It may have been written in 1973, but for me, Interview with the Vampire will always be part of the 90s. If you were alive then, and old enough to be aware, you probably remember Neil Jordan’s 1994 film adaptation. It was a big deal when it came out, and not just because Tom Cruise sported some long blonde locks (though that was a big deal). After 80s classics like The Lost Boys and Near Dark, the 90s brought the romantic monster back. Hold on, read that again – romantic MONSTER. This is not Twilight, people. These vampires are beautiful and romantic, but they sure as hell are monsters too.
Here’s what JennyD and I have learned from rewatching this movie as adults:
1. We’ve got to agree with Lestat. Louie is an unbearable whiner. While we might have been sympathetic in our youth, we now find him significantly less appealing (although Brad Pitt helps in that department). He projects all of his evil deeds and guilt onto his maker despite causing most of the problems (He ASKED to be a vampire!). Just goes to show that vampirism is no cure for depression.
2. Louie sets every place he lives on fire. Why does he feel the need to torch all of his homes before he leaves them? Seriously, no less than 2 plantations and one theater are torched because he apparently knows no other way to make an exit.
3. This movie holds up to the test of time, which was actually surprising. Nostalgia is often no mark of quality and we figured that a film appreciated as pre-teens would now be showing its age. We were pleased to discover that we still enjoyed it. This especially goes for the cast, which was pretty out there back in the day – Brad Pitt was a nobody, Antonio Banderas was mostly new to the States (and a strange choice for Armand given his literary counterpart), and Kirsten Dunst was an unknown child with an adult part to play. And then there’s Tom Cruise, Maverick himself, playing the vampire Lestat. Oh, do I remember the uproar that caused. Even Anne Rice was pissed. But Jordan stuck by his choices and, in the end, Rice changed her tune. Cruise embodies the spirit of the character from the novels, and I found him the most compelling character in the film.
4. As some us here at FGSG are gaming nerds, we would just like to thank Anne Rice for helping to create the Toreador and Ventrue clan. Really, for helping make Vampire: The Masquerade overall.
5. This movie is rife with homoeroticism. It’s not afraid to stay true to the genderless love and sexual magnetism of vampires in the source material. We have positive thoughts about this. Not only because it’s super hot (it is) and respectful of Rice’s vision (that too), but because portrayals of this kind are such a rarity in Hollywood; where playing it safe and straight is the rule.
6. The effects also hold up. While there are a few overt sketchy moments (mostly stuff on fire), the majority of FX are just fine. Hell, they’re way better than many of the CGI-fests made today.
Jenny: Conclusion? Sure, all of the stereotypical vampire imagery and themes are right here. Velvet capes and all. When you get past the cliches, this is still a solid vampire flick. Even better, an example of the ultimate balance between predator and lover. Some people like the beast. Some people like the sparkle. Both extremes of that spectrum annoy me. Murderous dandies who make out. Now THAT’S how I like my vampires.