Happy Halloween folks!
With one of our favorite holidays on the horizon, we’ve decided to bust out our favorite queer screamers for a rewatch. We mean movies, not actually queer people screaming. We have enough of that in these times…
Anyway, last year we composed a screening list of sexy & scary must-see films. This year we’ve given that list an update to include even more LGBTQ H-O-R-R-O-R. Grab the popcorn and witch’s brew, and curl up on the couch. Dates are optional but encouraged.
Bride of Frankenstein
Cinema scholars just looooove pointing out all the homoeroticism in this Universal classic. Director James Whale–who was an out-gay man in the 1930s–loaded this sequel up with all kinds of gay subtext, from a pair of mad scientists trying to give birth to a woman, to the Frankenstein Creature having a happy domestic life with a blind hermit to Ernst Thesiger’s camp performance. It’s a must-see for horror fans…and for anyone who likes screaming queens with their screams.
Interview with the Vampire
Tom Cruise gives one of his best performances, even if he seems to be the only one that doesn’t realize he’s in a movie about gay vampires. A young Kirsten Dunst also excels, and the sexual tension between Brad Pitt and Antonio Banderas’ vampires should make anyone pitch a stake.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge
Out actor Mark Patton stars in this oh-so-very gay installment of the popular franchise. The film features Patton dancing in his undies, a hot dude begging to spend the night with bestie, and scenes in a leather bar. Did people pick up on this at the time?
Out director Andrew Fleming has always gravitated toward women–and bitchy humor–in his films like Dick and Nancy Drew. The Craft remains the crown jewel of his long career with its feminist take on teen witches and high school drama. As real as the special effects look, the characters seem like equally real teenagers thanks to Fleming’s writing, and to fine performances from an expansive cast. Fairuza Balk’s Nancy remains one of the great villains of contemporary cinema.
Viewers who don’t mind horror cliches like bad acting, a predictable plot and dumb characters will enjoy this genre piece set in West Hollywood during Halloween. A group of gay boys encounter a slasher killer, but not before they manage to show off some of their assets. As it were.
This series of very gay horror movies kicked off with the titular entry back in 2001. Each entry features a cast of pretty young hunks battling supernatural forces…and the urge to Grindr each other.
Gay writer/driector Mike Dougherty–known for penning scripts to movies like X2 and Superman Returns made his directorial debut with this anthology horror film. Distribution problems prevented Trick-r-Treat from getting proper attention upon release, though it has subsequently found a cult following devoted to it’s macabre creepiness.
Legendary director Robert Wise helmed this iconic horror classic which just happens to feature one of the earliest–and most respectful–depictions of lesbianism in Hollywood history. Claire Bloom plays out-lesbian Theo, who comforts the psychic Eleanor (played by Julie Harris in a spellbinding performance). The two team up to fight some nasty ghosts, and some awesome sexual tension.
The Lost Boys
Go figure that out-queer director Joel Schumacher would direct this homoerotic classic featuring a litany of young heartthrobs including Kiefer Sutherland, Jason Patric, Alex Winter, Corey Feldman and Corey Haim. Vampires take over a southern California town, and plenty of shirtlessness ensues.
Transgender actress Nicole Maines scored raves for her performance in this flick about a sexually fluid Los Angeles woman who falls in with a group of bisexual vampires. Bit has some clever meditations on gender power dynamics and a surprisingly intriguing mythos to boot…not to mention some delicious dark humor to keep things fun.
For men wishing they could have joined the coven in The Craft, The Covenant offers a male answer. A group of hunky teens (played by hunky 20-somethings) do battle with the powers of an ancient witch coven. The b-movie features performances from stars to be, including Sebastian Stan, Taylor Kitch and Chace Crawford.
The Dark Place
Less supernatural horror than a noir thriller, The Dark Place features former gay porn star Brett Corrigan (acting under his real name, Sean Paul Lockheart) in a tale of family betrayal set against the backdrop of California’s wine country. It also features a cast of unapologetically queer characters in some very steamy scenes.
Elvira, Mistress of the Dark
Less scary than an exercise in silliness, Cassandra Peterson took her horror hostess to the big screen with this ridiculous comedy. Mistress of the Dark bombed on its initial release but has found a following thanks to its low-brow camp, and a very game performance from Peterson. Since the actress has said many times that Elvira is basically a female drag queen, we only feel slightly ashamed to include it here. Just slightly.
The Hunger caused a sensation upon release in 1983 courtesy of two great performances by Susan Sarandon and Catherine Deneuve as a pair of lesbian vampire lovers. Sarandon and Deneuve’s nipples have supporting roles.
A classic sequel from the Universal Monsters era, Dracula’s Daugher follows the progeny of the famous count, who lives as a lesbian predator seducing young women. Yes, really. In a movie from 1936. Think about that one…
Queer director Bryan Singer helmed this creepy thriller, based on a short story by Stephen King. Featuring a pre-X-Men Ian McKellan and 90s hunk Brad Renfro, the story follows a boy obsessed with World War II who discovers his elderly neighbor is actually a wanted Nazi war criminal. The two develop a weird sort of S&M relationship, though without actual sex. The film does make up for that absence by featuring an extended shower scene of Renfro, which alone is worth the price of streaming.
Oh come on, you know you wanna! Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker star in this uber-silly, cartoonish romp about three Salem witches returning from the grave. Hocus Pocus has no shortage of camp in its streamlined runtime, and Midler & Parker both have terrific musical numbers. With a sequel in the works, what better time than now for a rewatch!
Editor’s note: this post contains material from Queerty’s 2018 queer horror list.