Horror is often the easiest film genre to pass off as absolute mindless entertainment. Outsiders, and even some fans, are blinded by the bloody gags and jump scares and sometimes prevented from noticing the subtle themes these films have. Even seasoned genre fans can miss the thinly veiled subtext until they watch a movie two, three, even four more times.
While being distracted with fear and dark humor, it’ easy for us to forget that there’s an entire selection of films out there explicitly using sexuality as a villain. It’s easy to dismiss the decade-centric cultural themes in each of Romero’s original “dead trilogy” or to mistake the advancement of final girl mythology as simple script quirks.
Naturally, I’m writing here to discuss a very specific example of underlying theme in horror. And that theme just so happens to be the sweet, tantalizing notion of heterosexual, “no homo” bound MAN LOVE.
So join me in looking back at several of the most popular and “un”-intentionally homoerotic horror films out there!
When the movie was released in 2006, it was destined to be flop, which was in turn destined to be a small cult classic. Teen girls and young gay boys went wild over it thanks to its cast of Abercrombie abs and CW faces. It was easy to infer, however, that the story was about more than just witch bros hanging out together. Themes of manhood, male rites of passage, bonding, and connectivity ran throughout. Also, there was the fact that they all enjoyed being shirtless around each other quite a bit.
Jeepers Creepers 2
This monster flick has 100% more bros than its predecessor, and the script calls for them to do many bro things things together. They peeing in a straight line, casually glancing towards one another. They have an impromptu tanning sessions on top of their team bus. Also, one of the bro’s deaths gives a new meaning to “getting some head.”
Personal thoughts about the creator of the Jeepers Creepers films aside (look him up), JC2 is one of the most discussed homoerotic horror films out there. And, as the pictures below indicate, it has good reason to be.
First and foremost about Hostel is that even just the posters are homoerotic. One of them features a nearly nude and masked hunk who has a chainsaw jutting up from his pelvis, and the other (a’la Maniac) has a killer in tight jeans sporting an obvious hard-on.
Beyond the posters? Well, Hostel is a movie that basically opens with a trio of guys who bang chicks together. It’s no-homo though because there’s chicks there too. Later in the film, we get a glimpse of a cannibal eating another man and then a full scene of some psycho taking his frustrations, or maybe just his desires, out on one of the bound hunks.
Eli Roth, a filmmaker often called out for his gory, bro-y brand of horror and his lack of worthwhile female characters, is responsible for the homoerotic opus that is Hostel.
The Lost Boys
Most fans of this cult vampire flick will admit that Sam, one of the main characters, is almost certainly gay . It’s never stated, but his sense of fashion is top notch and he has a shirtless poster of Rob Lowe in his bedroom. However, he’s not the only gay thing about the movie.
The Lost Boys, decked out in rough leather and teased hair, are a perfect blood-soaked example of “brotherly” love and companionship. And there must be some reasoning as to why Star is the only female vampire around. Was she perhaps a mistake? And then of course there’s David’s jealousy-driven bromance with the newly turned Michael. Homohorrorerotica at its finest, my friends.
POST NOTE: I’d be remiss if I didn’t include this deleted scene of Michael hanging out in his underwear and his brother Sam kneeling strangely close to his junk. Strange I say, since they’re brothers, but I’m still pervy enough to dig it.
Interview with the Vampire
Like the final example on this list, Interview with the Vampire is now widely regarded more as a “gay horror film” than just normal film with homoerotic overtones. But once upon a time, viewers who’d clearly never read any of Anne Rice’s novels were unable to notice the film’s queer subtext. And it was all so crazily obvious!
Lestat turns Louis into a vampire for some companionship. Louis’s regret over his murder of a child sees her turned as well, putting the two men into a “my two dads” scenario. Later in the film, fellow vampire Armand even takes a liking towards Louis. The movie was really just a long story about Louis’s terrible taste in men.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge
The leather granddaddy of them all! This movie has everything! S&M gym teachers. Dusty, sporty jock fights.. in jocks. Locker room towel whippings. Sexual innuendos and visual metaphors. Secret boys-only sleepovers. Solo dance parties in the bedroom. How could you go wrong with such a gem! Or more importantly, how could you miss the heavy homoerotica of it all?
Now sure, this is a stretch when it comes to being “homoerotic” since it’s very clearly recognized as a gay horror film now, but I think it’s still worthy of inclusion since it was technically released as a film meant to appeal to general straight audiences.
Also, if you’re a queer horror fan, or even just a queer cinema fan, and have not seen this yet, go now and watch. It’s an absolute must and a prime example of just how blind audiences can be when it comes to the themes embedded into film.
Follow the blog for future suggestions of homohorrorerotica, and if you have any examples you can recall yourself, please send them my way!
Stay sexy, horror fiends!