SCREAM, QUEEN!: My Nightmare on Elm Street - "Horror...The Genre For Outsiders...All Outsiders"


Horror has always been the genre of outsiders. Since its early days, horror movie monsters were treated as misunderstood outcasts or beings that needed to stay hidden away from the outside world. As the genre evolved, the films themselves became associated with all that was decidedly outside the mainstream so naturally, outcasts and misfits were the people most likely to gravitate towards it. But what happens when a film appeals to outsiders who are even excluded from the larger horror community? People in the gay community for example? What happens when a film's Queer subtext is so overt that it becomes impossible to deny or ignore. Such is the case of "A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge" and as a result of its intentional or unintentional gay undertones, it became the albatross around the neck of star Mark Patton. The new documentary "Scream, Queen!: My Nightmare on Elm Street" follows Patton's journey from social outcast to horror icon as well as the film's place from black sheep of the series to its newfound re-examination and appreciation.

We follow Patton's career as a struggling actor in Hollywood, his unexpected early success in a Robert Altman film and then his big break landing the lead role in a Nightmare film. Unfortunately, that big break became his downfall as the film was hated by both critics and fans alike and Patton was unexpectedly outed while doing the film. As an openly gay actor working in the midst of the AIDS crisis, Patton's career quickly came to an end and he left Hollywood. However, the gay community came to embrace "Freddy's Revenge" as an important metaphor for closeted homosexuality during the AIDS years and Patton has since re-emerged as a "Scream Queen", a title he is very proud to hold.


The film traces the entire legacy of "Freddy's Revenge", including the vitriolic and disturbingly homophobic response it often gets from horror fans. However, it also points out the hypocrisy of some people embracing it now that it is socially acceptable to do so. This is mainly evidenced by Patton's confrontation with screenwriter David Chaskin who vehemently denied any intentional homoerotic subtext during the film's release (blaming any "misunderstanding" on Patton's performance) but has now claimed responsibility for the subtext now that film critics are praising these metaphors. Their confrontation may be the best part of the film.

Ever since the days of James Whale, horror films have had a number of gay auteurs however, Queer horror fans are sometimes hard to find due to the often harsh reactions of certain horror fans. That's unfortunate but happily changing because horror should be the genre of outsiders ... all outsiders.


"SCREAM QUEEN"

★ ★ ★

"Scream Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street sets the records straight about the controversial sequel to A Nightmare on Elm Street, which ended Mark Patton’s acting career, just as it was about to begin...he attempts to make peace with his past and embrace his legacy as cinema’s first male “scream queen.”"
-SCREAMQUEENDOCUMENTARY.COM