Horror Eleganza – #HORROR Fashion Tribute

#HORROR was a 2015 slasher film that received mostly mixed reviews from critics and fans. As far as slashers go, it was too “indie” and artsy and experimental. And as far as artsy, experimental horror films go, it was slightly boring and irritating. But the genre vet cast, moments of intense visuals, and actual cast of young teenage girls allowed it a rightful spot within the wide realm of horror. 

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As part of its release promotion, PAPER magazine dolled up the film’s stars as some of the genre’s most iconic characters. Using designs from Screaming Mimi’s and Burberry, among others, the ladies paid tribute to the history of horror, while their new film was busy expanding it. 

ABOVE: Tayrn Manning, as Marion Crane in Psycho. Stella Schnabel, echoing Edith from Eyes Without a Face.

BELOW: Chloe Sevigny, drenched in blood like Carrie White. Annabelle Dexter-Jones, channeling Julie Christie in Don’t Look  Now. Natasha Lyonne is Repulsion. And scream queen Lydia Hurst is carrying Rosemary’s Baby. FINAL: Director Tara Subkoff, inspired by Hitchcock’s The Birds.

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See the whole slide-show here! http://www.papermag.com/chloe-sevigny-horror-carrie-1484814770.html?slide=ycTJqJ

Queering Stephen King’s IT

When news began spreading that Stephen King’s IT was finally getting a theatrical adaption, I was equal parts excited and concerned. The original miniseries from 1990 was tame and bound by time constraints, but it remains a nostalgic and sinister cult classic for horror fans. So when news on this new project started leaking, I found myself called to revisit both the miniseries event and the novel itself.

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REVISITING IT

I’d seen the miniseries once or twice in the few years, but I’d only ever attempted reading the novel once before when I was in middle school. As you could expect, my eighth grade mind was almost incapable of understanding much of the prose and subtext King filled his pages with. I’m certain I made it only half way through before realizing I wasn’t able of devouring the novel like I had so many others in those years. But a few plot points from IT were strong enough to remain seeded in my memory. Chapters like when Ben is hunted down by Henry Bowers and his bully friends, or when Mike’s dad recounts a tale of arson at an African American social club. But what perhaps remains in my memory the most is the novel’s inclusion and discussion of queer characters, and the reactive behaviors toward them by other characters.

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The fact that I remember those certain passages from a novel I’d attempted to read in my youth is not too surprising. For a young, closeted gay boy, such topics found in books or film or on TV were almost like taboo learning experiences. Media expressions that spoke to the silenced part of me I barely even realized I was actively hiding away. Scenes and passages I figured I wasn’t supposed to be learning about, at least not yet, but instinctively knew I needed to anyway. The sitcom Roseanne, MTV’s The Real World, Christopher Rice’s A Density of Souls,and King’s IT. All these works of entertainment I was easily able to watch and read without drawing suspicion from my family or friends. To them, I was simply watching a show millions of others were watching. I was a child reading an adult novel, which was much more preferable than a child getting into trouble. But in truth, I was learning.

As I said, the news of the coming adaptation, coupled with the fact that I’m an adult now whose social media presence revolves around horror experienced from the queer angle, easily set me on a path to finally reading King’s behemoth of a novel in full. And despite it, in all honesty, being a chore to get through (It took me from August until the following January to finish), I was glad I returned to the novel and am now able to relate to those remembered parts of it as an out gay man.

QUEER FEAR IN DERRY

After finishing King’s novel, I browsed the internet for other reactions and reviews by queer readers, interested in seeing what thoughts others had towards the work and certain characterizations. There were few, mostly brief mentions on forums or in the comments section of articles about King’s bibliography in a broad sense. But I quickly noticed one reaction more prominent than any other, and was surprised to hear that others found IT to be a homophobic novel.

The notion of this ran a short spectrum, from those claiming that King’s queer characters were simply unrealistic, cliché, or villainous, to those vehemently accusing the horror author of blatant homophobia. I, who had gotten none of these feelings from reading the novel, was curious as to what I had missed.

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To understand what others had been offended by, you would have to have read the novel yourself and then chose to either agree or disagree, but allow me to relate to you the shorthand version of the queer aspects of Stephen King’s IT.

The novel, about several youths banding together to defeat a sinister force killing in their hometown and then regrouping as adults to kill it once and for all, has more gay characters and passages than many modern novels. This is the first thing I’ll relate. Whether they are side characters making questionable judgments or outright villains, that’s a separate issue. But when a popular author’s novels even bother to include queer characters, especially in older works, I feel it’s something to recognize. Now we may move on.

Probably the biggest inclusion of queerness into King’s novel is the story’s inciting incident, for lack of a more apt term. In 1984, Don and Adrian, a gay couple living in Derry, Maine, are accosted and then attacked by three other young men and the incident ends in Adrian’s death. The two men are described as being effeminate and outlandish, and the attack is identifiable as a hate crime (as we lawfully know the term today). The Derry police are indifferent, at best, about the victims’ lifestyles, but committed to solving the crime and pinning charges on the suspects. When our group of protagonists reunite in Derry to discuss the latest murders, they discuss this hateful attack, but the gay men are never made fun of or talked about negatively.

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The second-most prominent instance comes in the character of, Patrick Hocksetter, one of the bullies led by Henry Bowers, who terrorize the protagonists throughout their childhood in the late 1950’s. Patrick is described as mentally unstable, physically unappealing, and all-around disturbing, but as his character is further developed, we learn he has much darker aspects. Patrick, suffering from the delusion that only he is truly a “real” being, is responsible for not only the death of several small animals, but also of his baby brother. And amid this delusion, he lives life simply as he desires, acting on every whim and attraction. This comes across boldly when Patrick and Henry are left alone in a dumping ground and Patrick begins to sexually entice his leader with a handjob. Henry rebuffs the advance when Patrick attempts to elevate the encounter to include oral sex, but Patrick is not ashamed or even particularly dissuaded by this reaction. Rather, he provokes Henry, reminding him of his arousal. Henry’s reaction to all of this includes threats to out Patrick as not only gay, but as a psychopath as well.

Much of the novel’s other instances of queerness come in the form of thoughts and dialogue by main and side characters, usually while describing other unseen characters. Derry townsfolk talk about which lifestyle choices are good indicators of one’s potential homosexuality. Beverly’s husband mentions a professional acquaintance probably being a lesbian with an appetite for models. Eddie, the small and “sickly” runt of the friends, is often called a fag by the bullies while also being tormented by It, which takes the form of a frightening leper who offers to perform oral sex on him.

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I suppose it’s easy to posit that a novel with no queer characters is better than a novel, like IT, which delivers queer characters to us that are either represented negatively or are the victims of violence. Personally, I argue the opposite, long holding the belief of equality among villains, heroes, and victims. I also don’t believe King himself to be homophobic at all, knowing through his other works that he has presented a variety of queer men and women, and through his personal statements and actions in response to politics and popular news.

On the whole, I found King’s inclusion of queerness in IT neither distasteful or pleasant, needless or necessary. It simply was, just as real life often has it be. Certainly a queer hero would have been welcome, but sometimes gay men are victims instead. Sometimes psychopaths will use sex as a tool, regardless the gender of their victim. Sometimes small town people have small minds and say ignorant things. And all of this will be true until the end of time.

THE RETURN OF IT

Naturally, the question now as I’ve reached this point, is what will the novel’s new film adaption include of its original queerness, if anything?

The project has already taken other steps to improve upon the 1990 miniseries (which included none of the novel’s queerness). The new adaptation has cast Owen Teague as Patrick, fueling speculation by many that the movie will actually include the tense sexual encounter Patrick and Henry share in the novel. However, there has been no statement confirming these rumors. A quick tweet to the actor, hoping to confirm anything about this, sadly got no real answer.

Owen Teague @RealOwenTeague Jan 14 @MidniteMovieGay Sorry not free to say what’s in #It movie, adaptation of very long book. It’ll stand alone as a strong film.’

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Personally, this response seems to hint that the film will in fact not include the controversial scene. The mention of how long the novel is and reassuring us that the movie will stand strong by itself almost reads as ‘The film can’t include everything from the book. Sorry.’

One thing I do know for sure is that I, and certainly others, will be disappointed (and probably a little irritated too) if the adaptation leaves out any of the content I’ve mentioned. The novel may be considerably large, but to ignore such a powerful inciting incident or deep characterizations will undoubtedly come across as disingenuous. Until then, we can only hope that director Andres Muschietti and the producers will see this project through with a dedication to inclusion and faithfulness.

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Dead Guys I Would’ve Dated

I’m all about being an equal opportunist when it comes to my attraction and objectification of men. Race, religion, sexual orientation, age, stages of life or death. I’m here for it all! This post today though is a chance for me to focus on the later criteria, because sometimes even a little gore isn’t enough to cover up a good-hearted man. 

Johnny Dingle – My Boyfriend’s Back

Who doesn’t love a determined guy? Yeah, it also comes off as a bit needy, but when a guy comes back from the dead in order to take you to prom, you can’t help but be wooed. 

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Malcom Crowe – The Sixth Sense

Bruce Willis has always been, and probably always will be, daddy af. Even people who hate that term would be hard-pressed to disagree. But his character of Dr. Crowe in The 6th Sense amps up the emotional side of this normally grizzled hunk and the result is warm feelings in several parts of my body. The fact that is body will remain deathly cold forever is a non-issue! 

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Frank – Donnie Darko

Most know Frank as the disturbingly tall bunny who appears to the tormented Donnie. But all it takes is that scene during an Evil Dead theater screening to remember that a young man lives (lived?) beneath that costume. And he’s kinda hot, even with that eyeball issue.

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Adam Maitland – Beetlejuice

Another mature (read: daddy af) hunk now permanently “living” on the other side, Adam holds all the qualities I like in a hot-dad-next-door cliche. He’s a little preppy, a little country. A bit nerdy, but very nice and romantic. And probably, but definitely a little wild in bed. Definitely.

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Royce Clayton (aka The Torn Prince) – THIR13EN GHOSTS

Sure. He’s got a bad attitude. But he’s athletic, brave, and damn handsome too, despite the carnage his, ahem, accident caused. Would bone.

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Jack – An American Werewolf in London

He’s snarky. He’s cute. He’s adventurous and a faithful friend. He’s completely torn to shreds. Yeah, that last past might make things a little more complicated, but love has traversed deeper valleys full of werewolves. Right?

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Victor Pascow – Pet Sematary

Victor probably had a lot going for him when he was alive, but even death couldn’t rob him of motivation and purpose. Returning as a gory specter, he fought hard in order to steer Dr. Creed and his family away from the dark forces around them. Wise, handsome, protective, forever left to wear some little red jogging shorts. I could deal with that.

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Whattaya say folks? Would you give a dead guy a chance? Or would the whole “constantly bloody, usually incorporeal” aspect be a deal-breaker? Let me know how you feel and drop me a line if you have any other suggestions for dateable dead guys!

 

2016 MMG Review/2017 Resolutions

To be honest, 2016 was kind of a blah year. And that’s true even if you completely remove the fact that we elected a fucking trash-douche adult baby for President and lost so many great icons. On the home front, I personally slugged through the year in a city I didn’t love with jobs that were not fulfilling. And due to circumstances, another 9 months may hold more of the same. That saiiiiddd……

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It’s always important to keep an eye on the positive things that happened. And so that’s what this end of the year post will be about. Focusing on the good things from 2016 and the excitement for what’s coming in 2017!

First up, video games! Which is weird since I’m not a gamer. Like, at all. But I did play through The Last of Us for a fourth time and it coincided perfectly with the teaser trailer for The Last of Us: PART II. So much excitement.

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Similarly, I was able to download the Friday the 13th game’s beta test version just this past month. While I was only able to successfully join in one game before servers became too over-burdened, I saw enough to know I can’t wait for this game to come out. Mainly a co-op game, I’m most excited for the single player option which will allow me to play as the iconic final guy of the franchise, Tommy Jarvis.  

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As for horror and genre flicks, I can’t say 2016 will be known as a memorable one for releases. Granted I haven’t seen every genre release from this year, but I feel like it’s safe to say that The Purge: Election Year was the highlight for me… and that’s kind of like saying the kid who got a C+ average is the valedictorian of his class. However, there are already several films I’m very excited for in the coming year.

Get Out, The Dark Tower, SplitLogan, Power Rangers, and the boner-inducing IT have me drooling at the mouth. And these are only the popularly mentioned releases, so who knows what gems will pop out of nowhere and onto VOD/Netflix.

As for the blog and Midnight Movie Gay’s overall “social presence”, I do have a few changes for the coming year with hopes to expand its reach and return with a focus of helping the LGBTQ horror community gain more exposure.

I will also continue shaping and evolving my Horror Hometown mug line (http://www.zazzle.com/midnight_movie_gay), of which I’ve shockingly sold several already, with plans for more merchandise later in 2017. 

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All in all, I’m honestly excited for this new year. I’ve never put much faith into the rolling of a date causing significant changes to one’s life, but if 2017 is even marginally better than 2016 has been, I’ll consider it a win. 

Happy New Year, all you horror fiends!

-MMG

Horror Hometown Mugs!

The holidays are in full swing now, and so I figured it was finally time to make an “official” announcement about a pet project of mine; HORROR HOMETOWNS!

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Horror Hometowns are simple designs I’ve created in order to fit onto coffee mugs. I was inspired by Starbucks’ ‘You Are Here’ mugs for various cities and, horror geek that I am, really wanted ones for my favorite fictional towns. So I began creating them, just for fun, and setting the designs up on a Zazzle store – http://www.zazzle.com/midnight_movie_gay . Lo and behold, others seemed to like them too and I was able to sell a few!

Currently, I have designs for Camp Crystal Lake (Friday the 13th), Haddonfield (Halloween), Woodsboro (Scream), Springwood (Nightmare on Elm St.), Perfection (Tremors), Antonio Bar (The Fog), Briarville (Ernest Scared Stupid), East Travis County (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), and Bedford (Black Christmas). So far, those who have purchased from my Zazzle store have seemed to enjoy their designed mugs and that thrills me!

THE GIST: I am working on many other designs, so that eventually there will be a large collection of Horror Hometowns for people to pick and choose from. Future plans are set up for Poltergeist, 30 Days of Night, Critters, Jaws, and many many more. I will also be doing alternate designs for our favorite towns like Haddonfield and Crystal Lake!

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And for the sake of transparency, what I get from all of this is, trust me, very little haha. I’m honestly making these just to spread some horror fandom love and nothing more. I make just over ONE single dollar for every mug I do sell and I will usually just end up putting those funds towards getting mugs of my own.

So head on over to the store folks, if you wish, and take a gander. If you see one you like and decide to buy, give me a holler and I’ll give you an appreciative shoutout! And if you don’t see anything you like, well just check back later for other hometowns to pop up!

http://www.zazzle.com/midnight_movie_gay

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(Finally, as a quick side note, if you sign up for a Zazzle account to get their emails, they do 30-50% off sales fairly often and this drops the price of the mugs even further.)

Thanks for allowing me this brief bit of promotion my dear readers. And I’m hoping you are having a great holiday season and I wish you well into the new year!

-MMG

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Kill Me Anytime pt 3 -Even More Horror Villains I’d Love to Die For

So, Thanksgiving just passed and I had time to reflect on all the things I’m thankful for. Family. Friends. Health. Eggnog. And, of course, hunky and handsome horror villains! So join me as I spread some holiday cheer with a third round of Horror Villains I’d Love to Die For!

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Negan – The Walking Dead

His (live action) character is relatively new in the horror genre, but there’s no ignoring just how seductive and dangerous Negan is. His swagger, his arrogance, his grizzled face, his cocky smile, those snug low-rise jeans. And of course, his big, thick, swinging… bat.

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Dracula – Dracula 2000

This is probably Gerard Butler’s most awkward phase of his acting career. And while I can’t say I’m a fan of his dark, stringy hair, I am a fan of those fangs.

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David & The Lost Boys – The Lost Boys

David makes me the blood-thirstiest, but I don’t think I’d say no to any of the other boys in this rowdy group either. Again, the long hair isn’t my favorite thing in the world, but at least it compliments the rock-metal 80’s vibe these vamps ride on.

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Ivan & Slick – Hobo with a Shotgun

It’s no secret I love douchey yuppie bros, but they’re all basically just human versions of puppies; dumb and cute. Ivan and Slick are psychotic and twisted, but at least they wear black and have some sexy jawlines.

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The Collector – Demon Knight

I’ve never really found Billy Zane attractive except for in this film, and I’m certain that his demonic cockiness has something to do with that fact. The cowboy hat and duster may have also helped.

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The Torn Prince – THIR13EN GHOSTS

It takes some imagination, but if you picture this gory, ghostly greaser as he might have been alive… you know he was just dreamy. Here, I’ll even help you with the visualization with a picture of the hottie actor who played him! (Craig Olejnik)

Daniel Robitaille – Candyman

This movie is what spawned the frequently used phrase, “tall, dark, and handsome”. I’m 100% sure of it. Extra points to the Candyman for knowing how to work a pimp coat so effortlessly.

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So there you have it. A third heaping helping of the ultimate bad boys you can’t just help but love. Sure, they might kill you just as soon as they would kiss you and smack you on the ass, but wouldn’t it be well worth the risk?

Go Fuck Yourself, I Liked the RHPS TV Tribute.

On Thursday, a new TV-broadcast version of the cult classic musical The Rocky Horror Picture Show aired. Among my friends, associates, followers, and peers, its very existence that day seemed to bring out the worst in many of them. Almost immediately my timeline on Twitter and Facebook was filled with disdain, hate, and negativity directed towards the project. And though I knew I wouldn’t be able to watch until Friday night, I could already tell that the negative reactions were absolutely not warranted. 

Flash-forward to today, when I watch the production at home with my fiance, and just sit baffled and kind of pissed at all the hate I saw people spewing towards the show. In no way was it a perfect production, but since when was RHPS ever about being perfect? So I’m here just to take a stand against what I saw as an unwanted, unneeded, and misguided wave of negativity towards the adaption. In short….

GO FUCK YOURSELF, I ENJOYED IT!

Let me explain why.

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