Elliott-Smith, Darren. “Queer Horror Film and Television: Sexuality and Masculinity at the Margins”, I. B. Tauris, 2016.
Coming Out on Film
I suppose that I really have never thought about gender and sexuality in horror film or on television unless it was so blatant it could not be ignored. By that I mean mini-series such as “Dante’s Cove” and “The Lair” who were both stopped in the mid of their runs because of legal problems with Here TV. Of course there was Bruce LaBruce’s, “LA Zombie” which was obvious as was “Gay Bed and Breakfast of Terror” but these were independent films that never went mainstream and what we have here is a look at how the representation of alternative sexuality in the horror film and television has “outed” itself from the darkness that was once such an important part of the horror genre. Darren Elliott-Smith has chosen to focus on queer fears and anxieties within gay male subcultures instead of the more usual looking at the monster as a symbol of heterosexual anxiety and fear. He looks at the works of significant queer horror film and television producers and directors in order to show “gay men’s anxieties about acceptance and assimilation into Western culture, the perpetuation of self-loathing and gay shame, and further anxieties surrounding association’s shameful femininity”.
He looks at representations of masculinity and gay male spectatorship in queer horror film and television after the year 2000 and designates horror that is crafted by male directors/producers who self-identify as gay, bi, queer or transgender and whose work includes or features homoerotic, or explicitly homosexual, narratives with ‘out’ gay characters. We see a variety of genres here including exploitation films, queer Gothic soap operas, satirical horror comedies, and contemporary representations of gay zombies. Elliott-Smith uses psychoanalytic theory, critical and cultural interpretation, interviews with key directors and close readings of classic, cult and modern horror.