Dark, twisted tales that feed our need for revenge. Sexy scenes with hunky young bucks all desperately yearning to get laid. Gory sights and demented deeds that are so over-the-top they border on camp. From classics like Rocky Horror to newer queer slashers like Hellbent, here's our list of quirky, fun, and totally gay fright flicks guaranteed to inspire your movie-watching ways this October 31st.
Some very strange and spooky stuff happens when Russ (Jason Cottle), an openly gay history professor estranged from his family because of his sexuality, returns to his seaside hometown and reconnects with an old lover. This low-budget 2008 indie also has a Tori Spelling cameo!
A suburban housewife is the hilariously unlikely murderer in this scrumptiously campy 1994 John Waters satire. Please don't make Kathleen Turner cut you.
Out director Joel Schumacher didn't skimp on the homoerotic innuendo in his 1987 vampire flick. Corey Haim stars as the pastel-wearing, bubble bath-taking Michael, who moves to California, falls in with a group of flirty teenage vampires, and gets a single ear pierced. When he finally opens his closet, there's a sexy poster of Rob Lowe hanging in there. Take the hints, people.
Abercrombie & Fitch goes supernatural in this 2006 good warlock vs. bad warlock horror-fantasy starring models-turned-actors Steven Strait and Taylor Kitsch, plus Sebastian Stan and Chace Crawford. Between that and this photo, do you need more reasons to rent it? It was directed by Renny Harlin, but we'll just go ahead and let this one stand in for all those lower-budgeted but similarly themed homoerotic David DeCoteau flicks.
A boy struggling to repress “something” inside himself would've been enough to brand Nightmare 2 as an obvious gay allegory, but it’s the moments following Jessie’s visit to a gay leather bar — where he discovers his P.E. coach — that rank this film among the gayest ever. Tying up your coach in the locker-room showers and towel-snapping his bare ass before killing him from behind will earn you that kind of reputation. (Read our interview with Heather Langenkamp, Nancy from the original Nightmare, here.)
Billed as “the first gay slasher film,” Hellbent follows a friendly fivesome during one harrowing Halloween night in West Hollywood. The 2004 film cuts between each of the boys as they literally lose their heads to a sickle-wielding devil while being stalked through WeHo’s streets, dance clubs, and bathhouses. Also listen for Pansy Division and other queercore bands on the film’s soundtrack.
Queercore director Bruce LaBruce made his name creating sexually charged experimental movies like Hustler White and The Raspberry Reich, but this film took a darker turn. L.A. Zombie follows a schizophrenic amnesiac who thinks he’s a flesh-eating member of the undead, but he has a special gift: He can reanimate the dead through hardcore gay sex! No wonder the film starred arty stud Francois Sagat as the titular zombie, as well as a bunch of other muscle-bound porn stars for the film's orgiastic, blood-drenched finale.
New Queer Cinema pioneer Gregg Araki's twisted mid-’90s road movie isn’t a horror flick per se, but the film’s central ménage à trois — Rose McGowan, Johnathon Schaech, and James Duval — do find themselves on a blood-spattered journey with a bisexual drifter, violent psychos, and the strange coincidence that everything they buy costs $6.66.
Poor Norman Bates. He has to run the desolate Bates Hotel all by himself while his nagging mother drives him crazy. Perhaps Alfred Hitchcock’s best known film, Psycho stars gay actor Anthony Perkins as Norman, a mild-mannered mama's boy with a "queer" case of Oedipal issues. In 1998, gay director Gus Van Sant made a shot-for-shot, full-color, modern-day Psycho remake apparently for the sole purpose of having actor Vince Vaughn masturbate on camera, but it was a flop, so stick with the original.
When a full moon strikes, any person — straight or gay — who has been bitten by the Queerwolf will sprout red nails, hoop earrings, and a pair of fabulous stockings. This campy 1988 B-horror flick may sound laughably outdated, but as the hero tries to undo his drag queen curse, we get surprisingly modern takes on bathhouse culture, trans prostitutes, Bible-thumping bigots, and even ex-gay exorcisms. And did we mention that Queerwolves can be killed with a silver stake in their hindquarters? Oh, dearie…
This horror-comedy anthology campfest includes the short film I Was A Teenage Werebear, a gay musical spoof of Grease and Rebel Without A Cause. The 2011 film, which stars Sean Paul Lockhart (formerly known as porn star Brent Corrigan), follows the story of a closeted gay teen who transforms into a bestial leather daddy (a werebear) after being bitten by his hunky classmate.
This 2000 send-up of classic horror films has some of the most quotable lines in movie history, and it also includes a great running gay joke in the form of clueless closeted character Ray Wilkins (Shawn Wayans). The joke's less about Ray's orientation and more about how his denial runs deeper than a killer’s knife, which elevates the gay punch line to a refreshingly funny level.
The Queen of Halloween’s first feature film has become a gay camp-classic for all the reasons that made Elvira one of the biggest gay icons of all time. Over-the-top in every way possible — from the costumes and sassy one-liners to the big musical number ending stuffed with hunky shirtless male dancers — 1988's Elvira, Mistress of the Dark is the Showgirls of Halloween movies.
When you cast two gay icons — Bette Davis and Joan Crawford — as crazy/tragic protagonists and then make them abuse each other while performing at level 10, you get one of the most camptastic psychological thrillers in history. Not only is the dialogue deliciously hateful, but the hatred between these two actresses radiates from the screen.
Adapted by gay screenwriter Arthur Laurents and inspired by real-life convicted killers (and lovers) Leopold and Loeb, 1948's Rope is Alfred Hitchcock’s gayest film ever. It features a gay couple (played by queer actors John Dall and Farley Granger), a dinner party, witty repartee, and a body hidden in a stylish piece of furniture. Sounds like an average Fire Island summer to us.
Andy Warhol produces, Udo Kier drinks blood, and Joe Dallesandro goes shirtless in this 1974 classic. ‘Nuff said.
Like Baby Jane, Mommie Dearest, and Showgirls, Carrie has memorable dialogue — “I can see your dirty pillows,” “They’re all gonna laugh at you!," and “Plug it up!” — that's become part of the secret language of gays. Meanwhile, Carrie’s prom night-mare has become pop culture shorthand on TV shows from Ugly Betty to RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Creators of the animated classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Rankin/Bass gayed up this 1967 stop-motion monster mash with groovy dancing, Broadway-worthy songs, and Phyllis Diller as Frankenstein's creature's bride. Diller also has a bitch brawl with Frankenstein’s assistant Francesca that preceded Alexis and Krystle's lily pond smackdown by nearly two decades. BTW, Francesca is a drag-worthy hybrid of Christina Hendricks, Ann-Margret, Kathleen Turner, and Angelina Jolie.
Discussing Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt's characters in the homoerotic 1994 film based on her novel, Anne Rice recently confirmed that Lestat and Louis, caretaker to Kirsten Dunst's young Claudia, were "the first vampire same-sex parents."
Disney's 1993 comedy Hocus Pocus, a magically fun bad movie from High School Musical director Kenny Ortega, stars gay faves Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy (fresh from Sister Act) as time-displaced singing witches who fly on vacuums.
Aside from featuring Alec Baldwin at the height of hotness, Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice has enough camp to be welcome at any homo-Halloween haunt. The film’s quirky style has held up amazingly well since it debuted in 1988, and Winona Ryder’s Lydia Deetz is an iconic outsider heroine. From the interior decorator played by late gay actor Glenn Shadix to the outrageous musical numbers, there isn’t much about this film that isn’t queer.
This knowingly camp remake of the 1978 low-budget Jaws wannabe is more about guffaws than gore, although there’s plenty of the latter. This version ups the queer factor with Elizabeth Shue’s single-mama-grizzly-sheriff, girl-on-girl action, and Jerry O’Connell’s shirtless porn producer douchebag. Plus, there’s that scene with O’Connell’s penis and the piranhas doing what piranhas do...
Directed by Wes Craven and penned by out screenwriter Kevin Williamson, this 2011 reboot of the ’90s horror-comedy trilogy is full of genuine scares and surprises. Discussing the updated rules of slasher flicks, Robbie and Charlie, two geeks in Woodsboro High’s cinema club, determine that only gays have a chance of survival. This theory’s tested when Erik Knudsen's Robbie comes out of the closet mid-stab — and the payoff's a scream.
Not satisfied with hunky creation Rocky, Tim Curry's Dr. Frank-N-Furter, a "sweet transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania," seduces Susan Sarandon's Janet and Barry Bostwick's Brad — "Coming!," shouts Frank while orally pleasuring Brad behind a scrim — in this enduring 1975 parody of sci-fi B-movies. Forget the cross-dressing interactive midnight screenings; this musical's so gay that New Directions did it on Glee.
An Oscar winner for its killer visual effects, this super-campy 1992 black comedy stars Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn as vain rivals whose quest for eternal youth turns violent and very, very ugly. Isabella Rossellini, who played an age-defying socialite, told The Advocate that it was her project that gay fans respond to the most: "Because it's like female impersonation, in a way."