Out of the Celluloid Closet

10 campy horror flicks every gay should see

· Updated on April 26, 2024

They call Halloween gay Christmas for a reason, and they also say (rightly) that Halloween should be celebrated all year long. And what better way to celebrate than with a horror movie binge?

No, we’re not talking about Nightmare on Elm Street and I Know What You Did Last Summer, no matter how classic those titles may be. Even more essential to gay men this time of year is a specific subgenre of horror that’s lousy with camp. They’re more quotable one-liners than scares, but they’re all must-see cinema this time of year.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show


A couple gets stranded in the rain and is taken in by a gender-bending mad scientist who’s creating the perfect man. It’s a tale as old as time. Oh, and it’s a musical. Not only is this movie an essential viewing, but everyone should also go to a live performance at least once in their life.

The Witches of Eastwick

Nothing’s quite as erotic as Cher, Susan Sarandon, and Michelle Pfeiffer living their most iconic ‘80s lives. Even the devil (as portrayed by Jack Nicholson) was bewitched by their big hair and satin negligees.



Michael Keaton makes the afterlife look absurdly fun while Winona Ryder makes our teenage emo phases look incredibly tame. Oh, and Alec Baldwin in his prime makes dorky dad wear look irresistibly sexy.

Death Becomes Her

Watching Goldie Hawn and Meryl Streep duke it out to the death is even more interesting when neither of them can die. But with Bruce Willis and eternal beauty on the line, we’d throw our hats into the ring as well.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

The Sarah Michelle Gellar teen soap on the WB may be a classic but the original movie with Kristy Swanson turns the Valley girl camp up to a 10. Who can resist Luke Perry and logic like, “I have no sense of history? He wears a brown tie!”

Hocus Pocus

This one’s a no-brainer. Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy play three witches who’ve come back from the dead in search of eternal youth and beauty. As much as we enjoyed it as children, it was basically written for gay men.

Serial Mom

Kathleen Turner is the perfect housewife. But things like failing to recycle and wearing white after Labor Day just drive her to homicide, and obscene crank calls. With John Waters behind the camera, this is cinematic gold.

The Craft

The classic high school mean girls get a wicked new spin with Robin Tunney, Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell, and Rachel True. If you haven’t lusted after Skeet Ulrich and wrapped a ribbon around some bitch’s photo while reciting a binding spell, you haven’t experience the greatness of this film.

Psycho Beach Party


Charles Busch’s drag genius gets the cinematic treatment with this homage to ‘60s beach movies and ‘70s slasher flicks. This film has everything: split personalities, gay surfers, and a pre-famous Amy Adams.

Jennifer’s Body

This one still hasn’t received the cult status it deserves. Diablo Cody’s hilarious one-liners are delivered perfectly by Amanda Seyfried and Megan Fox. Amid the shameless camp, there’s also a steamy scene for our lesbian sisters.

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