Director Glenn Packard Talks Horror & The LBGTQ Community In An Interview

With June being Pride month I wanted to examine the horror genre from the LBGTQ point of view. Emmy Award Nominee, choreographer and creator/director Glenn Packard, the man behind the 2017 slasher film Pitchfork (review), sat down with me to answer a few question about the genre from his point of view.

 

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Horror Fuel: “What does Pride Month mean to you?”

Packard: “It’s a time to celebrate who I am, to remember those who marched for us to have the same rights as other humans. It is a time for me to stand tall and let the world know I am proud of who I am, and to never stop believing in yourself and to lead by example. What does it mean to you horror sis?”

Horror Fuel: “It’s a time to celebrate those who have the strength to live life on their terms, to be proud of who they are, and the love they share.”

 

Horror Fuel: “Will you tell us you’re coming out story?”

Packard: “Well must of it can be seen in the first 15 minutes of my horror indie film ‘PITCHFORK’, yeah that’s right, the character Hunter, played amazingly by Brian Raetz, was based off of me and my coming out story to my family, yeap my father once looked at me and mouthed those words “I can’t believe my son is a fairy” but I think my response was “well actually dad, I’m consider more a jock-type of gay” lol and that talk between Mrs. Killian and Hunter was the exact conversation I had with my mom many times. But like many others my coming out wasn’t the best with my family. They didn’t understand and that wasn’t their vision in their eyes of how they wanted their son to turn out. But I have to say they eventually came around, and are extremely proud of me, and not ashamed they have a gay son. I never threw the whole gay thing in their face, I knew it would take time, and just like above when I mention, lead by example, I did just that, by enjoying my life, enjoying my loves, and they saw this and saw I was happy. But to answer your question I have 2 coming out stories, I think all LGBTQ do, this is the coming out to my family, and then there is the coming out to your friends, I told my best friend at the time Angela Brown, I was around 22, and I was nervous as all hell, since I was a small town gay, but of course she excepted me with open arms and love, which is pretty much how all my friends I told after that were.”

Horror Fuel: “I imagine it had to be tough. But it’s great that you’re family came around. I know a lot of people aren’t that lucky. A lot of people don’t understand that living in a small town can make things like that tougher. I’m from a small town. In high school my best friend was a lesbian. I had to watch her go through a lot of tough situations.”

 

Horror Fuel: “As a choreographer and director do you feel like you have been treated differently?”

Packard: “Honestly no, I feel I was treated always like a professional.”

Horror Fuel: “Good.”

 

Horror Fuel: “What is your opinion on LGBTQ characters in the horror genre?”

Packard: “Well I know I would like to start seeing more of them, and different stereo types of LGBTQ. I took a big risk making the final girl actually a FINAL GAY! It’s a indie horror film, and it’s not always smart to take risks. But during filming, actually the character based on me, HUNTER, was supposed to be killed like 3rd in the film, I believed so much that it was important to have a strong lead gay character opposite Pitchfork, I decided during filming to change the script and have Hunter be the hero. Big risk, but one I stand by and am proud of. I love seeing this gay character, a bit nervous, unsure of himself, during the film transform into this strong, confident, gay hero! Whats your thoughts on this, Kelli?

Horror Fuel: “I would like to see better representation of the LBGTQ community. I hate stereotypes and I feel like we see a lot of them in movies in general. I think it’s great that Hunter kicked butt in Pitchfork.”
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Horror Fuel: “If you could send a message to Hollywood about how they write and treat the community, what would you say?”
Packard: “I actually would focus on the good, since that is what I do! I’d say keep them coming and thank you for series like QUEER as FOLK, HBO LOOKING, Specials like ABC WHEN WE RISE & NORMAL HEART, FILMS like MOONLIGHT & BROKE BACK MOUNTAIN (and my favorite IT’s MY PARTY gay cry whenever I watch that one!) , characters in main stream sitcoms, dramas, and films keep them coming and give us a variety cuz we are a colorful bunch.”
Horror Fuel: “Yes, ya’ll are and that’s fantastic.  I liked several of those movies. To Wong Foo Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar is one of my favorites. I love the final scene where Stockard Channing tells Patrick Swayze’s character Vida ‘I don’t think of you as a woman, and I don’t think of you as a man, I think of you as an angel.’ So sweet. “
Horror Fuel: “What LBGTQ horror character and actor/actress is your favorite and why?”
Packard: “Should I say THE BABADOOK? hahahaha just kidding, thanks Netflix for that one! Well, I know a lot of the gays yell out and shout for the homoerotic horror films like Freddy’s Revenge, Jeepers Creepers 2, The Forsaken, The Lost Boys, American Psycho, and my favorite The Hitcher. But those are only wishful thinking. So my two favorite gay horror characters are Josef from 2014 CREEP, and Maria from 2003 High Tension. Great gay obsession go crazy horror characters. Do you have a favorite?”
Horror Fuel: “I love that the Babadook is a new LBGTQ icon. I have to say Eric Nenninger’s character in Jeepers Creepers II is great. I like that he was written as a normal guy. Mark Patton’s character, Jesse, in A Nightmare on Elm Street II is a good one. I mean come on, the tag line for the movie is ‘The Man of your dreams is back’ it’s pretty obvious. I also really liked Denis O’Hare as Liz in American Horror Story: Hotel. And of course, Swayze’s Vida”
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Horror Fuel: “To any budding LBGTQ actors, actresses or filmmakers looking to make it in the industry what advice would you give them?”
Packard: “If its what you love and is your passion, then all I can say is do it and enjoy the ride! :) Happy Horror! Happy Pride!”
Be sure to check out Glenn Douglas Packard’s original, action-packed slasher Pitchfork. Now out on Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD, and Amazon form Uncork’d Entertainment.
In the film, having recently shared a life-changing secret with his family, Hunter recruits his friends to come with him from New York to the farm where he grew up as he faces his parents for the first time. As the college students enjoy the fresh air of Michigan farm country, an older, more dangerous secret slowly emerges. While Hunter navigates a new place within his conservative family, a vicious creature from their past descends on the farm, putting the unsuspecting city kids in mortal danger.

Daniel Wilkinson, Lindsey Nicole, Brian Raetz, Ryan Moore, Celina Beach, Keith Webb, Sheila Leason, Nicole Dambro, Vibhu Raghave, Rachel Carter, Andrew Dawe-Collins, Carol Ludwick, Derek Reynolds, Addisyn Wallace and Anisbel Lopez co-star in the indie sleeper hit, written by Darryl F. Gariglio.

Visit the official Pitchfork website and follow on Twitter for more on the film. Follow Glenn Packard on Twitter and Facebook for more on this film and his other projects. Be sure to check out my first interview with Glenn about the making of Pitchfork.
Thank you to Glenn for sharing his story and his thoughts on the community and the genre with us. He’s a great guy with a lot of talent. I’m honored to call him a friend.
Happy Pride Month everyone!

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