T-Blockers Is The Wickedly Camp Queer Horror Comedy Taking On The Andrew Tates Of The World


What is it with queers and horror movies? For some reason it’s the genre du-jour to explore issues in the LGBTQIA+ community, which probably says something either about us, or the state of the world. T BLOCKERS is another instalment in this grand tradition, an Australian, camp horror story that pits some trans and queer vigilantes against sinister men radicalised by both queerphobia and evil parasitic worms.

T BLOCKERS welcomes the audience into the film with an Elvira-style mistress of the dark narrator, who not only walks us through some of the broader philosophical concepts, but also does some inspiring and very funny lip acting. Played by iconic Drag Race Down Under queen Etcetera Etcetera, the horror throwback character also sets the scene for what kind of film this is – camp, wickedly funny, often schlocky, but engaging with some deep societal themes and a compelling allegory.

There’s a lot to talk about when it comes to what T BLOCKERS explores in terms of rising hatred against the LGBTQIA+ community, about trans identity, about the radicalisation of straight cis men – but you need to know that it’s a fun and funny horror film first. My favourite joke is when a character says they have a new act “inspired by Harry Potter”, and after watching everyone’s faces fall, clarifies “it’s called JK Rowling is a cunt”. It’s full of outrageous horror fun like toxic goo and evil parasites, and taps into female fury style films, complete with masked vigilantes beating up bad men. Watching T BLOCKERS was above all, fun.

The film is directed and co-written by Alice Maio Mackay, a young transgender award-winning filmmaker based in South Australia. This is her third feature film, made when she was only seventeen. The avowedly “transgender and queer film” has a predominantly queer, non-binary and trans cast and crew. The film is about a young trans filmmaker who discovers that she can sense ancient evil parasites that take over weak, vulnerable men, and is forced to form a vigilante group to stop this evil contagion spreading.

As an allegory for transphobia and broader anti-LGBTQIA+ hate rising in society, it’s very compelling. While the basic horror hook might seem obvious – the radicalisation of insecure young men into hate movements, the effect of people like Jordan Peterson and Ben Shapiro and Andrew Tate directly referenced in the film, a clear comparison to the parasitic worms that take over vulnerable men. But it’s the specifics that elevate the allegory – one of the first monsters we meet is a “chaser” — men who see trans women as a kink, rather than as a person to be respected. We see homophobes and transphobes and incels and MRAs, all taken over by the parasite and turned into terrifying zombie creatures. The genuine trans experience at the heart of the story grounds the allegory away from hyperbole, while the gleeful commitment to horror tropes like fake gore keep it entertaining.

It’s a point made all the more clever when you remember that the current transphobe and TERF rhetoric used to justify their rabid attack on trans people is the theory that transness is a “social contagion”. Never mind that this is just the same recycled homophobia argument used when society began to accept gay and lesbian people. Inverting the weaponisation of “contagion” and pushing it back on the people who have been radicalised into a hate movement is very clever.

T-Blockers is releasing to video on demand on March 20, 2024.

Patrick Lenton is a freelance journalist and author living in Melbourne. He writes the Substack newsletter ‘All The Het Nonsense‘.

Photo: Supplied.