‘A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge’ was not well-received when it was released in 1985, and honestly, it might have been because it was too gay. Unlike typical horror movies, this one featured a “Last Boy” instead of a “Last Girl.” (As in, the one character that lived until the end.) Mark Patton starred as the… *ahem* fashionable lead victim Jesse Walsh, who passed over the pretty girl, Lisa Webber (Kim Myers) in order to cozy up to the class hunk, Ron Grady (Robert Rusler).
As Instinct Magazine pointed out, ‘Nightmare 2’ also included a scene of Coach Schneider (Marshall Bell), who might be a pedophile, being beaten to death with snapping towels and balls (the sporty kind, but… y’know symbolism!), and a scene set in a gay BDSM bar, not to mention lots of male nudity. Unfortunately, audiences were put off by this imagery. Patton’s career was essentially destroyed; something he explores in great detail in the acclaimed Shudder documentary ‘Scream, Queen’.
But the horror legend, Robert Englund, Freddy Kruger himself, says that ‘Nightmare 2’ needs to be remade and it needs to be gayer than ever.
Speaking to Too Fab, Englund said:
“The secret of ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ is the loss of innocence and the kids need to be like Midwestern kids, they can’t be hip, chic, junkie kids. They have to be middle American kids that think they’re a little hip and they are co-opted by evil and they lose their innocence on all levels; sexual, violence, murder, death, the realization of their parents’ flaws, all of those things. But because our society now is more damaged because of the opioid crisis, because of incredibly diverse, because of the openness now with gender and sexuality, those kids now have to be different than the kids from the original ‘Nightmare’ and someone has to write a different batch of kids and Freddy needs to be a different kind of evil. His evil needs to be, he needs to toy with what they like in the culture. If they redid Nightmare 2, for instance, and really deal with the subtext, Freddy toying with that boy’s sexuality. But the fact that we’re much more comfortable with that now, I think it would be really fun to have Freddy play with one kid who’s gay. Maybe one boy is not. Play with them. Tempt them. Force him out of the closet or back into the closet and we can do that. Audiences would accept that now. Freddy would do that because he’s in your head. But it is going to take somebody very clever to do that.”
Okay, so yeah that’s a little icky. But… I guess, kudos for Englund being woke.
At the very least, the first few ‘Nightmare’ movies were straight horror. (Not straight straight…) Later installments went a little camp (Hey oh! Gayer!).
‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ was remade in 2010, with Jackie Earl Haley playing Freddy. It wasn’t very successful. But bring Robert Englund back and that’s already a step in the right direction.
As for the inclusivity… I mean, I got dragged to see ‘Love, Simon’ at the theater, so… clearly I can sit through anything.
Would you be interested in an update of ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street 2’?