Horror movie hardbodies to die for


friv101716johnnydeppEvery horror movie spectator chooses one character as soon as the story starts to unfold that they hope will make it out alive — and for us gays, it’s usually the one who’s most physically appealing. We know full well they’ll be among the first to meet the business end of a machete, meat hook, saw, pitchfork, [enter your weapon of choice here] about halfway through (after sufficient skin time on screen, of course), but that doesn’t deter us from pining for them any less. It’s what make us, us.

Here, I’ve compiled some of the more memorable scary-movie standouts — some still alive and kickin’ by the end, some six feet under — to remind us all just how precious life is when there’s a killer on the loose, especially when you have a pretty face.

The Cast of The Covenant. It only took a decade for Hollywood to deliver the male equivalent of The Craft, and The Covenant didn’t disappoint – so long as you judge this proverbial book by its cover and not its content, anyway. The movie’s main characters — all too-cool-for-school, pre-Gossip Girl-esque locker jocks (one of whom, Dallas’ Chace Crawford, would actually fulfill that destiny a year later) — spend so time emerging from swimming pools and standing around dripping wet in their Speedos (between casting spells and killing people, of course) that you don’t even notice how bad the film really is. Alas, the guys’ combined powers couldn’t save this dud from a 3-percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, ranking No. 31 on the site’s “Worst of the Worst,” but their svelte, college-bound torsos still got 10s across the board.

Johnny Depp, above. Before Johnny Depp’s career took a sharp right toward cinema’s quintessential character actor, he played boy-next-door types who fancied crop-topped football jerseys and exhibited serious lack of judgment in his choice of mentally compromised companions. As a result, he was dragged through his own mattress by Freddy Krueger’s iconic claws before being splattered across his bedroom ceiling in an eruption of blood — leaving you scarred for life for the past 30 years.

Mike Vogel. You knew Mike Vogel — he of incredible ass-dom (which explains how his career got the jump off as a Levi’s model) — wasn’t making it out of Leatherface’s clutches alive in 2003’s remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. On his return trip from Mexico to buy weed with his friends — a decision that only added insult to injury (drugs are bad, kids!) — the group was intercepted by one of horror’s ultimate villains by whom his leg was expeditiously chopped off before he was impaled on a meat hook to dry out like a bag of beef jerky.

friv101716mattbomerMatt Bomer. This flick, a prequel to 2003’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre — DOA among critics and fans alike — was the adorable Bomer’s second appearance on film after Flightplan, starring Jodie Foster. Despite succumbing to a chainsaw up the groin halfway through the movie, Bomer managed to grab screen time until the end … as Leatherface’s freshly skinned mask.

Selma Hayek. Queen vampire Santanico Pandemonium, played by Selma Hayek in Texas director Robert Rodriguez’s bloodbath of a cult hit From Dusk Till Dawn, wreaks havoc in more places than the movie’s Titty Twister strip club — like that special spot where lewd and lascivious intersect in every lesbian’s love box.

Jay Hernandez. Impossibly good-looking Jay Hernandez (Suicide Squad) barely made it out alive in director Eli Roth’s torture-porn magnum opus Hostel — sans a few fingers — and serves just deserts to the Dutch Businessman bent on keeping the Elite Hunting Club’s devious secrets safe. But despite surviving the hellish events of the first film, Hernandez reprises his role briefly in Hostel 2 before losing his head — literally — in the first five minutes.

Ryan Phillippe. Phillippe, well-to-do and -on-the-eyes resident bad boy of I Know What You Did Last Summer (which, along with its ’90s predecessor Screa_, reinvigorated the slasher genre for a whole new generation), made homo boys in theaters across the country wiggle in their seats less for his dramatic stabbing during the annual Croaker Pageant and more for the locker-room scene where we were all treated to a little towel bulge and a generous helping of that terry-clothed ass.

Christian Bale. Listen, if you’re going to be hunted down by a naked chainsaw-wielding maniac, it might as well be a buff-as-ever Christian Bale. You know, right after he gets done satisfying your carnal proclivities and smackin’ you around a bit while he admires his own biceps. Best Saturday night you’ve ever had.

The cast of MTV’s Teen Wolf. OK, so MTV’s Teen Wolf isn’t a movie, but what it lacks in tight feature-length characterization and storytelling it more than makes up for in tight torso-ed supernatural creatures masquerading as students. Tyler Posey and Tyler Hoechlin, Dylan O’Brien and the Carver Twins all have proven themselves worthy of fanboy swoons, but at least in this article let’s all hail out-and-proud Colton Haynes, who became an object of our collective affection (for two seasons at least) as lacrosse team bully Jackson Whittemore — who can body check us any day.

— Mikey Rox



—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Something WICKED this way comes

BLOOD-SUCKING HUNKS | It could be hard to run from these beefy vampires in ‘Bite Marks,’ a horror comedy starring Dallas native Benjamin Lutz.

Alt-gay gorefest Fears for Queers is back for seconds as vampire director Mark Bessenger presses the flesh

RICH LOPEZ  | Staff Writer

Mark Bessenger may be the first person to coin the term “horror drag.” The film director, who comes to town Saturday for Dallas’ second annual Fears for Queers Film Festival, ponders over what queer audiences find in horror films. As he sees it, the gays love screams.

“Whether [it’s because] we identify with the monster as an outcast, or because people dress up in all that horror drag, I’m kinda surprised [LGBT-themed horror festivals] are not happening more often,” he says.

Bessenger’s first produced feature, Bite Marks, closes out the one-day fest, following a successful premiere at the San Francisco International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival last week. And even though Fears for Queers isn’t as big, Bessenger is glad organizers Shawn Ewert and Andrew Rose approached him for it.

“It’s like we were made for each other,” he says. “How often do you run into a gay film festival of horror movies? I can’t wait to see how Texans react. And to have it shown at the theater where Lee Harvey Oswald was apprehended?  That’s such a bonus.”

In Bite Marks, Brewster, a truck driver (played by Dallas native Benjamin Lutz), is dealing with his sexuality. While on the road, he picks up a hitchhiking gay couple working out some issues of their own. If you think the premise sounds suspiciously like the plot of a gay porn film, you are not alone.

“Even during casting, we were asked if this was a porno,” he laughs. “Without giving too much away, Brewster is hauling a shipment of coffins to a funeral home, but when the GPS misleads them, they find themselves in an abandoned junkyard — and the coffins may not be empty.”

Written to be dark and brutal, Bessenger made changes during talks with his executive producer. Initially, the hitchhikers were straight, but changed to same-sex to broaden the demographic. (How often has that decision been made?) He also changed the tone to more of a horror comedy.

The decisions have paid off. Bessenger’s reaction from the San Fran crowd was enthusiastic.

“The feedback I’ve gotten has mostly been about the comedy,” he says. “I think they responded because of its gay edge and snappy lines. One funny thing was the more conventional horror scares I use, the audience wasn’t familiar with.”

Bessenger was thrilled hearing gasps in the audience and seeing people jump in their seats. Although he says his next film will be straightforward horror, the gay element isn’t lost on him. His approach has been to create the film and then figure in an LGBT aspect. He has no problem being the “gay filmmaker,” as that sensibility will creep into his movies regardless.

“Of course it depends on who I’m making the movie for, but because I am gay, there will likely be that aesthetic,” Bessenger says. “If I had done Avatar or Super 8, there would be something gay in there. Artistically, something of yourself has to seep in even if it’s just a line of dialogue or a reference.”

But making Bite Marks so gay was easier because all the lead actors were out, including Lutz, an SMU grad making his feature film debut. Lutz performed in Dallas with the likes of Kitchen Dog Theater and the Dallas Theater Center, but left for L.A. six years ago. But he’s downplaying his homecoming.

“I am really excited to see it on my home turf,” he says. “I can’t be nervous about reactions. I’ve done my work, it’s up there and there’s nothing I can do.”

But he had some nerves going into the part. Unlike the blue-collar Midwesterner Brewster, Lutz is a Texas boy; he worried if that would hinder his performance.

“I’ve never driven a truck or done certain things Brewster has,“ he says. “I was nervous I wouldn’t have a believable accent, but everything really fell in place. I felt like I was in really good hands with Mark.”

Both Bessenger and Lutz are at work on their next films, and Bessenger for one is excited about the continued growth of LGBT voices in film into something broader. He just wants them to scream as well.


Fears for Queers’ lineup

DOA Blood Bath Entertainment teamed with out filmmaker Shawn Ewert and his company Right Left Turn Productions to bring back the second annual Fears For Queers LGBT Film Festival, consisting of feature films and short scarefests — all by queer filmmakers. The films — which all screen Saturday at the Texas Theatre in Oak Cliff — run the gamut from camp to terrifying.

In J.T. Seaton’s feature George’s Intervention, friends of George meet to help him with his addiction to  eating people. Considering George is a zombie, they may have trouble sticking around through the night.









Cupcake, above, is likely the first zombie lesbian musical. The short fits in a chorus line of zombies amid a love story in the suburbs. A lesbian couple moves into Hobart, but the crabby pair of old ladies next door aren’t having it, but beware of that pale-looking mailman.

The Finnish film Metsästysmaata, below, takes two strangers led by a mysterious girl into the deep woods where no one can hear them scream.











Lola Rocknrolla is back with cinematic screwballery in the short, I Was a Tranny Werewolf.

Bite Marks, below, closes the fest along with a Q&A with director Mark Bessenger, actor Benjamin Lutz in attendance.


Proceeds from the festival benefit Youth First Texas.

Texas Theatre,
231 W. Jefferson Blvd. June 25, 2–7 p.m. $10. DOABloodbath.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 24, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas