Queer Slasher 'Killer Unicorn' Creators Talk Classic Horror References & 'Dark, Horny' Score
A campy, queer slasher flick with a unicorn-masked killer? Count us in.
Killer Unicorn stars Alejandro La Rosa as Danny, a party boy living it up in Brooklyn. He gets attacked at a warehouse party only to be saved by a drag queen. A year later, the party boy returns to the scene only to watch in horror as his gay-gle gets snatched by a hunky killer in a speedo and a unicorn mask. The campy film also features local queer staples like BibleGirl, Horrorchata, Lady Havok, Merrie Cherry, Rify Royalty and Untitled.
Ahead of its premiere this weekend at Bushwig, Billboard caught up with the team behind the future cult classic: mastermind José D. Álvarez, director Drew Bolton and composer Tyler Stone. The trio promised plenty of classic horror movie references and a “dark, horny” score -- and also provided a new teaser created specially for Billboard.
How would you describe this film?
Bolton: A hot dude in a unicorn mask kills drag queens in Brooklyn. It's where fantasy goes to die and where fantasy comes to kill.
Álvarez: I always say that this film is like John Waters topping John Carpenter, so equal parts scary, campy and queer.
Did you consider other masks before arriving at the idea of a unicorn?
Álvarez: The Killer Unicorn started off as an internal joke on my social media, so I always had this idea in the back of my head. At first I was very unsure of the idea, but the more I got involved with Brooklyn nightlife, the more I wanted to capture the essence and vitality of it.
What scene was the most fun to film?
Bolton: The scene where a performer drowns in the killer's piss. I worked with very talented and patient people.
Tyler, why did you decide to get involved in this project?
Stone: I’m just as much of a die hard fan of horror films as I am drag queens and dance music. So, this just seemed like the perfect fit.
How would you describe the score?
Stone: I’d say it’s definitely dark, horny and electronic, with beautiful moments of hope and justice.
Tell me about your original tracks that are featured in Killer Unicorn.
Stone: I have a couple of original tracks. One of which I’m performing on called “Lazy.” I’ve also featured “Thot Joose” which is a track I produced for Bronx MC Charlie Sheena. It’s a juicy, boozie track to break the heat and tickle the panties. It’s about letting loose to have fun and flirt. People go to these parties to hook up and be thotty so it's perf.
Another is a collaboration I did with DJ Erol Sabadosh under the moniker Midnight Lush. Most of the warehouse scenes are original music
Did you consciously work with queer Brooklyn artists?
Stone: Yes, it was intentional to use queer Brooklyn artists. A lot of the music was curated by Will Sheridan, an artist also featured in the soundtrack. Others are Cole Church, Felix & The Future, Ruby Fox, Celestial Trax featuring Monica Bradley and more.
What are your influences for creating the score?
Stone: I have been inspired by horror film scores my entire life. In this instance I wanted to marry an eerie David Lynch-esque sound with modern instruments and elements. I also produce dance music. So, doing a horror film set in a club setting has been both fun and inspiring.
Why did you decide to premiere Killer Unicorn at Bushwig?
Bolton: We are still in post production, but were so excited by the response we’ve received so far. We couldn’t wait any longer to show it to our community.
Who is your favorite scream queen? Did she influence this film?
Álvarez: This movie definitely references a lot of my favorite films and their characters. I love Jamie Lee Curtis and you will see a lot of parallels with her and Halloween in Killer Unicorn. I also love Teri McMinn, and her infamous scene in Texas Chainsaw Massacre is probably my favorite scene of all time. Oh and Mark Patton, because duh. I'd rather watch him in Nightmare On Elm Street 2 than porn.
What other influences will we see in the film?
Álvarez: Killer Unicorn is filled with little easter eggs parodying classic horror films, so you will get some I Know What You Did Last Summer, Scream and Halloween vibes, as well as a campy take on classic scare tactics and horror movie mistakes.
Catch the premiere of Killer Unicorn at Bushwig this weekend. It will be screening on Saturday, Sept 22 at 3pm and Sunday, Sept 23 at 4pm. Following it's premiere, the film will hit the festival circuit. For more information, you can check out the film's Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.