Happy Halloween! (aka Horror Films Made Me Gay)
Posted on October 31, 2011
Yes, you read the title correctly. Horror films made me gay. Don’t believe me? Then I’ve got three words for you; Elm Street 2! Aside from that, the truth is that I grew up watching horror movies, mostly because my father had a sweet tooth for them and mom didn’t. So, if he was going to watch any, he did that with me. And Halloween is one of the few times that even my guy doesn’t give me a hard time about popping in a few scary flicks. Another truth, but a sad truth, is that I’ve seen wayyyyyy too many of these films, which is why I’m going to entertain you with some of my catty thoughts on them. Ready to have a little fun?
Let’s start with an easy one, Friday the 13th. The first one scares the hell out of me to this day! It feels like it could actually happen and it’s shot in a very authentic, almost realistic way. Harry Manfredini’s score continues to make my heart race to this day. I even liked Part 2. Steve Miner gave us an intelligent and resourceful heroine to root for in actress Amy Steel. Love her! Part 3 jumped the shark a bit, but Part 4 brought it back and gave us a terrific of a finish. Everything after that jumped the shark all over again. I will say, though, that Kane Hodder remains the most imposing and best Jason EVER.
The remake? Awful. Director Marcus Nispel wanted to make a Friday the 13th film, but ended up getting confused and making another Hills Have Eyes sequel. And…okay, can we cut the crap and be honest here? The real reason the film flopped is because you never kill the token cute Asian character off without a sensational nude/sex scene, preferably a same-sex one. Aaron Woo’s character’s death is definitely the most painful to watch and not just because he doesn’t have a nude scene. The movie just sucked and not in the good way and not as bad another high-profile remake.
Yes, let’s move on to the A Nightmare on Elm Street series. The first film? Classic. It just isn’t going to be beaten. Well, not until the second film and that’s mostly beating off. My father took me to see Elm Street 2 and, when we left, I remember thanking him and telling him how much I liked it. The poor guy just kinda stared at me and muttered “Yeah…that was interesting.” Hey, it made me respect my gym teachers at school. If they don’t like you, you’ll wind up running into them at a gay leather bar, they’ll bring you back to the school, make you work out, take a nude shower with them and then you’ll smack their ass with a towel. Rent it. You’ll see what I’m talking about.
Fortunately, Elm Street 3 brought things back on track, 4 was okay, 5 was weak, New Nightmare was outstanding, Freddy Vs. Jason was absurd and the remake? I felt utterly embarrassed for actor Jackie Earle Haley. He’s a better actor than the film deserved. I was embarrassed as a writer that someone was responsible for this heaping piece of shit. This is also the first film I came extremely close to walking out of since Night Patrol. The highlight? Aaron Woo had a cameo, but no nude scene. The film still sucked.
Can anybody guess how many Howling films there are? Eight. I’m sorry, but you’re never going to do any better than classics like An American Werewolf In London and The Howling for practical werewolf transformation effects. FYI: you can skip the shitty An American Werewolf in Paris. It blew and not in the good way. But the Howling sequels? 2 is so bad that it’s actually entertaining in a train wreck, let’s see how many times Sybil Danning can rip her top off sort of way. Someone actually gave the same jackass who directed it another chance with the third film. He gave us marsupial werewolves. WTF??? 4 was a semi-remake that’s closer to the book, only it was so ineptly shot that even actor Michael T. Weiss (Pretender) can’t save it. For no budget and barely a werewolf, 5 isn’t bad. I enjoyed 5. 6 tried, but jumped the shark and 7 barely ever received a US release. Let’s call it what it is; a smelly, no-budget turkey dropping.
The 8th film just came out a week ago and it’s called The Howling: Reborn. It’s probably got the best budget for this franchise since the first one and looks the most professional to boot, only it might have been more appropriate to have called it XOXO Gossip Werewolf: The Twilight Years. It’s not a horrible film, but it’s not exactly a Howling film either. Excessive male nudity might have helped. No, it definitely would have helped. That and less CGI when it came to the werewolf transformations.
Right, this is getting a bit longer than I’d had in mind, so let’s go to an obvious franchise; Halloween. The first? Classic. Always will be. Halloween 2? Not horrible, not great. 3 was supposed to be the start of something new and, taken as a film by itself, is quite a solid shocker. Dwight Little made an honest effort to elevate 4 and he does an admirable job. It’s too bad part 5 screws it up. The Producer’s Cut of 6 tries something new and is the better version when compared to the standard studio-imposed, decision-by-committee moronic theatrical release. I swear, studio suits are as useless as politicians. H20 was okay, but 7 was so absurd that it made Not Another Gay Sequel seem entertaining.
Now, the Rob Zombie remake and sequel… I LOVED House of 1000 Corpses and The Devils Rejects! I did not care for the remake of Halloween or Halloween 2. They’re visceral and vicious and senselessly so. Did they really add anything to the franchise? Not really.
I could go on. I’ve gone on in my head and covered more films than I have here in this post. But I’ll save you the sarcasm. What I will do before finishing this entry is offer 5 films I do recommend. It’s the least I can do:
1) Insidious (For a film that was made avoiding all the haunted house clichés, the last 10 minutes bring down an otherwise brilliant effort. Still, the director is extremely cute and adorable, so how could we not like this? Trust me…he’s hot and at the moment, I’m shallow.)
2) Phantasm (Stay with the original and skip the nonsensical sequels. And would someone please give Don Coscarelli enough money to make a worthy finale?)
3) The Descent (Again, skip the sequel and stay with the original.)
4) Videodrome (No sequel, no prequel and no remake. It’s deliciously bizarre!)
5) The Changeling (George C. Scott sells this film from beginning to end with one of the very best ghost stories ever to be released!)
And there you have it, folks, all the horror movies that made me the well-adjusted gay man I am today. Enjoy.
And Happy Halloween!
Kristoffer Gair (who formerly wrote under the pseudonym Kage Alan) is the Detroit-based author of Honor Unbound, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My Sexual Orientation, Andy Stevenson Vs. The Lord Of The Loins, Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell, several short stories featured in anthologies (to be combined in a forthcoming book), the recently re-published novella Falling Awake, its sequel, Falling Awake II: Revenant and Falling Awake III: Requiem.
8 Responses to “Happy Halloween! (aka Horror Films Made Me Gay)”
Dorien Grey says:
October 31, 2011 at 9:33 am
Hmmmm…is it just me, or do there seem to be a rather inordinate number of references to Asian directors/actors here? Certainly not a reflection of the writer’s personal preferences, I’m sure. (But yes, they are cute.)
October 31, 2011 at 11:39 am
I know not what you speak about, Mr. Grey. lol
October 31, 2011 at 11:50 am
This is all part of why I stick to the Harold and Kumar movies.
October 31, 2011 at 2:57 pm
The second one stuck. Kinda looking forward to the 3D Christmas movie, though.
Patricia Logan says:
October 31, 2011 at 2:11 pm
Okay so shirtless Asians… I get it
October 31, 2011 at 2:57 pm
Not nearly enough. Am just sayin’.
April 29, 2012 at 2:57 pm
im a HUGE horror fan and i gotta tell ya i did not turn straight lesbo im bisexual …so how can horror flicks turn you gay r u like for real? did you ever think that maybe you were one to start with ? and you just happend to figure it out? so your into asian men big deal oh my damn Kris get real!!!!
April 29, 2012 at 3:22 pm
I think you misunderstood the post. I write humor and the title is a humorous take on the genre. I was gay long before I started to enjoy horror films. Suffice to say, it was an attempt to poke fun at both my taste in horror films and also some of the films themselves.