In 1985 New Line Cinema produced A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge, taking a risky angle on the slasher that starred a ‘final boy’ possessed by the titular movie-monster. However, the gay subtext of the movie contributed to a negative public reception and the film tanked. More unfortunately, lead actor Mark Patton was gay… but wasn’t out at the time the film was released, so the role that was supposed to launch his career contributed to its end. He disappeared from Hollywood. Then fast forward to last year, when directors Roman Chimienti and Tyler Jensen along with Patton himself released Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street – a documentary exploring those buried tensions in the film within the context of ‘80s media, the slasher genre, and horror fandom at large.
I kept hearing about the documentary on the queer podcasts I follow, and that whetted my appetite. Obviously I’d missed a part of gay horror history, and that just wouldn’t do. So, for spooky month, I decided to tackle a double-feature of A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985) and Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street (2019)—for the education, for the culture!—but had an unexpectedly emotional experience in the process.