To help folks get in the mood for a weekend of queer horror, FRIGHTGOWN co-founder Joe Lipsett has put together a list of essential titles. All of these films are tied to the event (tickets available here; all proceeds go to the Transgender Law Centre), but, regardless of your orientation, they’re a great way to wrap up Pride Month with a scream!
Brad Michael Elmore’s progressive feminist vampire film stars trans lead Nicole Maines as a girl who gets involved with a bad(ass) quartet of female vampires in Los Angeles. The film is fun, bloody and sexy, but, because of COVID, got buried last year and it’s only now being celebrated as an essential queer horror text.
FRIGHTGOWN tie-in: ‘Bit and The Future of Trans Representation’ Panel
Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker (1981)
William Asher’s under-seen-verging-on-lost classic is the rare 1980s horror film with a sympathetic perspective on queer people. The homophobic police detective investigating poor, bewildered teen, Billy Lynch is the true villain, while Susan Tyrell’s performance as a mother who loves her son just a little too much is a masterclass in pure camp.
FRIGHTGOWN tie-in: Sunday’s Twitter Watch Party
Bride of Chucky (1997)
Also known as “The One Where Chucky Gets Gay.” Bride of Chucky is the fourth entry in the Child’s Play series, which just happens to coincide with creator Don Mancini taking over the reins of the franchise. In addition to the introduction of Queen Jennifer Tilly as Tiffany, the film boasts a cameo by Alexis Arquette and one of the earliest “out” queer characters in a slasher film in the form of Jade and Jesse’s bestie, David (Gordon Michael Woolvett).
FRIGHTGOWN tie-in: Queer Horror Podcast Sampler
Clive Barker is queer horror royalty, though most fans tend to focus on his 1987 feature directorial debut, Hellraiser. Barker’s big swing came in 1991 when he directed Nightbreed, the first film in a planned franchise based on his novella Cabal. The world of the film is rich and vibrant, bursting with Barker’s usual interest in religion, sexuality, and Otherness. Nightbreed may be messy and imperfect, but its creator’s ambition and creativity are undeniable.
Prom Night 2: Hello Mary Lou (1987)
What began as a simple sequel to a so-so Jamie Lee Curtis slasher has been uplifted by the queer community to the status of must-watch gem. The film’s villain – an unapologetically sex-positive teen girl who is electrocuted to death at prom – is emblematic of the sassy, deviant, in-your-face attitude that queer people love to celebrate.
FRIGHTGOWN tie-in: Queer Horror Podcast Sampler and Saturday’s Twitter Watch Party
One of the most quietly devastating queer horror films of the last decade is Erlingur Thoroddsen’s Rift, an Icelandic film about the destructive fall-out between two men. Featuring stunningly gorgeous landscapes that complement the cool narrative, this art-house horror film is an accomplished masterpiece.
FRIGHTGOWN tie-in: Monsters in the Closet: Q&A with author Harry Benshoff
Tell us if you’re heard this one before: a confused religious girl attempts to escape her oppressive mother while managing her burgeoning telekinetic powers. But it’s not Carrie; it’s Norwegian director Joachim Trier’s 2017 film Thelma, which prominently features a lesbian storyline embedded in the titular character’s coming of age story. Beautifully shot and haunting in its ramifications, Thelma is a modern gem.
FRIGHTGOWN tie-in: Gaylords of Darkness Necronomologue
FRIGHTGOWN runs from Friday June 25th to Sunday, June 27th 2021. Grab your tickets here!