Providence's Alternative Source!


Michael Rymer (Angel Baby) helms this glossy adaptation of Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles. Stuart Townsend is the preening, slouching vampire Lestat, who has decided to reinvent himself and go public. As a goth-metal rock star, he is courted by MTV, Rolling Stone, and black-clad teens everywhere. He teasingly implores real vampires to stop hiding, and they plot to murder him at his first and only concert, in Death Valley (a gorgeous CGI-enhanced scene featuring real live goth extras!). Lestat is tracked down by a perky paranormal expert (Marguerite Moreau) who, despite warnings from her mentor David (Withnail and I's Paul McGann, a doppelgänger for Buffy's Anthony Stewart Head), gets sucked in by Lestat's charms. Meanwhile, Lestat's music awakens the petrified queen of all the vampires, Akasha (the late pop singer Aaliyah), who declares that they shall rule the world. Oh but wait, there's also Lestat's former lover/teacher, Marius (a vapid Vincent Perez who nevertheless steals this film), and the rest of a "vampire coven" (including a well-preserved Lena Olin), who try to thwart Akasha's evil plan to exsanguinate humanity.

Whew! The dense, clumsy screenplay layers on the unexplained ancient history and obtuse character motivation. But the expert make-up, entrancing visuals (shades of Ganga & Hess, The Craft, and The Hunger), and head-swaying soundtrack make this rather shallow, bloodless film a darkly satisfying night out for the post-Cure crowd. At the AppleValley, Campus, Entertainment, Hoyts Providence 16, Showcase, and Tri-Boro cinemas.

By Peg Aloi

Issue Date: March 1 - 7, 2002