Review: Gina and Joe Talk About Queer Horror

Gina and Joe Talk About Queer Horror
Fanzine, Gina Brandolino and Joe Garlough,28 pgs, Displaced Snail Press,, $5

What I like about Gina & Joe Talk About Queer Horror is what it isn’t: tragic queer childhood memories. Not that those stories don’t have their value, but it’s refreshing to read about joy found as young LGBTQ+ people in more difficult times. Gina and Joe’s delight in ‘80s horror movies is infectious and their perspective is uncommon.

One assumes that the two teamed up to write this simply out of friend-ship but you couldn’t arrange a more complementary duo. Gina’s your standard-issue lesbian and Joe is a mid-30s Philadelphian exploring his gender. She’s an academic and a rookie zinester. He probably rents a vault to hold all of the zines he’s produced.

Joe is just beginning to identify as something other than a straight man, and Gina came out as a lesbian rather late by today’s standards. I appreciate reading these accounts from two people at various stages in life, craft and discovery. The enigma behind their attraction to horror movies was inextricably tied to their unexplored genders and sexualities. This zine offers a nugget of hope for any young people who sense that they are different and might find a home in the horror realm.

Highlights from Joe’s pieces include a fantastic list of implicitly queer horror movies that we can investigate for ourselves. I appreciated the glimpse he generously gives us into his emerging queer self through parallels with the ‘disbelieved woman’ trope. “I’m drawing lines between the way people have treated me throughout my life and the affinity I have towards the girlfriend in the movie, the daughter, the wife.”

For Gina’s part, I found her use of horror movie analogies in ‘lesbian ghost’ to be such a sweet love letter to queer allies. The uplifting essays in this zine give any fan of horror films and/or queer theory plenty to chew on. “Monster and Hero, you can be both!” Gina happily proclaims. The most bisexual statement a person can make.


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