Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street movie poster

Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street

In theaters April 5, 2019

Rated

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Directed by: ,

Starring: , , , , ,

People often say Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985) is the weakest sequel of the NOES franchise. Honestly, I can’t disagree. It’s never been my favorite, and for 13-year old me, watching it was an uncomfortable experience for reasons I didn’t understand at the time. I didn’t understand subtext or alternative lifestyles, and let’s be honest, #2 was such a departure from the original and I just didn’t like it.

Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street (2019) is a documentary about the coming out, as it were, of Mark Patton, who played Jesse in the first sequel to Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) and how his first starring role in a feature film dismantled his life. Narrated by Cecil Baldwin and with interviews with Robert Englund, Kim Myers, Jeffrey Marcus, and director Jack Sholder, Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street digs deep into what some consider the “gayest horror movie ever made.” During the initial explosion of the AIDS virus, edgy movies with gay actors, as opposed to actors who pretended to be gay, destroyed careers left and right with “gay panic”. Mark Patton was no different, and through interviews flashbacks with an on-the-road-feel, we see how and why Mark walked away from Hollywood and almost never looked back.

Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street is a solid documentary, highlighting the rise of the modern slasher era and rush to capitalize on as much blood and gore as possible. Exploring homo-eroticism in mainstream movies and the subversion and evolution of the “Final Girl” Trope to the “Final Boy” in Mark’s character, Jesse Walsh, we’re offered the benefit of hindsight on a movie that turned a perhaps unintentional spotlight on BDSM, gay bars, and an erotic subtext to an audience that wasn’t looking for it in a time when “gay” was a common slur.  It charts Mark’s career from television to feature film to escape quiet recovery in Mexico until his rediscovery in 2010 with another NOES documentary, Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy (2010). We see Mark’s passions and feel his quiet rage against a particular individual he believes all but ruined his career and life all those years ago.

At 99 minutes long, Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street lags during the last third. Mark confronts screenwriter David Chaskin who for years and across multiple interviews blamed “the casting” of NOES 2 on its failure to be a box office hit as if what was written on the page wasn’t was mistranslated to screen. You can decide for yourself where you fall on Patton v. Chaskin.

Streaming exclusively on Shudder, Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street is an intimate look at the rise, fall, and rise of an original scream queen, Mark Patton. It may not change your mind about Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge (it still leaves me cold), but I now have a new appreciation for what, in retrospect, is groundbreaking horror film thrust upon an actor in an era that wasn’t ready for either.

Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street (2019) is an unrated documentary with scenes from such slasher classics as Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), Sleepaway Camp (1983) Nightmare on Elm Street, Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge, Nightmare on Elm Street: Dream Warriors, Sleepaway Camp (1983), The Hunger (1983), Basic Instinct, and others. There will be scenes from these movies depicting blood, entrails, flogging with wet towels, naked butts, and the dance from Jesse’s pop toy that will haunt our dreams forever.

Movie Reelist Contributor: MontiLee Stormer
MontiLee Stormer is a writer of horror, dark and urban fantasy. She’s also is a troublemaker, concocting acts of mayhem and despair for her own selfish pleasure. An avid movie watcher, she prefers horror but will see just about anything if you're buying. Poltergeist (1982) is her favorite movie and she actively hates The Shining (1980) due to its racism, misogyny, the butchering of the source material. She could host a TEDtalk on this single subject. Writing about herself in the third person is just a bonus.

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