By now, you who are fan of cinema and especially of terror, should be more than educated on the fact: The Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985) is the most famous gay film of its kind. And this is not a conspiracy theory, a forced ban, or an attempted seal – a quick internet search will reveal such information. With the sequence of the phenomenon The Hour of Nightmare (1984), by Wes Craven, ending 35 years in 2020, we think it was the most special time to revisit the work, and bring you all the curiosities and many details about the production . Find out below.
The Hour of the Nightmare, written and directed by Wes Craven, was released in November 1984 (arriving in Brazil absurdly two years later in 1986 – and that because of the noise it made). With a budget of US $ 1.8 million, he has returned to the coffers of a small, newly opened studio called New Line Cinema more than a comfortable US $ 25.5 million in the United States alone. The success of this little masterpiece served to put Craven’s name, then a B-movie director, at the top of the Hollywood chain (and make him a master of the genre); establishing New Line in the market and bringing one of the greatest villains in movie history to pop culture: the monster Freddy Krueger (played by Robert Englund). So much so that even today a well-known New Line nickname was “the house that Freddy built”, because it was thanks to the franchise that the studio was built.
Naturally, the colossal success of the first (by its parameters) aroused the interest of producer Robert Shaye (brother of actress Lin Shaye), founder and owner of New Line, then, to make films with Freddy. It is also reported that it was the success of this second film – which, with a budget of $ 3 million, returned the studio $ 30 million in the United States alone – that encouraged and established the small production company among the giants of the Mecca of cinema. Today, New Line has been purchased and is a subsidiary of Warner Bros.
Interestingly, however, Shaye’s first order was to get rid of everything related to the first movie. This is only for financial reasons, as repeating the original admins would mean spending more. Craven, the name most associated with the project, declined to get involved, because at first he didn’t see the story as a franchise – the director even wanted to end the original feature with a happy ending, and was forced by the studio to a dark and ambiguous. Even original protagonist Nancy, the role of Heather Langenkamp, was not considered to return, with the actress having said in interviews that she had not even received the invitation. Langenkamp is one of the best-known names in the franchise and its heroine. The actress would return in The Warriors of Dreams (1987) and The New Nightmare (1994). Most impressive, however, was the desire to replace the iconic Robert Englund as villainous Freddy. According to reports, Shaye was unwilling to pay more for the actor (which was demanded of his agent) and tested a stuntman on paper – following what was done in the Friday the 13th movies, with Jason in every film imitated by a performer. different. However, after the attempted swap proved unsatisfactory, the filmmakers realized that England was the true soul of the franchise and agreed to the new salary deal.
So, screenwriter David Chaskin (in his first role) and director Jack Sholder (O Escondido, 1987) enter the scene – although screenwriter Leslie Bohem has offered his ideas to producers on the plot involving pregnancy and possession as way to pay homage to the classic Rosemary’s Baby (1968), by Roman Polanski. Chaskin reuses the concept of possession for the second Nightmare on Elm Street, and the idea of pregnancy comes to life in the franchise’s fifth film, released in 1989.
With a new writer and director, the sequel also gained new characters and a new story. Unlike all the other slashers of the time, Freddy’s Revenge is one of the few products of its genre to use a male protagonist and revolve its plot around him: making Jesse (Mark Patton) the only male “Scream Queen” “from the franchise. Leaving to live with his family in the same house as the protagonist of the original, Jesse ends up becoming the target of disfigured maniac Freddy Krueger in his nightmares. This time, however, Freddy does not want to hunt and kill the boy, but to “use his body”, possessing him so that he can act in real life. Freddy’s transcendence to the real world, including taking victims in “Awakened” territory is seen by many fans, some involved in the production and even Wes Craven himself as a betrayal of the original concept of the “Dream Killer.” “.
We now come to the subject of the text: the homoerotic concept. For years this content remained a subtext, a mere subliminal message, until it was emphatically emphasized over these 35 years, to the point that today we are unable to watch the film. without realizing what was obvious from the start. According to reports, although it has long gone unnoticed in the United States, it was precisely the gay atmosphere of Freddy’s Revenge that guaranteed its success in Europe, making it an instant cult following. It wasn’t until 2010 that screenwriter Chaskin opened up the game and confessed his intentions, but stating it was a subtle message. And maybe it was, in a time of hype like the 1980s. Now a second look is all it takes for the feature film to be seen with its true connotations.
Although it is considered a gay terror, the controversy in A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 is that the film is also considered homophobic. In the 4-hour documentary Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy (2010), one of the most comprehensive archives in the entire franchise, the clip from part two, using interviews with key stakeholders, is l one of the most instructive. . Apparently, actor Mark Patton, who lives in protagonist Jesse, now openly gay (but at the time still in the closet), left the entertainment world after his work in this film. The actor sought fame and felt extremely betrayed by the material seen on screen – as said, most didn’t know or pretended not to know such a subtext. The case continues to surface and last year another documentary was released, this one titled Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street (2019), retrospective of cult film and actor Mark Patton.
The concept here is this: Freddy Krueger in this movie is an analogy with the discovery of sexuality. And in Jesse’s case, the discovery of his homosexuality. It is a passage to adulthood in which the protagonist sees her emerge, has dreams (or nightmares) about something that wants to dominate her body, her life, something considered bad, as monstrous, that he must struggle to hide. Freddy wants to use his body to be able to come out of the shadows, to be able to exist outside of dreams. Jesse has a suitor in the form of Lisa (Kim Myers, chosen for her physical resemblance to Meryl Streep), but he’s not comfortable giving himself to her. He tries, but always ends up coming back into the arms of Ron Grady (Robert Rusler, of Mulher Nota Mil). For Jesse, Lisa is a friend. Ron, on the other hand, begins as a rivalry, a tease, develops into a relationship of trust. The choices involve pulling each other’s pants down. And in a very subtle moment, the mood heats up between Jesse and Lisa in a cabana by the pool. Kisses and hugs, but when the act is about to be consummated, Jesse hesitates, gets scared, and runs away. Something doesn’t allow it no matter how hard you try. It is the “monster”. He runs to Ron’s house, prefers to be there, at night alone with him in his room, hidden, even if it’s to confess what he couldn’t do. Ron replies, “Is she here and would you rather stay here with me?”
Apart from that, of course, we have the infamous dance scene, in which Jesse, alone in the bedroom, wearing Elton John-like accessories, oscillates in a rhythm beyond homoerotic to the sound of “Touch Me.” (All Night Long) ”, Wish band with Fonda Rae. We also have their fearful, shrill, super-shrill, feminine cries. But the gay elements of the film don’t just focus on the protagonist. On a more hardcore level, we have the character of trainer Schneider (Marshall Bell), the physical education teacher who loves to punish his male students and … spy on them while taking a shower in the locker room. As if that weren’t enough, in one of his “nightmares” Jesse wanders around a gay sadomasochism club and who does he meet there? Coach Schneider, a frequent visitor. As a “punishment”, the tutor brings the boy back to school and “punishes” him in the shower. However, the hunter turns the chase when Jesse “takes his side Freddy” and “kills” him by throwing bullets in his face, stripping his clothes off, tying him naked in the showers and whipping his ass with napkins. Only to find out that none of it had been a dream.
On the one hand, The Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge can be considered very brave, especially when you factor in the ultra-conservative era, macho men who only lived to hand out soups and take a line out. of women in bed, in a real testosterone competition that was the 1980s – without much room for any sexual option other than straight. Taking a blockbuster movie and subverting it into a gay work isn’t even seen today. On the other hand, the way it was done, even though the space found at the time was just that, may not be the best message and representation for the community.
Although Mark Patton’s complaint is that the film forced him out of the closet at the time and the actor partly embraced work as a cult today, there is a major problem with this plot. subliminal. What happens is that Freddy, Jesse’s hidden homosexuality, in the movie, is treated as something to be fought and conquered. Like something bad, something bad that comes out of him and his control, that takes its toll, and his relationship with Grady even ends tragically, with the boy’s father witnessing his son’s fate. Lisa, the “girlfriend”, is always by your side, despite her “quirks”, fighting to keep her “dark side” from showing. In the end, Freddy (already in the form of Jesse) is defeated by a kiss from Lisa, as if through a direct relationship (“true love”) the shadow of “evil” is extinguished. Thus, the dark side of the protagonist finally leaves him, and he is free to assume his sexuality alongside Lisa. But for how long?
Freddy Revenge’s conclusion, whether intentional or not, can today be widely interpreted as “the gay cure.” The film debuted on November 1, 1985, at number four in the North American box office chart, facing stiff competition from Desire to Kill 3, Live and Die in Los Angeles and The Thread of Suspicion. In Brazil, he arrived again two years late. For some reason, despite the success, the franchise would take a slight hiatus and not launch a new product until two years later, in 1987.
Did you notice this sexual connotation in Freddy’s Revenge? Enjoy the movie? Comment.
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