Sexuality and gender have been thematically embedded into horror since the Gothic term originated sometime during the eighteenth century. Whether our on-screen heroes (and villains!) are just queer coded or they explicitly display some form of same-sex affection & gender variance, the fear-ridden environments that they live in often blur the lines between fiction and reality. Here is a list of twelve notable LGBTQ+ genre works to check out in this summer.
1). Vampyres (1974)
José Ramón Larraz
Rooted in the trope of lesbian vampirism, this undervalued British production takes a bisexual turn, following two female lovers (Marianne Morris and Anulka Dziubinska) who are resurrected with a taste for blood, no matter where it comes from.
It’s sleazy from the start; both women shot to death in the opening minute, but quickly amps up the gore and erotica as they prey on others from sequence to sequence. Shot over a three week period at the iconic Hammer horror set, Oakley Court.
2. Cruising (1980)
Seven years after the release of his supernatural classic, The Exorcist, New Hollywood writer-director William Friedkin returns to the horror genre with this controversial crime-thriller.
Al Pacino leads as an undercover cop, posing as a gay man in order to track down a serial killer that is actively hunting those involved in Manhattan’s leather scene. With the ambiguity in its title and the open ending at hand, protests plagued the picture — yet it remains a brutal love letter all these years later.
Born a few towns over from the infamous Amityville Horror house, Steven Thomas has been fascinated with the genre for as long as he can remember. His love for horror stemmed from the likes of Goosebumps and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, and was amplified with the release of Scream 4 in his elementary years. Between writing frequent capsule reviews on Letterboxd and plotting to become the next “master of horror”, Steven currently studies Film & Media at CUNY Queens College.