Nightmare on Elm Street - Part 2: Freddy's Revenge, A
A new family moves into the house on Elm Street, and before long, the kids are again having nightmares about deceased child murderer Freddy Krueger. This time, Freddy attempts to possess a teenage boy to cause havoc in the real world, and can only be overcome if the boy's sweetheart can master her fear.
The inclusion of this movie on this site will probably surprise a lot, as this mainframe film has more gay innuendo and coding than many others here, and nothing is said overtly. The queer content of this film centers around the main character Jesse, his best friend Grady and their high-school gym coach.
The least interesting, though most frequently cited of the queer characters is the coach, who is outed as a guy who 'hangs around queer S/M joints downtown... he likes pretty boys like you.' by the main character's friend Grady to Jesse. While the masochistic qualities of the coach are made obvious, his queer qualities are suspect as the bar he attends appears to have both male and female patrons, though there are two men showing affection on screen. The assumption that he is queer appears to be mostly manufactured by characters (and reviewers) who don't understand that straight people can be into S/M also.
However, Jesse enters the bar for no known reason, with his shirt wide open, and orders a beer. His coach finds him there and brings him back to the school, forcing him to run laps until taking a shower. While in the shower, Freddy attacks to coach and drags him into the shower, tying him up spread-eagled, stripping him and then whipping his ass, before killing him (as Jessy). As an audience we are fairly sure that this is not exactly standard straight fare. The scene is even more unusual when you consider that Freddie generally only kills teen-age kids, not middle age gym teachers.
The true queer quality of this movie comes from Jesse and Grady. Not only is Grady shown, subtly, as having a distinct interest in Jesse, though he is not able to deal with it - Jesse himself is the poster-boy for gay sensibility. As Jesse is slowly taken over by Freddy, he shows the horror inherent in realizing your orientation is taking over your body, making you want to do horrifying and unnatural acts. This reading may not be completely unintentional as Jesse himself makes numerous comments such as 'something [a man] is trying to get inside my body' or 'Fred Kruger wants to take me again' throughout the film. In the scene where these comments were made, Jesse has run away from his girlfriend with whom he was making out and runs to Grady's house, asking if he can sleep there for the night. Grady points out how weird it is that he would want to sleep at his house instead of being with his girlfriend, but let's him.
If this movie is viewed as a metaphor for dealing with being gay, then the end becomes more homophobic - Freddie is destroyed by true heterosexual 'love,' as Jesse falls for and kisses his girl, destroying the demon inside him. Or does it? In the last few seconds of the film, it appears that the demon wasn't destroyed, just hidden a bit further, ready to come out again stronger than ever.
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This is considered by a lot of people to be the weakest entry in the series; I find it to be one of the scariest. Freddy, our favorite melted child molester, is still on the rampage, this time trying to 'enter' the body of a young boy and take over his soul. Mmmm Hmmm. Thankfully, this is still the scary Freddy, instead of the wise-cracking anti-hero of later installments. The homosexual aspects of the story are given a middle rating because they're not really shown in a positive light. It associates queer men with S&M and molesting teenagers... because, you know, that's what we're all about... right?
Homosexuality is used here to relegate fear from its already hormonally challenged teenage viewers. Sure, it makes them squirm in their seats, especially if they enjoy what they're seeing, but don't want any of their straight friends to know it.
On a horror movie level, it's a very dark, moody film. While it looses touch with reality, that's kind of the point of an ELM STREET film. The special effects still work well, even over 15 years later. Several good scares pop up, and both heroine Kim Meyers and our 'confused' hero Mark Patton do wonderful jobs in their lead roles, and, if nothing else, watch... and freeze frame... for the numerous shots of a young, flawless Robert Rusler in his skivvies... -- Jason Paul Collum
Overall Rating: B+ Queer horror Rating: A
When I first saw this movie I found it cheesy and out of place in the series. I have gone back and re-watched all the Nightmare films. While not really following the rules of the others it does create it's own story. Though it is not politically correct I think the story rings true for young men conflicted with their homosexuality. Sure, the coach is a fiend but he represents the seedy and actually a realistic aspect of gay life. There are a few guys out there like him. On the other hand you have Grady, not gay but a sympathetic friend and the object of Jesse's affections. He's masculine, beautiful, loyal and likes to sleepovers. A gay wet dream.
The boys have an idealized relationship which, when almost taken to the next step, is destroyed by 'Freddy'. Both the coach and Grady represent the nightmare and the fantasy in Jesse's mind of being gay. Lisa seems to be the only other 'real' character in the story. She does take on more of the stereotypical male role, casting Jesse as the victim. She is bright, sexually aggressive and brave. Unlike most horror movies the men here are objects and victims spending most of there time in locker rooms, scantly clad or pulling down each other's shorts.
I might have been pissed off by the 'it takes a good women's love to beat true evil' ending but it doesn't truly feel like a cop out. What seems like a crappy ending actually fits with the truth behind the story - Lisa may be a strong women but in the end they have just created another fantasy, one that will destroy Jesse (and does). It's pretty powerful stuff when you think about it. The approach to the movie was fairly awkward, but then it's nice to find a diamond in a rough once in a while. With a good director this movie might have turned into The Talented Mr. Ripley 2.
By: SatansAngelCutz ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Overall Nightmare On Elm Street is my favorite series of horror films. Wes Craven has done wonderful work.
But once again this film has nothing to do with queers probably cause it was made back in the day when it was to inappropriate for movies to show this.
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