When Jose D. Alvarez and Drew Bolton set out to create a queer horror film, they had no idea how quickly it would become a cult classic. Now, Killer Unicorn is having its official NYC premiere at the 30th anniversary of Newfest on Monday, October 29. The Brooklyn nightlife-based camp slasher is also headlining the “Hallowkween” horror sidebar at this year’s Newfest.
The film follows Danny (Alejandro La Rosa), a party boy who gets attacked by a stranger at Brooklyn's Annual Enema Party: Where you come to get douched and dance. A year after the attack, Danny still has PTSD, but decides to face his fears and delve back into the world of gay nightlife.
While his return to Brooklyn’s queer social scence starts off okay, Danny’s friends slowly begin disappearing and getting killed in gruesome ways by a man wearing a unicorn mask.
OUT caught up with the film’s writer/producer, Jose D. Alvarez, and director, Drew Bolton, to discuss the film prior to it’s NYC premiere.
OUT: What drew you to horror?
Jose and Drew: It’s such a fun genre and you can push it in so many ways. It’s such fertile ground to explore your personality, boundaries and fears! There’s a lot of freedom and a lot of creativity that goes into horror, but at the same time one of the hardest genres to pull off successfully without being corny or cheesy. And it’s also the genre people obsess over most.
How do you think queer horror works as a genre?
Queer horror works the same way all horror does. In our case we kill people with piss suffocation and getting strangled mid-fisting. But there are an unlimited number of queer horror stories that can be told, and that’s the beauty of horror. Death is non-exclusive, and we as creators get to play with that. In our case, we wanted to make horror pretty, pink, and femme because that’s what we do in the queer community. We turn darkness into something beautiful, and put on a show!
How do queerness and horror intersect?
It is both surprising and not that the biggest horror fans also happen to be queer. Sadly, it is a common thread in our community that we had rough times growing up and coming of age, which is why we believe so many of us are drawn to horror. This is a genre where we get to not only fully escape, but we also get that adrenaline rush that allows us to release our fear and anger in a healthy and fun way. But also, have you seen Nightmare on Elm Street 2? That is the most homoerotic horror film probably ever!
Anything else you'd like to add?
We are so excited to have been able to work with our friends and our queer Brooklyn peers. It felt like the school’s biggest group project, and after almost two and a half years, we cannot believe we are here with a finished product that we are so immensely proud of; because it truly was a community effort, and it's this type of unification that the world needs right now.
You can purchase tickets to see Killer Unicorn in NYC here. The film runs at 75 minutes and will be followed by a Q&A with the creators and main cast. Tickets also include entrance to the afterparty at Vnyl, which will be hosted by Brooklyn legends Merrie Cherry and DJ Horrorchata.