(WB) A festival-circuit favorite documentary about the legacy of a homoerotic horror classic has finally been given a release date.
Set to debut on VOD and DVD on March 3, “Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street,” tells the story of how a young actor named Mark Patton landed the lead role in “Freddy’s Revenge: Nightmare on Elm Street 2,” only to have his “big break” become a controversial flash point for Hollywood homophobia.
Patton, who is gay but was not out at the time, found himself typecast in an era when AIDS was pushing back the closet door that had been slowly opening after the post-Stonewall emergence of the Gay Rights movement. He eventually left Hollywood and stayed away from the industry for 30 years.
Though the original film contained no overtly homosexual plot elements, many 1985 audiences were uncomfortable with what they perceived as an overtly “gay” subtext. Patton’s character, a teenager possessed by the spirit of murderer Freddy Krueger, essentially assumes the role of the “last girl.” His screams are noticeably feminine, and the script is peppered with unabashed double entendres (“He’s inside me, and he wants to take me again!”); to make matters worse, he is subjected to a series of homoerotic scenarios, including sequences in a locker room shower and a leather bar, that make the movie’s queer undercurrent impossible to ignore.
Directed by Roman Chimienti and Tyler Jensen, the documentary explores Patton’s experiences while also examining how “Revenge” was branded as “the gayest horror movie ever made.” It then goes on to follow Patton – now in his sixties – as he embarks on a quest to confront David Chaskin, the “Freddy’s Revenge” screenwriter, who originally claimed not to have intended a queer subtext and implied that it was Patton’s performance that introduced that element into the film. In 2010, Chaskin confirmed in an interview with AfterElton.com that he had intentionally included the film’s homoerotic undertones, according to GayTimes.
In an interview with the Blade last summer, Patton said he initiated the documentary project partly to seek closure for the impact of the film on his life, but also as a warning to remain vigilant against the resurgence of homophobia.
“There’s a wave going on right now and unless you’re really tuned in and you’re paying attention, you say, ‘Oh you’re exaggerating, you’re making too much of this,’ Patton said. “And that’s the thing that people said to Larry Kramer and those guys, in the 1970s and ’80s — ‘You’re making too big a deal out of this, we’re fine.’ I think it’s better to be cautious.”