Gay undertones have been present in horror since the inception of the art form. Look at The Phantom of the Opera. The guy wore a cape, was ridiculously vain and spent the whole movie chasing after a diva, for an autograph most likely. Even more contemporary films like Rosemary’s Baby feature the title character carrying the child of an actor to help advance his career. Cla-a-assic beard. And how can we forget Jason Vorhees; the ultimate mama’s boy slash(er) power top?
While all of this subversive gayety was well and good one thing was certain: If you were a slut, a drug addict, or open homosexual you were going to die. And if you were Ted Haggard you were really very most sincerely going to die. Of course those were the rules before the rise of GLBT horror films that eschew the closeted nature of the horror genre and shout “We’re here, It’s Queer Fear. Get Used to It.” With directors like David DeCoteau and distribution companies such as here! Media the world of horror movies is looking a lot gayer.
While not a household name yet David DeCoteau’s career has spanned nearly 30 years in film. From adult titles to slightly less adult titles his movies have never shied away from their sexuality. With scenes of modelesque studs showering in their tighty whiteys before being slaughtered to satanic circle jerks the movies may not say “gay” but they certainly scream it. The majority of the films feature a young and confused nubile youth being lured into the seedy underbelly by a group of equally sexy youths. Many critics have branded these films homophobic as there is often a buxom female friend of the protagonist who allegedly represents the good side. Upon closer inspection the premise is not that being gay is bad but embracing the dark side of any lifestyle can be dangerous. Decoteau is saying, it’s OK to be gay just avoid the crystal and Satan worship.
Most of the films by the above-mentioned Decoteau are distributed by here! Media, a GLBT media company with products including Out, The Advocate, and Unzipped magazines, as well as here! TV. The pay for gay premium television station has original movies and series including the sexy and campy Dante’s Cove. If you haven’t seen it think Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Queer as Folk. Actually scratch that and don’t think it ever again. While the series has its own charm and kitsch it is nowhere near the quality of the prior and doesn’t even achieve the social commentary of the latter. The series begins with a downlow anal sex scene, which prompts the scorned witch wife of the catcher to place a spell upon the bottom thus dooming the sleepy hamlet of Dante’s Cove to supernatural phenomena and shoddy special effects for eternity. The original sex scene is shown via flashbacks in nearly every subsequent episode but there are plenty of same sex love scenes between the characters to satisfy your needs. While the show is not what one might call “good” it is definitely fun and has some of the most quotable campy lines on television.
Unfortunately low production value and subpar acting is the bane of the gay horror boom’s existence. Much like the blacksploitation horror films of the 70s GLBT horror is a step in the right direction and is still trying to find its footing. Two films which have come the closest are Hellbent (2004) and Cthulhu (2007). Although neither are great films each has legitimate scares and glimpses of sharp writing, not to mention the latter having Tori Spelling, the true mark of both quality and sheer terror.
If films and television aren’t your foray there are also several horrific novels which feature gay love and horror besides Twilight. The leader of the pack is one Daniel W. Kelley with two published works to his name and more in the works. Both Monster in the Closet and Horny Devils contain short stories featuring self described “gothorotica.” One novella in his first book is a zombie tale in which the virus only affects the straights leaving the gay and lesbian citizens of a small town to fend off the horde of flesh hungry “deaderos.” The stories are all fun, sexy, and the majority are legitimately scary and both are available on Amazon.
Long gone are the days when we knew that we could find representation in horror films only if we dug deep enough (no homo). Today the horror genre is embracing and marketing to the growing GLBT market in various platforms as more and more horror fans come out of the closet and say their horror films and sexuality can be mutually exclusive. While none of the films referenced in this article are the height of quality or terror they are all steps in the right direction. We can only hope to one day see a gay or lesbian survivor in a slasher, other than in Friday the Thirteenth Part 2.
Fozziebare is a frustrated writer, occasional blogger, failed stand-up comic, and all around awesome guy. A longtime lover of podcasts, Fozzie wanted to start a podcast of his own but was so enamored by the existing shows that he knew he could not copy their brilliance so chose instead to honor it. Fozzie’s very popular. The sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, waistoids, dweebies, dickheads–they all adore him. They think he’s a righteous dude. He can be followed on twitter and you all should be listening to The Podcast Podcast