[Written by: Liam James]
Horror as a genre has always been inexplicably queer. It makes heroes of the unlikely, it focuses on “found family” and makes us explore the unknown by focusing on the “other”. The genre is one of excess and injects the feeling of dread and fear straight from the screen, into the body of the audience. Anyway, I’m not going to go too deep into it right now because I wanted to create something fun for Pride Month! So, if you like your horror with a generous serving of queer then you might want to check out the below films and tv shows. Oh…and full disclaimer…this is in no particular order because I don’t feel qualified to be able to rank them. However, as a card-carrying member of the alphabet mafia, I do feel like you have a duty to listen to my opinions this month so let’s dive in:
1. Chucky (2021 – present)
Don Mancini is a personal idol of mine so it would be foolish not to include his incredible work in this list somewhere. A phenomenal queer creator and a giant in the horror genre, Mancini took his breakout star, Chucky, from film to tv and breathed new life into an established franchise. We get an openly gay protagonist who not only has to tackle the supernatural horrors of a wise-cracking, murderous doll but also the real-life horror of navigating the world as a gay teen. I don’t want to go too much into spoiler territory, so you need to watch this if you love inventive kills, snarky one-liners and plenty of emotional beats. This will leave you pissing your pants in either fear, laughter or both.
2. Interview With the Vampire (1994)
Vampires are inherently gay. Are you telling me that you live an immortal life without once having a paddle in the rainbow stream? I don’t think. If you want gay vampires though then this is the one for you. Based on the stunning works of Anne Rice (RIP x), the 1994 was a surprise hit and was the cause of many sad goth boy boners. Every single scene between Lestat and Louis is that homoerotically charged that it could power a thousand saunas. If you take the supernatural element out of it, it really just tells the tale of two men who love each other and want to raise a child together…aww!
3. The Haunting of Hill House (2018)
Mike Flanagan is a genius. I could just write that and it should be reason enough for you to check this show out but that would be very lazy of me. Based on the novel of the same name by Shirley Jackson, the tv show gives us one of the most richly developed lesbian characters to ever grace our screens. Theodora Crain is unashamedly out-and-proud, but the show does not let this be her defining trait – she’s just as damaged, flawed and nuanced as the rest of the cast. Kate Siegel is a powerhouse of a performer and is everything that I want to be when I grow up (yes there isn’t much of an age-gap between us but let me feel my oats) and is possibly one of the most beautiful human beings I have ever seen. If you don’t believe me then google a picture of her as Theo, in a bar wearing a crop-top and matching gloves because bloody hell!
4. Spiral (2019)
No I’m not talking about that dreadful Saw spin-off movie, I’m talking about the layered, thought-provoking Shudder original directed by Kurtis David Harder. Yes, that’s right it’s available on Shudder. (Hi Shudder, please sponsor my podcast!) It is often labelled as the “lgbt version of Get Out” which I find is a disservice to both of these wonderful movies but on a very basic level, I suppose that is the gist. The story follows a gay couple and their son moving to a small town in the mid-90s – the height of the AIDS-awareness era. The town is very nice…almost too nice…almost as if something incredibly sinister is lurking underneath. This is definitely one that you need to pay attention to (not just because of the absolute hunk that is Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman) so that means you need to put your phone down and actually watch it, Mary!
5. Jack and Diane (2012)
Lesbians, werewolves and Kylie Minogue – are you sold on this yet? No?! Well that’s a) homophobic and b) means more work for me but I do love a challenge. Look I’m not saying that this film is the best thing you will ever watch but what I really appreciate about this film is that it took risks and tried to do something different. I definitely recommend this if you’re looking for a romantic horror film & if you want to see a cameo of Kylie Minogue as a tatted-up lesbian! We all want to see that right?!
6. Blood Moon (or Wolf Girl) (2001)
One of the greatest films that you have probably never heard of. Partly because they didn’t know how to market it (they couldn’t even settle on a name) and because it’s a campy horror that was released at a time when everyone was trying to be edgy. Starring absolute icons such as Tim Curry, Grace Jones and Leslie Ann Warren, it has an incredible cast and is directed by queer filmmaker Thom Fitzgerald. Behind the campiness of the film is actually a fearless, intelligent exploration of sexual repression, being “othered” and is visually queer. An underrated masterpiece that you MUST watch!
7. Shock Treatment (1981)
The brilliant, underrated sequel to The Rocky Horror Picture Show, this film is absolutely bonkers in all the right ways! Universally panned upon release, the film has since become a cult classic, and I bloody love it. Not straight-up horror like its predecessor but there are so many hints to classic B-movie horror movies that I reckon it falls into some horror subgenre and it’s my list so kiss my arse if you don’t agree. Anyway, the film follows Brad and Janet after the events of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and is set in the town of Denton…which has now become a tv studio. Yes. The whole town. Featuring returning cast and the absolutely iconic and show-stopping Jessica Harper (Suspiria), this film is campy and queer in the wrong ways…but isn’t it fabulous?!
8. Dante’s Cove (2005-2007)
A raunchy gay horror soap opera where a wizard stalks a twink at a beach resort while there’s a coven of rival witches who are intent om unleashing some eldritch horrors all wrapped up with lots and lots of sex. Yeah…if that’s not going to have you rushing to buy all three seasons then I don’t know what will. There is bad acting, awful effects and even the sex scenes seem a bit half-arsed but this did something no one else was doing. Just think Charmed but with rimming. There is also a spin-off show called The Lair that also ran for three seasons which was all about a gay sauna run by horny vampires. Okay I’ve managed to convince myself to rewatch it all now. Damn I’m good.
9. Ravenous (1999)
Once again, a criminally underrated horror movie that was completely let down by terrible marketing. This was due to it starring David Arquette who was fresh off the first two entries into the Scream franchise and teen-slashers were the hot topic in horror at the time. This film couldn’t be further from that. A twisted western/horror about cannibalism in 1840’s California (wtf I know right?!), this is one of the grossest homoerotically charged movies that I’ve ever had the plan of watching. Repeatedly. There’s a sexually charged scene between Robert Carlyle and Guy Pearce which I have to watch alone because it stirs a lot of…ahem…emotion in me. It involves blood, sucking on fingers and a subtle orgasm. The film is all about hunger. Both for the consumption of flesh…and for dick, basically.
10. In The Flesh (2013 – 2014)
Talented, brilliant, incredible, amazing, show stopping, spectacular, never the same, totally unique, completely not ever been done before, unafraid to reference or not reference, put it in a blender, shit on it, vomit on it, eat it, give birth to it. Okay sorry to go full on Gaga but this show is IT! It flips the trope of “bury your gays” on its head. Literally. We follow a gay zombie who has been rehabilitated and tries to navigate the world after his untimely death and return. I don’t want to give too much away as this definitely needs to be seen. A unique premise that will shock you, scare you and break your heart all at once. It was criminally cut-short due to BBC budget restrictions, but it is still hailed as one of the most extraordinary horror tv series to come out of the UK. Seriously, go and watch this or I’ll send Kelly Rowland after you to judge your choice in knitwear.
And that’s your lot! My first blog entry for SuperfreakMedia but a pretty amazing one at that right?! I would love to hear your thoughts so check below for my socials and if you enjoyed my amazingly witty piece then you will love my podcast! Tune in to the They’re Queer! Podcast on the 21st of each month via your favourite podcast streaming service and/or YouTube. Each episode and my co-host Liam B (yes we are two homos called Liam) take a deep dive into the world of horror and sus out all the gay stuff.
PODCAST: @theyrequeerpodcast (Instagram) + @theyrequeer (Twitter)
LIAM J: @_.liamjames (Instagram) + @Liam_James_ (Twitter)