LGBT viewers have a unique relationship with horror films. Since many of us have been demonized in our lifetimes, we have a special place in our hearts for the demons, monsters, and other outsiders who wreak havoc and revenge upon heteronormative society. But we also know what it's like to be victimized. And so the stakes of who survives and who persishes at the hands of evil can be even higher.
Due to this dynamic, there are some horror films in particular that speak to LGBT folks. Whether it's their victims or the villains, or perhaps just a sense of camp, we "get" them in ways most straight audiences can't. In celebration of Halloween, here's a list of 17 movies that only LGBT people understand, which are now available to watch in Comcast's XFinity LGBT Film and TV Collection.
The Black Cat (1934)
Dr. Vitus Werdegast (Béla Lugosi) and Hjalmar Poelzig (Boris Karloff) were friends and soldiers in the war years earlier. Upon their reunion on a dark and stormy night, they bicker like old queens. Lugosi’s character has a morbid fear of cats (crypto-misogyny). Karloff keeps dead women in glass cases (not-so-crypto-misogyny). In 1934, this much misogyny was how one indicated homosexuality. Add onto that some Satanic rituals and Karloff, shirtless, being flayed alive and you have one big scary gay film. The film also succeeds in defining Moderne design as architecture of cruelty. — Christopher Harrity