For years, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge has been viewed as one of the worst, if not the single worst entry in the long-running horror franchise. However, in recent years, the narrative surrounding the movie has changed, and much of that is due to its star, Mark Patton, taking an active role in the horror community and embracing his role as a not-so-typical horror icon. Scream, Queen: My Nightmare on Elm Street documents Patton's journey and makes for a truly fascinating, eye-opening watch and window into what might be one of the most widely misunderstood horror movies ever made.
Scream Queen follows Mark Patton as he travels to horror conventions across the U.S. and aims to shine a different light on the controversial sequel to Wes Craven's classic A Nightmare on Elm Street. We follow Patton on his journey from city to city as he attempts to make peace with his past and embrace his legacy as cinema's first male scream queen. On his journey, Patton confronts the cast and crew of Freddy's Revenge for the first time, including co-stars Robert Rusler, Kim Myers, Clu Gulager and Robert Englund, as well as director Jack Sholder and writer David Chaskin.
Released in 1985, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge centered on a new cast of characters led by Mark Patton as Jesse. Taking a totally different approach, the movie sees Freddy trying to possess and take of Jesse, using him as a vessel for his murderous deeds. But it's not remembered for its detraction from the original. Instead, it gained a reputation as being the gayest horror movie ever made. For those who haven't seen it in some time, it's not an unfounded reputation, that much is certain. That aside, it also happened to be a movie that many fans simply rejected. Were they rejecting it because of its gay undertones (or in some cases heavy overtones)? In any event, the world of 1985 wasn't ready to embrace such a movie.
As such, Mark Patton, who was a closeted gay actor at the time, had a difficult time pursuing a career in Hollywood following the movie's release. So, he disappeared for decades, only to resurface several years back. Now, he's become a major part of the horror community. A community that embraces him openly. Times change. People change. Art changes. The documentary largely focuses on Patton's return, which helps shine a light on how this movie's reputation has shifted. As it happens, the world of 2019 is very much ready to embrace a horror movie with strong LGBTQ vibes. Patton has since been heralded as horror's first male scream queen, a title which he now embraces.
But directors Roman Chimienti and Tyler Jensen make sure this isn't all sunshine and roses. They allow Patton to tell his story. The good, the bad and the ugly. For some horror fans, this is just a movie they've seen once or twice and didn't think much about. For Patton, it defined his entire life. And for certain horror fans, they saw themselves reflected on screen at a time when Hollywood simply wasn't allowing for that kind of representation. All of this comes together to create a powerful narrative throughline.
Ultimately, this is a movie about looking a little deeper at, not just art, but what's below the surface. What struggles might one be going through that we're not aware of? What's the story behind the story? It's also a movie about redemption, and the power that art has to change over time. Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street is, in my mind, essential viewing for genre movie fans, but truly worth a look for anyone who likes a great comeback story. The movie doesn't have a release date yet, but for more info head on over to ScreamQueenDocumentary.com.