My nightmare on elm street mark patton scream queens documentary
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October 31, 2022
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Scream, Queen! My Nightmare On Elm Street - the gayest horror movie there is !

"He's inside me, and he wants to take me again!"-Jesse. We recently viewed the documentary Scream, Queen! My Nightmare On Elm Street at this year's LUFF (Lausanne underground film festival), and what a surprise! Here's the tea:

A nightmare on elm street - a staple of horror culture, no questions asked. I mean, everyone and their grandmas know it at this point. But what if I told you that its 1985 sequel, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge, is a symbol of gay and queer in horror? 

Well, let's start at its origin; after the first movie's success in 1984, New Line Cinema immediately started the production of its sequel. Directed by Jack Sholder, written by David Chaskin, and starred young Mark Patton, Kim Myers, Robert Englund, and Robert Rusler. 

The film follows Jesse Walsh, a teenager who begins having recurring nightmares about Freddy Krueger after moving into the former home of Nancy Thompson. Quite classical, isn't it? Well, think again: as the movie comes out, it's met with a wave of critics, and people are appalled. The script, in its content, is blamed for carrying homoerotic subtext and undertones, and people are not happy about it. 

Since then, commentators and horror fans worldwide have speculated that the whole story is one of a young boy repressing his homosexuality and being too "feminine." so much so that the actor Mark Patton is now commonly known as taking on the role of "the final Girl. "And the movie dubbed as the gayest horror movie there is. 

How did we end up here? Well, critics stipulate that the level of homoerotism in the movie is very much evident and not entirely logical in the plot line. And the unclarity doesn't stop there: the main character has a gender-neutral name, is never fully clothed, and gets hit on by another male character at LA's biggest gay bar. 

The lead actor stated that it became more and more undeniable during production as the rewrites illustrated downright phallic shapes and sexual practices at times.

Mark Patton has felt betrayed and played throughout the years as he himself is gay and feels that he's been wrongfully outed. He was closeted at the time, and the filmmakers knew of it. It led him to be only cast portraying gay roles and would have prevented him from a big Hollywood career. 

Patton felt like the production sabotaged him, especially writer David Chaskin. It has been an ongoing fight for years, with one party stating that this was an action framing and the other claiming that it was the actors at fault and that the acting was performed "too gay." Ultimately, the distress caused by the movie led Patton to quit acting entirely and pursue a career in interior decoration. 

In 2010, Chaskin and Englund admitted to being at fault, affirming that there were indeed a lot of subtexts and that movie played with and used the ongoing homophobic context of the 80s to give an edge to the film. In Attitude magazine, Englund said, "... the second Nightmare on Elm Street is obviously intended as a bisexual-themed film. It was early '80s, pre-AIDS paranoia. Jesse's wrestling with whether to come out or not and his own sexual desires was manifested by Freddy. His friend is the object of his affection. That's all there in that film. We did it subtly, but the casting of Mark Patton was intentional too because Mark was out and had done Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean."

Director Jack Sholder added: "Looking back on it, there were a whole bunch of decisions, starting with casting Mark that really… If you look at some of the exegeses as to why it's the gayest horror film of all time, some of it is people reading stuff into things, some of it was intentional, and some of it was stuff that people added that fed into that idea." 

Finally, in 2019, a documentary, Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street focuses on the story that came out of it—offering a retrospective look at the movie and the life of its lead. 

A profoundly touching approach as it portrays a lead cast away from Hollywood and mainstream media due to the homophobic climate and AIDS crisis of the time. And follows the journey of Patton from his rejection to his comeback to horror conventions and back into the limelight. In an effort to reclaim the narrative and expose the prominent gay themes often dismissed in the horror genre. Even if it's a stretch at times, you can't help but feel for the actor - as in the results of the movie and controversy; he did lose a career and the love of his life due to AIDS. This movie was supposed to be his big break; it was his downfall, and people blamed him for its failure for years. The documentary confronted Patton with the writer and left its audience with lukewarm feelings. 

All in all a beautiful documentary about resilience and giving a voice to a dismissed side of the movie A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge. It is a tale of a recovery and a life spent in grief. An exciting witness of Hollywood in the 80s-a poignant body of work. Go watch it!


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