I was finally able to hunt down two gay horror films from the complete homo horror movies list on my site, one an exorcism horror comedy, the other a dark and moody vampire film. So let’s get right to them.
There’s a lot to unpack in this Filipino gay exorcism comedy, which isn’t as straightforward as you’d think it would be. If you want to check it out, at the time of this post it is available in HD with subtitles on YouTube.
You have to go into Echorsis realizing there are culture differences in the way gays are perceived and presented in Eastern countries vs. Western countries. It’s very easy to interpret what’s presented here as negative stereotypes about gay men. For instance, almost all queers are on a spectrum from extremely effeminate to virtually or literally trans, and all major gay characters are randomly in drag in several scenes with no benefit to the plot, solidifying the idea that gay men all want to be or act like women, and straight guys are all beautiful, muscled, masculine temptations.
The film tackles another sensitive issue in a way that may trigger some. Our main gay man—effeminate, out of shape, plain, closeted, lonely—doesn’t realize that he’s fallen in love with a hustler who’s taking him for a ride after he’s disowned by his parents for being gay. When the hustler takes off with his money, the gay man tries to kill himself in various ways, always through pop song montages and with comical overtones. Yes, the suicide attempts of a sad, unhappy gay man are used as a punch line various times.
Even his group of gay friends—bitchy, heartless queens—are extremely flippant about his predicament, even having a dance party with a bunch of muscle boys in the yard while he’s inside attempting to kill himself. It’s quite a statement about the gay community. Is humor used to soften the blow of a harsh truth? Maybe.
Some viewers may be quite turned off by all this. This “campy” segment unnecessarily takes up half the running time. Personally, I think all that time taken to establish the point of the story could have and should have been trimmed by about twenty minutes (down from over 50 minutes to about 30).
Once we get to the exorcism stuff, it’s all as fun as you’d hope, and the campy, queer, flamboyant tone poking fun at gay stereotypes feels naturally satirical and meant for a gay audience.
The gay man has put a curse on the pretty hustler, who becomes possessed…by homosexuality. He acts as gay as can be, and it’s mixed in a blender with plenty of homages to The Exorcist.
Plenty of it is funny, while some of it again may hit a nerve, like the hustler wanting to dry hump all his friends and even his own uncle now that he has uncontrollable gay urges.
There is also some balance struck. For instance, just when it feels like homosexuality is being treated as a sinful demon that gets inside you, a witchy woman comes along and points out that gay isn’t an illness that can be cured. And the young priest that ends up coming to perform the exorcism is struggling with his faith—both because of the awful way the church treats gays and due to the fact that a hot muscle devil keeps coming to him and tempting him to explore homosexuality.
The second half of the film is definitely a load of fun and negates the questionable comic choices of the first half. It’s all I could have hoped from a campy gay exorcism movie.
I’m shocked that this gay vampire film isn’t more readily available, because it deserves to be better known than many of the poor quality gay vampire movies that are still in circulation on DVD and streaming services (I scored a non-U.S. DVD release).
The performances alone are much stronger than the amateur to bad acting we get in many sexy gay horror films, not to mention the writing and directing are tighter.
Taking a cue from dramatic, gritty, character-driven vampire films like Near Dark and The Forsaken and bringing that style to an urban setting, Scab looks at a night in the life of three buddies—one straight, two gay—after one of the gay guys is raped.
The opening scene starts off sexy as a pretty boy bottom gets into it with a muscle hunk. But things quickly turn violent, resulting in the pretty boy becoming a vampire.
Meanwhile, the other gay buddy is inexperienced and in love with the straight buddy, who tends to use that to his advantage. When the vamp friend reveals he was assaulted, they take a road trip to get away from it all and end up at a seedy motel.
There are plenty of other pretty young people around to flirt, fuck, party, and deal with relationship drama, but the real focus is on the breakdown of trust between the trio of buddies. It feels like a nineties film about twenty-somethings with no goals beyond the present. Interesting at first, but it does wear thin and pads the film to an unnecessary 103 minutes long.
That’s the biggest disappointment, because the sleazy, sexual, and nasty horror scenes in the film really satisfy. Less focus on the extraneous characters could have tightened up the pacing and brought the horror elements closer together.
There’s a disgusting toilet scene right after the main guy is raped, there’s a vicious scene with a prostitute, porn star turned actor and director Dylan Vox delivers a highly erotic moment in a video store, and there are intense predatory and feeding scenes.
On top of that, all the characters are so flawed you struggle to not like them and not hate them, because they’re all lost and alone even as they seem to have each other. Also of note is that the script refreshingly acknowledges sexual fluidity rather than going the black and white orientation and identity route.