Documentary to Explore How Nightmare on Elm Street 2 Became a Gay Classic
There's a Kickstarter to fund a documentary on the gay subtext of the second Nightmare on Elm Street movie
If you’ve seen all the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, you’ve perhaps noticed the reasons why 1985’s A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge is different. It’s not just unlike the other movies in the series, it’s unlike most horror movies in general.
Instead of a virginal teenage girl protagonist, it has a virginal teenage boy (Mark Patton), who feels like there’s something inside him that needs to, ahem, come out. It’s Freddy Krueger, of course, but the metaphorical reading seems like less of stretch when you take into account his character’s unusually close relationship with his male friend, a sadomasochistic gym teacher who gets literally stripped and whipped, and the fact that the apparent love interest (Kim Meyers) is a dead-ringer for Meryl Streep. There’s even a scene where he lip syncs to a pop song in his bedroom.
Now there’s a Kickstarter to fund a documentary about the film and Patton, who would eventually come out as gay himself. Titled Scream, Queen! – My Nightmare on Elm Street and directed by Tyler Jensen, the film has Patton explaining how negative reception of the film ultimately prompted him to quit acting.
“I wake up in the middle of the first movie I’m the lead actor in, and I realize there’s a gay subtext in it,” Patton recalls in the trailer. “In 1985, Hollywood was very homophobic and very AIDS-phobic. If you were gay, you were hiding.”
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The documentary also explores how the subtext of this one movie resonated with many fans who themselves would eventually come out, and how the qualities that made the film controversial back in 1985 would eventually endear it to new audiences decades later.
And here, in case you haven’t seen, is Patton’s famous lip-syncing scene in Nightmare on Elm Street 2
Subtext? What subtext?