Gay Villains in Hollywood

(Welcome to Queering the Scene, a series that explores LGBTQ themes and content in films of all kinds…especially where you least expect it.) 

Queer representation in cinema has often been problematic. As a result of queer coding, the LGBTQ+ community was often portrayed as violent, threatening, and abhorrent, an active threat to civilized heteronormative society. But queer coding isn’t a new concept. In fact, its roots lay deep within film history. 

Those roots will eventually take us to Mission: Impossible II of all things. But first, we need to look back. Far back.

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(Welcome to Queering the Scene, a series that explores LGBTQ themes and content in films of all kinds…especially where you least expect it.) 

One of the most sexualized subgenres of horror, the slasher film lives in a voyeuristic place where the male gaze is king, and women are but tidy little morsels to be hacked up and consumed. It started with films like Peeping Tom (1960), whose name itself is a dead giveaway to the appetites and predilections we’d come to know and love. John Carpenter and Debra Hill swear they never intended to portray sex as a punishable offense in Halloween, but the imagery was nevertheless embedded in the cultural zeitgeist forever. From then on, the slasher would always be associated with a kind of heteronormative, puritanical reckoning from the male gaze, leaving nothing in its wake but blood, guts, and a final girl.  

That is until Slumber Party Massacre II offered something … different.

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