THE BOYS NEXT DOOR: The Homoeroticism of Fright Night and how it saved my life
At fifteen years of age, and after years of trying to pray it away, the dawning horror that my sexual preference was not going anywhere was met with a deep-seated conviction that the life ahead of me was one to be pitied, feared or laughed at. Because that’s what popular entertainment had always taught me about the homosexual. Of course, the Catholic Church was also to blame, homosexuals went to hell according to them. But even at a young age I knew not to trust a bunch of old men in capes and so it was television and film, two of my biggest passions, that thought me all about what a homosexual was, and as crazy as it now seems, I would rather have killed myself than allow myself to be defined by what I saw.
At fifteen years of age, Fright Night opened in Dublin. From the moment Charlie Brewster’s mom says, “I hear he’s got a live-in carpenter, with my luck, he’s probably gay” all of that changed. Right off the bat, Judy Brewster’s non-judgmental reference to her possibly gay next-door neighbors had me riveted to my seat. There was nothing about her intonation that suggested mockery, fear or pity.
When we get to meet the new neighbors, Jerry Dandridge and Billy Cole, sure, he’s a vampire and Billy’s his ghoul, but they are also charming, funny and, most importantly, intimate, protective and caring of one another. There is the obvious scene where Billy tends to Jerry’s hand injury (on his knees!) but there are many other glances and gestures that led me to believe I was getting my first honest glimpse at a gay couple in film.
Around this time, I was getting into art history and I happened upon a painting by David Hockney called Domestic Scene, it’s a very simple, almost childlike composition of two naked men, one bathing the other in a shower, there’s nothing erotic in the painting other than the simple truth behind it that seemed so subversive to me at the time- that homosexual couples can care for one another just the same as heterosexual couples. This was a new concept for me and it was a game changer because it meant that I could begin to let go of all of the shame and fear that I was holding onto, and while I don’t think Tom Holland sat down to definitively write a homosexual couple, I do think the ambiguity behind Billy and Jerry’s relationship was absolutely a choice. And that choice became footing for me to believe that I might one day find intimacy and even love.
It is hard to express to heterosexual audiences, or even younger queer audiences, what the lack of positive queer representation in film did to kids starved of hope but I will never forget what a revelation Fright Night was to me, I have no doubt that it gave me the strength I needed to eventually kick down my closet door and live my life to my fullest.
Read article on Gayly Dreadful HERE
GEP pal Glenn McQuaid (I SELL THE DEAD, TALES FROM BEYOND THE PALE) and the late
Angus Scrimm (THE OFF SEASON, AUTOMATONS, SATAN HATES YOU, I SELL THE DEAD)
hit the town in 2008!
Fantasia/Frontières Exclusive: NSFW concept video and comments for Glass Eye Pix’s THE RESTORATION AT GRAYSON MANOR
Of the 20 feature-film pitches presented during a lengthy session at the Frontières International Co-Production Market at Montreal’s current Fantasia festival, one was especially attention-grabbing. Glass Eye Pix topper Larry Fessenden, director Glenn McQuaid and screenwriter Clay McLeod Chapman offered a vivid combination of animation and live action to sell potential financiers on their project THE RESTORATION AT GRAYSON MANOR, and the latter teaser (which is extremely NSFW) can be seen here exclusively, along with a RUE MORGUE chat with the trio.
THE RESTORATION OF GRAYSON MANOR is about Boyd, a rich young man living a sex-drugs-and-rock-’n’-roll lifestyle, much to the disapproval of his mother, who’s anxious for him to produce an heir. When Boyd loses his hands in an accident, they are replaced by a robotic pair that he can control with his mind. As the proof-of-concept video seen below demonstrates, that’s bad news for a hunky guy who shows up at the family mansion expecting a good time—and our hero’s original, severed hands also make appearances, albeit seen only through Boyd’s eyes as he dreams of them wreaking havoc in the house.
Friday the 13th: Holy Mountain Printing releases Glenn McQuaid (aka Witchboard)’s ode to 1980’s Goth music, Yes, I Drink Blood.
From Holy Mountain Press:
WITCHBOARD LIMITED 7″ LATHE CUT RECORD AVAILABLE NOW!
We are really excited to finally reveal the WITCHBOARD lathe cut 7″ record! This project has been in the works for a very long time (too long) and we are so excited to finally make it available. WITCHBOARD is the creation of Glenn McQuaid, the man responsible for the fantastic film I SELL THE DEAD. This is a hand printed jacket and lathe cut record limited to 50 total pieces. Give it a listen here: WITCHBOARD BANDCAMP and buy your copy here: WITCHBOARD OFFICIAL STORE
10 Overlooked Recent Horror Movie Gems
“I Sell the Dead” (Glass Eye Pix)
When it comes to my Halloween season viewing, I often fall back on the vintage stuff: Hammer favorites, Universal monster classics, the Val Lewton cycle, or any previously unseen golden oldies that catch my eye.
But despite the plague of “found footage” cheapies and an endless streak of inferior remakes and sequels, there have been some very good recent horror movies. It’s just that many of the best have gone virtually unnoticed except by the most insatiable horror fanatics. And I know for that diehard crowd, much of this list might not seem so overlooked. So, while I certainly do want to hear about that grainy $5,000 stalker film from Uruguay you found in a black market video shop, understand my definition of “overlooked” isn’t quite that obscure.
The list was restricted to films released over the last five years or so, just to have some sort of cutoff. There are other movies from the same period (like Trick ‘r Treat, House of the Devil and Splice) that also should have received a wider release or more media attention, but those films have found a very devoted cult following. The films below have some fans, but continue to fly way too far under the radar for my liking.
Five of the ten films are debut features, so maybe there’s something to be said for new chefs contributing to the horror stew. The rankings are a bit meaningless considering how different the films are, but the hierarchy is simply those I felt were the most essential viewing.
Oh … and Happy Halloween!
I Sell the Dead (2009): A fantastic debut feature, Glenn McQuaid’s joyful throwback to genre traditions is horror-comedy of the highest order. Getting convincing period detail on a very low budget, McQuaid also brings filmmaking verve to every scene. And it’s a darn funny film too, with great hammy performances by Larry Fessenden and Ron Perlman and a reactive comic role to treasure from Dominic Monaghan in the lead. If you grew up with Hammer horror films on TV and grisly EC Comics reprints, I Sell the Dead will seem letter-perfect. It never played in a Chicago theater, which is a goddamned shame, as this was made to see with an audience.
On this week’s New Flesh, Brett Arnold sits down with legendary horror filmmakers Larry Fessenden and Glenn McQuaid (I SELL THE DEAD, V/H/S)! Joe is nowhere to be found.
After confirming once and for all how to pronounce Larry’s last name, Larry and Glenn detail their audio drama series “Tales From Beyond the Pale,” which is now available on iTunes and their website, and discuss the allure of making strictly audio rather than a typical feature.
After promoting their upcoming live show (October 20th at Lincoln Center in NYC!), Larry explains just how close he came to remaking THE ORPHANGE with Guillermo Del Toro and Kate Winslet, and ultimately get into a discussion on what’s wrong with the mainstreaming of the horror genre.
In addition to writing and directing numerous films (NO TELLING, HABIT, WENDIGO, THE LAST WINTER, BENEATH), you may recognize Larry from his roles in countless horror films, including HOUSE OF THE DEVIL, YOU’RE NEXT, STAKELAND, WE ARE STILL HERE, THE BATTERY, and many more.
Tickets for Tales From Beyond the Pale Live go on sale this Thursday.
Also available on iTunes!
TALES FROM BEYOND THE PALE wins the Silver Radio Award for Best Regularly Scheduled Drama Program at the 2016 New York Festival’s International Radio Program Awards! Co-creator Glenn McQuaid was in attendance, accepting the award. Check out the pics here, then listen to TALES at TalesFromBeyondThePale.com!
hivio brings together more than 100 of the most influential people in audio and media for two days of candid, unscripted conversation. Amazing thought-leaders and provocative presentations. No boring panels. No celebrity keynoters.
Media strategist and researcher Mark Ramsey and Slacker’s Jaime Solis host a “hive” of smart people and amazing speakers to see, discuss, and develop big ideas and rising trends in on-demand, radio, content, social, mobile, and technology that will shake up all audio entertainment and information platforms.