There is no shortage of classic slasher films in the horror community, but did you know there is one that takes place in the gay community, and it’s really good.
It’s called Hellbent and it came out (ahem) 13 years ago.
Although it was an independent film it had some of the biggest names in horror entertainment to back it up.
Joseph Wolf, the producer of Hell Night, Nightmare on Elm Street and Halloween II and director Paul Etheredge collaborated to formulate a script.
Etheredge binging on 80’s slasher films to construct well-worn tropes and use them in his movie, only they would be portrayed by gay characters, the action taking place in their neighborhood.
That community is West Hollywood in California during the annual Halloween Carnival. In classic madman form, two guys are getting to know each other in a parked car in the beginning of the film, when a killer in a devil mask decapitates one of them.
The scene is quite brutal and the special effects are impressive. In fact, all of the kills in the film are impressive, with Savini-style quality and unsettling situations.
Readers if you have never heard of the “glass eye” scene in Hellbent you need to pay the dues on your horror card.
The man in the devil mask continues his bloody rampage, collecting heads from gay men in the club. Even killing one on the dancefloor amid a crowd of people who think it’s a part of the Halloween show.
All the archetypes are here: a serial killer, a final girl (In this case guy) and other tropes that are mixed into a script drawn from a boiling pot.
This was all intentional say the filmmakers. They wanted to make a slasher film where a man’s homosexuality was not the focus, they are just people enjoying the night which so happens to be the hunting ground for a crazed scythe-toting maniac.
“The young men in Hellbent have moved beyond worrying about whether ‘it’s ok to be gay’ or not,” Etheredge later said.
Ironically, It should be noted that the actors playing the main characters were not gay.
Also worth nothing, the killer in the film has no motivation in why he is targeting his victims. This was another aspect which the filmmakers made intentional. They wanted the audience to draw from their own fears and come up with reasons of their own.
Gay or straight, horror lovers are really missing out if they have not seen this film for whatever reason.
It’s available on most streaming platforms and takes place during Halloween, what better time than the present to add it to your queue.