Horror Sex Camp
Hi there–Madeline here today. I’m picking up from where Elizabeth Shore’s post left off yesterday. She was talking about how well horror and erotic romance go together.
Meanwhile my favorite type of horror — campy horror — goes even better with sex. I’m talking hot, uninhibited, I-don’t-care-that-you’re-not-my-boyfriend sex.
I mean, before the 80’s you had horror films that had sex stuff in them. Sure. The sexy popular girl always got slashed first, of course. Female audiences weren’t supposed to enjoy the sexy part of these films though. You had women taking off their sweaters as suspense built, blah, blah, blah to get men off. They were thrown a gratuitous arousal boner as a way of staving off boredom until the part came where their date would jump around, scream, and cling unto her date. Which led to boinking said date afterwards. (Apparently almost all horror films make bank for this very reason.)
Although, I never quite understood how that worked. You just watched a film about a woman going off with a guy alone, getting all slutty, and then getting slashed. So after the movie, you go off with a guy alone, and you get all slutty with him…
BUT THEN! Along came a time-warping little freaky-deaky project called The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975).
This film was less about horror and really more of an excuse to display one giant, cross-dressing, trans-gender orgy. But the film was an important one. First it gave teens across our suburban lands something to do on a Saturday at midnight. Second, in this film Janet made it quite clear she needed someone to touch her. Lucky for her, there happened to be this specially made big golden hottie around to do it. We learned from Rocky Horror that even nice girls needed to get some.
And with Rocky Horror Picture Show, the age of the 80’s and political correctness was spawned. But despite the money grubbing, despite the cold war repression, a new tradition was born. Ironic Camp came of age. Yes, Poltergeist, The Shining, and a remake of The Thing happened, but this new trend in horror films took our lives in a whole new direction.
For instance, American Werewolf in London (1981).
A sexy, slightly unsure American tourist is bitten.
Now, it’s the cute guy getting naked, not the cute girl.
The film was also funny, providing a different kind of release. Horror and camp go together. As certain horror films got campier, they also got sexy in a different way–in a way that was definitely aimed at women.
[People older than I would say–well, what about Michael London, Mr. Little House on the Prairie, who was in “I Was A TeenAge Werewolf”? And I would say, “What’s that grandma? I can’t hear you over the loose dentures rattling around in your mouth.” And they would say, “Fine, smarty-pants, but they’re remaking it–aren’t they?” And I would shrug, because I dunno, maybe they are? Was that show campy? I doubt it. I’m talking about camp here, grandma. Camp.]
The Lost Boys (1987) came along. They were troubled bad boys, their leader a totally hot Jason Patric.
Oh, and Kiefer Sutherland was sneering about in the background too.
Then you had the (mostly forgotten) film Lair of The White Worm (1988) starring an unknown British actor named Hugh Grant. (Which also had a hot Scottish guy in it, btw, pictured here, covered in blood.)
After that came Buffy — the movie (1992), wherein cute Luke Perry got to stand around and watch his girlfriend kick ass. Feminism had truly arrived. (Luke, you are cute, but not enough for me to bother getting your pic and showing it here.)
And Buffy begat Scream (1996). In which Skeet Ulrich seduces and betrays and slays — His best. Role. Ever.
And Scream begat Buffy again–this time the TV show (1997-2003). Spike. Angel. Need I say more?
And Buffy the TV show, in some ways, begat Torchwood (2006)
Which was horror/sci-fi and very sexy, yes, but in ways you were never expecting—and in ways which left you totally uncomfortable afterwards. Oy. Not one person in that cast ever had hot, uncomplicated sex. EVER. It was Tortured, as much or more than it was Torchwood.
So, what’s coming next for Horror Sex Camp? Maybe there’s something out there right now that I’m missing–? Leave a comment. Let me know.