Issue:  Vol. 44 / No. 37 / 11 September 2014
 
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Scream queen

Film

Horror homo Alan Rowe Kelly


Writer/director/actor Alan Rowe Kelly photo: Robert Norman
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For seventeen years, Alan Rowe Kelly worked as a hair and make-up artist. His work was seen on Comedy Central, Court TV, MTV, and in the fashion world. Although he loved his work, and still does it part time, make-up wasn't his ultimate goal.

Since early childhood, Kelly has been obsessed with horror movies. "I grew up watching Creature Features on TV," he says. "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein was the first film to make an impression on me. I loved The Wizard of Oz, not because of Judy, but because of the witch!"

Kelly loves evil characters in movies, and always wanted to play them. Films like House on Haunted Hill, Horror Hotel , and TV shows like Dark Shadows ("Great, campy horror. I lived for it!") inspired his youth. He finally reached a point where he had to live his dream.

Alan Rowe Kelly is now a writer/director/actor working in the horror genre. His 2002 film I'll Bury You Tomorrow has been released on DVD by San Francisco based Heretic Films after winning awards at the Telluride and Key West Indie Fests, the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival, and the B Movie Theatre Film Festival. Kelly is not your typical horror maven. In a world largely populated by straight boys, Kelly is an out, proud, androgynous gay man who sometimes cross-dresses. Yet he eschews all labels.

"Am I a trans? Never thought about it," he said. "I hate labels. I'm a gay male and I always looked like a girl. Drag queen? Trannie? Whatever! I'm the gay antichrist!"

Kelly would much rather talk about his film work. He's immensely proud of I'll Bury You Tomorrow, a darkly comic chiller set in a New Jersey mortuary. In the film, Zoe Daelman Chandra plays a young woman working at the Beech Funeral Home who gets a little too much pleasure out of her work. Kelly himself appears as a foul-mouthed, effeminate body snatcher.

Shot on an ultra low budget in New Jersey, where Kelly lives, Bury You is an effective, creepy film with wonderful sight gags. The funniest bit features a morgue attendant who looks like a cross between Lily Munster and Morticia Addams, yet no one notices. And the cadaverous old couple who runs the funeral home will chill you, even as they give you the giggles.

Kelly has good reason to be proud of his baby. It's a labor of love and it shows.
He's particularly proud of an award he won in 2004. That year, CampBlood.org, a gay horror site, crowned him their "Horror Homo of the Year."

Currently, Kelly is hard at work on several projects. In the upcoming Opening The Mind, he plays a prostitute terrorized by a serial killer. "It's a female role, but can be taken anyway you want".

In Bloodshed, a hillbilly/cannibalism movie, he'll direct and play the family's eldest daughter. "It's a John Waters/Tobe Hooper hybrid. It'll show that I've improved as a filmmaker, that I've learned a lot about cameras, editing and sound."

And in the anthology slasher film Hung By A Thread , he'll play a gay-bashing victim. The onscreen bashing will be graphic. "This is reality," he says. "Look at Kevin Aviance, Matt Shepherd. This shit happens. I want to show people how scary the truth is.

Says Alan Rowe Kelly: "I don't care about sexuality. I want to work with people who love horror movies. I want a family atmosphere. I want to be the first male Scream Queen!!"

To order I'll Bury You Tomorrow , go to www.hereticfilms.com

Frankenstein: The True Story (1973)

This highly rated all-star TV movie makes its DVD debut just in time for Halloween. The three-hour film is one of several that claims to tell the Frankenstein story as it was written in Mary Shelley's 1818 novel.

The film comes with an impressive gay pedigree: the screenplay was written by legendary gay author Christopher Isherwood and his lover, artist Don Bachardy.

Their meticulous script delves much deeper into the characters' minds than previous adaptations. Though not spoken, there are subtle hints of romantic feelings between Frankenstein (Leonard Whiting), and his beautiful creation (Michael Sarrazin). Those feelings turn to hate when the creature, still alive, begins to decompose like a corpse.

The film is beautifully shot and features exquisite early 19th century sets and costumes. Roy Ashton, who designed make-up effects for many of the Hammer horror films, does superb work here, slowly morphing the youthful, sensual Sarrazin into an ugly monster. Wonderful actors like James Mason (who opens the film with a visit to Mary Shelley's actual gravesite), Michael Wilding, John Gielgud and Agnes Moorehead give this fine TV production an added touch of class.

Dark Shadows Forums

Mr. Kelly isn't the only horror homo who loves Dark Shadows. Go to the Dark Shadows Forums (DSBoards.com) a message board for lovers of that classic, scary soap opera.

Once there, you'll be welcomed by moderators Midnite, Dom, and The Mysterious Benefactor. Many of the Forum's 600 plus members are openly gay, and the atmosphere is warm and inviting. Though most discussions regard to Dark Shadows and its cast, threads about classic horror films are not uncommon. Posters often share images of their own artwork and stories, and a good time is always had by all. www.dsboards.com

Big Ole Face Full of Monster

Peninsula residents Jenni Morrison Smith and Mitchell Smith offer this new quarterly horror magazine. Now preparing their third issue, the unusually titled Big Ole Face Full of Monster covers all things horror, including gay horror. Though not officially a gay magazine, Big Ole Face is most definitely gay-friendly. Its staff of knowledgeable film fans covers not only film and TV, but music and literature as well. Big Ole Face Full of Monster is a mag to watch out for. Visit www.gomonstergo.com






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