Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Horror Discusion: Is Nightmare on elmstreet 2 Freddy's Revenge a Gay movie?

So is Nightmare on elmstreet 2 Freddy's Revenge a Gay movie?

First before discussing this I want to make a few things clear. One I have always really enjoyed this film, I am not using the term gay to try and tarnish the film nor am I trying to claim that being gay is in any way wrong.

Well I first saw A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge when I was honestly not really old enough to see it certification wise. So when I watched it I didn't pick up on some of the things other people have mentioned about it, and the only real thing I thought about the central character being a male was that it was a refreshing change of pace compared to all the slasher flicks filled with various female scream queens. Even thinking back about it the things I remembered the most were Freddy's nails scratching the top of the bus, his lines like ''you've got the body I've got the brain.'' The thing is I always watched the nightmare films for Freddy.

So latter when people started saying that the film was full of homoerotic subtext this claim flew straight over my head. I did a little digging and from what I can understand David Chaskin the screenplay writer deliberately wrote homo-erotic subtexts in to the screenplay however the films Director Jack Sholder was completely unaware of this. The male lead Mark Patton who was cast was actually a homosexual but again it seems like this was unknown to the director at the time. The film definitely seems to feel like the director followed the screenplay without ever stopping and thinking ''wait a minute is this a little bit different for a horror film'' who knows maybe he just thought the differences would make it stand out one way or another. I can certainly see why a lot of people would ask questions about things like the main male lead screaming like a girl, was this a way of trying to make him seem gay or was the intention merely to make him seem like a scared child who was no match for a monster like Freddy?

I have seen the fact that the lead dances around in his bedroom to cheesy music wearing glasses and a silly hat used as something used to try and push the gay subtext idea, people have said that a straight teenager would never do this. This in my opinion is a stupid argument to make, after all we all do things in the privacy of our own room that might seem a little silly or goofy, acting an idiot and singing into your own mirror or bouncing on your bed in you underpants is hardly limited to one gender or sexuality. Yet there are subtle things I have noticed which make me believe that more than just one person was trying to feed little bits of  homo-erotic subtext or window dressing in to this film. When Jessie and Lisa are tidying his room there is a little sort of easter egg of sorts where she picks up a green jumper and a red jumper together and puts them up on a high shelf, but if you notice she puts them on top of a board game, a game called Probe. Now you could argue that they just grabbed any old game to put in his room but this is not a game I ever saw all over the place, in fact I don't think I have ever seen a real copy with my own eyes, in fact I had to look it up on the internet to make sure it was real.

Now the film is full of very homo-erotic moment Jesse entering what can best be described as a largely gay bdsm bar, his coach being tied up in the showers and his bare ass being whipped with towels before he is killed. The way Jesse's mum pleads with him to talk to her about it and the way Jesse says he doesn't want to, it all seems to just smack of someone who is unsure of the way they feel, it could very easily be seen as some kind of stand in for his uncertainty about his own sexuality.I could go on and on and break this film down scene by scene but a small blog post is probably not the place to do it.

Writers will often offer the advice to other would be writers write about what you know. I do wonder if the screenplay writer David Chaskin was either gay or was at least at one point unsure about his own sexuality or maybe he knew someone who was. Did he basically write a story about a guy feeling confused about his feelings and his possible sexuality and then work the character of Freddy in to it, using him as a tool to further deal with these issues in a somewhat hidden way? I have looked for interviews with the writer in an attempt to investigate this but can not find anything.

I think it would be impossible to deny that the screenplay for Freddy's revenge wasn't very heavily filled with homo-erotic subtext and through what can probably be best called ignorance on the part of the director this heavily bleeds in to the film itself. To call it merely a piece of homo-erotica though would be to undersell it, it is also in my opinion a brilliant horror film which deals with so much more.

It is also very amusing though to listen to some of the lines that actually made it into this film references to Freddy being inside of him and wanting to take him again, you do wonder how the director could watch the filmed scenes and just not click or at times even laugh.

Is Freddy's Revenge a gay movie?  Yes and No. It is a horror movie and I remember something John Carpenter said about horror films/stories they focus on one of two things the evil out there or the evil inside, maybe he wasnt quiet right though maybe it is not the evil it is the fear of what is out there or the fear of what is inside. I think this movie tries to deal with the fear and confusion a young person might feel about there own sexuality by repackaging it into something less heavy in much the same way classic shows like Star Trek try to deal with issues such as racism and politics by covering them in a heavy coating of science fiction I believe that Freddys revenge tries to deal with the issue of sexuality by covering it in horror so that you can either pay attention to the subtext or can ignore it and simply enjoy the film for some mindless fun it provides

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