If you watch this trilogy of gay horror films made by David DeCoteau for Here! Films and come out the other side bitching that it’s blasphemy and a disgrace to the brilliance of Edgar Allan Poe’s work, then you clearly haven’t been around the horror or homo scenes for long. They’re fricking gay horror films made by David DeCoteau for Here! It would be blasphemy to expect anything more than the supernatural sexiness of Dante’s Cove combined with the guarantee of a pendulum in The Pit & The Pendulum, reference to a raven in The Raven, and a house in House of Usher.
And if we’re going to nitpick, these films are about as faithful to the stories and poem from which they get their names as the Vincent Price/Roger Corman/Poe movies of the 1960s were (as in NOT AT ALL), and loaded with just about as many gothic sets, thunder, lightning, and dark, shadowy halls.
And compared to most of the virtually plotless, horrorless, gay characterless and gay sexless homoerotic films David DeCoteau has made over the past two decades, these three films have openly gay characters that have long, erotic sex scenes together, making these some of the only DeCoteau films that can be considered gay horror films and not just softcore solo videos (see a list of his titles on the David DeHomo page).
So what can you expect from this cheesy trio?
THE RAVEN (2007)
In my opinion, the best in this homo Poe trilogy came first. The Raven is DeCoteau’s stab at a gay slasher, but as with any time he does a slasher, he’s still so concerned with making sure guys prance around in their underwear that he doesn’t put enough focus on genuine scares or suspense. Even so, the slasher tone of this one is way better than most of his output. It even begins with sex and a kill. Gay sex and a kill!
A group of friends (mostly guys) is throwing a party at a big house, and as they set up, a majority of the guys roam around the place shirtless, while those in tuxes and dresses discuss murders that occurred in the house years before.
The legend has it that someone came to a masquerade ball at the house wearing a raven mask and announced to all the guests that they would die that night.
Essentially, this film sounds more like an adaptation of Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death.”
A raven masked killer starts stabbing the guys setting up for the party, and there are a couple of gay sex scenes set to techno music.
The kills are quick, with minimal blood, while the sex scenes are long and hot.
HOUSE OF USHER (2008)
A pretty boy comes to the house of a brother and sister he knew in his childhood, and now they both want his bod—and pretty much get it.
As do the ghostly hands that regularly feel him up when he takes baths and sleeps.
He’s also told a gay love story by the servant of the house, providing a period piece flashback (complete with gay sex scene).
The story in this effort is definitively overshadowed by DeCoteau’s usually shtick of featuring a bunch of guys in their underwear (and out of them).
The creepy ghost hands and visions the main guest keeps having of a pretty boy covered in blood are about as horror as it gets.
But at least the finally twist focuses on the gay connection between the main guest and the brother, not the sister.
THE PIT & THE PENDULUM (2009)
A bunch of pretty people (obviously mostly guys) arrives at a mansion to be part of a voluntary experiment. Not surprisingly, the lady of the house, who is being up front about her old school watch-swinging hypnosis to stop them from feeling pain, has ulterior motives.
At night, she seduces the guys into stripping down to their underwear, which leads to them seeing visions of a pendulum.
Meanwhile, the girls manage to stay out of the way because they end up going all lesbian for each other.
Things finally get kind of horror when the crazy lady of the house just goes for it and starts killing people in the final act.
This last installment of the homo Poe trilogy is notable for featuring Tom of Vanderpump Rules as one of the main boys.
He doesn’t get a full-on gay sex scene, but he does have a classic DeCoteau homoerotic scene in which he wrestles in undies with another guy while the crazy lady of the house masturbates. Then they have a threesome. That doesn’t change the fact that Tom’s clearly a bottom…
But better than that, the two gay guys are the final boys.