One thing that I have noticed about the horror genre, is that there is a liberal sprinkling of queer people as minor characters or sidekicks. The trend seems even more pronounced in recent years. Gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered individuals have a noticible place in horror (more noticible if you are looking for it). But, almost never are seen center stage... at least as the hero or heroine. Sadly, however, it does not seem to be en vogue to let the queer character survive at the end.
Since sidekicks in queer horror get so little attention anywhere else, here is a summary of the ones I've found. Please let me know if there are any others that should be included.
Bride of Chucky,one of the newer additions to the genre, is also one of the most blatant. It is a wonderfully funny horror film that pokes fun at itself and the entire genre. The best friend of the two main characters, David (played by Gordon Michael Woolvett) is openly gay. Not only do they have some fun slowly outing him, but his orientation is just part of who he is. His friends accept him for it, and refer to it casually. David is seen as a real person who happens to be gay.
This film provides us with a portrayal of a very attractive gay boy who is into acting, figure skating and orchids. He is looking for a man he can really fall in love with, and working to help those wacky heterosexuals out of a jam and into true romance.
Another more recently made mainstream film is Scream 2. Written by Kevin Williamson, an openly gay horror film writer and director, Scream 2 is a modern day slasher movie. Where slasher films in the past focused on blood and guts, the slasher films of today focus on that, but also make fun of how 2-dimensional they really are. Scream and Scream 2 continue that tradition but focusing on the 'rules' of horror movies. Who you have to be, and what you have to do in order to survive horror movies. In Scream 2, one of the bodyguards hired to protect Sidney from the killer, is thought to be gay. It is said in an offhand manner, and holds little significance. We learn little about him and his only line is "Don't ask, don't tell".
Needless to say, he doesn't survive...
The Haunting, both the 1963 and the 1999 versions, have a lesbian character in the same supporting role of Theodora. Both movies deal with an evil presence within an old mansion. But, that's where the similarities between the films break off. The 1963 version is based on Shirley Jackson's 1959 Gothic novel, The Haunting of Hill House. The second version is much more loosely based upon the same. In each, Theo, the secondary woman character, seems to be attracted to Nell, the main character. In the 1999 version, she openly says that she's bisexual, in the 1963 version, it's just very, very strongly implied.
If you must choose one to watch, be sure to watch the 1963 version. It is more suspenseful and with better character development. The 1999 version seems to be based on the fact the writers ability to change a story for no better reason than because they can.
Silence of the Lambs, a classic in either horror or suspense depending on how its categorized, has a transgendered character playing the sidekick role. In this movie, one of Hannibal Lechter's (the main villain) former psychiatric patients, Buffalo Bill, captures women, starves them in a torture pit and then murders them, removing their skin to make clothing for himself. While this transvestite is supposedly not gay, during the course of the movie the character has killed his male lover, speaks with an affected voice, wears makeup, cross dresses, and has a poodle named 'Precious.'
This character had GLAAD up in arms over the negative portrayal of g/l/b/t people in the movies.
More to come!!! If you have suggestions for movies that should be included here, please let me know.