EXCLUSIVE: A documentary about the problematic legacy of A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge told through the perspective of its then-closeted gay star Mark Patton has been acquired by Virgil Films & Entertainment.
Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street recounts Patton’s difficulties making the 1985 horror sequel, which put him through a range of salacious on-screen ordeals designed to whet the homophobic appetites (conscious or otherwise) of 1980s audiences. Directed by Jack Sholder and written by Scott Chaskin based on Wes Craven’s characters, the film was shot for just a few million dollars but grossed $30 million, extending what would become a half-billion-dollar global franchise.
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Critics largely dismissed Freddy’s Revenge, but in the decades since, the film’s unique status as an unintended cultural artifact has made it something of a cult classic. The Advocate has described it as “the gayest horror film ever made.”
Virgil, a specialty outfit whose recent releases include We Are Columbine as well as Clarence Clemons: Who Do I think I Am?, calls Patton “the first male ‘scream queen.'” The company says the film, directed by Roman Chimienti and Tyler Jensen, follows the former actor — who says he quit show business due to the trauma of the production — to horror conventions across the U.S. He tries to make peace with the experience and confronts the Freddy’s Revenge cast and crew for the first time. Conversations with co-stars Robert Rusler, Kim Myers and Clu Gulager are featured, as well as one with Robert Englund, who made his career playing Freddy Krueger.
In announcing its annual Dorian Awards this week, the Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics named Scream, Queen as its LGBTQ Documentary of the Year. Virgil plans a limited theatrical release in the coming weeks and will put it out on DVD and digitally on March 3.
Patton’s acting résumé includes Broadway roles and the 1982 Robert Altman film, Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, another part that he says led to him being typecast before he had come out as gay. Patton maintains that his feelings of alienation were far from unusual in the 1980s, a time when American culture had not yet woken up to stories like that of Rock Hudson, who died of AIDS-related causes just weeks before Freddy’s Revenge opened in theaters in 1985.
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