Review of "Interview With the Vampire"

Note: This review was available on alt.books.anne-rice before the release of the motion picture. A draft of the screenplay was obtained and reviewed by Susan Spaet for the benefit of mankind.

Kindly donated by Susan "lestat" Spaet <>.

I can now clear up the debate about whether the homoeroticism will be in the film. It's gone. (Did I just hear a huge horrified gasp?) Well, ok, if you know the book and remember all the symbolism in it, you can still see elements. But I am a die-hard Rice fan, so of course I noticed. The average movie goer will not. Keep in mind this is the script before dear old Tom got to it, so it may be even worse.

However, it's good. Very good. The movie may not be a total disaster if Tom behaves himself. In fact, it may be great. Some scenes are unchanged. The scene where Louis first feeds off of Claudia, her transformation, and the scene at the Theatre de Vampires are practically word for word from the book. Claudia even sleeps in Louis' coffin. The scene where Lestat locks the whore in a coffin is the same. Also, Lestat's two demises are the same, though there is no vampire musician who accompanies Lestat at that point in the book. Though the line about "I know someone who would make a better vampire than you is still there."

As I said, the homoeroticism is gone. Louis mourns his wife and child's loss at the beginning of the film. Oh, and Daniel, the Interviewer, is no longer a boy. He's now older than Louis when he was trasnformed, ie. over 25. There are several scenes where louis visits his wife and child's grave, including a fairly gross one where Lestat shows him their rotting bodies to prove why Louis wants eternal life. The intial interview scene is different, for clarity. Daniel (now called Molloy, his last name) says he saw Louis and was intrigued by him, so asked for the interview. That's not quite it, of course. Uh, what else? There's lots. Ok, Louis's transformation is altered to make it quicker. Not easy to describe, it isn't radically different. Everything is speeded up.

The only hint of homoeroticism is when Louis makes his first kill (he also still goes through the initiation rite of killing the overseer) and the slave he kills is described as a, and I'm not kidding, "gorgeous hunk of manhood." I assume this was Anne's line. I can see her writing that. : ) There are also all these scenes then of louis feeding off of, of all things, his chickens. A recurrent theme is also the dead bodies of rats who variuos vampires have killed. There are going to be rat bodies everywhere. They litter the film. : ) Babbette Freniere is missing. In her place is a slave girl named Yvette whom Louis "likes." She sort of coos over her master, who kills her, eventually. She is in place then, of the slave who Louis kills and thereby alarms the slaves to insurrection and burn the plantation. Instead, Louis ignites the plantation himself in a rage. The whole thing with the young Freniere, therefore, is gone. In its place is this old Countess who louis almost kills, but doesn't, and instead kills her poodles!!!! Lestat kills her instead, and his accusation Louis' interference that originally came after the freniere incident comes here. As I said, Claudia is perfect. Her character is the way it should be, which is admirable. If played well, she will be a fantastic character to watch. Up to the trip to Europe, the plot is the same. Claudia resnts Lestat, plots to kill him, etc...

The trip to Europe is truncated. Though there is mention of both Greece and Transylvania, there is no encounter in the village or with the revenant vampire. Louis mourns not being able to see all the sights in the day. Claudia draws and tries to comfort him. They get to Paris. Santiago accosts Louis in an alley. Same scene. Armand interferes, invites them to the theater. As I said, the theater scene with the young woman is the same. It is after Louis meets Armand that Claudia asks for Madeline. That scene is the same. But as soon as she is made, they get taken to the theater for the "trial." Madeline doesn't get to go mad or burn her doll shop. No loss. Trial is the same, Lestat shows up, accuses Claudia, Louis is buried alive, armand saves him. When he comes out, he sees Lestat with Claudia's dress. Louis sees the bodies of Madeline and Claudia and is reminded of his wife and daughter. This is actually a very nice scene and not such a horrible change, in my opinion. It brings a full circle for Louis. And since Anne Rice wrote the homoeroticism in the original book unintentionally, it makes her original themese more salient. The book was written to purge her grief about her daughter, which in the book she did through both the brother and Claudia. This makes it neater, just a story of coping with loss. It would have been nice if the homoeroticism was still there, but it is incidental to the original book, so the loss in the movie is minimal. My opinion, of course, after reading the script. Perhaps Vampire Lestat will be better about that. In any case, the scene is vivid. Claudia and Madeline are horribly burnt (another attractive scene, I'm sure) and their hair floats away as Louis tries to gather them up. Then he sets fire to the theater as in the book. Armand gives him a carriage, Louis doesn't hire it. Minor change. However, Louis completely forgives Armand for his involvement, and they spend until the twentieth century together until they grow apart. Here is where one must wonder about homoeroticism. They spend one scene in a movie theater watching FW Murnau's "Sunrise." I'm sure this was a subtle tribute to Murnau's orginal "Dracula," as well. They split up, and Louis discovers Lestat in New Orleans, pretty much the same way. But then Louis completely forgives Lestat, too! Then he takes off, and we are in the hotel with the interviewer. Daniel appears occaisionally to ask questions throughout the movie. But there is a surprise ending. If you don't want to know stop reading now.....

The interviewer askes Louis to make him a vampire. Louis is about to kill him, his teeth poised over his neck, but the he _lets him go._ No drinking either. Daniel escapes into his car and is driving over the Golden Gate Bridge, listen- ing to Louis interview on tape when Lestat jumps out from in backseat and kills Daniel. The car goes careening as Louis' voice reapeat the interview. I, to whom this came as a great surprise and who would have hit the ceiling in the movie theater if I hadn't known, think this is a great touch. But if Daniel is dead, what happens in QOTD?????

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