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Podcast Episode 128: Gay Horror And The Final Boys
Looking back to ‘Nightmare on Elm Street 2’ and ‘Hellbent’
Friday, October 13, 2017
Episode 128: Gay Horror and The Final Boys
You all know about the final girl in horror, that feisty possibly virginal heroine who is the last one left standing after some serial killer goes on a rampage. But are you familiar with the final boy? The final boy screamed his way into pop culture existence in 1985 with "Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge," the sequel to Wes Craven’s wildly successful 1984 film, and then appeared in "Hellbent," the first gay slasher film. Here's a look back to both.
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You all know about the final girl in horror, that feisty possibly virginal heroine who is the last one left standing after some serial killer goes on a rampage. But are you familiar with the final boy?
The final boy screamed his way into pop culture existence in 1985 with "Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge," the sequel to Wes Craven’s wildly successful 1984 film.
FilmOut, San Diego’s LGBT film festival, has decided to celebrate this Halloween season with a gay horror double bill of "Nightmare on Elm Street 2" and "Hellbent" on Oct. 18 at Landmark's Hillcrest Cinemas. That prompted me to think about final boys.
Daniel Farrands and Andrew Kasch explored the notion of the final boy in their epic and fabulous documentary "Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy." In the documentary, actor Mark Patton, who played the young man that Freddy Kruger was trying to manipulate in the film, described himself as possibly the first "male scream queen."
The film has been described as "the gayest horror film of all time" for such things as its homoerotic interplay between the male leads, a leather bar scene and for Patton's Jesse, talking about something trying to get inside his body.
"Elm Street 2" writer David Chaskin said in the documentary it was all meant to be subtext. Watching it today you may marvel that no one back then noticed.
But if "Elm Street 2" served up gay subtext, "Hellbent," which arrived almost a decade later pushed that subtext into the forefront to deliver what has been called the first gay slasher film. There wasn’t just a final boy or boys but also a serial killer who might be gay and a cast of characters that was predominantly gay.
For this podcast, I speak with FilmOut programmer Michael McQuiggan, a group of young gay filmmakers choosing to work in horror, and "Hellbent" director Paul Etheredge with a look back to an interview from earlier this year. Etheredge will be in San Diego on Oct. 18 to introduce the film and hold a Q&A.
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