“I wake up in the middle of the first movie that I’m the lead actor in, and realize that there’s a gay subtext in it,” says Mark Patton in the first trailer for “Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street.” Patton is best known for playing Jesse Walsh in “Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge,” who gets possessed by Freddy Kruger through reoccurring nightmares. The film became notorious for its obvious homoerotic subtext, the fallout from which Patton says he never recovered as a closeted young actor in 1980’s Hollywood. “Scream, Queen” traces the ways the film’s themes intersected with Patton’s life, and contributed to his eventual retreat from Hollywood.
“A horror film only works if it taps into a paranoia of a particular time and place,” says Film Studies professor Andrew Scahill in the trailer. “‘Nightmare on Elm Street 2’ is about the danger of not repressing enough. If he lets himself go to sleep, out comes the queer monster.” Robert Englund, who played Freddy, adds: “It did shut doors, this film. And people did go back into the closet. That’s what made him go a little crazy.”
Though controversial at the tie of its release, “Nightmare on Elm Street 2” has become a cult classic in the thirty years since its release, celebrated as one of the the gayest horror films of all time. But the real story behind the film is not so cut and dry. In Patton’s words: “As the reputation of this move started to grow, it sort of became a nightmare.”
Watch the new trailer below.