TUBI TERRORS: who or what is killing queers?

Vampires, an infamous serial killer, and a masked psycho—it’s a trio of movies for the homo horror movies page!

SLAY (2024)

Slay could easily have been titled In Drag Til Dawn. This queer vampire flick is somewhat of a love letter to From Dusk Til Dawn, even referencing the film in its meta banter. I was expecting a cheesy, low budget, campy drag queen movie that looked like it was shot on video, but this is a genuine vampire flick despite budget constraints. For instance, there’s some CGI blood during gun fights, and even a scene poking fun at how the film couldn’t afford to show us all the action—very clever, but not even an apology that’s needed, because it’s clear a load of talent and creativity went into this one. I’ve yet to see a Tubi original come to physical media, but I hope Slay does so I can add it to my gay horror collection.

Before I even begin discussing the movie, I have to confess that I only know it stars several RuPaul’s Drag Race contestants because the friends we watched it with watch the show…Ink Master and Top Chef are more my and the hubby’s speed. I don’t know where the queens in this cast placed in Ru’s competition, but they all do a great job in this movie.

They arrive at a bar full of rednecks/hillbillies in the middle of nowhere. Turns out there was a mix up in the booking, but the owner lets them perform anyway. They aren’t welcomed at first…and neither are the vampires that show up. Awesome.

A freaky master vampire’s first bite starts a chain reaction of bar patrons turning vamp. Now it’s up to the queens and rednecks to band together to fight off the fangs.

This is such a great flick to watch with a group on movie night. The vampire action is a blast, and the cast is absolutely lovable. And of course there’s a mild message of acceptance and tolerance, intertwined with the idea of becoming a vampire.

The look of those who become vampires is good enough to distinguish them from the mortals (although their red eyes are CGI), but the vampire who absolutely delivers as far as performances go is this dude.

He plays a vampire like nobody’s business, and he gets an intense scene in a vent. Eek!

I will say that at 98 minutes long, the film—um—drags a bit in the middle, but once it picks back up for the final act, it’s party time. I was also impressed that the filmmakers were able to secure the rights for the drag queens to perform to Cardi B’s “WAP”.

As for the comedy, I felt that it was the straight cis characters that got most of the funny lines. I can’t believe I have to give more credit to hillbillies than homos in a queer horror movie, but unfortunately, the queens are predominantly relegated to the usual tired, cliché drag queen humor. I can’t even count the amount of times the sexual innuendo of “suck” is used for jokes in which queens are referencing the vampires. This has long been the type of humor associated with and expected from drag queens, but it is just way too obvious and simple for my taste—it’s the kind of shtick that has been used to pander to drag show audiences, mostly straight, for decades.


Like Fright Night and Disturbia, this is a movie about a teenage boy who realizes there’s a monster living next door. In this case, it’s John Wayne Gacy.

There was no need to use Gacy as the threat next door in this derivative film, because it easily could have just been about a teen boy who realizes his neighbor is a gay serial killer. Sadly, Gacy’s name is a money maker, plus, using a notorious real life gay serial killer as the subject helps avoid backlash from making a movie about a fictional gay serial killer who picks up and kills tricks.

That is what might disappoint those who are tantalized by the graphic details of killers such as Gacy. This film does not exploit the truth at all. The most we see is Gacy handcuffing, chocking, and stabbing victims, and even that is pretty tame. There is no suggestion of the horrific sexual assaults he committed on his victims.

While this is a predictable flick, what is notable is that it speaks to the idea that young people are never believed. The main kid is afraid to tell any adults what he witnessed through his bedroom window, and when he tells his parents, they make him out to look like the problem. Also highlighted is the idea that we refuse to accept the horror that can be perpetrated by the upstanding neighbor next door. Gacy is a beloved member of the community, dresses as Pogo the clown at kids’ parties, and even works for the Democratic Party…because, you know, democrats are never criminals!

The film could have been so much more than it is if it had written the lead teenage boy as gay or questioning—there’s so much that could have been explored about the fears and conflicts about coming out when you realize the boy-loving man next door is a monster. I’d say the most exciting parts of this fictional horror movie based on reality include the main kid sneaking into Gacy’s crawlspace to take photos of the dead bodies and Gacy making his way into the kid’s house to abduct him…while he’s showering. Eek!


A gay slasher gets a gay Christmas slasher sequel. Yay!

I have to admit, I didn’t find the first film compelling enough to warrant a sequel, and the main character Riley, played by the writer/director of both movies, comes across as totally unlikable and self-centered in the second film.

This time around, Riley gathers a new set of friends together (since the first ones are all dead) to go to a cabin in the woods for Christmas. He’s trying to avoid an aggressive reporter, played by Elm Street 2‘s Mark Patton.

This could be considered a “reunion” movie, because when they arrive at the cabin they are greeted by Riley’s mother (Lisa Wilcox of Elm Street 4 and 5), who has a trio of surprises—Riley’s uncle, the hot sheriff from the first film, and Riley’s ex-boyfriend are all there to celebrate Christmas.

While this is a bit more polished than the first film, there are still awkward filler scenes of the friends just sitting around and talking, adding nothing to the progression of the story. Editing some of those sequences out would have streamlined the movie and helped with pacing. The main focus beyond all the white noise is that Riley is still traumatized by the events of the first film, has cool, gory nightmares, and is also dealing with tension between his ex and the new guy he has been dating.

Mark Patton lurks around trying to get some dirt for his story, there’s a gay sex scene, and there’s one death scene involving deep throating a little fake Christmas tree.

The killer mask is pretty cool, but the body count is low. Basically the whole cast finds out at once that there’s a killer on the loose, and they all band together to fight to the death. For me, the highlight of all the chaos that ensues is a character getting hysterical and then being slapped.

Over all, this feels exactly like what it is—a rough, low budget indie slasher sequel. The gay storyline is perhaps the main reason you might want to give it a try since we don’t get a lot of gay slashers, with the added bonus of it being a Christmas flick that lands it on the holiday horror page.

About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES. I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at www.facebook.com/BoysBearsandScares.
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