Dim the lights, grab the popcorn – and tons of candy. Treat yourself to one of Halloween season’s finest indulgences: creepy, spooky, gory, goosebump-inducing horror flix and TV shows. These shows and films (by gay filmmakers and/or staring prominent gay characters) are certain to offer some good scares and perhaps even a few laughs.
“The Hunger” has long held cult status not only as a horror flick, but also for its ties to the 1980s goth-rock scene. Bauhaus’ “Bela Legosi’s Dead” can be heard over the opening credits. Starring Catherine Deneuve, David Bowie and Susan Surandon, the erotic vampire classic tells the story of John (Bowie) who, after becoming Miriam’s (Denueve) lover only obtains immortality–but not eternal youth, as his body continues to age at a staggering rate. The film is loosely based on Whitley Strieber’s novel of the same name. It’s streaming on HBO Max.
2004’s “Hellbent” is often celebrated as the first gay slasher film. After making the rounds in the gay/lesbian festival circuit, it finally obtained limited theatrical release in 2005. The film was written and directed by Paul Etheredge-Ouzts and stars Dylan Fergus, Bryan Kirkwood and Hank Harris. It involves a group of gay friends on a night out in West Hollywood who visit a crime scene where a gay couple was recently decapitated. Little do they know the sickle-bearing killer is lurking nearby and begins to take their trail. The soundtrack features classic queercore bands like Pansy Division. It’s streaming on Spectrum, Here and Prime Video.
This Netflix exclusive probably fits the thriller/dark comedy genres rather than horror, but it is a satirical and deeply unsettling look at the greed-laden world of art collectors. “Velvet Buzzsaw’s” all-star cast includes Jack Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Toni Collete and John Malkovich. Within the discovered works of an unknown artist resides a supernatural force that enacts revenge on the collectors who have polluted the art scene with their greed.
“Chucky” TV series
The long-running “Child’s Play” horror movie series now has a TV series named after its terrifying killer doll, “Chucky.” It returns for a second season this month on SyFy and USA. The show stars Zackary Arthur, Björgvin Arnarson and Alyvia Alyn Lin and is a sequel to the franchise’s seventh film “Cult of Chucky.” Jack (Arthur) uses a good guy doll he purchases at a garage sale for his art project. It turns out the doll is possessed by Chucky’s soul. In this latest season a gay romance blooms between Jack and his friend Devon.
“Otto; or Up with Dead People”
“Otto” is a 2008 Zombie b-flick made by gay filmmaker Bruce la Bruce. Set in Berlin, Jay Crisfar plays Otto, who is convinced he is a zombie. He encounters a documentarian who decides to make Otto the focus of his new film project. Part zombie film, part mockumentary and way over the top, Otto embraces all the hallmarks that makes b-horror so campy and unique. It’s streaming on Tubi and Prime Video.