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Interview With the Vampire (1994)

by on 2011/08/18

Feed on what you will. Rats, chickens, poodles…”

* * *

This month, we are digging deep into my collection for vampire classics. Slowly, methodically and for years, I’ve been amassing vampire films. I do love them so.

Somewhere under all that bouncing, shiny hair, white pancake makeup and Lee Press On talons, there’s a great vampire movie in Interview With the Vampire. I just couldn’t — somehow — find it. Not really.

I think I have a problem. I think I’m just a wee bit prejudiced. A bit of a snob.

I know intellectually that Brad Pitt (Legends of the Fall) was acting his angel-faced soul up there on my screen. But I couldn’t see Louis de Pointe du Lac. All I could see is Brad Pitt.

It was the same thing with Tom Cruise. I read that Interview With the Vampire author Anne Rice pitched a black-booted, gothic hissy-fit when she found out Cruise was going to play the alabaster demon god Lestat.

Rice graciously retracted her protest after seeing Cruise’s portrayal because he too acted his couch-jumping heart out.

But no matter how long I watched, all I could see was Tom Cruise. And this was my ninth screening.

With their flowing, flaxen locks and carved ivory features, it is Pitt and Cruise in the battle of the 90’s hair band vampires.

I know for some folks that’s enough. I unfortunately lack their simplicity, their single-celled love for shirtless, pretty things.

Yes, I freely admit I’m a prejudiced goth.

But pray, follow me into my pain for a moment. A small but important part of me died when I found out Rice wrote Lestat with Rutger Hauer (Blade Runner) in mind.

Do yourself a favour and imagine that Interview With the Vampire.

Did you imagine it?

It hurts, doesn’t it?

Ok, rant concluded. I will now resume being fair(ish).

This is a lush, powerful, affecting story by Mother Rice. The settings are gorgeous, the fashions beautiful, the pace relentless.

Kristin Dunst is remarkable as the eternal child and remorseless killer Claudia.

Christian Slater, he of the greasy forelocks and smarm, is effective as the reporter Daniel Malloy who interviews the tortured immortal Louis de Pointe du Lac. Antonio Banderas (Desperado) as Armand is world-weary and menacing – just what you’d want.

There’s a great deal – a very great deal – to like about this Neil Jordan-directed movie but I can’t love it.

I do so wish I could.

* * *

123 minutes

Rated R vampire violence, gore, sexuality and a medically unsafe level of Hollywood hunkery

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