My Favourite Movies: Interview with the Vampire
As you will know by now I’m a fan of vampires in most genres – especially movies and how could I avoid this one. Starring some of my favourite actors and adapted from one of my favourite series of books by Anne Rice.
Telling the story of Louis (played by and large in an understated manner by Brad Pitt) who, on losing his wife and child in 18th Century New Orleans, invites death at every opportunity. Enter Lestat (played in over-the-top fashion by, I think, somewhat of a miscast Tom Cruise) who offers him death or eternal life as a vampire. Louis chooses life and regrets it for the next 400 years. Telling his story in modern day San Francisco to struggling author Dan Malloy (played in typical fashion by Christian Slater) he relates his struggles with immortality – whilst still feeling guilt with every life he takes – the ‘making’ of the child vampire Claudia (in one of Kirsten Dunst’s early roles), their journey across Europe looking for more of their kind and his final meeting with the vampire Armand (played with real style by Antonio Banderas) and the violent fall-out of their encounter. Beautifully filmed and told with style (it’s a Neil Jordan film after all) I found this movie a delight to watch. Despite not exactly seeing Cruise as Lestat (Stuart Townsend played him much better in Queen of the Damned I thought) he was often suitable frightening, perverse and borderline scary just as a creature without apparent limits would be I guess. Dunst, then aged a mere 12 years old was amazing as the woman trapped forever in a child’s body because of Lestat’s desire to keep Louis with him through his love for her.
Full of sumptuous locations, sudden violence, plenty of blood and a fair bit of gallows humour this is a treat for any vampire lover out there. Since its release in 1994 I don’t think it’s aged at all and seems just as fresh as it did back then. These guys (and girl) are proper vampires. They kill whenever they need to or simply want to. By and large, once Louis gets over his guilt trip, they see humans as food to be consumed and discarded as required. Sometimes they play with their food and sometimes they dispatch it without another thought. They think of themselves as superior to mere mortals and revel in their abilities – just as proper vampires should. They’re not nice people (even Louis) and don’t pretend to be anything other than what they are – predators. They don’t glow in sunlight, they die. OK, Rice messed about with some of the folklore – crosses, stakes and holy water have no effect on them – but the rest is pretty much spot on and traditional. It’s definitely how I like my vampires – carnivores rather than wimpy vegetarians!