San Francisco — Present Day.
Louis de Pointe du Lac tells journalist, Daniel Malloy, he’s a vampire. Instantly, the lights are on and he’s sitting across from a startled Malloy.
He’s flesh and blood, but not human. He hasn’t been human for two hundred years. In 1791, he was twenty four, and master of a large plantation just south of New Orleans. When his wife died in childbirth, he gave up on life.
In a tavern, somebody turns over the cards table and holds Louis at gunpoint, who simply bares his chest. Outside, he’s mugged at knifepoint. Vampire Lestat de Lioncourt overpowers the mugger and bites Louis’ neck. They both fly upwards, then Louis’s dropped into the water.
Lestat’s come to answer Louis’ prayers. Sickness and death could never again touch him. That morning, he saw his last sunrise and set out to become what he became.
Lestat sustainedly attacks Louis’ neck. He could be young always. Louis provides consent to Lestat. Lestat drops his own blood onto Louis’ lips. Soon, he drinks ravenously from Lestat’s wrist.
Louis convulses on the floor. Lestat’s weakened, but pleased. Louis sits up and sees with his vampire eyes. He was a newborn vampire weeping at the beauty of the night.
Louis wakes from his coffin the next evening with a hunger he’d never felt. Lestat starts biting a buxom woman’s neck. With bloodied teeth, Lestat recommends Louis also feed. Lestat uses a sharpened thumb ring to bleed the woman’s wrist and he feasts — then he kills her.
Lestat fills a glass with rat’s blood, offering it to Louis, but it gets cold quickly. There’s nothing in the world now that doesn’t hold some fascination. The snob in Lestat loves to hunt in society. Aristocratic blood thrills him.
Lestat points out Widow St Clair, with two poodles and a fancy man (who’s just murdered her husband for her). Lestat can read her thoughts. The dark gift is different for everyone. Evil doers are easier prey and they taste better. Lestat prepares his thumb ring for the boyfriend.
Louis soon bites the poodles to death. The widow screams, then Lestat kills her by twisting her neck. He calls Louis a coward. Louis regrets ever having been made a vampire.
More dead innocents are pulled from a lake. Voodoo dolls are brandished and skewered. Sacrifices of chickens are made with feverish dancing by firelight.
Louis wants to know about the meaning of vampirism, calmly biting the maid’s wrist. Then, the townsfolk arrive with burning torches. He tells them the building is cursed and burns it down. He says they belong in hell. Lestat wonders if they’d be welcome even there.
A young girl is surprised to find she’s covered in blood and starts screaming. Lestat collects some of her blood in a wine glass. The blood’s only good for drinking because the victim’s alive. If not, then the blood’s fatal to a vampire. Lestat presents the blood to Louis.
Louis won’t kill her, so Lestat throws her in a coffin. He offers to make the girl a vampire. Then, Louis finds Claudia, a little girl, calling to her plague-ridden, deceased mother. He sinks in his fangs and Lestat laughs, before dancing with the corpse.
The feeling of the girl’s blood coursing in his veins is sweeter than life itself. Lestat has a gift for Louis. He goes to Claudia’s bedside and prepares his wrist to make her immortal. He uses his thumb ring and drips his vampire blood onto her mouth. Claudia passionately feasts at Lestat’s wrist. With bloodied teeth, she starts hyperventilating. Her hair then grows luscious and her skin colour improves. She wants more…
Lestat praises Claudia for drinking every last drop and not spilling any, then removes her when she gets overenthusiastic. The rule is to stop drinking before the heart stops. She runs to hug Louis, who now considers Lestat a fiend.
Lestat knew Louis would love Claudia more than the waking world. She has the ruthless pursuit of blood — with all of a child’s demanding. Claudia feeds on the dressmaker. Lestat angrily says this killing is impractical. A doll-maker is rude to her. She leaves the doll shop smiling, holding a doll. Claudia’s piano teacher is also soon dead. Lestat and Claudia would routinely finish off entire families together.
Years flew by like minutes. Steamships disgorged an endless menu of magnificent strangers. But, Lestat yearned for a drop of old-fashioned Creole blood.
After thirty years, Claudia is still a child. She throws a tantrum and a historic corpse is revealed. She screams and cuts off her hair — which immediately grows back. Claudia demands to know who made her immortal.
Louis tells Claudia she’ll never grow old or die. Claudia realises he feasted on her, then Lestat cut his wrist and fed her his blood. She was mortal till he gave her his immortal kiss.
Claudia’s brought Lestat a peace-offering. She shows him two unconscious boys on a sofa. She’ll even dispose of the bodies. Lestat soon goes for one’s jugular, then collapses to his knees.
They overdosed on laudanum, which keeps the blood warm. Lestat can’t believe Claudia let him drink dead blood. She then slits his throat. His body’s taken to the swamp.
Louis and Claudia book passage to Europe. Claudia wants to find “their kind”. Surprisingly, Lestat arrives at the door as a rotted corpse. Alligator blood helped him survive, and all the putrid life of the Mississippi. Louis sets fire to Lestat and he and Claudia set sail.
Paris — September 1870
Louis and Claudia arrive at a lavish hotel. He happily yielded to her every desire as they searched for more vampires. Then, they were found by one. Santiago mimics Louis’s gestures and floats into the air. Head vampire, Armand, then dismisses Santiago. Louis should bring Claudia with him to Theatre des Vampires.
A female sacrifice appears. Figures in black terrorise her. She’s chased around the stage. With a loud bang and flames, Armand appears in red.
The girl runs into his arms. He then presents her, bare-breasted, to the crowd. He strips her and puts her to sleep, sinking his fangs into her neck. The black-clad figures swarm on her and the curtain falls.
Louis asks Armand about the source of all this evil. Their condition is the only real evil left. After four hundred years, Armand is probably the oldest living vampire in the world.
Claudia says the city awaits. But, Santiago’s reading Louis’ mind. The only vampire crime is to kill your own kind. Armand says Claudia’s in danger. Santiago thinks Louis killed the vampire who made him and Claudia. She should leave for her own safety.
Louis is a vampire with a human soul — beautiful. It’s true that Armand mourned Lestat’s passing. Louis knew knowledge would never be withheld by Armand. It would pass through him as through a pane of glass.
Claudia commands Louis to recruit Madeleine so she can be her companion. Louis asks Madeleine if vampires seem beautiful to her or magical with their white skin and fierce eyes. Madeleine knows Claudia’s a child who cannot die. Louis bites Madeleine’s neck and she convulses on the floor.
Vampires angrily lock Louis in a coffin. Claudia and Madeleine are exposed to fatal sunlight. Armand rescues Louis. But, it’s too late for Claudia.
Louis sets fire to all the occupied coffins, taking a scythe and killing them when they emerge screaming. Armand beckons Louis to his carriage. Louis made Armand see their failings. They’d forgotten the first lesson: that vampires must be powerful, beautiful and without regret.
For years Louis wandered Italy, Greece, all the ancient lands. Then, he returned to his America. A cinema allowed him to see the sunrise for the first time in two hundred years.
New Orleans — 1988.
The air was like the fragrance of jasmine and roses. On Prytania Street, mere blocks from the Lafayette cemetery, Louis caught the subtle scent of old death. Lestat tells him he’s dreamed of this moment, and that Louis is still beautiful. Lestat wants them both to paint the town like they once had, but Louis says he must leave. Detached. Unchangeable. Empty.
Malloy doesn’t think Louis is empty. His story’s incredible. Malloy suggests Louis take him. Louis realises he’s missed the point. Lightning fast, as is his special vampire power, Louis’s throttling Malloy with one hand up against the ceiling. He asks if Malloy likes being food for the immortals, then vanishes.
Malloy quickly leaves, feeling his neck for bites, and puts the first cassette in the stereo. He’s then jerked flat while driving. Lestat is feeding on him as the car veers to the right. Lestat feels better already, his hands appearing youthful again.
Lestat reassures Malloy. He’s gonna give him the choice he never had. The old vampire laughs maniacally as he drives.
Starring Tom Cruise. Brad Pitt. Antonio Banderas. Rated 18. Dir Neil Jordan. Released in the UK 1994. Runtime 2hrs 3mins