A scary, gory time set in the community of West Hollywood.
The horror movie genre is undeniably dominated by a fanbase of heterosexual males. But there was one movie in 2004 that forever changed the game, and it was, and still is, damn good.
It's called Hellbent and it is being screened by FilmOut at The Landmark Hillcrest on Wednesday, October 18. It’s a double-bill with Nightmare on Elm Street 2.
Although the latter doesn’t have a gay character, it is one of the most homoerotic films from a major horror movie franchise.
Hellbent, on the other hand, changed the game for us LGBT horror movie fans. It gave us our own slasher and it is quite effective; there's a scene involving a glass eye that's so cringe-worthy you will never forget it. I haven't.
Mainstream slasher fans have had their icons since the 80’s in movies such as Friday the 13th, and Halloween. But it wasn’t until 2004 when Paul Etheredge released Hellbent that the world got a new one.
Formulated from films of its ilk, director Paul Etheredge wrote the script for “Hellbent” after binge-watching 80’s horror movies.
In collaboration with Joseph Wolf, the producer of Hell Night, Nightmare on Elm Street and Halloween II They thought it would be a good idea to set the film in the world of gay men in Los Angeles.
The first scene sets the tone for the film: two men in a car, mid-coitus, are terrorized by a man in a devil mask one decapitated as he hangs his head out the window receiving oral sex.
From there we are introduced to our hero Eddie who has dressed up in his father’s police officer’s uniform on Halloween in West Hollywood, the gay mecca of Southern California.
The devil mask wearing shape with a scythe is on the loose and taking the heads of his victims as they maneuver around Halloween Carnival celebrations.
Every horror plot point is 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.
But that was the intention of the filmmakers, they wanted to create a gay horror film that used archetypes from straight horror films. The thing is they didn’t want their character's sexualities to be the focus of the script.
"The young men in Hellbent have moved beyond worrying about whether 'it's ok to be gay' or not," Etheredge later said.
It should also be noted that the actors in the main roles were not gay. Most of the actors in the film are straight including our handsome hero Eddie (Dylan Fergus).
Also, the killer really has no motive or apparent one anyway. He goes around collecting heads, but there is never a reason for why he is doing it.
It's been said the reason for this is to allow the audience to infuse their own fears into his motivations. Which is kind of scary if you think about today's senseless violence.
If you are a horror fan, gay or straight and have never seen Hellbent, or have never seen it on a big screen FilmOut's presentation of it is a perfect way to experience all the blood, horror and game-changing twists of this groundbreaking film.
FilmOut presents "Hellbent" playing with "A Nightmare on Elm Street 2" on Wednesday, October 18, starting at 7 pm at the Landmark's Hillcrest Cinemas.
The Landmark's Hillcrest Cinemas is located at 3965 Fifth Ave. # 200, San Diego, 92103.
Get your tickets now by clicking HERE!