Time: 101 mins.
As a fan of the novel, the third in the Vampire Chronicles written by Anne Rice, I was initially thrilled to hear a movie was being made of this sprawling, bloodthirsty, sexual epic. I should have known better. The original tale is too detailed and filled with far too many splendid characters to be translated onto the screen with even half the passion and depth as appeared on the page. The film rendition is literature light, an MTV video version of vampire history that replaces true horror with quaint, blood-soaked special effects. Townsend makes a far more compelling Lestat, mainly because he doesn't have the same movie star baggage that made Cruise so unbelievable in the role.
He captures the true loneliness and petulance of the character, a creature of the dead who's tired of living his life in the shadows of time. In an effort to end his suffering for good one way or the other he'll either be killed by the other vampires for revealing their presence to the human race or be able to walk among the living like a normal being he fashions himself into a rock and roll superstar, unveiling himself to the world. The humans believe it's just a gimmick to sell records; the vampires are highly displeased by his public display of their secrets.
The only being on his side is Akasha (Aaliyah), the mother of all the Earth's vampires. It was her utter ruthlessness and thirst for blood that created the horde of living dead now walking the planet. Of course, her legend is unknown to most of her children, her memory and power feared by the few elders who know her history. Lestat's initial encounter with her hundreds of years before, while she and her king were in the care of Marius (Perez), awoke her spirit and gave Lestat a very powerful ally. It is his passionate music that breaks her stone wall of silence and unleashes her evil back upon the human race. Needing a new king, she seeks out Lestat and protects him from those who are trying to kill him. This new breed of vampires is no match for her supreme powers. She leaves a wide wake of death behind her, desiring to rule the world once again with Lestat at her side.