Monday, February 2, 2015

Geeks on Film: 6 Gay Men Discuss Their Five Favorite Bad Horror Movies!

When discussing movies with my friends, the subject of horror inevitably comes up. Obviously, not everyone is a fan of the horror genre. But, I would dare say more people love it than loathe it.

For a good percentage of us geeky gay guys, there is nothing better than a bad horror movie. And, I don't mean just poorly made. I mean BAAAADDDDDD. Like so bad, so kitchsy, so poorly acted that you can't help but to love it. So, this time around, I asked five of my gay geeky artist/filmmaker/writer friends, all exceptionally well versed in the genre, to give me their five favorite terrible horror movies. Hopefully, something on these lists will give you a new movie or two to watch this evening. Please let us know which ones we left off!

Casey J is well known for his wonderful gay cyberpunk romance comic series Buying Time!
He graduated from the Alberta College of Art and Design with a Bachelor Degree in Fine Art in 2005. He landed his first job working as a professional animator in 2007 where he worked on television shows such as Skunk Fu and Three Delivery. Since then he has worked on a number of projects as a freelancer, and is currently working fulltime developing smartphone apps for franchises such as Archie, Fraggle Rock, Strawberry Shortcake, Smurfs and Wow Wow Wubbzy. Buying Time is a personal project done in what (little) free time he has.

#1) Brainscan
A teenager beta tests a VR game that simulates murdering real life people, but is it really a simulation? I particularly enjoy this one for its endearing 90's vision of what VR and advanced video games would be like, the kind of thing we saw in Lawnmower Man; glowing grids, flashing colors and neon. The Trickster, who is somewhat the "villain" of the story is especially enjoyable as a sort of malicious, creepy version of Maurice from Little Monsters. The main character himself is a horror movie fan too, making reference to "the latest issue of "Fango"" (Fangoria).

#2) Re-Animator
Herbet West develops a serum that brings corpses back to life! Based on the writings of H.P. Lovecraft, yet somehow I don't think his original vision featured a re-animated severed head with mind control powers giving forced oral sex to Barbara Crampton. But it is that sort of awkward, over-the-top (unintentional?) humor that makes this such a campy classic. Jeffrey Combs is great as Herbet West, lots of great gore effects, and you get to see Peter Kent the buff body double for Schwarzenegger stomp around as a naked zombie.

#3) A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: Dream Master
Is a plot synopsis really necessary for this one? The franchise has long since jumped the shark by this point. However this entry I always found particularly entertaining. It features some of the more creative and gruesome deaths of the franchise; Debbie's "cockroach" death was rather gnarly. Not only that, but the concept of the Dream Warriors gaining each fallen Warrior's "power" all leading up to a one-on-one kung fu showdown with Freddy at the climax is too fun to ignore. Wrap it all up with an 80's rock soundtrack and you're in for some good times.

#4) Leviathan
Underwater miners discover dangerous cargo inside a sunken wreck that causes horrible mutations when brought on board. This one at its core is really just Alien, but with a bit more of a cheesy tone and a great "deep sea" setting which I've always loved, especially in horror where it is woefully underutilized, only a couple come to mind like Deep Star Six and Leviathan. Leviathan in particular is enjoyable for it's lead performance by Robocop's Peter Weller, and some crazy creature and gore effects all done using practical makeup.

#5) Return of the Living Dead
Gas leaked from a medical supply warehouse brings the dead back to life, hungry for brains! Definitely one of the quintessential zombie films, and definitely a product of the 80's; When you have characters with names like Trash, Scuz and Suicide you know you're in for something good. This was another one that showcases some pretty impressive practical effects for it's time. Lots of funny, cheesy dialogue, particularly from Spider who likes to yell things like "Help me bar the door, stupid fuckers!" at his comrades. Also more naked zombies, I think that was some kind of trend in the 80's.

Return of the Living Dead

Greg Fox
Creator of long running, syndicated LGBT comic Kyle's Bed & Breakfast.Greg Fox began making comics
at 12 years old, publishing his first strip at age 14 and continuing to illustrate and write comic strips through high school and college. He received a B.A. from Geneseo College in upstate New York. His illustration work has appeared in comic books for such companies as Revolutionary Comics, Triumphant Comics, and Marvel Comics.

#1) Killer Klowns From Outer Space
With a title like that, it's doubtful that you're in store for serious horror. But these space clowns are actually kind of freakishly scary, (especially for people who already have "clown issues"). It never gets too dark, though, and the movie is chock full of memorable one-liners from the array of terrorized townfolk.

#2) Sssssss (yes, that's really the title!). 
Long before there was "Snakes on a Plane", there was "Sssssss": a low-budget 70s flick featuring a very young, hunky Dirk Benedict, (who would go on to break hearts in "Battlestar Galactica" and the "A-Team"). It's all about snakes and venom and people being transformed into "snake people" against their will. Ridiculous, but actually kind of scary in its own way.


#3) Burnt Offerings 
Another movie from my childhood that freaked me out at the time, and still resonates to this day, if only for the sheer weirdness of it. A pretty stellar cast for the time, (Karen Black, Oliver Reed, and Bette Davis as the elderly but whip-smart Aunt Elizabeth). A family moves into an ominous old house as summer caretakers, and soon all sorts of mayhem is unfolding, (note: as in "The Shining", caretaker families at big old houses are a dangerous combination). Reportedly, Black and Davis clashed on the set, but you can't tell from the film, which truly does have some chilling moments.

#4) Empire of the Ants
Any movie featuring Joan Collins as a shady real estate developer and giant, radioactive ants on a rampage is a must-see in my book. Not very scary, by any means, (the giant obviously plastic ants don't help matters), but plenty of moments to laugh out loud.

#5) The Legend of Boggy Creek
This fictional "docu-drama" predates the "Blair Witch Project" by a few decades, but employs a similar device: presenting a fictional story, (in this case, about a Bigfoot type of creature terrorizing an Arkansas backwoods town). Filled with plenty of authentic looking interviews with convincing locals detailing their scary brushes with the creature. (All actors). Seeing this as an 11 year old kid, though, it all looked 100% real, and I still get chills thinking about this!


Robert Chandler
Robert Chandler is a filmmaker/documentarian who has worked for everyone from Disney to Universal. Recently he started working towards a new documentary Dirty Sexy Comics which details the history and significance of gay erotic cartoons. He also has a new gay themed action adventure novel out called 50 Shades of Foreskin!

#1) Fright Night
Like Twilight, this 1980s vampire movie is gay, gay, gay. But without really being gay. A hot guy suspects his neighbor might be a vampire and pulls in his best friend (gay Stephen Geoffreys as "Evil Ed"), his girlfriend (gay Amanda Bearse from Married... with Children) and a has-been TV horror movie host played by Roddy McDowall (gay, right?). I had it bad for Evil Ed who looked like Kevin Bacon’s strange little brother. He was one of my first in a long line of quirky crushes. According to the Internet, he went on to do several porn films. Thanks, Internet!

#2) Jeepers Creepers 2
I never saw the first film, but that didn't stop me from loving this sequel. It’s a pretty conventional teen horror flick, but instead of seeing a lot of topless cheerleaders, director Victor Salva (Powder) gives us plenty of boysploitation. When a bus breaks down in the middle of nowhere, the high school basketball team ditch their shirts for some sunbathing. Brilliant use of downtime! If all horror movies knew how to show off male flesh like this, I’d be an even happier homo.

Jeepers Creepers 2

#3) Midnight Offerings
Little House on the Prarie's Melissa Sue Anderson plays Vivian, the teenage witch gifted with strong magical powers. It was so much fun seeing Melissa Sue on break from her weepy, goody-goody Prairie character to play so darkly evil in this 1981 ABC TV movie-of-the-week. Some girl from The Waltons played a good witch who goes spell-to-spell with Vivian, but I was way more into Little House so I was cheering for Viv despite her pettiness, murderous rages and Satanism. This guilty pleasure is like a campy, cheesy version of American Horror Story: Coven without the smart writing, great clothes or Stevie Nicks.

#4) A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
This is my fave of the Nightmare movies (though Wes Craven's New Nightmare comes pretty close). Freddy
Krueger returns, but this time the kids fight back like superheroes in their dreams. Total wish fulfilment in the scary Reagan-era. I saw this in a movie theater as a pre-teen and the idea of the victim powerfully standing up to the bully was really clicked for this budding young homosexual. I’m also a big comic book fan and this felt like the closest thing I’d ever seen to a full-on superhero movie until Bryan Singer did his thing with the X-Men.

#5) Orphan
This movie is just plain weird. Right up until the end, I wasn’t sure what it was supposed to be. The prestigious cast (Vera Farmiga and Peter Sarsgaard) made me think the film is something serious, but everything on screen is so deliciously silly. Whatever it is, the results are wild! Crazy kids always makes for great horror and this one has a twist ending that would make M. Night Shyamalan cream his jeans.

Oh yeah… the posters had this strange, serious-looking girl’s face with the tagline “There’s something wrong with Esther.” The movie came out around the time Madonna reportedly wanted to be called “Esther" so there was no way I was gonna miss this one!


Caedmon Jamonsta
Caedmon Jamonsta is unfortunately responsible for the occult messterpiece Trannysnatchers (now available on Vimeo on Demand). Other artistic missteps include being bandleader and songwriter for vivivi, and authoring the novel Days After Death. He lives Los Angeles with James, his partner in artcrime, whom he was married to in a zombie funeral themed ceremony two years ago. He likes cats and whiskey.

#1) Rabid
My brother told me this movie doesn’t count, because it’s early Cronenberg, and that means it’s art, but I respectfully disagree. I fail to see what the grander message is in a film about armpit vampires that cause rabies. Porn darling Marilyn Chambers cannot seem to keep her top on after a freak motorcycle accident lands her in the care of Dr. Keloid’s (uuuugh, keloid) remote cosmetic surgery hospital somewhere in the wilds of Canada. After giving a couple killer hugs (because she’s an armpit vampire), she escapes the facility and proceeds to infect Canada with rabies. The only buzzkill in this otherwise ridiculous romp is the whiney male lead. That and Dr. Keloid’s eyebrows.

#2) Society
This film may be more relevant today than when it was made. Bill comes from an upper class family. His parents are members of the elite Albacore Club, who, in addition to harvesting their own escargot, host some really kinky cannibal incest parties. Bill doesn’t exactly approve, and when he tries to get to the bottom of this sexy mystery, he finds himself guest of honor the grand gross-out goo orgy finale. From this movie I learned that big hair is a bi-product of group sex and that planting surveillance equipment on your friends is really just laughably eccentric behavior.

#3) 976-EVIL
Directed by Robert Englund, this hilarious cautionary tale is about the dangers of calling chat lines. IMDB credits Stephen Geoffrey’s with the lead role, but the real star of this movie is Aunt Lucy’s wigs. Hoax, who is essentially the male version of Carrie, demonically transforms into Michael Jackson after racking up a terrifying phone bill calling a haunted horoscope line several times a day. Thereafter, he goes on a bloody rampage, killing off all the cool kids who never invited him to their poker games. The opening scene is just so perfect and classic for this genre. Oh and it rains fish.

#4) The Baby
A highly unprofessional social worker with a distracting lip sore is obsessed with one of her clients, a young man who has been infantilized by his family. The mother and her two daughters are incredibly stylish socialites that are also somehow on welfare. The mother keeps her twenty-something son in diapers claiming he is mentally frozen in babyhood. Disgusted by her parenting skills, the social worker buries the mother alive beside the corpses or her daughters. I won’t give away the twist ending, but if you’ve watched this genuinely fucked up film, you probably saw it coming.

#5) Demon Wind
Seeing this movie as an impressionable child is probably the reason I’m such a fucked up adult. After having a dream about being super naked at a gas station, Cory takes his girlfriend out to investigate an old farmland he recently inherited. He calls upon a motley crew of what appears to be everyone he ever talked to in high school to accompany them. Presumably because his father had just committed suicide and Cory is the kind of guy that requires a lot of emotional support. An inconvenient fog appears shortly after they arrive at the farm that forces them to stay the night inside of house that isn’t really there. Things quickly get sexy when satanic hick demons come out of the woods to play and one by one, all of Cory’s friends turn into demons. The monsters in this film are exquisitely gross and were clearly lovingly crafted by a top special effects team. The audio engineer had a field day with vocal effects and occasionally awesome puns are lost beneath layers of “scary” modulation. I can’t really say enough wonderful things about this film. I’m actually more inclined to call this film art over Cronenberg’s Rabid.


Robert Patterson
An avid film lover, Robert enjoys the very best of movies by going to the Sundance Film Festival every year, to the worst of movies – who doesn’t like a double feature of Baby Geniuses and Showgirls? While his day-job has him overseeing a nonprofit organization focusing on children and families, he loves to travel and you will likely find him following Madonna around on tour. He’s a devoted set-jetter - finding and visiting locations and documenting for the world to see in his blog at

Nothing I like more than a great horror film is a particularly bad one. Not boring bad, but enjoyably bad. Think Showgirls meets The Omen type of bad. Unsurprisingly my top five ended up all being sequels. Now these are not sequels that retroactively ruin the original like Highlander II: The Quickening. Just sequels that went astray but make for a good Saturday afternoon viewing. 

#5) Amityville II – The Possession
Like most 70’s kids, I believed every word of The Amityville Horror and was frightened of any house in the neighborhood that even remotely had those creepy “eye windows.” One of the first prequels, Amityville II bears little resemblance to the true story of the family massacred in the famous home. In fact, it actually is a disservice to real people showing a family of violent arguments, abuse, and incest… the same things that make this a so-bad-I-can’t-believe-I’m-watching-it-again movie. 

#4) Exorcist II – The Heretic 
“It's four years later...what does she remember?” Well, the audience remembered an iconic blockbuster film, much to the chagrin of the sequel creators. This film has so much going wrong for it that it is nearly a parody of the original. The film attracted some top talent of the time, but the silly script, excess style, and overacting make this a hoot from start to finish. Privateless therapy in an all glass building, a tap dancing Linda Blair, disappearing and reappearing locusts, an uncredited Dana Plato, and of course, The Synroniser, a device two people can use to “feel very relaxed and very comfortable.” Yes, the priest gets in on the fun, too. The movie literally was laughed off the screen at the premiere and a quick recut was made but to no hope. The sequel fell quicker than down a flight at the Georgetown stairs. 

Sleepaway Camp 2

#3) Sleepaway Camp 2 – Unhappy Campers 
The original Sleepaway Camp is known best for it’s gender-bender-ender, so when back-to-back sequels were produce a few years later, I didn’t know what to expect. A film for true 80’s lovers, every character’s name is from the brat pack (Molly, Ally, Demi, Lea, Anthony, Judd, Charlie, Phoebe, Emilio, and so on). The film actually stars a brat pack sibling, Renee Estevez, and a rock star sibling, Pamela Springsteen. Pamela is a true standout and a gas as serial killer, Angela. Not at all scary, thought-provoking, or mysterious; Sleepaway Camp 2 is closer to Wet Hot American Summer than its origins. 

#2) Jaws 3-D
Current moviegoers are probably unaware that the 3D fad is a recurring Hollywood ploy, it’s last hurrah was
way back in 1983-D as they called it. With nearly everyone bailing on the Jaws franchise, creators set the latest sequel at Sea World. (Who knew at the time that a killer shark would be the least of the company’s problems!) A young Dennis Quaid, perky Bess Armstrong, irong eagle Lou Gosset Jr., dolphins Cindy & Sandy, and then-newcomer Lea Thompson, do their best not to giggle through their lines and scenarios. There are truly astonishing situations that have to be seen to be believed. A quite sizeable shark is kept in a wading pool for visitors to see. No railing, no security, just people casually leaning over and dipping their hands into the water. To make matters worse, the effects are truly horrendous. The actors do their best to make the fake shark moving in the said pool. Bad blue screen makes part of the submarine disappear at one point. A seeming still photograph of a shark moves into frame and comes to a halt when it “shatters” an underwater window. But in the end, this film delivers on what I really want. Sharks chasing water skiers, sneering and roaring at diners, and following those damn Brody boys all over the place. 

#1) Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2
The release of the original film sent mothers ballistic, or at least five or so from what I can tell from reports. The film and franchise might have actually slipped out of existence quietly without the hullabaloo, but instead it made its mark in horror history. Producers actually wanted to recut the original and release it as a sequel, with some new bookends. While that is not quite what happened, nearly half of the sequel’s running time is flashbacks to the original. And yes, flashbacks to scenes that absolutely no one would remember because they were too young or simply dead. Lead actor, Eric Freeman, overacts with his eyebrows alone (you just have to see it). One scene in particular has catapulted this film into permanent cult fandom. If you can’t be bothered to see the whole film, at least look up the “Garbage Day!” scene and you will know what this film is all about, a true classic. (For true fans, check out my visit to the filming locations here:


Lee's Picks!
As head writer for AdamMaleBlog, I get to chime in, too!

#1) Troll 2
One of the most unintentionally hilarious horror movies ever made. Even funnier, not a single troll appears anywhere in this film. A family travels to the town of Nilbog (goblin backwards). A town full of goblins try to get the family to eat food that will turn them into a vegetarian stew that the goblins can then devour. For some reason, all the dudes are always naked in bed with each other or come out of RVs buttoning up their shirts.  If you get a chance, watch the documentary Best Worst Movie. It is all about the making of this classic film. 

#2) Squirm
Earthworms driven crazy by downed power lines devour a small town. This movie came out in 1976 and was not released on DVD until 2003. However, it was a popular late night movie in the 80s thanks to TBS.


#3) I Spit on Your Grave
An great example of the early days of revenge horror! This movie is just wrong on pretty much every level imaginable. The basic plot is a young female writer is abducted by a group of men who are trying to help their slightly mentally challenged friend lose his virginity. After gang raping and beating the woman, they leave her for dead. When she recovers, she systematically hunts all of them down and kills them in gruesome ways, my favorite of which is castration! Don't watch the remake. Stick with the original.

#4) Cabin Fever 2
Ok...these guys might have been playing this one for laughs. Regardless, it is wonderfully awful. As in Cabin Fever, there is something in the water that makes people more or less disintegrate in a terribly bloody fashion. In this movie, the pathogen gets into the town's water supply. The big finale is a wonderful prom scene in which virtually everyone attending implodes in spectacular fashion. Soundtrack by Wiz Khalifa! Do not miss this movie.

#5) Night of the Lepus
Giant rampaging bunnies kill everyone in sight. Yes. Bunnies. I had a hard time choosing between this movie and Frogs. But, ultimately giant bunnies are just plain sillier than amphibians. The funniest thing about this movie is that they somehow got Janet Leigh and Star Trek's DeForest Kelly to star in it!

Night of the Lepus

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1 comment:

  1. I love some of the choices on here. I so want to see a movie with terrifying bunnies. And I don't think I've ever seen "Sssssss" all the way through. I saw a little as a pre-teen on TV. The whole thing his creep and a little sexy. But in a creepy way.
    Time to fire up the DVD player.