Bryan Fuller-Produced Horror Doc Queer For Fear Heads To Shudder This Year

If there's anyone who knows their queer horror, it's Bryan Fuller. The "Hannibal" showrunner is executive producing "Queer for Fear: A History of Queer Horror," a four-part documentary series that's headed to the Shudder streaming service. "Queer for Fear" will dive into the history of the horror and thriller genres, specifically when it comes to the role that members of the LGBTQ+ community have played in shaping them both in front of and behind the camera. Interviewees on the show include "Attack of the Queerwolf" podcast-co-host Nay Bever, actor-writer Lea DeLaria ("Orange is the New Black"), director Kimberly Pierce ("Boys Don't Cry," the 2013 "Carrie"), and even /Film's own BJ Colangelo.

Fuller, Bever, DeLaria, and Pierce were on a panel to discuss "Queer for Fear" as part of AMC Networks' presentation for the 2022 Television Critics Association (TCA) presentation (via Fangoria). As you can imagine, Fuller was asked if the series would be touching on "Hannibal" and its own unique blend of horror and eroticism, particularly in terms of the relationship between serial killer Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) and criminal profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy). "We're touching on it. We're heavy petting 'Hannibal,'" Fuller replied, adding, "I'm very proud of the show. I'm not shy talking about it!"

The Queer Horror of Bryan Fuller

The intertwining of horror and queer cinema goes back to the early days of the film industry, especially with regard to monsters. Perhaps most famously, the openly gay English filmmaker James Whale was responsible for directing three of the most well-known Universal monster horror movies of all time in the 1930s ("Frankenstein," "Bride of Frankenstein," and "The Invisible Man"). Amusingly, when asked at the TCA panel how he came to identify monsters with being queer, Fuller cited the "Dracula" and "Frankenstein"-inspired breakfast cereal mascots Count Chocula and Frankenberry. "I just knew from the way they clutched each other they were probably f***ing," he added.

Queer themes had already found their way into Fuller's work long before "Hannibal" — like his cult-favorite TV show "Pushing Daisies," where Lee Pace played Ned, a pie-maker with the ability to resurrect the dead with a single touch, then return them to their former state with another one. Of course, this complicates matters when he revives his murdered childhood sweetheart Charlotte, aka "Chuck" (Anna Friel), which prevents the two from being able to make direct physical contact again. What follows is a morbidly whimsical blend of romance, humor, and heartbreak that could (and has) been read as a metaphor for a queer relationship, as well as the historical experiences of the LGBTQ+ community in more ways than one.

Sadly, Fuller didn't get to dive too deeply into the world of monsters and queer subtext with "Mockingbird Lane," a re-imagining of "The Munsters" that NBC pulled the plug on after completing production on its pilot (which aired as a one-off Halloween special in 2012). Fortunately, he's since been attached to direct "Christine," a new film adaptation of Stephen King's 1983 horror novel about a teenager named Arnie and his supernaturally-possessed red-and-white 1958 Plymouth Fury. Fuller has described his vision for the movie as "horny as hell," and I, for one, couldn't be happier to hear it.

"Queer for Fear: A History of Queer Horror" will debut on Shudder at some point in 2022.