Horror films are beloved in the LGBTQ community and according to how drag queen, Katya Zamolodchikova so playfully put it, it’s “Because we love seeing straight people get killed.” The genre has always been a bastion for those outsiders that have long been oppressed by their government, the marginalized who see themselves in the monsters. So in true MMNews fashion, we’ve jotted down some great queer horror films that are a must watch for this joyous month.
1. The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
Hollywood in 1934 was held under a strict Production Code, otherwise known as the Hays Code that was intended to keep movies from “corrupting” its audience. At that time legendary filmmaker James Whale, a gay man, directed some of the most iconic Universal Monster movies such as Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein, and The Invisible Man. This film showcases The Monster as the hero, and Dr. Septimus Pretorius the true villain, a plot that was intentionally written by Whale.
2. RAW (2017)
In this dark coming of age film, a young college student studying to be a vet develops a craving for human flesh. Julia Ducournau combines themes of cannibalism and sexual exploration in main character, Justine (Garance Marillier).
3. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
A newly-engaged couple have car troubles in an isolated area and must seek shelter at Dr. Frank-n-Furter’s bizarre castle. The musical horror is a staple in queer horror and a cult classic with the theatrical performance of Tim Curry.
4. Hellraiser (1987)
A woman starts killing for the partially formed body of her brother-in-law to revitalize his body so he can free himself from the cenobites pursuing him after escaping from their sadistic world. While the cenobites are villains, they are also these BDSM enthusiasts that lure straight people to explore new heights of intense pleasure. Clive Barker’s Hellraiser scared me so much as a child and now as an adult I appreciate his fearlessness in both his art and his life as an openly gay man who inspires filmmakers alike.
5. The Babadook (2015)
A single mother and her child are haunted by the malevolent spirit from an eerie children’s book titled “Mister Babadook”. Now I had to do some research as the why The Babadook is a gay icon and thanks to Vulture’s E. Alex Jung, it makes sense! “The Babadook wears a long, androgynous coat that a certain type of fashion gay might lust over at Comme des Garçons. (Isn’t it obvious that he’s supposed to be Rick Owens?).” Give it a watch and prepare to be Baba-shooked!
6. Sleepaway Camp (1983)
A pair of cousins go off to summer camp to only be terrorized by a psycho killer killing off camp members. Sleepaway Camp is the first slasher to watch in the summer. It’s funny, it’s bad, but it also has a pretty incredible unmasking of the killer in the end. It has been discussed by so many people that it’s possible that the killer’s impulses could have stemmed from gender dysphoria, playing into the stereotype of the “evil” queer.
7. Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985)
A teenage boy is haunted in his dreams by notorious child murderer, Freddy Kreuger, who is out to possess him in order to continue his terror. Often called as “One of the gayest movies to ever exist! Freddy’s Revenge is one of the rare horror movies that features a Final Boy instead the standard Final Girl. Its hero Jesse Walsh, (played by Mark Patton was in the closet at the time) is identified as a repressed gay teen with plenty of subtext displayed throughout the film. To explore more about the queer themes in Freddy’s Revenge, Shudder has a great documentary featuring Mark Patton titled, Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street.