretending to be a prostitute with even WORSE fashion sense than Marius. Wrapped in a very disturbing plaid mini-dress and with the face only a Lesbian Librarian could pull off, she and the Scary-Looking Unnamed Goth Whore who got tapped at the same time are delivered to Lestat.

Not wanting to get THAT much makeup in his bloodstream, he chases off the Goth Whore and talks for a while with his new pet stalker, finally agreeing to show her around while pretending to be Superman.

They end up on top of a building, where chickie pulls out what looks suspiciously like a needle-threader that's been sharpened... or, to put it bluntly, like a needle with a nifty tin-foil grip. She must have gotten it out of the same box of cracker-jacks that most of the vampires got their really tacky glow-in-the-dark contacts from.

She scratches herself to draw blood, and although this obviously excites Lestat, her plaid-wrapped yumminess is not enough to break the power of the Gay Pants and he takes her out for a walk in the park instead.

They come across a male vampire about to feed on a woman and Lestat, knowing how WRONG that is, goes to chase away the woman and bite the man. However, he is confused by the presence of plaid (vampire kryptonite) and ends up chasing away the MAN and biting the WOMAN. Furious at his mistake, he runs off, leaving poor chickie in tears. And plaid.

Cue concert, with the Parking Lot from Hell (in Death Valley, are we surprised?) and then the HUGE crowd of people and a HUGE bunch of pyrotechnics that are only visible when you are filming from a helecopter. If you are there in person, you can't see them. I'm sorry, I can't explain that one. *blinks a LOT*

We make our way through the crowd, following our favorite girlie, and discover in the process that this is the ONLY huge-ass concert with mega-rock-stars and loud music and fire and (judging from the special effects) a LOT of acid and speed wherein THERE IS NO MOSH PIT.

That's right. HUGE concert. No mosh pit. All anyone does is wave tacky light-up toys, flash the devil sign, and scream at the stage. No jumping about, no headbanging, no violence. Hell, the VAMPIRES are damned near motionless...

...but that's because of their special Slow Powers. You see, in addition to the ability to provide an instant acid trip (just add fangs!) they can freeze time for themselves, making everyone else around them move like ferrets on crack. They are required to glare fiercely in order to use this power, and must wear tacky clothing... no, wait, the tacky clothing is just a vampire rule in general.

Lestat is on stage, singing his undead heart out and sounding suspiciously like a voiceover from Korn. In the back, away from the crowd, we see a row of people dressed far worse than Marius ever managed, a few men, a few women, and at least one man who looks like a woman (Armand, according to the outtakes). These vampires in the back are stalking Lestat's chickie stalker, determined to keep her gay and failing miserably.

The vamps in the crowd fly in slow motion up onto stage, weakened by the plaid-wearing groupies also in the crowd, and when they get there not only Lestat but Marius are fighting! It's really quite sweet, the lovers defending each other after all this time, and they do royally kick ass, until they are finally surrounded by a circle of LOTS of vampires.

These vampires are even gayer than most, as proved when they are suddenly flaming. As the sequined ashes rise, so does the floor - Akasha is bursting through!

Yet again, our bikini-wearing Queen is determined to steal the hero for herself, and after glaring down Marius, she wraps her arms around Lestat and soars off into nothingness.

Fade to black... although just before black, we see chickie eyeing an eskimo beside her suspiciously. We are not quite sure as to the symbolism here... something freudian involving fish?

Akasha and Lestat discuss a mad love affair on the beach in front of a stranger's house, and end up in a pool full of rose petals. Akasha has found time to change into a DIFFERENT metal wonderbra and DIFFERENT chainmail-and-silk skirt, and has also found time to somehow wire cable TV into herself again... oh, did I forget to mention that? See, whenever Lestat bites her, she gives him cable TV access. It's mostly really bad art films, nature shows, music videos, and porn. Lots of porn. Straight porn. As you can imagine, he is very disturbed by this but keeps going back, 'just for the articles'.

They watch TV for a while and he eventually passes out. Typical male.

Lestat awakes, still in leather pants as he was not kidnapped by a gay man this time, and wanders dizzily out to find what looks like a poolfull and beachfull of dead whales, but which are actually people. He is disturbed by this too, mostly because it's mid-morning and the sun is hurting his eyes. You'd think, being a vampire, sun would kill him... but he's been to California and now MUST go out and get a tan.

He accuses Akasha of murder and she goes off on some Dommebitch tangent about how everyone must worship her. He seems completely ok with this, and we fade back to chickie.

Chickie is waking up in a roomfull of REALLY creepy dolls, dressed in a little-girl nightie. She rises, still in nightgown (remember that), and wanders out into the garden to find Auntie, who once more tries to win her over to the Dyke Side. Along with Auntie, there are several other old-and-wise vampires, including Marius who still has no taste, and Armand who has... err... a skirt. And a really silly poufie wave-of-the-wrist thing going on. They agree that Akasha MUST BE KILLED...

...which means that Akasha breaks in, Lestat heeling her like a very sweet S&M puppy. Incidentally, GODS, he looks good in this scene. And is wearing a skirt. Akasha still has a bit of the good ol' vampire same-sex urge, she just disguises it. Oh, wait, no... she's cross-dressing, she just wanted him to play along. Take your pick, it's fucked-up either way, yes?

Lestat looks at the wenchette, who is now suddenly dressed, as he's being ordered to kill her by Akasha. She is no longer in plaid - now it's just plain red, and so he is free to be fierce and bite her. He does. Viciously. Meanwhile, Akasha is chasing off the others with a wave of her hand, and let me tell you, ONLY a gay man would wave a hand quite like that. It's impressive to see.

She rewards her loving consort with a bite from her arm - she is now tan, btw, and looks like it all came out of a bottle - and he sinks fang to flesh.

And won't let go.

He signals to Marius to join in but Marius is a bit picky about sloppy seconds and doesn't even come NEAR until several of the women jump on Akasha as well.

The whole thing ends with Akasha turning to black dust, Auntie turning to a pillar of Slut, and our dear chickie being Turned by Lestat, who is now miraculously straight and has a fashion sense!

In the next-to-last scene, Lestat and Chickie return Lestat's journal to David, promising friendship and such, and leave... Marius walks in only a few minutes later, not even letting David start masturbating over the smut in the journal before he turns him. After all, he needs a new gay lover, and David's fashion sense is worse than Lestat's ever was.

The movie ends with Lestat and chickie, slow-motioning themselves into statues in front of Big Ben, Pants nowhere to be found... they've abandoned the pair, in search of a more appropriate arse to wrap themselves around.

Yes, it IS that bad.

(on the advice of other e2'ers, I'm making note that yes, this is my original work, first appearing on my online diary)

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