Interview with the Vampire
Interview with the Vampire
Screenplay by Anne Rice
Produced by Stephen Woolley
Directed by Neil Jordan
Tom Cruise Lestat de Lioncourt
Brad Pitt Louis Pointe du Lac
Antonio Banderas Armand
Stephen Rea Santiago
Christian Slater Daniel Malloy
Kirsten Dunst Claudia
INT. ROOM - NIGHT (SAN FRANCISCO)
A small bare room, illuminated only by the streetlight
coming through the window.
A hand presses a cassette into a recorder and fiddles
with a small microphone.
Malloy sits over a table fiddling with the tape. He is
young, half-shaven, dressed in T-shirt and jeans. He
looks too -
LOUIS, who stands by the window, looking out on the
street, with his back to Malloy. Louis is dressed in an
So you want me to tell you the
story of my life...
That's what I do. I interview
people. I collect lives. F.M.
radio. F.F.R.C. I just interviewed
a genuine hero, a cop who -
You'd have to have a lot of tape
for my story. I've had a very
So much the better. I've got a
pocket full of tapes.
You followed me here, didn't you?
Saw you in the street outside. You
seemed interesting. Is this where
It's just a room...
So shall we begin?
What do you do?
I'm a vampire.
See? I knew you were interesting.
You mean this literally, I take it?
Absolutely. I was watching you
watching me. I was waiting for you
in that alleyway. And then you
began to speak.
Well, what a lucky break for me.
Perhaps lucky for both of us.
Still in shadow he turns from the window and approaches
I'll tell you my story. All of it.
I'd like to do that very much.
Malloy is uneasy as he studies the shadowy figure,
fascinated but afraid.
You were going to kill me? Drink my
Yes but you needn't worry about
that now. Things change.
Louis stands opposite, hand on the chair. Malloy is
You believe this, don't you? That
you're a vampire? You really
We can't begin this way. Let me
turn on the light.
But I thought vampires didn't like
We love it. I only wanted to
Louis pulls the chord of the overhead naked light bulb.
Appears inhumanly white, eyes glittering. Inhuman or
not alive. the effect is subtle, beautiful and ghastly.
He struggles to suppress fear and understand.
Don't be frightened. I want this
The light appears to go out by itself and suddenly
Louis is in the chair, dimly lit by the street-light
from the window. The cassette is turning.
How did you do that?
The same way you do it. A series of
simple gestures. Only I moved too
fast for you to see. I'm flesh and
blood, you see. But not human. I
haven't been human for two hundred
Malloy is speechless, frightened yet enthralled.
What can I do to put you at ease?
Shall we begin like David
Copperfield? I am born, I grow up.
Or shall we begin when I was born
to darkness, as I call it. That's
really where we should start, don't
You're not lying to me, are you?
Why should I lie? 1791 was the year
it happened. I was twenty-four -
younger than you are now.
But times were different then. I
was a man at that age. The master
of a large plantation just south of
EXT. LOUISIANA - DAY (1791)
A disheveled Louis, hair in pigtail, in deep pocket
frock coat, rides his horse through the fields of
indigo, passing an overseer and slaves at work.
He passes slave quarters and the distant colonial
mansion of Pointe du Lac.
He comes to a small parish church and a graveyard. he
dismounts and walks through the tombs to an elaborate
one in Greek Style.
I had just lost my wife in
childbirth. She and the infant had
been buried less than half a year.
There is a marble angel above the tomb, feminine, with
a tiny cherub angel in her arms. Louis looks from the
angel, down to the inscriptions on the tomb:
"DIANNE DE POINTE DU LAC 1763 - 1791
INFANT JEAN MARIE - 1791"
Louis rips away the vines already covering the
inscription, then drinks from a pocket-flask. His face
I was twenty-four and life seemed
finished. I couldn't bear the pain
of their loss. I longed for a
release from it.
INT. WATERFRONT TAVERN - NIGHT
Louis in ragged lace and dirty brocade sitting between
two whores at a gaming table, drinking absinthe. All
around him flatboatmen, whores, gamblers, black African
I wanted to lose everything. My
wealth, my estate, my sanity. But
Lady Luck didn't oblige.
Louis displays a hand of four aces. A gambler at the
table stands in fury, over turning money, cards,
You're calling me a cheat?
I'm calling you a piece of shit -
The Gambler pulls out a pearl-handled pistol and points
it at Louis. The crowd hushes and draws back. Louis
smiles drunkenly and stands. he rips open his lace
shirt, exposing his chest.
Then do me a favor. Get rid of this
piece of shit...
The Gambler's finger on the trigger. His hand shakes.
You lack the courage of your
convictions, sir. Do it.
LESTAT, a hooded figure in the corner, smiles from
beneath the shadow of his hood. Gleaming blue eyes.
Most of all I longed for death. I
know that now. I invited it, a
release from the pain of living...
The Gambler lowers his gun, scowling. Louis pockets the
fistfulls of coins he has won.
EXT. WATERFRONT - NIGHT
Loud, crowded riverfront taverns full of ruffians.
Louis staggers down, an arm around a whore, drinking
from a bottle. A pockmarked pimp follows behind.
My invitation was open to anyone.
Sailors, thieves, whores and
EXT. WHARF - NIGHT
Louis, quite insensible, being propped up against a
wall by the whore in a dank wharf over the water. The
pimp rifles his pockets, then pulls a knife, about to
slice his throat, when a shadow falls over him. He
turns, and we see the face of Lestat, who lifts him
into the air by his throat, breaking his neck. the
whore screams and Lestat's other hand clamps over her
mouth. Lestat drags her towards him. Louis falls to the
ground, supported no more, insensible. Close on his
face, as we hear the last breaths of life of the whore,
But it was a vampire that accepted.
IN THE WATER
The bodies of the thief and whore float by. Above on
the wharf, Louis, now awake, stares down at them. He
turns, to see Lestat, towering above him.
They would have killed you -
Then my luck would have changed.
You want death? Is it death you
Lestat floats down on top of him, then lifts him in the
air, draws his head back by the hair and sinks his
teeth in his neck.
ON LOUIS' FACE
Every muscle rigid, teeth clenched, as the blood is
drained from him.
ON THEIR FEET
Hovering above the ground, like two quivering dancers.
THE WIND billows through the ghostly white sails and
rigging of the boats around the wharf.
Floats higher, with Louis in his arms, draining his
blood. One hand reaches out and grips a rope, hanging
from a shipmast. The other holds Louis. He withdraws
his teeth, and looks into Louis' drained face.
You still want death? Or have you
tasted it enough?
Louis can barely get the words out.
Lestat smiles and lets him go. Louis falls and plummets
into the water below.
Coming to the surface, in the water lapping by the
wharf. The bodies of the whore and thief float beside
him. He looks up and sees Lestat way above him,
dangling from the rope of the shipmast.
INT. ROOM - SAN FRANCISCO
ON MALLOY'S FACE
Captivated, terrified, enthralled.
That's how it happened?
No. The Gift of Darkness requires
more than that, as you'll see.
EXT. WATERFRONT - DAY
Louis floating by mudflats, surrounded by dead fish,
the carcasses of animals, eighteenth century rubbish.
He gets to his feet and walks weakly through the
mudflats. The sun is coming up over the sea behind him.
He left me half dead that morning.
he wanted something from me. He
came back the following night.
INT. LAVISH FRENCH-FURNISHED BEDROOM AT POINT DU LAC
Louis is delirious in a four-poster bed, shrouded with
mosquito netting. A female slave, YVETTE, bathes his
face with a rag. She is crying. Other slave women hover
in the shadows. Yvette puts out all candles save one by
the bed, and withdraws, with the others.
Candlelight flickers on the face of the bisque virgin.
Louis tosses and turns, dreaming, murmuring
incoherently. Then he opens his eyes.
LESTAT, exquisitely dressed in French clothing, stands
by the bed smiling. In the light of the candle we see
that he is not human; skin too white; eyes too bright.
Lestat looks amiable, even mischievous, but impossible
- and angel or monster.
Louis grabs his pistol from the table and cocks it.
Who the hell are you? What are you
doing in my house?
And a beautiful house it is too.
Yours is a good life, isn't it?
Louis takes aim. Lestat puts his hand over the barrel.
Louis fires. The bullet tears a hole in Lestat's hand.
Lestat is unfazed. He takes the gun from Louis' hand
and throws it away. His hand begins to heal.
You're not afraid of anything, are
Why should I be?
Louis reaches for his sword, hanging by the bed, and
point it. Lestat laughs indulgently. He draws closer.
Are you going to put that through
me too? Ruin my beautiful clothes?
He comes closer to Louis, right up to his face, so the
sword passes through his waistcoat.
Were all last night's promises for
He reaches out with his now-healed hand and plucks out
What do you want from me?
I've come to answer your prayers.
You want to die, don't you? Life
has no meaning anymore, does it?
Lestat sits down on the bed, drawing up one knee. Louis
is becoming spellbound.
The wine has no taste. The food
sickens you. There seems no reason
for any of it, does there? But what
if I could give it back to you?
Pluck out the pain and give you
another life? And it would be for
all time? And sickness and death
could never touch you again?
The vampire theme rises, with the sound of a heartbeat.
EXT. GRAVEYARD - NIGHT
The camera drifts through the graveyard where Louis'
wife is buring. Everything is lit with an eerie glow,
as if seen through some unearthly eye.
Vampires, that's what we are.
Creatures of darkness, only we see
it that darkness more clearly than
any mortal has ever seen...
Louis and Lestat drifting, dreamlike, through the
overhanging vines, comes to the grave of his wife and
child. Above the crypt, the statue of angel, mother and
Wouldn't it be sweet to bid pain
goodbye? To wave away anguish and
grief? To embrace the peace of the
The marble fingers of the child on the statue move. The
angel raises her head and has the face of Louis wife,
Diane. she raises her hand and touches Louis tear-
streamed face. The child speaks.
Louis reaches out to embrace them and finds himself
touching cold marble. He cries out in anguish-
They are gone, Louis. Death took
them. Death which you can now
INT. LOUIS BEDROOM - NIGHT
Louis, thrashing on the bed in a delirium. Lestat
places a hand on his forehead and soothes him.
You have to ask me for this. You
have to want it, do you hear me?
Give it to me!!!
Vampires. We thrive on blood.
I want it!
Lestat bends close as if to drink Louis' blood. Louis
does not shrink back, but stares into his eyes. Lestat
draws back, then stands up and goes to the French
Tomorrow night. You must prove
yourself. I will give you the
choice I never had.
He looks outside.
The sun's coming up. Watch it
carefully. If you come with me
tomorrow, you'll never see it
He leaves. Louis sits dazed, staring at the empty
French window. The sun rises with unnatural beauty,
over the swamplands and the plantation, filling the
room, striking water-pitcher, glass, mirror, and the
picture of his dead wife.
My last sunrise. That morning I was
not yet a vampire, and I saw my
last sunrise. I remember it
completely, yet I don't remember
any sunrise before it. I watched
the whole magnificence of the dawn
for the last time, as if it were
the first. And the I said goodbye
to sunlight and went out to become
what I became.
EXT. PLANTATION - NIGHT
Lestat and Louis walk through the slave quarters,
huddles groups around fires, music, singing. The sound
of whipping is heard.
Your grief has unhinged you. You've
let your estate rot.
In the woods beyond the quarters, the white overseer is
whipping a black slave, with horrifying savagery.
You let your overseer run riot,
work your slaves to the bone. We'll
start with him.
How do you mean, start?
The overseer turns and comes towards them, with the
Why the bloody whip, Carlos?
The overseer looks into his eyes, shivers with terror,
drops the whip and runs for the trees. Lestat is on him
in an instant. He sinks is teeth in his neck. Louis
runs to him, tries to pull him off. But Lestat turns to
Louis and smiles, with his bloodied mouth.
Let's call that a start.
I can't do it.
You've just done it -
Kill me if you will, but I can't do
He flees, as Lestat ends to finish off the overseer.
EXT. POINTE DU LAC - NIGHT
Louis running up the steps leading to the gallery. He
is crazed with guilt. He looks up and sees -
Sitting collected at the head of the steps.
Backs away as Lestat rises and descends the steps so
fluidly he hardly seems to move.
Don't worry. He was white trash,
they come at two a penny. I dumped
him in the swamp and untied the
slave, licked his wounds clean.
You're the devil, aren't you?
That's who you are.
I wish I were. But if I were, what
would I want with you?
I can't go through with it, I tell
Your perfect. Your bitter and
But why do you want me?
Because you're as strong as I was
when I was alive.
Louis takes out his flask and drinks. Drunkenly, he
turns and heads for a nearby swamp.
EXT. CEMETERY - NIGHT
Louis stops again in front of the crypt. Drinks from
the flask, leans his forehead against the stone.
Lestat appears beside him, radiant, beautiful.
You really want to be with them?
Yes. Kill me. Kill me like you
You asked for death. I didn't
promise it -
In a quiet rage, Lestat raise his fist and shatters the
marble face stone, revealing a coffin below. His fist
shatters that in turn, revealing the half-rotted body
of a women, holding an infant, no longer recognizable
as individuals, a tangle of gruesome rotted hair,
flesh, eaten away lace, insects and worms crawling over
It's not your wife and child my
friend. It's death. Just that
simple. Think and choose. It
happens to everyone. Except us.
Lestat stares at him, smiling, becoming a hazy
dreamlike vision, then hyperclear. Louis again is
spellbound. He drops the flask, which shatters on the
Lestat appears angelic in his radiance.
We shall be this way always, my
friend. Young as we are now. I'm
lonely for a companion, lonely for
your strength. But I'm not that
lonely. Do you want to come or not?
Louis capitulates in one long sigh.
Lestat comes closer, smiling.
Did I hear a yes?
Lestat embraces Louis, obscuring his face. He drinks
his blood. We hear two heartbeats, out of sync, coming
together. We see Louis' face, growing paler, paler, as
his blood is drained. His eyes stare upwards, losing
The moon, through hanging vines. The marble statue of
his wife and child smile at him, as if come alive. Her
hair blows in the breeze, wonderful gold tresses, the
child's fingers reach out...
BACK TO SCENE
Lestat lets Louis fall down beside the broken crypt.
Louis looks from the rotting bodies to Lestat above
him. radiant. Lestat speaks gently.
I've drained you to the point of
death. If you drink from me you
live for ever. If I leave you here
Lestat lifts his hand to his lips and blows Louis a
No. Don't leave me here. Give it to
Lestat lifts his own right wrist to his teeth. Fangs
slash his own flesh, blood falls.
Louis rises to accept the first drops with his open
mouth. Lestat gathers him up, as Louis clamps his hand
on Lestat's arm and drinks from the wrist.
The VAMPIRE THEME swells.
Lestat watches him drink his wrist with wry amusement.
Louis finishes, staggers away from him as if drunk.
Vampire vision. The world is transformed, the swamp,
the moon, the clouds, the cry of the night birds all
come to him with unnatural clarity. He looks down with
pity at the corpses of his wife and child who appear
beautiful in death now rather than repulsive. He closes
the lid of the coffin and replaces it in the ground,
astonished at the ease of it.
He turns and stares at Lestat whom he sees now with
vampire's vision. Lestat's eyes are brighter, his
buttons are glimmering in the light. Everything is
clearer, brighter, containing more facets of light and
Stop staring at my buttons. Didn't
I tell you it was going to be fun?
Lestat leads him into the swamp. Everything astonished
Louis, as if he's never seen it before. Louis is
suddenly racked by shudders of pain.
You're body's dying. Pay no
attention. It will take twenty
minutes at most.
It happens to us all.
Lestat wipes Louis' brow.
Come, you're going to feed now.
I want a woman.
Lestat laughs and his laughter echoes like bells in
That doesn't matter anymore, Louis.
You'll see. Come...
LOUIS' VAMPIRE POV - SWAMP
Small high ground. Camp of runaway slaves. Several
share a bottle of rum around the fire. A male slave
rises. A gorgeous hunk of flesh in the moonlight and
goes into the swamp to relieve his bladder.
They're all beautiful now. Men,
women, the old, the young...simply
because they are alive. -
The slave walks towards them in the darkness. A
crucifix gleams round his neck.
The crucifix -
Forget the crucifix. Take him.
Resist no more Louis. Feed...
The slave looks up and sees them. Two gleaming white
beings standing before him with devil's eyes. The he
Louis can resist him no more. He swoops on him with a
vampire's rapid movement, brings him to the ground and
sinks his teeth in his neck.
Close on Louis feeding on the slave, the magnificent
body shuddering in its death-throes. Lestat stands
The slave dies. Louis rises from him, drunkenly,
engorged with blood.
What have I done?
You have fed. You were made for
Louis looks down at the body of the slave. Lestat's
laughter echoes around him.
Dear God, what have I done?
You've killed Louis. And enjoyed
Lestat laughs harder. Louis runs from him, screaming in
EXT. GRAVEYARD - NIGHT
Louis reaches his wife's grave. He falls to his knees,
throws back his head and bares his new fangs to the
Dear God, what have I become????
INT. ROOM. SAN FRANCISCO - NIGHT
Malloy stares at Louis, terrified and enthralled.
You said the slave had a
Oh, that rumor about crosses?
You can't look at them...
Nonsense, my friend. I can look on
anything I like. And I am
particularly fond of looking on
The story about stakes through the
The same. As you would say today...
What about coffins?
Coffins... coffins unfortunately
are a necessity...
EXT. MANSION - NIGHT
Louis walks up the steps to the mansion. He looks now
like a fully-fledged vampire. Yvette, the slave girl
stares at him from the open doorway. Cascades of
harpsichord music come from the interior.
Killing is no ordinary act. It is
the experience of another's life
for certain. That night I had lost
my own life and taken another's. I
was drowning in a sea of human
guilt and regret, with all the
heightened senses of a vampire...
Louis enters the mansion, following the harpsichord
music, as if in a dream. Yvette draws back as he
INT. MANSION - NIGHT
Louis wanders into the parlor, where Lestat is playing
the harpsichord rapidly and exuberantly. Louis goes to
a full-length mirror and sees his own reflection there
- quite the perfect vampire.
Yes, that's you, my handsome
friend. And you'll look that way
till the stars fall from heaven.
It can't be...
Give it time. You're like a man who
loses a limb and still imagines he
feels pain. It will pass. And we
must sleep now. I can feel the sun
EXT. POINTE DU LAC
Dawn spreading over the plantation.
INT. BASEMENT - POINTE DU LAC
A brick walled storage room. Two coffins stand on the
floor. Lestat enters with a lantern, Louis behind.
Lestat is apprehensive and protective of Louis. He
pulls back one lid ot reveal a satin interior.
You must get into it. It's the only
safe place for you when the light
And if I don't?
The sun will destroy the blood I've
given you. Every tissue, every
vein. The fire in this lantern
could do that too.
Louis approaches the coffin, hands trembling as he
peers into it.
Don't be afraid. In moments you'll
be sleeping as soundly as you ever
slept. And when you awake I'll be
waiting for you, and so will all
Louis crawls into the coffin, fearful yet fascinated.
You told me something earlier. You
said you didn't have a choice. Was
Lestat smiles bitterly and nods.
Someday I'll tell you. We have a
lot of time to talk to each other.
You might say... we have all the
time we shall ever need.
He closes the lid.
Total darkness. Sounds of Louis' panicked breathing. Of
his prayer again.
Dear God, what have I done?
INT. DINING ROOM - NIGHT
Louis and Lestat sitting at a sumptuous table, piled
with uneaten food. Lestat is going through sheafs of
I awoke the next evening to a
different world. And I realized
there are as profound differences
between vampires as between human
Lestat, totting up figures on a piece of paper.
Your wealth, dear Louis, is
inestimable. Your income from
cotton alone will keep us in
comfort for a century.
Louis just stares at him.
I sat there staring at him with
contempt. He had the soul of a
shopkeeper, he was the sow's ear
out of which nothing fine could be
made. I felt sadly cheated in
having him as a teacher...
Lestat looks up at him and grins.
You'll get used to killing. Just
forget about that mortal coil.
You'll become accustomed to things
all too quickly.
Do you think so?
Yvette enters, stands behind him, staring at Lestat
You are not hungry, sir...
Au contraire, my dear. He could eat
Lestat laughs loudly. Louis turns and looks at Yvette.
Her beautiful forehead in the candlelight, the veins
pulsing on her neck and her hands.
I looked at anything mortal and saw
all life as precious, condemning
all fruitless guilt and passion
that would let it slip through the
fingers like sand...
Yvette returns his stare, troubled.
It was only as a vampire that I
could see Yvette's beauty. Her fear
of me increased my desire.
Yvette reaches for his uneaten plate. Louis stops her
hand. Holds it for a beat too long, looking at the
veins in her wrist.
I will finish it, Yvette. Now leave
She turns and runs from the table. Lestat leans towards
Can't you pretend, you fool? Don't
give the game away. We're lucky to
have such a home.
His hand snakes out under the table. It comes up
holding a large grey rat.
Pretend to drink, at least.
He bares his fangs and slices the rat's throat. He
pours the blood into a crystal glass.
Such fine crystal shouldn't go to
He hands the glass to Louis. Louis drinks the blood and
stares at it in surprise, then at the dead rat on the
fine lace tablecloth.
I know. It gets cold so fast.
We can live like this? Off the
blood of animals?
I wouldn't call it living. I'd call
it surviving. A useful trick if
you're caught for a month on a ship
Lestat strokes the belly of the dead rat, studying it
There's nothing in the world now
that doesn't hold some...
Yes. And I'm bored with this
He throws the rat away.
But we can live without taking
human life. It's possible.
Anything is possible. But just try
it for a week. Come into New
Orleans and let me show you some
He rises. Louis follows.
EXT. NEW ORLEANS - NIGHT
A big, lavish drinking place with a raised stage.
Italian actors in buffoonish costumes act crude
commedia dell'arte on the stage.
Plantation owners in soiled brocade, lace, crooked wigs
watch the show as tavern wenches move about.
This was New Orleans, a magical and
magnificent place to live. In which
a vampire, richly dressed might
attract no more notice in the
evening than hundreds of other
Louis and Lestat by a table, in the shadow of a tree.
Teresa, a tavern wench, sits on Lestat's lap, pouring
drinks for the two of them. She lifts a fresh glass to
Lestat's lips as he flirts with her.
Come on, mon cher. The best in the
colony. Once you touch this you'll
never go to any other tavern again.
You think so, cherie? But what if
I'd rather taste your lips?
My lips are even sweeter still...
She kisses him. He lets his tongue play with hers, then
runs it down her neck. She swoons with pleasure. Then
he sinks his teeth gently in her neck, looking
playfully behind at Louis, who if appalled and
ANTICS ON THE STAGE
Laughter rocks the tavern.
Lestat slips the pale and dead Teresa into a chair
beside him and folds her hands on the table. No one
notices. He lays gold coins on the table and touches
Let's get out of here!
Lestat rushes out, thrilled with himself.
EXT. TAVERN - NIGHT
A crowded street. Louis and Lestat emerge from the
tavern. Louis looks up at the moon.
Have you ever been caught?
Of course not. It's so easy you
almost feel sorry for them.
They walk down the crowded night street, full of ladies
in their finery, freed slaves, whores, sailors etc.
Lestat killed two, sometimes three
a night. A fresh young girl, that
was his favorite for the first of
INT. FRENCH QUARTER MANSION - BALLROOM
Small orchestra plays for colonial couples in fine wig
and garb prancing to a French minuet. Young women sit
in chairs along the walls with their chaperones. Young
men stand opposite.
But the triumphant kill of Lestat
was a young man. They represented
the greatest loss to Lestat because
they stood on the threshold of the
maximum possibility of life.
A youth of preternatural beauty, silhouetted against
French windows. He is talking to an elegant widow,
seated, holding two manicured poodles. Lestat stares at
the youth with longing.
The trick is not to think about it.
See that one? The widow St. Clair?
she had that gorgeous young fop
murder her husband. She's perfect
for you. Go ahead.
But how do you know?
Read her thoughts.
The dark gift is different for each
of us. But one thing is true of
everyone. We grow stronger as we go
He leads Louis closer to them.
Take my word for it. She blamed a
slave for his murder. And do you
know what they did to him?
He smiles at the young man, who smiles in return.
The evildoers are easier. And they
EXT. LAWNS - NIGHT
Lestat walks the youth towards a copse of trees. He
looks back at Louis, who holds both poodles on a
delicate leash, walking with the widow. The minuet
spills from the french windows.
WIDOW ST. CLAIR
Now, young man, you really amaze
me! I'm old enough to be your
She leans towards him concquettishly. Louis, crazed
with hunger, sees her as beautiful in the moonlight. He
allows her lips reach his. He takes her in his arms,
gently, romantically, and sinks in his teeth. She
WIDOW ST. CLAIR
Yes, that's the melody, I remember
it. Oh yes...
Louis draws his lips away. She is weak in his arms, but
still alive. He can't do it. The poodles growl. He
shoots out an arm and grabs one, then the other.
EXT. TREES - NIGHT
Lestat, bending over the body of the dead youth. A
scream pierces the night.
WIDOW ST CLAIR
EXT. LAWNS. NIGHT
The widow on the grass, her poodles dead beside her.
Louis is trying to quiet her.
WIDOW ST CLAIR
My little papillions! My
butterflies!!! He killed them!!!
Lestat comes from nowhere, claps a hand over her mouth
and breaks her neck. He spits in fury at Louis.
You whining coward of a vampire who
prowls the night killing rats and
poodles. You could have finished us
Louis throws himself on Lestat with extraordinary
force, pummeling him towards the trees.
What have you done to me? You've
condemned me to hell.
I don't know any hell -
Louis hurls him against tree after tree with a strength
he never knew he had.
You want to see me kill? Watch me
kill you then -
He drags him to the ground an throttles him. Lestat
looks up at him, amazed and amused at the same time.
What strength, my friend, what
strength. I remember why I chose
Lestat squirms from his grip, seemingly effortlessly.
But you can't kill me, Louis. Nor I
He ruffles Louis' hair, with wry affection.
Feed on what you want, mon cherie.
Rats, chickens, doves, goats. I'll
leave you to it and watch you come
round. Just remember, life without
me would be even more unbearable...
He smiles. A sly, pleasurable secret secret smile.
EXT. POINTE DU LAC - NIGHT
Their carriage draws up to the mansion as the first
fingers of light spread across the sky.
Being a vampire to him meant
revenge. Revenge against life-
itself. Every time he took a life
it was revenge. and the slaves with
a wisdom that was denied their
masters, began to notice...
INT. SLAVE-HUT - NIGHT
In a tiny cabin, a slave family. Kids sleeping on the
floor, in cribs and cots. The parents sleep on the bed,
young, beautiful, naked. Beside them is Lestat, who is
drinking the husband's blood, his hand playing across
the breast of the wife as he does so. She murmurs in
She grabs his fingers and kisses them, thinking him to
be her husband. Lestat gently disengages himself and
EXT. SLAVE-HUT - NIGHT
The woman's scream pierces the sky, as Lestat walks
into the night.
EXT. CHICKEN-COOP - NIGHT
Every chicken is dead, bloodies necks hanging down from
the cribs. Louis emerges from the entrance, blood on
his lips. He hears the scream.
EXT. SLAVE QUARTER - NIGHT
The sound of drumming is heard, African, primal. The
woman runs through the quarters, screaming grief.
Others gather at doorways, restrain and console her.
EXT. DOVE-COTE - DAY
A beautiful, elaborate eighteenth century dove-cote.
Every dove inside is dead, pierced at the neck. A black
hand throws in a flaming torch and it bursts into
INT. CABIN - NIGHT
A doll, made in the image of Lestat, is pierced with
EXT. SWAMP BY FIELDS - DAY
Bodies of slaves floating in the swamp, with the bodies
of goats. Slaves at the edge throw ropes around the
bodies, pull them towards the shore. The drumming grows
EXT. SLAVE-QUARTERS - NIGHT
Louis walking through. The slaves hush as he
approaches, gather in doorways and whisper. He turns
and looks at them, sorrowfully. He looks truly like a
ghost. Their eyes turn away when they meet his. He
INT. DINING ROOM IN MANSION - NIGHT
Lestat and Louis sit at the table, the untouched food
Consider yourself lucky. In Paris a
vampire has to be clever for many
reasons. Here all one needs is a
pair of fangs.
Paris? You came from Paris?
As did the one who made me.
Tell me about him. You must have
learnt something from him! It had
to happen for you as it did for me!
I learnt absolutely nothing. I
wasn't give a choice, remember?
But you must know something about
the meaning of it all, you must
know where we come from, why we...
Lestat spits out in anger.
Why? Why should I know these
things? Do you know them?
The drumming grows outside.
(gripping his temples)
That noise! It's driving me mad!
We've been in the country for
weeks, with nothing but that
They know about us. They see us
dine on empty plates and drink from
Come the New Orleans then. There's
an opera on tonight. A real french
opera! We can dine in splendor!
I respect life, don't you see? For
each and every human life I have
Respect me a little then. I'm the
only life you know.
Louis stares. Lestat turns childishly, petulantly.
You'll soon run out of chickens,
He walks out, humming a French aria. Louis stares at
EXT. SLAVE QUARTERS - NIGHT
The slaves, gathered on mass around fires. Frenzied
drumming, dancing. Lestat rides through, scattering the
flames. The drumming stops. The slaves look towards the
house. Slowly, they begin to move towards it.
INT. POINTE DU LAC DINING ROOM - NIGHT
Louis, sitting in despair by the table. Yvette, the
slave girl enters.
Michi Louis? You don't want any
Louis laughs harshly.
No, ma cher. I need no supper. Is
all well at Pointe Du Lac tonight?
Yvette draws closer. Light reveals her beauty.
We worry about you master. When do
you ride about the fields? How long
since you've been to the slave
quarters? Everywhere there is
death. Animals, men. Are you our
master still at all?
Louis watches her sadly. He's getting hungry. Her
throat is long and slender, her breasts are gorgeous.
Leave me alone now, Yvette.
I will not go unless you listen to
me. Send away this new friend of
yours. The slaves are frightened of
him. They are frightened of you.
She comes closer, and he can hear her beating heart.
She touches his hair. He takes her hand and brings it
to his lips.
I am frightened of myself, Yvette.
He kisses her wrist. She suddenly gasps, sharply,
withdraws her hand. She sees her wrist is red with
blood. She sees the blood on his lips. She screams.
Hush, Yvette -
She screams even louder. Louis clamps his hand over her
mouth. Her hand grips the table-cloth, pulls, bringing
the empty glasses and crockery to the floor.
In horror, Louis realizes he has broken her neck. He
brings her cut wrist to his lips, then drops it,
revolted. He carries her body outside, grief-stricken.
The drumming grows louder.
EXT. MANSION - NIGHT
Fires burning in the distance, round the slave-cabins.
The slaves are gathered at the foot of the mansion
steps. They see Louis come out, holding the body of
Yvette. He is deranged with grief.
This place is cursed. Damned, do
you hear me? And your master is the
He places the body of Yvette in a rocking chair on the
Get out while you can. You're free
They don't move. They stare at him blankly.
Unlike me, you are no free men...
He turns behind him, and looks at the mansion, all
candelabra and chandeliers lighted, all windows open.
Do I have to convince you?
He rushed up the stairs, snatches up the candelabra and
sets fire to the drapes. He goes from window to window,
lighting drapes, lace curtains, everything.
SLAVES POV - MASTER
Setting fire to the house.
They rush up the stairs with shouts of "STOP HIM, HE'S
MAD". A wall of flame gushes out from the interior,
blocking their way.
INT. BURNING MANSION - NIGHT
Louis, wandering from room to room of the burning
mansion. he sees paintings of his wife consumed by the
flames. He is weakening with the fumes, the heat. We
can see this in his face, the texture of his skin.
Suddenly a large french window cascades inwards and
Lestat stands there, whip in hand. Behind him we can
see the morning sky.
You fool, what have you done?
What you wouldn't do. It's almost
sunrise. It will be the sun or the
fire. You said they can kill me.
The sun or the fire!
Louis stands there, weakened, then collapses onto the
floor. Lestat darts forward and catches him before he
drops. He runs out the shattered window, carrying him
on his shoulder.
EXT. LARGE GRAVEYARD - DAWN
With many crypts. Louis, unconscious, carried over
Darkness. Louis lying on the floor of a large crypt. He
slowly comes to.
Where are we?
Where do you think, my idiot
friend? We're in a nice filthy
cemetery. Does this make you happy?
Is this fitting and proper enough?
Louis laughs softly.
We belong in hell.
And what if there is no hell, or
they don't want us there? Ever
think of that?
INT. ROOM. SAN FRANCISCO - NIGHT
The vampire sits in silence, as if tired by his story.
Malloy speaks, hesitantly.
You loved Yvette...
Can a vampire feel love?
You loved your wife, surely.
I was human then. Might as well ask
can an angel feel love. Both are
blesses or cursed with a certain...
detachment. Though whether angels
take as long to learn it as I, I
will never know.
He looks directly at Malloy, shocking him with his
Yes, I loved Yvette. As I loved
Pointe Du Lac. And as with each
thing I loved, I destroyed it.
EXT. NEW ORLEANS - EVENING
From the sea, at evening, shrouded in mist.
Lestat I did not love. And he
INT. INN - EVENING
A lavish little supper chamber with coffered bed, fancy
French furniture. Open to rooftops of colonial city.
Louis sits by an open window looking out over the city.
Behind, we can hear the laughter of Lestat and tow
female voices. Louis turns and sees -
Lestat, in the main chamber with two drugged or drunked
whores. One runs her finger down his chest. The other
seems out of it.
You're skin's icy.
He presses his thumb on her neck and holds her tight,
sinking his teeth into her neck. After a time she falls
to the bed, dead. he turns to the other.
Your friend has no head for wine.
She's stupid. I can warm that cold
skin of yours better than she can.
Do you think so?
He rubs her breast.
Why you're warm now.
Ah, but the price is pretty high.
Your sweet friend - I exhausted
He bites her in turn, drinks her blood. She does into
Louis looks on in disgust. He stands.
I'm leaving you. I can't stand this
Lestat pulls away from the whore.
What, no flowery speeches? About
what a monster I am? What a vulgar
I'm not interested in you. You
disgust me. I'm interested in my
own nature and know I can't trust
you to tell me the truth about me.
What do you imagine you are Louis?
I don't pretend to know.
Don't you understand, Louis, that
you alone of all creatures can see
death with impunity... you alone
under the rising moon can strike
like the hand of God.
The girl moans.
Lestat, she's alive!!!
Vampires are killers. Predators,
who's all seeing eyes were meant to
give them detachment.
The girl moans again, open her eyes.
The girl, Lestat -
I know. Let her alone.
He slashes her wrist with his teeth, and lets the blood
drip into a glass.
You think you can be human. You
think you can go back. But you
can't. You live off the blood of
rats now Louis. How human is that?
The girls moans again. Lestat drinks that glass.
Lie still, love...
The girl begins to scream. Lestat picks her up.
You're tired love, you want to
He walks to his coffin, puts her inside and sits on the
lid. We hear muffled screaming and banging from inside.
Why do you do this Lestat?
I like to do it. I enjoy it. Take
you aesthete's taste to purer
things. Kill them swiftly if you
will, but do it! For now doubt, you
are a killer Louis. Ah!
He stands up. The girl pushes the lid off, hysterical.
She looks at Louis.
It's a coffin, a coffin! Get me
Of course it's a coffin. You're
Louis screams at Lestat
Lestat - finish this -
You finish her - if you feel so
The girl grabs Louis and pleads.
You won't let me die, will you?
You'll save me?
But it's too late, love. Look at
your wrist, you breast.
He picks her up again. He turns to Louis laughing.
Unless I make her one of us...
THEN YOU KILL HER!!!!!
The girl screams. Louis puts his hands to his ears.
Then Lestat, in a fit of pique puts his teeth to her
neck. She dies at last.
A terrible silence descends. Lestat looks at Louis.
My God... to think you... are all I
have to learn from...
In the old world, they called it
the dark gift, Louis. And I gave it
Louis leaves without a word.
EXT. DANK NEW ORLEANS BACK STREETS - NIGHT
A rat scurried down a gutter, then another and another.
Louis' hand grabs the rat. We see him from behind,
walking down the street, gripping one, then another.
Am I damned? Am I from the devil?
Is my very nature that of a devil?
And all the while, as these dreaded
questions caused me to neglect my
thirst, my thirst grew hotter, my
veins were threads of pain in my
flesh, my temples throbbed.
A smaller side street, in which every house is marked
with an X. The street is crawling with rats, and Louis
is following them. A man passes with a lantern.
Don't go that way Monsieur. It's
the plague. Go back the way you
Louis smiles bitterly at these words, repeating them to
The way I came...
He walks on, following the rats.
... and finally, when I could stand
it no longer, I stood in an empty
desolate street and heard the sound
of a child crying.
A house, the door slightly open, marked with an X. The
sound of a child crying inside. Louis walks towards it.
INT. HOUSE - NIGHT
A little girl, pulling at a figure in a rocking chair.
Mama, please wake up. Mama, I'm
frightened, please wake up.
As Louis enters, he sees the woman is dead. Her eyes
are being eaten away by rats.
Louis gasps in horror. Claudia turns. She is a radiant
doll or angel as she stretches out her hand to Louis.
Monsieur, please help us. Papa's
waiting for us at the ship. Please
wake mama, Monsieur.
She runs to him. Instinctively, he gathers her in his
arms. He looks down pitying on her beautiful face.
And if I am damned, why do I fell
such pity for her gaunt face? Why
do I wish to warm her tiny arms?
Comfort her beating heart?
She snuggles into him, suddenly utterly secure. She
tugs at his hair, brings his head down towards her. And
we see Louis shiver, as his lips go to her neck.
Her breathing becomes calm as she goes into the swoon.
Gradually another sound replaces it.
LESTAT'S LAUGHTER, GROWING LOUDER AND LOUDER.
Suddenly Louis backs away, caught red-handed, the child
in his arms. He sees Lestat slapping his knee and
laughing in the doorway.
Ah, my philosopher, my martyr.
"Never take a human life". Well you
must admit it is funny. Or is it
merely touching? I'm not sure.
Louis stares at the unconscious Claudia in horror, then
lets her slip gently into a chair. Shamefully he wipes
his mouth, sees the tiny wounds on her throat.
Lestat snatches up the dead mother from the chair and
begins to dance with her in great circles, humming and
talking. Her head falls back. Black water flows from
Let's make some party of it, shall
we? Maybe there's some life in the
old lady yet?
Louis flees into the street.
Come back, Louis, you are what you
are. The plague would have got her
within hours anyway. Merciful Death
how you love your precious guilt.
EXT. STREETS - NIGHT
Louis running through an assortment of streets. All the
night life of New Orleans flows by him.
For years I had not savored a
human. And when I had Lestat's
words made sense to me. I knew
peace only when I killed and when I
heard her heart in that terrible
rhythm I knew again what peace
could be. Yet even then I could not
EXT. WATERFRONT - DAWN
Fingers of light in the sky. Louis, pale and shivering,
walks splashing through the water. He comes to a huge
sewer-pipe, crowded with rats. He crawls inside.
EXT. WATERFRONT - SOME EVENINGS LATER
The same sewer-pipe. Now the bodies of dead rats lie
all around. A pair of fine leather boots splash through
the water - Lestat's.
INT. SEWER-PIPE - EVENING
Louis huddled there, so pale and shivering he seems
close to death. Lestat comes through.
All I need to find you Louis is
follow the corpses of rats.
He bends down to him, surprisingly gently and puts his
own coat around him.
Pain is terrible for you. You feel
it like no other creature because
you are a vampire. You don't want
it to go on.
They emerge from the sewer and walk along the
Do what it is in your nature to do.
And you will feel as you felt with
that child in your arms.
Oh God Lestat. I felt peace. I felt
an end to the craving.
That and more.
He puts his arm around Louis, to stop his shivering.
Evil is a point of view. God kills,
indiscriminately, and so shall we.
For no creatures under God are as
we are, none so like him as
Is God merciless? Greedy and cruel?
Ah, but we have even more in common
with our creator. come, I am like a
mother tonight. I want a child.
Louis is baffled. He follows.
INT. INN - SUPPER ROOM
She's here, your wounded one.
What are you saying?
You need company, Louis. More
congenial than mine...
Lestat holds up a candle and walks towards a large four-
poster bed. Claudia lies there, angelic, under the
coverlet, two marks on her neck.
You remember how you wanted her,
the taste of her -
I didn't want to kill her.
Don't worry, Louis, you're
conscience is clear. You left her
Lestat shakes her gently.
Claudia, Claudia, listen to me.
You're ill, my precious and I'm
going to give you what you need to
Lestat, what do you mean?
Louis runs at him, but Lestat brushes him aside
effortlessly, so he falls to the floor. Lestat bites
his wrist and presses the bleeding wound to the child's
mouth... He winces in pain.
That's it dear. More. You must
drink it to get well.
Claudia sucks on the wound, reviving, making little
noises like a person waking from sleep.
Louis rises to his feet as Claudia clutches Lestat's
arm, sucking the blood fiercely. Lestat moans.
Stop, that's enough. No more.
He pulls her loose and she growls and stares at him
with big clear astonished eyes.
I want more.
What have you done?
Lestat puts her down on the bed and sits beside her,
holding his wrist, obviously in pain.
Yes, cherie, of course you want
more. And I'll show you how to get
it. You drink from morals, my
beauty, but from me? Never again.
Still suffering, Lestat pulls the bell-rope.
CLOSE ON CLAUDIA
Being transformed. Becoming white yet robust, bright-
eyed yet crazed. She shakes her beautiful curls and the
dust falls from them. They are shining in the
Louis cannot stop looking at her. He does not notices
The MAID enters.
Ah, quelle Belle enfant!
The maid comes near the bed, kneels in front of
Claudia. Lestat lays his hand on the maid's throat and
Claudia watches keenly.
Gently, cherie. They are so
innocent. They must not be made to
Claudia lunges for the throbbing vein in the neck,
locking on to the flowing blood.
The Maid is transfixed.
Close on Louis, his anguish, his fascinated horror.
You are the devil! You are the
instrument of Satan!
That's enough, cherie. Stop before
the heart stops.
He lets the dead maid onto the floor. Claudia looks at
I want some more.
It's bet in the beginning, lest the
death takes you down with it. yes,
that's it. My child. My beloved
Lestat and Claudia sit on the Louis XVI settee. Claudia
is a vision, a doll made out of pearl. Animated, voice
Where is Mamma?
The words echo in Louis' head, as he puts his hands to
Mamma's gone to Heaven, cherie,
like that sweet lady over there.
They all go to Heaven. And you did
very well, cherie. Not a drop
spilt. Very good! You're going to
be our child now.
Lestat takes out his comb and begins to comb her hair.
Your mama's left you with us. She
wants you to be happy.
You are the devil! You are the
instrument of Satan!
Shhhh! Do you want to frighten our
I'm not your daughter.
Yes you are, my dearest. You are
mine and Louis' daughter. You see
Louis was going to leave us. He was
going to go away. But now he's not.
He's going to stay and make you
Claudia runs over to him. She smiles at him.
Louis is conflicted. He cannot leave her. He touches
her cheeks, her hair. Same as his. Vampire skin and
hair. He draws in his breath, shocked by her beauty,
then he embraces her as a father might a daughter. He
looks over her shoulder to Lestat.
You fiend. You monster.
One happy family.
INT. ROOM - SAN FRANCISCO
Malloy is open mouthed.
A child vampire!
He sees the tape has run out. He rapidly and clumsily
sticks in another.
Shall we go on?
He did it to make you stay with
Perhaps. He knew me. He knew I
would love her more than the waking
world. But there was more to it
than that. Perhaps in the end he
did it - to show me that he could.
For he lavished affection on her,
there was no doubt about that. Life
was very different with madame
Claudia, as you can imagine...
EXT. NEW SPANISH TOWNHOUSE - (RUE ROYALE, NEW ORLEANS)
Two husky movers bring in furniture through the back
courtyard, past the fountain and the banana trees, up
the back stairs and into -
Striped wallpaper gives way to flowers in the bedrooms.
Huge four-poster beds in the bedrooms, and large
chests, as big as coffins standing against the wall.
Everywhere there are candles and pretty Louis XVI
furniture. Lestat gives instructions to the movers.
WE MOVE INTO A DIMLY LIT PARLOUR
We see Claudia draped in lace standing on a petit point
chair as a DRESSMAKER measure out a garment.
Louis can be seen, in an inner room.
Monsieur, I need more light. I
shall go slind if you do not bring
me a lamp, or let me fit this child
during the day. Ouch!
She has pricked her hand. A spot of blood appears on
her finger Claudia takes her hand.
Let me kiss it better...
Claudia brings the hand to her lips. The dressmaker
abruptly pulls her finger away, in pain again.
CLOSEUP - her finger, two holes showing.
A little child she was, but also a
fierce killer, now capable of the
ruthless pursuit of blood with all
a child's demanding.
Lestat walks through - sees the dressmaker lying dead
at Claudia's feet, Claudia still on the chair in the
Claudia, Claudia, will you never
learn? Who will we get now to
finish your dress? A little
INT. LOUIS' BEDROOM - NIGHT
She would sleep in my coffin,
daily, curl her child's fingers
round my hair as she dreamt of I
know not what...
Claudia and Louis, sleeping in a coffin together,
Claudia's fingers curling his hair.
INT. CLAUDIA'S BEDROOM
Claudia playing with dolls, each as perfect and
beautifully dressed as she is.
Mute and beautiful, she played with
dolls, dressing them and undressing
them by the hour.
INT. PARLOUR - NIGHT
Claudia tinkling with her child's hands on the piano,
picking out a hesitant tune.
Mute and beautiful, she killed. And
to watch her kill was chilling.
EXT. SQUARE - NIGHT
The tinkling of Claudia's piano is heard, over -
A well-dressed lady, walking through a square lit by
gaslight. The lady hears a child's sobbing and stops,
Claudia, the picture of lost innocence, sitting on a
bench and crying.
Why are you crying, child?
The woman, all solicitude, goes to Claudia.
Are you lost, my love?
Hush now, don't cry, We'll find
The woman takes Claudia in her arms. Claudia nestles
her head in her shoulder, her teeth near her neck.
They found death fast in those
days, before she learnt to play
with the, to delay the moment till
she had taken what she wanted...
INT. PARLOUR - NIGHT
A stern, stiff PIANO-TEACHER (male) beating time with a
ruler as Claudia picks out scales on the piano. He raps
her on the knuckles.
The thumb girl! Mind the thumb!
Claudia glares at him, then returns to playing,
INT. DOLL-SHOP - NIGHT
Piano music over. Mozart, now well played.
Claudia staring at a glass case, inside of which are an
array of eighteenth century dolls. An old DOLLMAKER
looks down on her.
They are expensive, my dear. Maybe
too expensive for a young girl like
EXT. STREET - NIGHT
Claudia walking along, clutching the doll.
INT. DOLL-SHOP - NIGHT
The dollmaker lying dead, two puncture marks in his
throat, his dolls scattered all around him.
EXT. UNDERTAKER'S - NIGHT
Claudia and Louis looking through the window at a
display of coffins. Claudia point at the smallest one.
She grew, yet stayed the same. She
wanted a bed of her own, yet would
climb back into mine.
INT. CLAUDIA'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
The child's coffin on the floor. The lid lifts. Claudia
emerges, yawning, wanders through the flat into -
Where his coffin sits. She slides the lid off, and
curls in beside him.
INT. PARLOUR - NIGHT
Claudia playing the piano, now with remarkable
dexterity. The piano-teacher sits mute beside her. As
she plays, he topples over and falls to the ground. We
see the puncture-marks in his neck. Lestat, hearing the
noise, comes in.
Claudia, Claudia! Didn't I tell
you, never in the house!
Claudia smiles to herself, keeps playing.
INT. CLAUDIA'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
CANARIES sing in a cage, above a child's coffin.
Claudia is writing at a secretaire. She is writing in a
diary with a quill pen in an adult hand. She murmurs
the date as she writes.
September 21st, one hour after
sunset. The sky is still violet,
the way Louis loves and as always
Lestat was gone when we rose.
She looks up and sees Louis in the doorway, watching
How did you learn to write,
The way I learn everything. By
She closes the diary.
But you never let me see you kill,
Lestat taught you all you need to
know about that.
Infant death, he calls me. Sweet
daughter death. You know what he
calls you? Merciful death.
Why does he call you that?
Hush, Claudia don't talk about such
things. Show me your book.
She opens it. Inside there is a beautiful pen and ink
portrait of Louis.
Claudia! You did that?
Sit still. It's not finished -
She begins to fill in the sketch.
Time can pass fast for mortals when
they're happy. With us it was the
EXT. RUE ROYALE - NIGHT (1800'S)
Street lamps are oil at this period. Houses are now
tall two-story Spanish style. Streets are flagstone.
Passing carriages are black.
It was a very different life. And a
new century was beginning. what had
once been a small godforsaken
French colony was growing into a
great port, giving us an endless
train of magnificent strangers...
Claudia, Louis and Lestat, dressed in the same clothes
walking through a raucous carnival with sideshows.
Crowd milling around, sailors, whores, children,
thieves, freed slaves, Indians. They pass a Wild West
display, jugglers, fire-eaters, three-card
All human life was here, for the
taking. And we took, all three of
us, in our different ways...
They come to a raised platform where a troupe of
perfectly-formed midgets do a burlesque show.
Claudia stops. She stares, at these small, perfect
creatures like herself, intrigued and troubled.
Louis and Lestat walk on, not noticing as -
Circles the troupe. She comes to a small tent, behind
it. At the entrance stands a midget youth.
You want to come inside, lovely?
Claudia walks up to him.
Ever been kissed?
Claudia shakes her head. He kisses her. Claudia allow
her to be kissed, then bites his tongue. he youth
struggles, as Claudia holds him and drains him. She
lets him go as Louis appears behind her.
She's like me, Louis. Small and yet
not small at all. Like me.
Louis hurriedly draws her away.
I watched her grow yet stay the
same, her doll-like face possessed
of adult eyes, eerie, powerful,
INT. FLAT - NIGHT
Claudia playing the piano, now like a demonic Liszt.
Lestat appears in the doorway. He has a big box in his
Another doll? I have ten, you
FOCUS ON early 19th Century French dolls - wood, glass,
wax, bisque - all around the bedroom, on chairs, on the
bed. Some newish, some tattered old.
Well, I thought you could use
He hands her the box. It is a fine Parisian Jumeau
doll. She likes it and stokes its face.
Why always on this night?
What night? What do you mean?
You always give me the doll on the
same night of the year.
I didn't realize.
Is this my birthday?
He examines the other dolls.
Some of these are so old and
tattered. You should throw them
I have. Or there would be twice as
But you're the fairest by far.
You dress me like a doll. You make
my hair like a doll. Why?
Lestat doesn't answer. Claudia stands up quickly, and
strides out into the -
Where Louis is reading by the window. She walks to a
mirrored cabinet, takes out a scissors and begins
cutting her hair.
You want me to be a doll forever?
Claudia - don't -
She continues cutting. She sees Lestat emerge from her
bedroom in the mirror behind her then turns to him, an
angelic little boy's face now with soft curls around
Can't I change, like everybody
She walks past him, back into her bedroom and slams the
A beat. Louis looks from the mass of blonde hair on the
floor to Lestat. Then a HORRID SCREAM pierces the
silence. More screams, which become roars.
INT. CLAUDIA'S BEDROOM
She stands before the dressing-table, all her long hair
grown back over her shoulders. She holds it with both
hands, screaming and screaming. Lestat and Louis come
through the door.
Which of you did it? Which of you
made me the way I am?
What you are? You would be
something other than you are?
And if I cut my hair again?
It will grow back again!
But it wasn't always so! I had a
mother once! And Louis - he had a
wife! He was mortal the same as
she! And so was I!
She turns on Lestat.
You made us what we are, didn't
Stop her Louis!
DID YOU DO IT TO ME????
She runs at him with the scissors, scoring his face.
The cut heals. She scores it again. It heals again. She
stares at him in horror.
How did you do it?
And why should I tell you? It's in
Why yours alone? Tell me how it was
Be glad I made you what you are!
You'd be dead not if I hadn't.
He storms out. Louis goes to Claudia and picks her up
in his arms.
We're immortal. You've always known
Tell me why... you've got to tell
Louis carries her outside, onto the porch. There is an
old flower-seller going by.
You see the old woman? That will
never happen to you. You'll never
grow old. You will never die.
And it means something else too,
doesn't it? I shall never, ever
She clutches Louis desperately.
I hate him. But I cannot bear to
lose you. You're the only companion
I have, forever. You taught me
everything I know. Please tell me
Louis. Tell me how it came to be
that I am this... thing...
Louis strokes her beautiful face, her hair.
Come... I've something to show
EXT. NEW ORLEANS STREETS - NIGHT
Louis walking, holding Claudia as if he was about to
Though everything was changed,
through the years had warped the
contours of the streets, I found my
way there, aware that I'd always
known where it was and avoided it,
not wanting to pass the doorway
where I'd first heard Claudia cry.
Louis back in the same street, outside the same house.
He stands with Claudia at the window. There is a family
inside, a picture of domestic tranquility.
I heard you crying. You were there
in a room with your mother. You
were hugging her for warmth, crying
pitifully as you had been for days.
Because your mother was dead...
Claudia stares at him, suddenly very cold, very alert.
I opened the shutters... I came
into the room... I felt pity for
you. Pity, but something else.
He can't go on. Claudia's eyes are remorseless.
You... fed on me?
And he found me with you. I ran,
sickened at what I'd done. Then he
cut his wrist and fed you from him.
I tried to stop him, but you were a
vampire then. And have been every
You both did it?
I took your life. He gave you
Claudia speaks through indrawn breath.
And here it is. And I hate you
INT. ROOM SAN FRANCISCO
Malloy and Louis.
But why did you tell her?
How could I not? She had to know.
And did you lose her? Did she go?
Where would she have gone? She was
a child, and beautiful,
heartbreaking merciless child. And
I had made her that...
EXT. STREETS - NIGHT
Louis, walking the streets, shivering.
I walked all night. I walked as I
walked years before when my mind
swam with guilt at the thought of
killing. I found myself at the
A cathedral rising out of the mist, the doors open.
I thought of all the things I had
done and couldn't undo. And I
longed for one second's peace...
Louis walks towards the doors, inside.
INT. CATHEDRAL - NIGHT
Louis enters. The dim lights of candles. A sacristan
tending the altar, an old woman praying - otherwise
I had no fear. If anything I longed
for something to happen, for the
stones to tremble as I entered the
Louis walking down the nave of the church. He stops by
I almost genuflected from old
habit. I almost prayed.
Louis sits in a pew.
And then it struck me.
The cross, the statues, the tabernacle.
What if the statues gave an image
to nothing? What if I was the
supernatural in this cathedral? The
only immortal under this roof. And
I felt nothing but loneliness.
Loneliness to the point of madness.
Suddenly a hand is laid on his shoulder. Louis almost
jumps. He turns and sees the face of a grey-haired
You wish to go to confession? I was
about to lock up the church.
Louis stares at him, tears in his eyes.
You are troubled, aren't you? Can I
It's too late, too late -
No, it's never too late. Come...
The priest gestures to the confessional. Louis rises,
Louis, kneeling in the darkness. The hatch slides back.
Bless me father for I have sinned
so often and so long, I don't know
how to change nor beg for
Son, God is infinite in his
capacity to forgive. Tell him from
Murders, father, death after death.
The woman who died two nights ago
in Jackson Square, I killed her.
And thousands of others before her.
I have walked the streets of New
Orleans like the Grim reaper. And
fed on human life for my own. I am
a vampire, father, and have turned
the one I love most of all into on
The hatch slams down. Louis rises, confused, and the
door is flung open, the priest stands there.
Do you know the meaning of
Louis rises. Walks out.
Then there is no mercy.
His face comes into the light. The priest steps back,
You talk of sacrilege. Why if God
exists does he suffer me to exist?
He bares his fangs. The priest runs, screaming. Gets to
the bellrope, begins to ring the bell. Louis swoops on
Why does he suffer me to live?
Louis takes him, lifting him from the floor, till his
feet stop kicking.
INT. FLAT - NIGHT
Louis enters, silently, like a corpse. He hears a voice
Locked together in hatred -
He turns, sees her sitting in the darkness. She is
wearing a tiny nightgown of stitched lace and pearls,
weirdly adult and seductive. She comes towards him.
But I can't hate you Louis.
She sprays perfume over her body as she comes nearer.
Is this the aroma of a mortal
She kisses his cheek.
I was mortal to you. You gave me
your immortal kiss. You became my
mother and my father. And so I'm
She takes his face in her hands.
But now's the time to end it,
Louis. Now's the time to leave him.
He'll never let us go.
EXT. DOCKLANDS - NEW ORLEANS - NIGHT
A sailing ship, by the docks. Louis and Claudia talking
to a shipping-clerk.
So we made plans. She was convinced
there were others of our kind in
Europe, that they would have the
answers Lestat couldn't provide.
Lestat whom she now hated, who she
thought she could be free of. I
doubted, but then she had a
surprise in store...
INT. FLAT - NIGHT
Lestat playing the piano. Louis reading. Claudia
enters, wearing a cape and hat. She walks to the piano,
sits at the end of the piano and stares at him as he
What is it now? You irritate me!
Your very presence irritates me!
Yes. And I'll tell you something
else! I've met someone who will
make a better vampire than both of
Is that supposed to frighten me?
You're spoilt because you're an
only child. You need a brother. Or
I do. I'm weary of you both.
I suppose we could people the world
with vampires, the three of us.
Not you my dear.
You're a liar. But you upset my
I came to make peace with you, even
if you're the father of lies. I
want things to be as they were.
Louis perks up, puzzled.
Stop pestering me then!
Oh, Lestat. I must do more than
that. I've brought a present for
Then I hope its a beautiful woman
with endowments you will never
Claudia stares at him for a moment.
Better than that.
She takes his hand and leads him into an inner room.
Louis follows behind.
You haven't fed enough. I can tell
by your color.
INT. DINING ROOM - NIGHT
Two beautiful youths, lying asleep on a couch, by a
table full with a half-eaten meal. Lestat sighs.
Oh, Claudia, you've outdone
yourself. Where did you find them?
Drunk on brandy wine. A thimbleful.
I thought of you when I saw them.
We forgive each other then?
Claudia stares at him, sitting. She nods.
Lestat bites into the neck of one of the youths, sucks
greedily and horribly. Claudia watches him without
expression. He finished one, is about to take the other
when he staggers. He looks at Claudia.
Absinthe? You gave them absinthe?
Lestat stares wildly at her, tries to move towards her,
then slips to the floor.
Yes. It killed them, unfortunately.
But it keeps the blood warm.
Lestat tries to rise.
Ah Louis, Louis, she killed them...
and let me drink...
Louis watches, appalled. He goes to move.
Don't Louis -
Louis, put me in my coffin...
I'll put you in your coffin.
She pulls a knife out from under her shawl, walks
rapidly to him and slashes his throat. Blood explodes
Claudia! Don't do this thing!!!
Louis, Louis, I gave you the gift -
help me -
Claudia lacerates his face. Blood pours from
everywhere. She plunges the knife in his chest. He
falls back, fangs bared, clutching the knife. Claudia
leaps on him then, bites deep into his neck as he dies.
Louis screams, runs forward, pulls her away.
What have you done, Claudia -
He drags her off Lestat, tries to pull her out of the
room. She hisses at him.
Louis! Look what's happening to
Louis looks. The floor is a sea of blood. Lestat has
begun to shrivel, as if he'd been a bag of blood. His
skin is shriveling against his bones like parchment,
his eyes are slipping back into his skull-like face.
His lush, beautiful hair remains unchanged. But his
clothes are virtually being emptied of the body. It is
no more than bones, wrapped in paper and the pupils of
the eyes suddenly roll up into the papered skull.
Lestat. Oh, God forgive us.
Don't mock me, Louis. Help me.
She stares at the shriveled skeleton in its skin
wrapping. She is fascinated. She sees the vampiric
blood flow all over the floor. She touches it and
brings her finger to her lips.
Goodnight, sweet prince, may
flights of devils wing you to your
Louis walks forward, touches the skeleton, the blonde
He's dead, Claudia, dead.
The one good lesson he taught me,
Louis. Never drink from the dead.
She stands up, all business suddenly.
Help me. We must get rid of him.
She drags the coverlet from the table, knocking the
crockery over the dead youths, and wraps Lestat's
skeleton in it. She takes a bunch of chrysanthemums and
places them in his skeleton hands.
Should we burn him? Bury him? What
would he have liked, Louis?
Don't mock, Claudia...
EXT. CARRIAGE - NIGHT
Louis whipping the horses. Claudia beside him. Lestat's
skeleton in the back, with the bodies of the two dead
In Europe, Louis. We shall meet our
own kind. Find the one who made
him. Learn what it means.
And suppose the one who made him
knows nothing and the vampire who
made him knows nothing, and it goes
back, nothing proceeding from
nothing, until there is nothing!
And we must live with the knowledge
that there is no knowledge.
The carriage pulls up by a swamp. Mist everywhere.
And if we find the one who made
him? Do we tell him we destroyed
his own creation? The vampire
Louis drags out the bodies of the boys. He slides them
into the waters of the swamp. We see ripples in the
water and the churning of alligators, as they attack
the corpses. Louis takes Lestat's skeleton in his arms.
He slides it into the waters. The alligators speed
He belongs with those reptiles,
Louis. He deserved to die.
Then maybe so do we. Every night of
our lives. He was my brother. My
maker. He gave me this life,
whatever it is.
I did it for us, Louis. So we could
He stands there, saying nothing.
Louis, look at me.
I can't. Go away from me.
Claudia is shocked to her core. She steps back. Louis
stares at the rippling waters. Gradually the movement
of alligators stops. Then he hears a sound he hasn't
heard in years. Soft, choking. He turns, sees Claudia
sitting by a cypress tree, like a little girl for the
first time in years. She is weeping copiously.
Claudia - You're crying -
We see her face, tears of blood running down it. She is
You never talked to me like that -
in all these years.
And you never cried -
I can't bear it when you do - I
would die rather than lose you
Louis. I would die the way he died.
Louis gathers her in his arms.
Hush, Claudia, hush now my dear -
Tell me you don't hate me Louis. I
did it for you -
Louis walks her towards the carriage.
I love you Claudia. Always. And we
are free now, Claudia. No Lestat.
Just the two of us, beginning the
great adventure of our lives.
He lifts her into the carriage and drives off, leaving
the silent waters of the swamp.
INT. FLAT - NIGHT
Sturdy mulatto workmen lifting cases and trunks out of
the apartment. All the furniture is covered in white
sheets. Claudia dressed in a cap and hat, is playing
the piano by the light of one remaining oil-lamp.
Louis comes from her room with the cage of canaries.
The birds. We forgot about the
birds. There's nothing for it but
to let them go.
He opens the cage, and the canaries fly around the
There is a knocking on the door. Claudia falters.
What was that?
The workmen must have a trunk -
don't stop, cherie -
He goes downstairs. Claudia plays a moment, then stops,
perturbed. She goes to the window. Then sees something
out there that makes her face go white. She screams.
Louis walking to the door. The knocking gets louder.
Claudia runs for the stairs, after Louis.
Louis reaches the door. The knocking gets louder. He
opens the door as -
Reaches the stairs. She screams -
Don't Louis -
But Louis has opened the door. Nothing there. He looks
back at Claudia, puzzled, then at the door again when,
swooping into his vision comes the nightmare image of -
In filthy swamp-soaked rags, robust again, but his
flesh shriveled, covered in scars, his eyes riddled,
bloodshot. he roars.
WHERE IS SHE? WHERE IS THAT
Louis throws his body against the door, slamming it on
Lestat's reaching hand. The hand withdraws, as Lestat
roars. Louis bolts the door.
Louis runs up the stairs, sweeps Claudia in his arms,
watching appalled as the door shudders with the force
of Lestat's body.
IN THE PARLOUR
Louis runs through with Claudia in his arms.
It can't be -
It is! Take the back stairwell -
Suddenly Lestat crashes through the casement window,
scattering blood everywhere, reefing himself on the
shattered glass. He tumbles to the floor and gets
unsteadily to his feet.
GIVE ME HER LOUIS!!
Louis throws Claudia behind him and hurls himself on
Lestat, who fights like a ravening animal, bits of his
broken body coming off in the process. Then with a
terrifying effort, Lestat hurls Louis off, goes for
Claudia, who grabs the poker from the fireplace,
scatters burning coals over him. He falls back, then
comes at her again, as the drapes catch fire. Louis
grabs the lamp.
Stay back - for the love of God...
or I'll burn you alive...
Lestat lunges again at Claudia.
Louis hurls the lamp, which explodes him in flame.
Lestat screams in agony, whirls around the room, then
comes on Claudia again. She hurls another lamp.
Louis throws the flaming sheets around him, wrapping
him further in fire. Lestat falls to his knees,
choking, hands up over his face in the smoke. The whole
parlor is afire. Louis gathers up Claudia, smothering
the burning house, carries her down the back stairs,
through the carriage way and through the gathering
crowds of mortals into the street.
EXT. STREET - NIGHT
Louis running, with Claudia in his arms. He looks back
at the flames of the house. Sound of a ship's horn.
The ship is sailing without us!
Not yet. Holding her tightly, Louis
EXT. DECK OF SHIP - NEAR DAWN
Louis stands at the railings in the morning mist as the
ship moves down the river. He sees...
CITY OF NEW ORLEANS
With flame lighting up the sky.
Though the fire seemed to spread
through the quartier, I stood on
that deck until dawn, fearful he
would come out again of the very
river like some monster to destroy
us both. And all the while I
thought, Lestat, we deserve your
vengeance. You gave me the dark
gift. And I delivered you into the
hands of death for the second time.
INT. ROOM. SAN FRANCISCO
Louis and Malloy.
Did he die in the fire?
He was dead to us. We were free.
That was all that mattered.
EXT. SHIP - EVENING
The ship, shrouded in mist.
Though the ship was blessedly free
of rats, a strange plague
nonetheless struck its passengers.
A body is slipped into the sea. A priest reads last
rites to a mourning family.
INT. SHIPS HOLD
Trunks and cases, creaking with the ship's movement.
Dead rats everywhere.
Claudia and I alone seemed immune.
We kept to ourselves, pondering the
mystery of Lestat and the greater
mystery of each other.
EXT. SHIP - NIGHT
Passing through the Straits of Gibralter.
We reached the Mediterranean. I
wanted those waters to be blue.
They were black, nighttime waters
and how I suffered then, straining
to remember the color that a young
man's senses had taken for granted,
that my memory had let slip away
for eternity. It was black off the
coast of Italy, black off the coast
of Greece, Europe itself was black.
EXT. DECK - NIGHT
Claudia, sitting with an easel and sketch-pad,
sketching the bay of Naples. A beautifully realized
drawing, all in shades of grey and black. Louis
Louis, your quest is for darkness
only. This sea is not your sea.
They myths of men are not your
myths. Their history isn't yours.
The sketch changes to a sketch of -
In the moonlight.
We saw the Acropolis by moonlight,
shades of grey and silver. And I
longed for the brilliant white of
those marbles in the hot sun of
The sketch changes to a sketch of -
And the traditional shapes of the vampire landscape.
We docked at Varna and searched the
rural countryside of the
Carpathians, for what she liked to
term "our kind"...
MONTAGE OF SKETCHES
A TRANSLYVANIAN VILLAGE, A GRAVEYARD.
RUINED CASTLE AFTER CASTLE, LOOKING INTO THE SKIES...
The quest for these Old World
vampires filled me with bitterness.
We searched village after village,
ruin after ruin and I was glad when
always we found nothing. For what
could the damned really have to say
to the damned?
INT. ROOM. SAN FRANCISCO
Malloy and Louis.
You found nothing?
Peasant rumors, superstitions about
garlic, crosses, stakes in the
hear, all that - how do you say
again? Bull shit. But one of our
kind? Not a whisper.
No vampires in Transylvania? No
Fictions, my friend. The vulgar
fictions of a demented Irishman...
So we repaired to Paris...
EXT. BOULEVARD FACADE OF GRAND HOTEL AND PARIS OPERA
Crowds and gaslight everywhere. Carriages, horses,
OPERA coming from the opera house.
I think the very name of Paris
brought a rush of pleasure to me
that was extraordinary. I was a
Creole, after all and Paris was the
mother of New Orleans, a universe
whole and entire unto herself...
EXT. 18TH CENTURE PALACES ALONG THE SEINE - NIGHT
The high walls of the Louvre, dark figures walking in
pairs through the shadowy tulieries.
EXT. STREET - SHOP WINDOW
Claudia, in furtrimmed muff and bonnet, peers through
the glass at a display of dolls. Each doll in there
seems to resemble her, with blonde hair and blue eyes.
She peers deep into the shop and sees -
MADELEINE, a young woman bent over a workbench painting
a doll's face, oblivious to being watched.
INT. OPERA STAIRCASE
Louis and Claudia hurrying hand in hand with a crowd of
mortals towards the sound of an ORCHESTRA TURNING
INT. NOTRE DAME
Claudia and Louis standing in the deep shadows, looking
at the branching arches. Louis is overcome with
sadness, Claudia is fascinated.
Louis and Claudia walk among a series of mythological
nudes by Poussin.
INT. SALON - NIGHT
Claudia, surrounded by discarded dresses and outfits,
being attended by couturiers. All the clothes are tiny,
to fit her frame, but have an adult cut and shape.
We were alive again. We were in
love and so euphoric was I that I
yielded to her every desire...
INT. SUMPRUOUS HOTEL SUITE
Full of late 19th century furniture, lots of Empire
style, Regency, gilt, velvet and brocade.
CLOSE ON A HUGE BLACK EBONY CHEST
Against a wall, solemn among all the light and glitter.
By a large gilt mirror, in her new clothes. She is
covered with jewelry, fixing earrings to her ears.
Help me, mon chere...
Louis walks over, helps her with the earrings.
How do I look?
Still my beautiful child.
A beautiful child! Is that what you
still think I am?
He turns away.
Why do you turn away? Why don't you
She twirls, looking at herself in the mirror, then
stops, stares at herself.
You want me to be your daughter
forever, don't you?
Well tell me, papa. What was it
like making love?
Louis is stunned. He blushes.
You don't remember? Or you never
It was something hurries...and
seldom savored... something acute
that was quickly lost. It was the
pale shadow of killing.
But how will I ever know, Louis?
She stares at him through the mirror.
I'll never find them, will I? My
EXT. BOULEVARD - EVENING
Louis and Claudia walk along a boulevard like father
and daughter. All around them are bourgeois Parisian
families on their evening stroll. Claudia points at the
children that pass.
Have I anything in common with her,
She points to a beautiful French child walking by with
Or her, or her - or any of them?
Claudia, you torture yourself.
They are ducklings, that will grow
into swans. Whereas I must be the
You are more beautiful than any of
EXT. DOLL-SHOP - NIGHT
We see Madeleine, inside, painting a doll's face. Louis
and Claudia arrive outside.
All her dolls resemble me.
Claudia's face, with the dolls in the background. The
resemblance is uncanny.
Are they my kind Louis? Dolls never
You are neither, Claudia. Now stop
Madeleine sees Claudia from inside. She waves.
You know her?
Yes. Should I take her, Louis?
Among her dolls? make a doll of her
He takes her arm. But Claudia shakes him off, and moves
into the shop.
EXT. LATIN QUARTER - NIGHT
Louis walks briskly, head bowed.
For a time we had been almost
human, in the sensual whirl of what
Paris had to offer. But the human
delights of that city only served
to remind her of the ageless child
she had become. I felt her pain as
I walked until I become aware that
I was being followed.
CLOSEUP - LOUIS' FEET
Walking. A step echoes his.
Louis stops. Turns, sees nothing. Then walks again. The
echoing steps begin again.
Louis again. Sees a shadow, flitting.
Nothing. He walks again, hears the same effect. Then he
stops. He stares at a gaslamp opposite.
So it was when I had given up the
search for vampires that a vampire
Santiago, a tall vampire, materializes under the
gaslight. And Louis gradually realizes that this
vampire has assumed the same attitude, posture, clothes
and hair-style as Louis.
Louis gives an involuntary shake of the head. Santiago
mimics. Louis takes a step forwards. Santiago mimics.
Louis folds his arms. Santiago mimics.
LOUIS & STATIAGO
You mean me harm?
(a beat later)
You mean me harm?
Santiago echoes the first word, but not the second.
Louis has broken his composure. He turns his back on
Santiago, only to come face to face with Santiago right
in front of him.
Again Louis turns this back to find Santiago facing
Louis turns, glowers, refusing to look at him.
I've searched the world for an
immortal and this is what I find?
Slowly he looks up. Santiago draws close, breaking the
mirror trick and suddenly slams Louis back against the
Louis is furious. He regains his balance, strikes out
at Santiago and when Santiago vanishes, to reappear
behind him, Louis slams back his elbow into his
midriff. Santiago staggers, amazed and then rushes at
Louis, throwing him down.
Louis rolls back to his feet, then to his amazement
sees two vampires, on in front, on behind. He looks
both ways, then sees one has vanished. He stares,
awestruck, at this new one:
He looks like an angel.
You are all right.
He reaches into his waistcoat, takes an engraved
invitation out of his pocket and thrusts it at Louis.
Louis reads it aloud, as we see:
"THEATRE DES VAMPIRES
By Special Invitation
Friday, 9 p.m."
Bring the petit beauty with you. No
one will harm you. I won't allow
it. Remember my name. Armand.
Armand bows and vanishes.
Louis listens to the silence.
EXT BOULEVARD DES CAPUCHINES - THEATRE DES VAMPIRES -
Louis formally dressed with Claudia in rich attire on
his arm. They pass people buying tickets for the
theatre and go inside.
Remember what I've told you.
They'll have different powers.
They'll read your thoughts if you
They draw close to:
"THEATRE DES VAMPIRES PRESENTS
THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH
By Edgar Allen Poe"
The posters are illustrated with cliched images of
vampires overcoming damsels in distress.
But this can't be real. This is
Nonsense all right. But something
tell me it's going to be the
strangest nonsense we've ever seen.
Warily, they show their invitations to the mortal
ticket taker at the door. He glances away
INT. THEATRE BOX - NIGHT
Claudia and Louis look at the crowd as the lights go
Mortals, mortals everywhere. And
lots of drops to drink.
They are here. I know they are.
Listen for something that doesn't
make a sound.
Stage: curtain rises.
An elaborate painted set of an Italianate castle. Death
standing before it, the traditional image of the Grim
Reaper, complete with magnificent scythe.
It's a vampire. It's the one I saw
in Rue St Jacques.
A version of the Poe story unfolds before them. All of
the participants are vampires. All beautiful gleaming
white, aged 20 or 30.
They use no paint. And the audience
think it is paint.
How devilishly clever.
A spotlight uncovers a mortal woman suddenly forced out
upon the stage.
She's no vampire.
No. She's frightened. She doesn't
know where she is.
The audience laughs uneasily, then stops as the Mortal
Woman comes into the footlights. She is too beautiful,
too confused. Santiago, as Death, advances on her. She
backs away, terrified, then sees the other vampires, in
a phalanx, advancing from behind, in a half-circle.
I don't want to die!
She looks around in panic. Santiago swoons, arms over
his breast as if he is hopelessly in love.
We are death!
The Mortal Woman steps to the footlights.
Someone help me. Please... What
have I done?
Louis whispers to Claudia.
This is no performance.
And no one knows but us...
ON THE STAGE
We all die. Death is the one thing
you share with all those here.
Santiago gestures to the audience.
ON THE STAGE
But I'm young...
Death is no respecter of age. He
can come any time, any place. Need
I tell you what fate has in store
I would take my chance. Let me go!
And if you take that chance and
live, what is your fate? The
humpbacked toothless visage of old
Santiago approaches her and tears the drawstring out of
her peasant blouse. It opens completely and starts to
slip. She tries to catch it, but gently stops her
wrists. The blouse falls, exposing her young breasts.
LOUIS AND CLAUDIA
This is monstrous!
Yes, and very beautiful.
ON THE STAGE
Just as this flesh is pink now, it
will turn grey and wrinkle with
Let me live, please. I don't care.
Then why should you care if you die
She shakes her head, confused. he catches her wrists
behind her back.
Is awestruck by her beauty, her suffering.
Draws near her cheek.
And suppose death had a heart to
love and to release you? To whom
would he turn his passion? Would
you pick a person from the crowd
there? A person to suffer as you
A young girl cries out in jest.
Oh, yes, take me Monsieur Vampire!
I adore you!
Audience roars with laughter.
ON THE STAGE
You wait your turn.
The audience laughs again.
The Mortal Woman shakes her head in panic.
Well, have you a sister, a mother,
a daughter you would send in your
CLOSE ON CLAUDIA
Even she is repelled by the cruelty. She shakes her
Shakes her head. She is helpless.
We alone can give death meaning. Do
you know what it means to be loved
by death, to become our bride?
Mortal Woman looks up on the verge of hysteria or
fainting. But then her eyes mist over. She is being
FROM HER POV
We realize she is looking past Santiago at the divinely
beautiful Armand, who has just stepped out of the
wings. Armand has entranced her. He passes Santiago.
Santiago stiffens, but yields the stage.
Armand takes her by the naked shoulders.
Your beauty is a gift to us.
ON THE STAGE
Armand gestures to the others who slowly, gracefully
Who deserves such a gift?
He pulls the drawstring from her skirt and it falls
revealing her nakedness. But she is spellbound.
Armand embraces her, drinks, her naked body stark
against her black clothes, then he passes her to the
other vampires one by one.
CLOSE ON LOUIS
Who battles desire and hunger with anger.
I've seen enough of this! I loathe
ON THE STAGE
The naked Mortal Woman lies dead on the floor. The
vampires seem to vanish one by one. As the curtain
draws across, the Audience loudly applauds what they
presume are theatrical tricks.
The audience, milling towards the exits. They talk in
vacuous terms about the beauty of the show, the
symbolism of it, the daring of it as they leave.
Gradually Louis and Claudia are left alone in the empty
theatre. Louis seems anxious to leave. Claudia whispers
in his ear.
Patience, Louis. Patience.
He looks around the empty theatre, more eerie now than
when the play was on. The red curtain shifts slightly
in a hidden breeze, a candle sputters and dies in a
box. Then the candle flares again, and we see Armand in
the box, looking down on them. He stares with a dreamy
expression, saying nothing.
We've been searching for you for a
very long time...
His voice echoes eerily. Armand gestures for them to
INT. FOOT OF STAIRWAY
Armand leading, Louis and Claudia following. It opens
into a -
HUGE UNDERGROUND BALLROOM
Walls are painted with famous copies of Durer,
Brueghel, Goya and Bosch depictions of death. Fine
wooden coffins line the walls. Candles burn in sconces,
casting alternate shadows and pools of light. Armand
walks through, gesturing Louis and Claudia to follow
As they walk through, vampire man and women appear out
of the shadows like wraiths, startling them, drifting
around them, stroking them, touching Claudia as if she
were a doll. Shrieks of preternatural laughter.
Armand gestures to the vampires to back off.
All obey but ESTELLE.
Such a darling.
She menaces Claudia, her breasts enormous, her fangs
bared. Armand throw her a look, and she is flung
against the wall.
Louis stares around. The vampires faces drift towards
him and away, always disclosing the face of Armand, who
seems some distance away, but strangely close, staring
at Louis with a constantly calm, hypnotic gaze. Then a
young mortal boy comes from the shadows with a
candelabra, which he hands to Armand.
Armand and the boy come towards them, leading them
along the walls, his candelabra illuminating the
ghastly murals, his face gleaming like an angel above
Yes, and very beautiful.
Your lips, they didn't move.
They did, but too fast for you to
see them. No magic, just grace and
The boy is watching Louis. Armand's hand beckons and
the boy draws up to Louis in the candlelight. He places
his arms on Louis' shoulders. Louis glances at Armand,
who smiles. Louis sees the puncture marks on the boy's
He wants you...
Louis is utterly confused. Can't resist. Drinks his
The boy's body presses against him, sensual, willing.
The other vampires appear all around Louis, who
suddenly senses it and draws away, ashamed.
Claudia watches warily, from a distance. Armand beckons
at her and Louis and open a door in the wall which
reveals a stone staircase.
INT. MEDIEVAL ROOM
Medieval chairs, table, an old coffin, a bed in one
corner, a blazing fire. A medieval painting of Satan,
being banished from heaven, above the fire. Armand
places the boy on the bed, settling him so he sleeps.
Disappointing, isn't it? To come so
far and find so little. Jaded
ingenues, amusing themselves with
We had feared we were the only
But how did you come into
He glances at Louis, then at Claudia, who averts her
You don't want to answer... Two
vampires from the new world, come
to guide us into the new era as all
we love slowly rots and fades away.
Are you the leader of this group?
If there were a leader, I would be
Claudia stares at him constantly, guarded.
So you have the answers...
Ah! You have questions?
What are we?
Nothing if not vampires...
Who made us what we are?
Surely you know the one who made
But the one who made him, who made
the one who made him, the source of
all this evil...
Louis looks at the picture. Armand watches him.
That is a picture, nothing more.
You mean we are not children of
He smiles at Louis. A smile of infinite compassion.
I understand. I saw you in the
theatre, your suffering, your
sympathy for that girl. I saw you
with the boy. You die when you
kill, you feel you deserve to die
and you stint on nothing. But does
that make you evil? Or, since you
comprehend what you call goodness,
does it not make you good?
Then there is nothing.
He passes his finger through the candle flame.
And perhaps this is the only real
Then God does not exist...
I have not spoken to him...
And no vampire here has discourse
with God or the Devil?
None that I've ever known. I know
nothing of God or the Devil, I have
never seen a vision nor learnt a
secret that would damn or save my
soul. And as far as I know, after
four hundred years I am the oldest
living vampire in the world.
He stares at them, his face angelic, hypnotic, young.
His eyes hold them both in a trance.
My God... So it's as I always
feared. Nothing, leading to
You fell too much. So much you make
He stares from Claudia to Louis. He seems to be reading
The one who made you should have
told you this. The one who left the
old world for the new...
He knew nothing. He just didn't
Knew? You mean he is...
Claudia appears suddenly to Louis' shoulder,
Come, beloved. It's time we were on
our way. I'm hungry and the city
She stares hard at Armand. Armand looks from her to
So soon to go?
He seems genuinely regretful. But Claudia pulls Louis
INT. DARKENED CORRIDORS AND THEATRE - NIGHT
Louis and Claudia feel their way through darkened
corridors, trying to find their way out.
The place was dark as we left, a
darkness that confounded even
Claudia. And as we blundered
through it, again came the thought:
I have wronged Lestat, I have hated
him for the wrong reasons.
Suddenly a light comes on. They see they are in the
empty theatre. Santiago stands on the stage, under a
How did you wrong him?
Louis is stunned.
You read my thoughts?
You said a name -
A name I don't want to say again.
I seemed to recognize it...
Other vampires appear behind him.
There is but one crime among us
He looks at Claudia.
You should know, who are so
secretive about the vampire who
It is the crime that means death to
any vampire. To kill your own kind!
Aaaah! I was so afraid it was to be
born like Venus out of the foam, as
we were! Come Louis, let's go!
EXT. HOTEL SAINT GABRIEL - NIGHT
Claudia and Louis enter the Lobby.
I loathe them! I can't stand the
sight of them! Stupid bourgeois
Parisians, all dressed in black
like some private club! I've
searched for them the world over
and I despise them!
I can feel it from them! They want
to know who made us, what became of
him. They have their rules, their
They come to their room, enter.
INT. HOTEL ROOMS - NIGHT
Louis closes the door behind him. Claudia paces.
Do you think I would let them harm
No, you would not, Louis. Danger
hold you to me.
Love holds you to me. And we are in
danger, not you.
She smiles at him. A strange, sad, adult smile.
You would leave me for Armand if he
He wants you as you want him. He's
been waiting for you. He wants you
for a companion. He bides his time
that place. he finds them as dull
and lifeless as we do.
That's not so.
Do you know what his soul said to
me without saying a word? When he
put me in that trance...
So you felt it too!
Let him go, he said. Let him go.
She touches his face.
Is that what I should do Louis? Let
you go? My father? My lover? My
Louis, who made me?
There are tears in her eyes. Louis lifts her up in his
He can protect us, Claudia.
You really believe that?
EXT. DOLL-SHIP - NIGHT
Claudia, staring at the dolls. We see Madeleine inside,
painting a doll. She sees Claudia and smiles and waves.
INT. THEATRE - NIGHT
Louis, sitting alone in the box, as the curtains draw
back, to show Santiago as death, as before. Louis takes
advantage of the darkness to slip away.
INT. ARMAND'S ROOM - NIGHT
Armand opens the door to Louis' knock.
I was waiting for you...
Listen to me.
He follows Armand into the room.
Claudia is dear to me. My...
No, my beloved, my child.
If you say so. You are innocent.
I'm not innocent. But I'm afraid.
She feels she's in danger from the
I could give you reasons. Her
silence. Her youth. It's forbidden
to make so young, so helpless, that
cannot survive on its own.
Then blame the one who made her...
Did you kill this vampire who made
you both? Is that why you won't say
his name? Santiago thinks you did.
We want no quarrel with him.
It's already begun. If you want to
save her, send her away.
Then I leave too.
So soon? Without any of those
answers you so longed for?
You said there were none.
But you asked the wrong questions.
Do you know how few vampires have
the stamina for immortality? How
quickly they perish of their own
We can do that?
You would never give up life. If
the world were reduced to one empty
cell, on fragile candle, you stay
alive and study it. You see too
clearly. You see too much.
That's what the one who made me
How he must have loved you.
Armand suddenly grips Louis close to him.
Louis, I need you more than he ever
did. I need a link with this
century. The world changes. We do
not. Therein lies the irony that
ultimately kills us. I need you to
make contact with this age.
Louis laughs bitterly.
He? Don't you see? I'm not the
spirit of any age! I'm at odds with
everything and always have been!
I'm not even sure what I am!
But Louis, that is the very spirit
of your age. The heart of it. You
fall from grace has been the fall
of a century.
Louis is stunned.
And the vampires of the Theatre?
Like moths around the candle of the
age. Decadent, useless. They can't
reflect anything. But you do. You
reflect its broken heart.
Louis is speechless.
Are these not the answers you came
Yes... My God...
A vampire with a human soul. An
immortal with a mortal's passion.
You are beautiful, my friend.
Lestat must have wept when he made
Lestat! You knew Lestat!
Yes I knew him. Knew him well
enough not to mourn his passing.
Armand stands. He takes Louis by the arm, leads him
towards the back wall.
But you must go now. You must get
her safely out of Paris.
He opens a hidden door in the wall.
No-one else knows of this door.
When you knock you will find me
EXT. THEATRE DES VAMPIRES - NIGHT
Louis, in the street outside, as the door closes behind
I felt a kind of peace at last. I
had found the teacher which Lestat
could never, I knew now, have been.
I knew knowledge would never be
withheld by Armand. It would pass
through him as through a pane of
glass. And I knew Claudia must
INT. HOTEL SUITE - NIGHT
Louis enters. There is unfamiliar scent in the air, a
doll sitting by the mirror. Louis looks in the mirror
The doll-maker, resplendent in green taffeta, sitting
like a Madonna with Claudia on her lap. Claudia's arms
are wound round her neck. The contrast between mortal
woman and immortal child is plain.
Madeleine... Louis is shy.
Madeleine rises and comes towards Louis. She draws back
the lace fringes round her throat, so he can see the
two marks there. She says softly, dreamily.
Louis turns away. Claudia speaks, icy, from the bed.
Do it Louis. Because I cannot do
it. I haven't the strength. You saw
to that when you made me.
Louis turns to Madeleine.
You haven't the vaguest conception
under God of what you ask!
Au contraire, monsieur, I have.
Louis pushes her away. Claudia screams.
You have found your new companion,
Louis! You will make me mine!
Louis grips Madeleine and shakes her.
How do we seem to you? Do you think
us beautiful, magical, our white
skin, our fierce eyes? Drink, you
ask me! Have you any idea of the
thing you will become?
Your evil is that you cannot be
evil! And I will suffer for it no
Don't make me, Claudia! I cannot do
Yet you could do it to me!
Snatching me from my mother's hands
like two monsters in a fairy-tale!
Couldn't you have waited? Six more
years and I would have had that
shape! And now you weep! You
haven't tears enough for what
you've done to me.
She points to Madeleine
You give her to me! Do this before
you leave me!
She begins to weep, sobbing like a child.
Oh God! I love you still, that's
the torment of it. But you know I
must leave you Louis...
And who will care for me my love,
my dark angel, when you are gone?
Louis looks at Madeleine
You promise to care for her then?
And you know what you ask for?
She wraps her arms around Claudia.
What do you think she is,
Madeleine? A doll?
A child who can't die...
Her finger clutches a locket around her neck, Louis
touches it, opens it.
A picture of a young girl, Claudia's age, wistful,
And the child who did die?
Louis takes her chin in his hand, gently.
Look at the gaslight. Don't take
your eyes off it. You will be
drained to the point of death, but
you must stay alive. Do you hear
Louis pulls her to him and starts to drink her blood.
EXT. HOTEL BALCONY - LATER
Louis on the balcony, weakened terribly. A breeze blows
on the gauze curtains behind him, through which we
SILHOUETTES of Madeleine and Claudia. Madeleine her
arms outstretched, now a vampire, a long moan of pain
coming from her. Claudia comes through the curtains,
Louis speaks without turning.
She is dying. It happened to you
too, but your child's mind can't
But if she dies...
It's only mortal death.
He turns to look at Claudia.
Bear me no ill will, my love. We
are now even.
What do you mean?
What died tonight inside that room
was not that woman. It will take
her many nights to die, perhaps
years. What has died in that room
tonight is the last vestige in me
of what was human.
She takes his hand.
Yes father. At last. We are een.
He bends down and kisses her. He looks up, at the
wafting curtains. He sees -
MANY VAMPIRE SHADOWS
Silhouetted, coming closer.
Looks up and screams.
Are ripped aside. The vampires of the Theatre surge
Time for justice, little one.
The vampires close on them as Louis struggles,
Claudia's scream pierces the night air.
INT. CORRIDOR OF THEATRE DES VAMPIRES - NIGHT
In a press of vampires, Louis, Claudia and Madeleine
are forced down the dark corridor. Into -
Vampire chaos, as they are dragged through. Louis
struggling like a demon.
Armand! Get me Armand! he wouldn't
countenance this -
You can make no demands here!
Buffoon! Bastard -
Santiago strikes Louis to the ground. As he struggles
to his feet, he sees the vampires part around a figure
coming through. He gasps at the sight of -
Dressed beautifully, but horribly scarred now, from the
fire as well as the earlier stabbing. Lestat is
confused, ancient, teetering, reaching for Santiago's
shoulder to steady himself.
Is he the one?
Lestat shakes his head.
No, the child. The child was the
All the murderers!!!
You are alive, Lestat! It can't be
murder! Tell them how you treated
Lestat reaches out to Louis.
No... You come back to me Louis...
Are you mad???
The sentence is death! To all of
Only the girl - it was the girl -
The sound of something being dragged through the crowd.
Horrible echoing, scraping -
Lestat grips Santiago.
You promised me - I could take him
back to New Orleans - Louis -
there's something I must tell you -
about that night - that night I met
He stares around him, confused. The scraping gets
You let her go, Lestat - you let
her free - and I'll come back with
Santiago grabs Louis by the neck.
Death for the others. For you
eternity in a box -
We see now what caused the scraping. A huge metal
coffin being dragged through the vampires. Claudia
Walled in a dungeon. Your only
company will be your screams...
Perhaps it will take centuries...
The vampires grab Louis. They force him towards the
coffin. Lestat struggles with them.
He's coming home with me - you
We promised nothing!
Louis struggles fiercely as he is forced into the
coffin. Claudia weeps.
They've fooled you, Lestat! You
must reach Armand! Armand has the
Louis, struggling in the coffin. Then the lid is forced
down, huge locks closed over it.
Louis, in the smallest imaginable space. Beating his
forehead against the metal.
Claudia, throwing herself on the coffin, crying. She is
dragged away. Vampire hands drag the coffin across the
Louis, forehead pouring with blood, being thrown this
way and that. The coffin is lifted, upside down, Louis'
head crashes off the floor.
Is thrust into a niche in the wall. Bricks being placed
over, mortar trowelled on.
Louis upside down. Sounds of bricks and mortar. Then
terrifying, unearthly scream pierces the coffin,
striking to his very soul.
He loses consciousness.
Louis sleeps, upside down. Sound of bricks being
broken, thrown aside. Then of locks breaking.
Louis opens his eyes. The lid opens. He sees -
Above him, reaching down to take
Hurry. Don't make a sound.
Louis gets out, into a vast long catacomb. Louis runs
to the end of it, steps through a broken brick wall.
Where is she? Where's Claudia?
Follow me - that way - through my
He points to his cell at the end of the passage, the
foot of the steps. Sound of rain beyond the door.
Not without Claudia. Where is she?
I can't save her.
You can't believe I'd leave without
her. Armand! You must save her! You
have no choice.
Louis, I can't save her. I will
only risk losing you -
Louis runs up the stone stairs. It leads to the
ballroom. He enters.
Estelle stands far off, looking at him coolly. She
lifts the stage skull mask and laughs softly behind it.
A male vampire slumps in a chair staring softly at
Louis sees Lestat sitting in a far corner. he rushes up
to Lestat, who looks up at him, confused. He's holding
something crumpled, made of cloth.
You'll come home with me Louis? For
a little while... until I am myself
Louis turns round and round in rage. Passive still
faces. A door bangs open and shut.
Louis looks again at Lestat. He snatches the cloth from
Lestat's hand. We see it is a small torn bloodstained
dress. Claudia's dress.
The door bangs again. Estelle laughs. Rain gusts into
Louis goes to the door, holding the dress. Armand
approaches, trying to pull him away, but Louis shrugs
him off. He draws nearer and nearer and stairs at -
INT. BRICK AIRWELL
On the stones lie Claudia and Madeleine, burn to ashes,
in each other's arms, like the corpses of his wife and
daughter in the New Orleans graveyard, embracing each
Only Claudia's blond hair and Madeleine's red hair
Louis looks up at the walls of this airwell, many
stories to the sky. He cries out in agony.
Santiago appears behind him, staring. Louis roars in
horror and attacks Santiago, scattering the ashes into
the rainy wind. Claudia's golden locks fly up into the
wind, they whirl around the warring figure.
Armand appears, drags Louis free, pulls him screaming
from the airwell, into the ballroom, towards the exit.
Claudia's hair is sucked up by the wind through the
airwell, towards the night sky.
EXT. NOTRE DAME DOOR - NIGHT
Louis is slumped against the stone wall. Armand stands
beside him like a guardian angel.
I couldn't prevent it.
I don't believe you. I do not have
to read your soul to know that you
Louis, they cannot be brought back.
There are some things that are
impossible, even for me.
You let them do it.
Louis climbs to his feet.
You held sway over them. They
feared you. You wanted it to
Louis, I swear I did not.
I understand you only too well. You
let them do it, as I let Lestat
turn a child into a demon. As I let
her rip Lestat's heart to pieces!
Well I am no longer that passive
fool that has spun evil from evil
till the web traps the one who made
it. Your melancholy spirit of this
century! I know what I must do. And
I warn you - you saved me tonight,
so I return the favor - do not go
near your cell in the Theatre Des
EXT. THEATRE DES VAMPIRES - DAWN
Wet and deserted, the streets around the theatre are
CLOSEUP - CLOCK
Chiming five a.m.
CLOSE ON LOUIS
Looking at the paling sky. He is in an alleyway,
outside of Armand's cell. He has a huge keg with him.
he finds the door unlocked. He enters.
Empty. The hearth is cold. The old coffin is gone.
Louis silently closes the door to the passage and
blocks it with an immense bar. He goes in the other
Louis hurls kerosene all over the stage, the curtain,
the sets, the seats below. He grabs the scythe from the
playlet. He walks out. Dribbling a trail of kerosene
Louis walking rapidly down, leaving the trail of
kerosene. He creeps quietly into the -
Leaking kerosene from the cask. He splashes over the
coffins that gleam in the dimness.
Then he strikes a match and heaves it into the
kerosene. Everything bursts into flame. The trail of
kerosene roars into fire through the ballroom over the
coffins and up the stairs. We hear EXPLOSIONS of fire
Shudders all over, fighting the morning weakness. He
readies the scythe, like the grim reaper.
Rises from her burning coffin, screams and tries to run
through the fire but Louis slashes her down with the
scythe and she goes down screaming, her dress in
Stop him. It's morning. The
sunlight. Stop him.
Others rise, choking in the smoke. Screams from
everywhere. They are burning.
Louis backs up the stairs to the -
He can see there a thin pale light under Armand's
bolted door. Suddenly -
Comes at him from behind. Louis turns. Santiago rushes
him in a blur. Louis swings the scythe, too fast to see
what he himself is doing. Santiago's head streaming
blood flies through the air.
The body drops, flapping its arms.
SCREAMS come from everywhere.
Another vampire rushes burning towards Louis. He
decapitates him in turn. Then he staggers into Armand's
cell, and bars the door the connects it to the ballroom
behind him. He staggers to the outer door. There is a
thin strip of daylight, beneath the door, blinding him.
He throws it open, and staggers into the daylight.
EXT. THEATRE DES VAMPIRES - DAWN
Louis staggers out of the burning theatre, into the
thin daylight. Great gusts of smoke cover the street.
He staggers through the daylight, weakening, about to
fall, when through the clouds of smoke comes -
A MAGNIFICENT HEARSE
As in a dream, driven by Armand's human boy. The door
of the hearse opens. Through the curtains enclosing the
interior, we see Armand. He reaches a hand out to Louis
and pulls him inside.
The hearse vanishes through the smoke, leaving the
spectacle of the burning theatre.
EXT. THEATRE DES VAMPIRES - TWILIGHT
The gutted Theatre and ballroom, the roof collapsed,
exposed to the evening sky. The life of Paris goes on
around it, oblivious.
INT. LOUVRE - NIGHTS LATER
It is already a museum by this time and Louis and
Armand, fancily dressed and composed, walk through it.
They stop by a Gericault - The Wreck of the Medusa.
You didn't even warm them, did you?
And yet you knew what I would do.
I knew. I rescued you, didn't I?
From the terrible dawn.
You were their leader. They trusted
You made me see their failings,
Louis. You made me look at them
with your eyes.
He looks at Louis affectionately.
Your melancholy eyes...
What a pair we are. We deserve each
other, don't we?
We are a pair, and that's what
Armand and Louis walk slowly through the Louvre
together. Camera follows them for a while, then comes
to rest on a sunrise by Turner.
We left Paris shortly after. For
years we wandered. Greece, Egypt,
all the ancient lands. Then, out of
curiosity, perhaps, boredom, who
knows what, I took him home, to my
INT. MOVIE THEATRE - NIGHT
A deco cinema of the twenties. Louis and Armand,
dressed in the style of the period walk down the aisle
through the crowded seats.
And there, a technological wonder
allowed me see sunrise, for the
first time in two hundred years...
On the screen, Murnau's "Sunrise", in black and white.
We see a montage of sunrises, from a whole range of
movies, in black and white.
And what sunrises! Seen as the
human eye could never see them. We
would sit in the dark, night after
night among nameless humans,
entranced with the miracle of
light. Silver at first, then as the
years progressed in tones of
purple, red and my long-lost
The SUNRISES continue, in color now, and the
backgrounds in them change to the fifties.
And in time parted. We had become
so alike, we both wanted the
certainties of loneliness once
The lights come up in a different theatre. Louis
sitting there, alone, in a half empty theatre, dressed
in the clothes of the fifties. He rises, exits with the
EXT. NEW ORLEANS STREET - NIGHT
Cars rushing by, twentieth-century madness. Louis
emerges from the theatre, walks through the streets.
I had returned to new Orleans. As
soon as I smelt the air, I knew I
was home. There was sadness there,
rich, almost sweet, like the
fragrance of jasmine. I walked the
streets, savoring it like a long
EXT. GARDEN DISTRICT - NIGHT
Louis walks past the many Greek Revival Mansions.
And then on Prytania Street, only
blocks from the Lafayette cemetery
I caught the scent of death and it
wasn't coming from the graves...
CAMERA PANS OVER white-walled Lafayette cemetery and
its surrounding mansions.
The scent grew stronger as I
walked. Old death. A scent too
faint for mortals to detect.
Louis sees rats darting across the street. They rush
into a great overgrown garden surrounding a ruined
mansion. No lights.
Louis stops at a rusted gate. He forces it open and
A VERITABLE JUNGLE
Of overgrown rose and oak tree and wisteria. he sees a
faint glimmer of light coming from a distant glass
window of a huge Greek Revival house. He approaches
then he sees -
OLD SHRIVELLED CORPSE
Of a man, long dead and dried up, snagged in the thorny
Looks around. Walks on. Sees another corpse, almost
nothing but bones, sinking into the wet earth, the
roots of an oak overgrowing it.
He looks up at the distant light.
He passes a third corpse, caught in wisteria and rose
vine, only bones and clothes.
They were like the doomed princess
caught in the thorny vines of
Sleeping Beauty's castle. I knew
what it meant. A vampire had lured
them here, but had been to weak to
get rid of them.
Louis sees dead rats lying near the steps.
It spelt weakness, madness, the
behavior of a dying animal that
pollutes its own lair.
Louis treads carefully on the rotted steps. he moves
along the porch. More dead rats. He sees through the
floor-length window into rooms lined with stacked
books. Virtually walled with them. Water seeps down
from the ceiling, gleaming as it streaks over the
books. The floors of the splendid rooms are bare,
except for a rotten French chair by a dead fireplace. A
single mirror reflecting the moon.
He moves along the porch to the parlor windows. The
candle flickers inside. He sees -
Lestat lying on the floor. He is gaunt to near
starvation. All his scars are gone, but he is almost a
skeleton and his eyes are enormous in their sockets.
His clothes are rags. Blond hair beautiful, as always.
MALLOY'S ENTRANCES FACE SUPERIMPOSED OVER
Lestat escaped the fire!
He hadn't even been there. And all
those years I thought he was dead.
BACK TO LESTAT
One tiny candle stands beside him. He reads an early
comic, from the turn of the century. Without turning
his head, he speaks.
I'm so glad you're here Louis...
I've dreamed of your coming...
Don't try to speak... it's
I didn't mean to let them do it...
that Santiago, he tricked me...
That's all past, Lestat.
Yes. Past... she should never have
been one of us...
He turns and looks at Louis. Old, fearful, broken.
Still beautiful Louis. You always
were the strong one.
Don't fear me, Lestat. I bring you
You've come back to me, Louis?
You've come again to me?
Louis shakes his head. A series of police sirens go by,
piercing the night sky. A helicopter goes overhead. Red
flashes illuminate his face. Lestat shivers, covers his
ears. He's terrified. Louis touches him, calming him,
until the lights pass over.
It's only a siren...
I can't bear it Louis! The machines
out there, that fly and that roar!
And such lights! They make the
night brighter than the day!
And they frighten you?
You know I love the dark. But
there's no dark anymore.
It's false light, Lestat. It can't
If you stayed with me Louis, I
could venture out... little by
little... become the old Lestat.
Louis shivers. He releases him.
I have to go now Lestat...
You remember how I was, Louis.. the
Yes. I remember...
I tried to tell you Louis... that
night in Paris... when I first came
to you... no-one can refuse the
dark gift, Louis... not even you.
And the more you tried, the more I
wanted you... a vampire with your
beautiful, suffering human heart.
And how you suffered... I need your
You have it...
Louis walks slowly away from him. Lestat turns back to
his candle, his magazine.
You'll come back, Louis... take me
out... little by little... and
maybe I'll be myself again...
A bluebottle buzzes by him. His hand shoots out and
grabs it, squeezes the blood.
As he walks through the decayed house. His eyes are
And my story ends there. But in
fact it ended a long time ago, with
Claudia's ashes in that theatre. My
love died with her. I never really
changed after that. What became of
Lestat I have no idea. I go on,
night after night. I feed on those
who cross my path. But all my
passion went with her yellow hair.
I ma a spirit with preternatural
flesh. Detached. unchangeable.
INT. ROOM. SAN FRANCISCO - NIGHT (PRESENT)
Malloy, staring at Louis.
No... it can't end like that...
But it has. There is no more to
But you talk about passion, about
longing, about things I'll never
know in my life! It's still inside
you, in every syllable you speak!
And then you tell me it ends like
that? Just empty?
It's over, I'm telling you...
You need a new passion, Louis, a
new reason to feel... what a story
you've told, you don't understand
Louis looks at the cassettes on the table.
Do what you want with it. Learn
what you can. Give the story to
You have another chance, Louis.
Take me! Give me your gift, your
Louis is slowly horrified, then outraged and angry.
Is this what you want? You ask me
for this after all I've told you?
If I could see what you've seen,
feel what you've felt I wouldn't
let it end like this! You need a
like to the world out there, a
connection... then it won't end
He stares at Louis.
You need me.
Louis turns away.
Dear God. I've failed again,
Don't say anymore. The reels are
still turning. I have but one
chance to show you the meaning of
what I've said.
He looks at the boy. Then suddenly grabs him, lifts him
off the floor, bares his terrifying fangs and brings
them to his throat. Malloy screams, in involuntary
You like it? You like being food
for the immortals? You like dying?
Is it beautiful? Is it intense?
Malloy, now terrified, whispers
Louis drops him.
Malloy, falls on the floor, terrified. When he looks
up, Louis has vanished.
He looks up at the tape. It is still turning.
He shakes his head. He gets up, and with shaking
fingers gathers his tapes. He runs out of the room.
EXT. STREET OUTSIDE - NIGHT
Malloy running for his car, a convertible. He leaps in
and screeches off through the night.
EXT. STREETS - NIGHT
Malloy whips the car through the tiny streets, in
sheer, unfocused terror.
EXT. GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE - NIGHT
Malloy driving with streams of traffic over the bridge.
He breathes deeply, to calm himself. He takes a tape
from his pocket, and with still shaking hands, sticks
it in the deck.
1791. That's when it happened. I
was twenty-four. Younger then you
Suddenly a bony hand shoots out from the back seat,
pulls his neck backwards -
Sinks his teeth in his neck.
On the wheel, shaking, shuddering, losing their grip.
Bulging, as the life drains out of him. Lestat sucking
him like a rat.
Swinging free of Malloy's dying hands.
Veers wildly into oncoming traffic.
Coming towards them, about to crush the car.
LESTAT'S BONY HAND
Grabs the wheel, jerks it as he drinks.
Misses the truck by inches.
Throws Malloy to one side, climbs into the front seat.
The tape is playing.
My invitation was open to anyone.
Sailors, whores, thieves. But it
was a vampire that accepted...
At the wheel, the corpse of Malloy in the passenger
seat. He smiles. We can see the blood renewing him.
Dear Louis... will I ever forget?
EXT. GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE - NIGHT
Lestat drives on, the car a tiny speck against the
bridge, the sea, the sky beyond, with the first fingers
of light spreading through it.
Interview with the Vampire
Writers : Anne Rice Neil Jordan
Genres : Drama Horror