“This is not my theory. This is my truth. This is what happened to me,” are the words we hear before the opening credits role in Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street. Those words, spoken by A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge star Mark Patton, prepare you for an unrelentingly honest view of his journey – not just from Freddy’s Revenge, but from his childhood to the point where they shot the last moment of this documentary.
When the credits are done, we see – through the lens of a camera – Mark sit down, and all of the energy that needs to be released for the story surrounds his aura. In those first few moments of seeing him, it is evident that we are in for quite the experience.
Mark Patton’s big break in Hollywood was to be his role in the A Nightmare on Elm Street sequel as Jesse Walsh. The role usually meant for a final girl was placed into Mark’s hands. Just like the knife fingered glove that he would slip on in the film, Mark slipped into Jesse and gave us a memorable performance. But what was perhaps more memorable for fans, was his disappearance after the release of Freddy’s Revenge.
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“In Scream, Queen!, we get the entire truth. It’s Mark’s truth presented from Mark’s heart with no boundaries stopping him from expressing that truth.”
There were many stories over the years as to why. Some of those stories were true while others were not. In Scream, Queen!, we get the entire truth. It’s Mark’s truth presented from Mark’s heart with no boundaries stopping him from expressing that truth. This is what makes Scream, Queen! so very important. Directors Roman Chimienti & Tyler Jensen knew the importance of Mark’s story and provided him with the outlet that was needed.
The biggest draw is the story behind A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge, and how what happened behind the scenes affected Mark at that time. Delving into the history of the franchise is always a treat, but really delving into the personal experience of an actor from one of the films is more than just a treat. Chimienti and Jensen provided this platform for Mark to tell his story.
His story coincides with the fact that Freddy’s Revenge has been noted as one of the gayest mainstream horror movies of all time. Mark being a gay man – although not out at the time of filming – may not have seemed like a huge deal, but it was. Mark’s biggest struggle with what happened was with the film’s writer, David Chaskin.
In one of the most tense moments of the documentary, Mark sits down with Chaskin for a conversation about the statements that Chaskin has said about the homosexual subtext of the script in the past. One could make the argument that Mark was doing this just for show, and I’m sure there are those who have attempted that argument. If you watch the conversation between Mark and Chaskin, you will see that this is a legitimate struggle that Mark has experienced. The anxiety that stems from decades of having no absolute answer is shown within and around Mark as he sits down for the conversation, and the conversation that is had is one to pay attention to.
A highlight in the documentary is when some of the cast of Freddy’s Revenge (Kim Meyers, Marshall Bell, Robert Rusler) and director, Jack Sholder, sit down to discuss the film’s queer subtext. A second conversation with Jack Sholder delves into more of an insight that is additional to Mark’s. These conversations bridged the past and the present.
Scream, Queen! doesn’t just focus on the Nightmare parts. We are given an insight into his entire life. After years of not being present, Mark makes his presence known. His struggles with his sexuality are present. His struggles with being HIV+ are present. His happiness and clarity are also present, and that’s one of the most inspiring aspects of the documentary.
“Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street is a fundamental piece of queer horror history.”
Mark has lived throughout many queer moments in history, and to hear his story is inspiring. His story is one of many, but it’s his story that will resonate with us. Us, as in those who are horror fiends. Us, as in those who are queer horror fiends. Those that are HIV+. Those who identified with the queer subtext in Freddy’s Revenge, and who found a role model in Jesse Walsh.
Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street is a fundamental piece of queer horror history. Mark Patton’s place in that history is profound. Having his story be told in such a loving and inspiring manner means the world to queer horror.
Scream, Queen! is available on Shudder beginning June 4, 2020, as well as on demand. Be sure to catch this moment in queer horror history! Let us know what you thought and your experiences with Freddy’s Revenge on our Twitter, reddit, Instagram, and The Horror Movie Fiend Club on Facebook.