THE FINAL ENTRY! We reached the end of the series! Being authorities on all things gay-cinema, we at TLAgay.com wanted to put in a good word for some queer movies that don’t make the usual ranked horror lists. We came up with a selection of 50 different gay titles that are either direct horror movies or horror adjacent (suspense, mysteries, thrillers). Below, you’ll find part the final ten inclusions – in alphabetical order.
We tried to limit these to films that are currently available on our site – either on DVD or Blu-ray, or available via our On-Demand service. If a movie is missing from this list, chances are good it’s just out of print or otherwise currently unavailable/hard to access. This isn’t, as you’ll see, a definitive list of the greatest gay horror – that’s not what we were going for. This is just a sampling of some offerings that usually fly under the radar. Some are good, some are great, some are delightfully campy and ridiculous, some might be downright terrible, but they’re all available to help get your into the Halloween spirit!
2009, United States
Director: Chad Ferrin
Meet John Hopper and his lovely wife Wilma. This psychotic pansexual couple from the 1970s would like to literally fuck you to death. When a young, drug-addled medical student is found dead in his dorm room, a group of his friends (led by cutie-pie Noah Segan) attempt to discover the circumstances surrounding his bizarre expiration. Their search leads them to a mysterious hallucinogen called Taldon. In a basement filing room, these rag-tag amateur detectives decide to experiment with this strange drug while exploring a particularly disturbing psychological case file on John and Wilma. Little do they know that using Taldon will allow the Hoppers to come back through time and wreak havoc. A proud grindhouse throwback, Someone’s Knocking at the Door is a sick little horror flick that takes great pleasure in being over-the-top. If you’re a horror fan with a taste for the extreme, gory and unusual, John and Wilma won’t disappoint you. Just have some ibuprofen handy.
Director: Jerome Sable
Starry-eyed teenager Camilla Swanson (Allie MacDonald) wants to follow in her mother’s footsteps and become a Broadway diva, but she’s stuck working in the kitchen of a snobby performing arts camp. Determined to change her destiny, she sneaks in to audition for the summer showcase and lands a lead role in the play, but just as rehearsals begin, blood starts to spill. Camilla soon finds herself terrorized by a bloodthirsty masked killer who despises musical theater. Co-starring Meat Loaf and Minnie Driver (who are both visibly having a ball with the material) Stage Fright mixes Scream with Glee in a genre-bending R-rated horror-musical from Jerome Sable, the award-winning director of the celebrated short film “The Legend of Beaver Dam.” In addition to being a tribute to musical theater, the film pays homage to some of the most iconic and beloved horror films of the 70s and 80s, such as Halloween, Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Carrie. A student of these classic horror films, Sable didn’t want any CGI or digital effects so virtually all the gore and effects were accomplished “in-camera,” just as they were back then.
1975, United States
Director: Curt McDowell
Witness, if you dare, Thundercrack!, one of the world’s only underground kinky art-erotica horror films – complete with four men, three women and rampaging circus animals. Set in a creepy house on a dark and stormy night, several guests attempt to get out of the rain and quickly find themselves caught up in an eerie orgy of graphic humor, horror and sex. A tour de force of underground filmmaking with a plot beyond description, this film fully exposes itself with amazing dialogue and trash-noir lighting through which to peer at the pickles, the puke and the polymorphs. This exceptionally perverse curio was created in 1975 by director Curt McDowell and gay art icon George Kuchar – and they packed it with as much graphic sex and campy performances as the screen could hold. The men in this film are all sexually fluid. In addition to all of the straight coupling, there is an intense focus on homoeroticism. Lead actors Rick Johnson, Ken Scudder, Mookie Blodgett (who has our new favorite name ever) and George Kuchar himself all have some sort of exciting gay encounter. Years in the making, this highly-anticipated restoration of this naughty underground classic was finally unleashed on the public on DVD and Blu-ray in 2015. A true cult classic that has shocked, excited and amazed audiences worldwide for 40 years, this presentation marked the first ever official North American video release.
2014, United States
Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
This reboot of the chilling 1976 horror classic was produced by out and proud director/TV creator Ryan Murphy. It’s got the same vibe he brings to “American Horror Story” – which also shares a key director in Alfonso Gomez-Rejon. 65 years after a series of brutal slayings terrorized the small town of Texarkana, the “Moonlight Murders” suddenly begin again. While on a trip to Lovers Lane, 17-year-old Jami (Addison Timlin) watches as her date is brutally slain by a masked serial killer. Barely escaping with her life, she becomes obsessed with finding the man referred to as “The Phantom.” As the body count climbs and the carnage comes closer to home, Jami delves deeper into the mystery, following clues that point her toward the killer’s true identity. Murphy brought out a huge cast of well-established actors for this flick – including Anthony Anderson, Gary Cole, the late, great Edward Herrmann, horror staple Veronica Cartwright and his frequent go-to, the always reliable Denis O’Hare. The film also manages to subvert the typical “Lovers Lane” slaughter scene by following two closeted teen boys who park their car in a desolate area to fool around. Sadly, this is a horror movie, and (spoiler alert!) they’re graphically butchered before they finish. Be warned: the whole sequence is pretty disturbing.
2013, United States
Director: Rob Moretti
Reminding one of a sexy and deliciously disturbing Misery-meets-Fatal Attraction, this psychological thriller of an innocent love that goes terribly wrong stars Sean Paul Lockhart (a frequent presence on this list) in a role that perfectly highlights his acting chops. Truth opens with an imprisoned man – befuddled, but claiming innocence – who is being interviewed by a therapist. Soon, the story of how he got there unfolds. A chance internet encounter brings the cute, affable Caleb (Lockhart) and the hunky, older Jeremy (writer/director Rob Moretti) together. Jeremy seduces the vulnerable young man with compliments, attention and above all, the promise of a secure relationship. Caleb, mentally abused as a child by his emotionally erratic mother and now wary of romance, succumbs to Jeremy’s advances and a sensual affair begins. But beneath Caleb’s shy smile and innocent eyes lies a troubled young man, and Jeremy harbors his own dark secrets and lies which, together, threaten the relationship. This budding love affair soon triggers an unexpected chain of events as trust is violated, tempers are unleashed and Caleb’s destructive side takes over. Lockhart is excellent in a demanding role that exposes hidden demons buried deep inside.
2011, Great Britain
All is not what it seems when a simple trip to reunite a long-lost family member turns darkly violent in this taut, sexy, beautifully photographed British thriller. Rick (David Paisley), Jonny (Jonathan Keane) and Sadie (Christina De Vallee) venture from London to the small, unusual town of Amen – an isolated community wary of strangers. The threesome’s relationship is a bit complicated – handsome Rick and nervous Jonny are secret lovers, while Rick plays boyfriend to Sadie (who knows the score and doesn’t mind). Rick wants to surprise Sadie on her birthday by reuniting her with her sister, Corinne (Jill Riddiford, delivering a supremely unsettling performance), someone she has not seen since the death of their mother when they were children. But all is not right, and strange warnings abound – there are the creepy hand-waving townsfolk; the too welcoming sister; the pub and its hooded drinkers; and that photo of a mysterious man that seems to be on every wall. Mixing themes of religious fanaticism, sexual freedom, morality, inbreeding, and madness, Unhappy Birthday a thriller of the most ominous variety – one inspired by such British horror classics as The Wicker Man, David Mackenzie’s The Last Great Wilderness and a whole plethora of Hammer Films.
2011, United States
Director: Charlie Vaughn
Time is running out for Jasin (Jason Lockhart) and his vampire brood. In order for them to survive, Jasin needs to find a mortal whom he can to turn into a vampire and spend eternity with. Luckily, Los Angeles provides plenty of young candidates. The brood has their eyes set on Tara (Zasu), a young, gorgeous blonde college student. Tara is open to the idea of becoming a vampire, but someone else enters the picture to disrupt the brood’s plans. Caleb (Christian Ferrer) is a fresh faced college student, new to Los Angeles, who keeps dreaming of a mysterious stranger. At school, Caleb meets the stranger, Jasin, and the two share is an instant connection. The brood, however is short on time. Jasin needs to convince his new crush Caleb that eternity as a vampire can be a very sweet life. Vampire Boys is the pretty much that gay man’s answer to The Twilight Saga. Released at the height of that infamous franchise’s popularity, this film aims to satisfy fans of angsty, gothic young adult romances who prefer boys who like boys. It’s not the most capably made flick, but hey, neither are the Twilight movies!
1998, Great Britain
Director: Will Gould
Released back in 1998, The Wolves of Kromer is a dark, funny fairy tale about sexy gay werewolves, murderous old ladies and a quaint English town bent on getting rid of those who seem a bit different. The story centers around the goings-on of two couples: Seth and Gabriel (Lee Williams and James Layton), a pair of werewolves who live outside the village of Kromer; and two tottering old women (Rita Davies and Margaret Towner) who share a secret. Young Seth, thrown out of his house after coming out as wolf, meets up with the worldlier Gabriel who, attracted to his fair face and bushy tail, takes him under his wing. They spend their nights foraging for food by the lake outside the village, hanging out with other wolves, playfully terrorizing the townsfolk and eventually falling in love with each other. All the while in the town, the seemingly harmless old house servants – the scheming Fanny and her daffy accomplice Doreen – plot to knock off their mistress Mrs. Drax (Rosemarie Dunham) and direct blame on the wolves. Tensions between the nocturnal animals and the hypocritical townsfolk come to a head as the town’s fire-and-brimstone preacher riles everyone up against the ostracized wolves. Oh… and the whole thing is lovingly narrated by Boy George as his most fabulous! Filled with tender romanticism, social satire and laugh-out-loud humor, this modern-day gay parable is a delight and something of an unheralded classic.
2015, United States
Director: Jim Hansen
An intriguing mix of horror and romantic comedy, You’re Killing Me shows what happens when George (the hilarious Jeffrey Self), a narcissistic wannabe internet star, meets Joe (Matthew McKellingon), a monotone serial killer. George catches Joe’s attention and they immediately begin dating. While all of George’s friends agree that Joe seems a bit strange, George claims his new beau “isn’t scary, he’s gorgeous.” As George’s friends start to disappear, the remaining group decides to take matters into their own hands. Directed and co-written by Jim Hansen (creator of “The Chloe Videos” with Drew Droege, among many other clever projects), this gay mix of “Dexter” and “Gilmore Girls” blends witty banter, pop culture references and good old-fashioned murder. Lead actors Matthew McKelligon and Jeffery Self are adorable and create a sweet, credible chemistry despite the fact that one of them is playing a psychopathic killer. You’re Killing Me is a hilarious, pitch-perfect dark romantic horror-comedy.
2009, United States
Director: Kevin Hamedani
Don’t miss this blood, gore and guts-packed zombie movie made with a pro-gay sensibility. Taking place in the peaceful island town of Port Gamble, Washington, Zombies of Mass Destruction puts its political agenda up-front and center – along with the flesh-eating zombies of the title, of course. Conservative Mayor Burton is facing a challenge from liberal teacher Cheryl Banks. The Reverend Haggis preaches his homophobic rhetoric to a half-empty church. The Iranian-American daughter of the owner of the local diner, Frida, is home from Princeton. Tom and his boyfriend Lance are returning for a visit with mom (with Tom planning to finally come out), but they are interrupted by the small matter of the bite on mom’s neck. The blood and guts start flying fast and furious. Mom becomes a zombie and the two gay men look out the window to see a town being overrun by the gruesome creatures. On the run, the guys end up in the church, locked in with a small group of crazed religious conservatives who bring out their “ex-gay” equipment – it’s either that or out the door to be eaten. Meanwhile, Frida has been taken hostage by an insane bigot who thinks that the zombies are Muslim terrorists, and that Frida is one of them. A political satire in disguise as a zombie movie or a horror film with a conscience? Either way, Zombies of Mass Destruction is buckets of blood-soaked, left-of-center fun.
Well, that concludes out list. We hope to do many more like that in the future. Maybe we’ll tackle porn-specific horror next year. That’s a whole niche into itself! We hope you enjoyed reading along. Visit us at TLAgay.com for all your home entertainment needs. Happy Halloweening!