The 13th Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, which runs until October 26, is spotlighting “Homo Horror” flicks. No, those are not a series of Christian (or Muslim or Jewish or Hindu, etc.) cinematic teachings on the Abominable Homo. Instead, Seattle festival organizers have come up with a series celebrating horror films with a gay bent – no pun intended. With Halloween just around the corner, what could be more appropriately family friendly?
One of my all-time favorite horror films, Tony Scott's The Hunger (1983), starring Catherine Deneuve as a bisexual vampire who seduces Susan Sarandon – their sex scene is one of the best ever filmed for a mainstream film – was screened on the 19th. But there's some more interesting stuff coming up in the next few days.
Susan Sarandon strikes back on October 25 with The Rocky Horror Picture Show, one of the seminal film productions of the 20th century. Now, I must shamefacedly admit that even though Sarandon is one of my favorite actresses, I've never actually sat through a Rocky Horror screening. I've only watched clips here and there – that's it. (Unless you count a midnight screening at the Nuart in West Los Angeles, in which the dialogue, the music, and the screen all but disappeared under the roar of screaming, out-of-control audience members.)
While I'm at it, I must also admit that many years ago I actually had the nerve to sit through A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge (Oct. 24). I can't remember much about it, except for Freddy's unmanicured fingernails and the characters' mind-numbing stupidity, but perhaps I should check it out again for I really don't recall anything “gay” about it.
Among the “Camp Blood” shorts (Oct. 25), my favorite one-line synopsis reads, “For two vampire lesbian lovers, eternity is one codependent process after another.”
Directed by Thomas Jason Davis, Scab (right) screens tonight (Oct. 23). The film tell the sad story of a sex-loving West Hollywood'er named Ajay (Sean Galuszka) who goes on a fuck & kill (mostly kill, I guess) rampage after becoming infected with a vampirical virus.
Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, the festival's closing-night presentation, isn't part of the “Homo Horror” series, but I thought it' be appropriate to include it here.
And the last words go to Thomas Jason Davis:
“Aside from killing people and drinking their blood, what does vampirism ultimately make Ajay do? In my twisted little geek-boy fantasy, the lusted-for slut-boy Ajay finally admits that he loves the geek. It's like Sixteen Candles with cockrings. Say Anything with fangs and lube and a touch more self-loathing.”
Schedule and synopses from the Seattle Gay & Lesbian Film Festival website.
Scab, dir: Thomas Jason Davis
Thu Oct 23, 9:45pm at Central Cinema
Love sucks and then you die. Then you live to love again in this sexually charged vampire thriller mixing damnation and dildos.
Sexy slutboy Ajay gets more than he bargained for from his latest one-night stand: two holes in his neck and a bug no antibiotic can cure. After several days incommunicado (while hunting for victims), his two buddies Teague and Floor find him gray and gaunt. Playing on their sympathies, he drags them to Vegas in search of fresh meat.
Fueled by lust and hunger, but also repulsion, Ajay is desperate to bring more buddies into the vampire club, starting with his pal Teague. Meanwhile, Floor makes a new friend in Briar, the lonely proprietor of their hotel. But then the gears of fate begin to turn. The blood of bystanders flows. Vampire attacks vampire. Faith and beliefs are tested. Ajay and his friends face a horrifying truth: if you can't beat 'em, eat 'em.
This screening is 21 and over only.
A Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge, dir: Jack Sholder
Fri Oct 24, 10pm at Admiral Theater
Could this be the gayest horror movie ever made … by accident? The filmmakers have denied ever having a gay agenda when creating this first sequel in the long-running Freddy Krueger franchise. But when you watch this campy horror classic from a homo perspective, it's hard to miss all the subtext – intended or otherwise.
When cute and quirky high schooler Jesse moves to a haunted house in a new town, he couldn't be more of an outsider, from the Kate Bush poster on his bedroom door to his trouble with team sports. He's also serial killer Freddy Krueger's newest target for inflicting mayhem. When the spirit of Freddy takes refuge inside Jesse's body, the teenager must fight to control his ever-increasing urges to do nasty, unconscionable things.
Camp Blood: Shorts
Sat Oct 25, 9pm at Admiral Theater
Kyle Shorn, director; 2007; France; 13 min.
Some fantasies can only be explored in the dark.
Aron Kantor, director; 2007; US; 19 min.
Two bumbling bank robbers find refuge in a spooky mansion inhabited by a mysterious woman. Or is she a ghost?
Wrik Mead, director; 2007; Canada; 3 min.
There's no turning back when sex toys attack.
Ingrid Jungermann and Sara Winters, directors; 2008; US; 10 min.
For two vampire lesbian lovers, eternity is one codependent process after another.
A NIGHTMARE ON CASTRO STREET
Joshua Grannell, director; 2002; US; 16 min.
It's fear and loathing in San Francisco when Peaches Christ's worst nightmare returns to town.
IN THE CLOSET
Jody Wheeler, director; 2008; US; 12 min.
And you thought that thing under the bed was scary.
Jim Zulevic, director; 2008; US; 9 min.
Nothing is more terrifying than a lesbian who doesn't like to lose.
Total Running Time: 94 min.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show, dir: Jim Sharman
Sat Oct 25, 11:30pm at Admiral Theater
Let's do the Time Warp again! Two “normal” college kids, Brad and Janet, hit the road, only to break down near a foreboding castle. When they ask to use the phone, they're drawn into the psychedelic web of Dr. Frank N. Furter, a “sweet transvestite from transsexual Transylvania,” on a very special night. Everyone starts seducing everyone, but like so many orgies, pretty soon someone breaks out a ray-gun and all hell breaks loose. If you've been waiting for the right moment to wear those fishnet stockings or that pair of teeny-tiny gold shorts, this is it – as the Vicarious Theatre Company will be performing live along with the film, leading everyone in the debauchery. Audience members are encouraged to join in and bring their own “Trannie Packs” of rice, toilet paper, toast, squirt guns, etc., but lighters and open flames are forbidden (the show is flaming enough as it is). Sing! Dance! At THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW no one stays a virgin for long!
Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, dir: James Signorelli, 1988
Sunday, October 26, 9pm, Pan Pacific Hotel Seattle
Kick off the Halloween season and wrap up the festival's 13th year with Elvira, the spookiest gay icon of them all, appearing in person to celebrate the 20th anniversary of ELVIRA, MISTRESS OF THE DARK.
The unforgettable character of Elvira was created by actress Cassandra Peterson with the help of her gay best friend, make-up artist and costume designer Robert Redding. After making her debut in 1981 as host of “Movie Macabre” on KHJ-TV in Los Angeles, Elvira went on to appear in over 50 films and television shows. A tireless promoter of gay rights and AIDS awareness, Elvira has appeared in gay pride parades around the world and donated proceeds from her appearances to queer-friendly causes.
In her creepy and comical feature film debut, Elvira plays a struggling TV hostess who dreams of finding fame and fortune as a Las Vegas showgirl. When a long-lost aunt's inheritance takes her to the uptight town of Falwell, Massachusetts, sexy and spooky Elvira becomes an odd outsider struggling for acceptance, a position that any queer person can likely relate to.
Featuring lighthearted jabs at conservative fundamentalism, ELVIRA, MISTRESS OF THE DARK is a hilarious horror parody that's not afraid to poke fun at just about everything, including itself.
Before the movie, underground drag phenomenon Peaches Christ joins Elvira for a fun and revealing onstage interview. When these two over-the-top, underdressed gals get to gossiping, nothing's too shocking and everything goes.
Closing Night Gala: The Black Cat Ball
Close your festival experience properly with a spooktacular ball featuring sumptuous food, beverages, a bevy of your newfound festival-going friends, and DJ El Toro, who will be spinning a web of tunes.
Pan Pacific Hotel Seattle
2125 Terry Avenue
Your film ticket (or Festival/Party Pass) includes the gala.