It’s June, Pride celebrations are in full swing, and while there’s never a bad time of year to watch your favourite queer horror movies — why not make it a point to stream a few right now? We’ve got a list of 10 cult classics and newer releases (plus a few bonus viewing suggestions, too!) to get you started.
If you missed this three-part R.L. Stine adaptation from director Leigh Janiak — who just so happens to be married to Ross Duffer, one of the creators of the thematically similar Stranger Things — you’ve got several hours of spooky, witchy Netflix fun ahead of you, with the included bonus that a lesbian couple (played across time and in different character iterations by Kiana Madeira and Olivia Scott Welch) is at the heart of the trilogy. (Streaming on Netflix)
You Are Not My Mother
Tucked into this eerie, contemporary Irish folk-horror tale is a budding romance between its teen protagonist and a classmate who once bullied her, with an outcome that’s as sweet as it is unexpected. (Available to rent on Prime Video)
All About Evil
Russian Doll’s Natasha Lyonne stars in this recently “rediscovered” 2010 film about a movie-theatre owner who starts making her own Herschell Gordon Lewis-style splatter flicks… in which, unbeknownst to her fans, the gruesome on-screen murders are actually real. All About Evil is gory but also campy fun; Lyonne’s co-stars include horror and queer icon Cassandra Peterson, aka Elvira; John Waters regular Mink Stole; and All About Evil writer-director Joshua Grannell’s drag alter ego, horror hostess Peaches Christ. (Streaming on Shudder starting June 13)
Seed of Chucky
Speaking of John Waters, the Pope of Trash himself plays a sleazy photographer in this 2004 entry in Don Mancini’s ever-campier Child’s Play series. Seed of Chucky introduces us to Glen (voiced by Lord of the Rings’ Billy Boyd), the son of Chucky (Brad Dourif) and Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly) — who is also Glenda, their daughter. The delightfully queer themes of the film series get an even greater showcase in Syfy’s Chucky series, which is due to return for a second season later this year. (Seed of Chucky available to rent on Prime Video; Chucky season one streaming on Peacock)
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge
The queer subtext in Jack Sholder’s follow-up to Wes Craven’s 1984 slasher smash is now the main thing anyone thinks about when they watch it (in fact, it’s difficult to imagine that it sailed right past most audiences back in 1985, as was apparently the case). After you revisit Freddy Krueger and unconventional “final girl” Jesse Walsh (Mark Patton), your next assignment is to immediately watch 2019’s Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street, a revelatory doc about Patton’s life and career, as well as the legacy of Freddy’s Revenge. (A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge streaming on HBO Max; Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street streaming on Shudder)
How can you not want to drop everything and immediately watch a movie whose excellently sleazy alternate title is Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker? In this 1981 cult flick, character actor Susan Tyrrell stars as the very inappropriately overprotective aunt/guardian of a high school basketball star who gets hopelessly enmeshed in her creepy world after she (oops!) murders a TV repairman who rejects her romantic advances — a crime the (homophobic, clueless) local cops chalk up to a love triangle between the nephew, his basketball coach, and the victim. This movie is hysterical, in every sense of the word. (Streaming on Shudder)
Knife + Heart
This 2018 French thriller stars a fierce Vanessa Paradis as Anne, a heartbroken lesbian whose day job producing and directing gay porn is hardly as titillating as the freaky real-life murder plot that begins twisting around the edges of her latest production — the title of which is, ahem, Homocidal. For funsies, have Clive Barker’s bondage-a-palooza Hellraiser for dessert after. (Knife + Heart streaming on Prime Video; Hellraiser streaming on Shudder)
Before he made last year’s Oscar-nominated critical smash The Worst Person in the World, Danish-Norwegian filmmaker Joachim Trier co-wrote and directed this 2017 supernatural drama. It’s about a repressed young woman (Eili Harboe) who falls for a pretty classmate — only to realise her sexual awakening is tied into the unleashing of some terrifying new superpowers. (Streaming on Hulu)
The 1936 sequel to 1931’s Universal Horror classic Dracula is indeed what it says on the tin: the tale of Dracula’s daughter, a certain Countess Marya Zaleska (Gloria Holden), who just so happens to give off “lesbian vampire” vibes too potent to ignore.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Too obvious? Make it a (science fictionnnn) double feature with another over-the-top musical cult masterpiece, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. (Both available to rent on Prime Video)
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