Nightmare on Elm Street 2 Might Just Be the Gayest Horror Movie Ever
Over thirty years ago, we saw the release of A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge. Since then the movie has gained its rightful place in queer cinema history, with its gay subtexts and overall campy vibe.
Being the first of many Elm Street sequels, Freddy's Revenge briefly took the series to a darker phase of Freddie's life: more horror, less wisecracking-killer. The later sequels changed that, but it stayed as part of the canon. Freddy's Revenge featured a rarity from the horror genre: A male scream queen.
The film was written with fully intentional homo-erotic subtext by scriptwriter David Chaskin. This later turned into "homo-erotic overtones turned up to 11" during production and filming. Actor Mark Patton, who plays Jesse Walsh, was struggling with coming to terms with his own sexuality at the time. He has since fully embraced the movie and takes pride in having been the first male scream-queen.
Freddy's Revenge centres around Freddy possessing Jesse and trying to take over his body. Freddy is the "gay demon" which Jesse is trying to keep hidden from the outside world. You may think this is a bit of a reach, but the subtext becomes obvious when you take into account a few scenes:
"He's inside me and he wants to take me again!"
While making out with his supposed girlfriend he can feel Freddy inside of him, wanting to break out. He is unable to handle it any more and leaves his girlfriend. He finds himself in the bedroom of his hunky friend Ron [who we see earlier in the film getting into a scrap with Jesse, involving Jesse's bare butt). They are both shirtless, with Jesse panting directly on top of him in bed.
"Something is trying to get inside my body", Jesse says.
To which Ron replies, "And you want to sleep with me?"
Freddy then possesses Jesse and murders Ron. Freddy taking over Jesse's body to murder someone is a fairly plain metaphor of Jesse releasing his closeted homosexuality and indulging it with sinful, sinful sex.
Let's look at another scene, earlier in the film. Jesse "finds himself" at a local leather/S&M bar downtown, after waking up from a nightmare. Here Jesse finds himself in the company of his gay, sadistic gym teacher Coach Schneider. Coach takes him back to the Gym to run laps as punishment while he watches, still dressed in his S&M outfit.
When they hit the shower it becomes... let just say gayer. Schneider is tied to the showers by a unknown force and is whipped while Jesse watches. Once Coach is dead, it takes a turn when its implied Jesse was the person whipping his coach to death.
While the gay subtext was intended by David Chaskin, and was obvious to Patton and the other production members, the director Jack Sholder maintains that he was completely clueless on the outlandish gayness of the film.You have to watch the movie to truly understand what's going on with this film, and I highly recommend you do. It's the most underrated entry to Nightmare on Elm Street series, by far.
Jack Dixon is a gamer, cinephile, and more than likely he's the guy who's ignoring you on Grindr. Tweet him @Jackaphobia.