Murders, and Demons, and Clowns – Oh MY! It’s time to get spooky! Just in time for October and Halloween, these five Queer Horror Films are sure to get your heart-racing! Well – that’s what a GOOD queer horror film should do.
While all five of the films this month definitely fall within the horror genre, they aren’t all good – Sorry! The trouble is that true queer representation within horror is still a rather new and under-developed niche. Often times there may be a queer character within an ensemble film, but they also are often one of the first killed off too. The other trouble is that at least three of these films are small indie productions and suffer issues due to that aspect alone. (Although even a decent film should be able to rise above a small budget.)
While the overall quality is rather subpar, there are certainly key element of classic horror and slasher films within each of the five on this month’s list. Some are better than others, though there’s at least one I’d recommend skipping entirely unless you’re a true fan of the horror genre – yeah, it’s that bad! However, the best film on this list is certainly worth of its self-proclaimed title of the “first gay slasher”! Can you guess which one it is?
Hold onto your snacks, turn off the lights, and enjoy these five queer horror films!
[Note: Not all of these films have full reviews yet – but they’re added to the quickly growing list of films I plan to tackle soon!]
Two gay men on a date are murdered the night before Halloween in West Hollywood, California. Eddie (Dylan Fergus) and his friends Joey (Hank Harris), Chaz (Andrew Levitas) and Tobey (Matt Phillips) are going out the following night to the West Hollywood Halloween festival when they encounter the psycho, who sets his eye on them. The killer stalks them through the festival as Chaz parties, Joey chases his jock crush, Tobey tries dressing in drag, and Eddie pursues Jake (Bryan Kirkwood), the bad boy he wants to get to know better. Not until the very end do you find out who dies and who survives their night of terror.
If you’re after a queer horror film, “Hellbent” is the one you want! Proclaimed the “first gay slasher film”, this film lives up to its name and expectation. With a captivating and even mysterious storyline, many elements the slasher genre are embraced. But that’s what you’d expect from creatives of some of the best horror films. Not only do we get a killer lurking in the shadows, slowly killing each member of the group off one by one – but they’re all gay. Better yet, the fact that our leads are gay doesn’t actually matter. (After all, in mainstream horror films it’s often the gay guy who gets killed early on).
Now, “Hellbent” isn’t without a couple flaws. They really could have amped up the special effects and gore, but perhaps the oddest flaw is how much they held back on the gay factor. It’s definitely a gay film, buy unlike the slasher genre itself, sex is actually not a huge part of the storyline. Heck, it’s set in West Hollywood during a nighttime fetish Carnival party – and we all know what happens in West Hollywood during broad daylight! Perhaps they wanted to attract more of a mainstream audience? Additionally, the script and characters could have been a bit more interesting. However despite these few flaws, “Hellbent” is a great addition to the slasher genre and is definitely a good queer horror film to watch!
A dejected bartender and an aging drag queen try to survive the eccentric and hostile nightlife of a corrupt city, as a masked maniac slaughters young gay men and drains them of blood.
I only JUST got my hands on the newest queer horror film of this post. So please bear with me while I try to watch it in the next few days. Once I can, I’ll update this post and include my thoughts of this rather intriguing queer horror film!
Helen (Mari Marks) and Luella (Georgia Jean) are just another typical God-fearing mother and daughter who happen to bake Mincemeat muffins and run a charming if not a bit faded Bed and Breakfast Inn. Or are they? On the eve of the biggest gay party weekend of the year, and having not made advance reservations, five ‘couples’ find themselves having to make accommodations far from the city. There’s Dom (Vinny Markus) and Alex (Michael Soldier), the ‘performers’ and Deborah (Shannon Lee) and Gabby (Denise Heller), the sophisticated, entrepreneurial ‘lipsticks’. There’s also Mike (Derek Long) and Eric (Robert Borzych), the upscale ‘yuppie’ power couple and their annoying ‘fag-hag’ friend, Lizette (Lisa Block-Wieser). Also checking in are Starr (Nora Gaetana) and Brenda (Allie Rivenbark), the struggling folk singer and tough-talking tomboy and lastly Rodney (Jim Polivka) and Todd (James Tolins), the sugar daddy and ‘personal trainer’. What should have been the biggest gay party weekend of the year quickly turns into every gay and lesbian’s worst nightmare!
What the heck did I just watch? Things started off rather well, albeit a tad creepy. However, as each couple was introduced, so were the cliches – and ridiculous melodramatic overacting. The only possible good element I could point out is that the plot is actually fitting for a queer horror film. If only this indie film had actors who could act, a film crew that could hold a camera properly, and a script that wasn’t as dry as dad’s pot roast. It couldn’t even be considered camp! However if you’re after a queer horror film, “The Gay Bed & Breakfast of Terror” will fit the bill. Personally, I wouldn’t waste your time.
A pledge must battle homophobia and a killer clown during his fraternity’s Hell Night. Several people at Felix University want the brothers and pledges of ZAP Fraternity dead, but now someone with an Ax to grind is killing them off one by one at the old haunted river park island. While on the island, a few of the college students learn what happens to people to blindly follow leaders without asking questions. Jack Jones (Tyler Farrell) must stop the clown, save the fraternity and find the courage to come out of the closet by sunrise.
While I first watched “Fraternity Massacre At Hell Island” years ago – the only thing I could recall is that it was bad. Being that there are not many queer horror films, I gave it another shot. It was even worse than I remembered! It’s hard to pinpoint where things went wrong, and perhaps easier to note what was done right – and that’s a very short list itself. The script is horribly written and strange, not to mention a storyline that’s way too convoluted to follow. The acting is simply atrocious, and the cinematographic elements are no better. It’s almost as if a group of students bribed an actual fraternity with free beer in order to make the film. The only thing I cannot deny is that this is certainly a queer horror film. It’s definitely not worth wasting your time watching, but it still is a queer horror film.
A straight man’s (Jerod Howard) life becomes disastrous – and obsessively dangerous – when his family, fiancee and friends all begin to reject him after he realizes he has fallen in love with another man (Sean Michael Lambrecht).
Compared to another on this list, this queer horror film is actually not that bad. That being said, were I to do a full review on “October Moon” – I’d probably rip it to shreds. With a dated, cliche, and slightly homophobic angle, the script isn’t horrendous. But I couldn’t remain interested in the storyline. Between an obviously closeted straight man, his domineering mother, and a couple on the verge of breaking up from scene one, there’s a lot of issues with this film. Unfortunately, the issues also carry over in the directing/editing and cinematographic areas. This film is really more of a queer thriller than a queer horror film. And perhaps the worst offence? – the horror “twist” is blatantly obvious right from the start. Overall, while it is one of the few queer horror films out there – I’d skip this one.