Ah, to be the new kid in school, as if that wasn’t a nightmare already. Today I review part two of my favorite series of horror, A Nightmare on Elm Street. I chose part two to start because, well, it widely goes overlooked.
I am the biggest fan of the first, four, five, and six are a different beast, and seven is an island all its own. I use to own the original three on a VHS tape and while two was creepy, it was such poor quality, I could hardly see a damn thing. Ah, to relive the days of VHS quality film.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge was filmed a year after part one hit the mainstream. Freddy was the face of fear, and part two out-grossed the original, in the box office. It has been deemed the pioneer in gay horror film. My personal appreciation for this film came when DVD and eventually Blu-ray came out with its release, and, wow, does it make the difference — sharp and clear picture and this film made me finally appreciate restored film. This is where the money put in on the Blu shows.
Let’s get into the story; Mark Patton plays Jesse Walsh, the new kid who just happens to move into the infamous Elm street house. Immediately plagued with nightmares and apparently the hottest bedroom ever, hot enough to melt a record, Jesse becomes more and more afraid of his dreams and starts seeing the infamous boogeyman Freddy. Fredhead confronts Jesse, telling him he needs his body in order to do his special work. So, we get a body transformation relationship between Freddy and Jesse, where sometimes Jesse is possessed by Freddy and other times where he literally bursts from the chest of Jesse. This to a degree breaks the rules of ANoES in the sense that Fred should always be in a dream and, here, he is both in the dream and the real world. Rules are made to broken though, right?
Actor Mark Patton plays the role very real to me. Some may give him grief over being very scream queen, when confronted with real terror, but, hey, who hasn’t seen pranks on YouTube and watched the most macho dude scream like a girl when spooked? I have had the luck of meeting Mark Patton numerous times and become a friend of his and, man, do I got a lot of merch signed by the man. Recently, he has come out working on a documentary on being a gay actor in Hollywood and the effects that has on a person. Having that personal connection makes A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 a very special piece of cinema, in my heart. He also opened my eyes to look into some of the deeper meanings in the movie. For example, how there are no female deaths, only males. Also that the traditional guy and girl dynamic is switched here and in more than one couple.
Patton has also gone on to write a short story in diary form, telling the story of Jesse post-ANoES. All in all, this is a lot of fun to watch with a group, it has some real funny scenes, and it has the scary, creepy vibe going well. This was before the “Freddy Show” where he became a jokester and was the real centerpiece. Here, he is dark and frightening, and it’s a unique time in the series before that changes.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 has also become a highly quotable movie from Grady and his throwing of grandma down the stairs to Jesse’s father accusing his mother of buying that cheap bird seed. In conclusion, I give this bad boy a 4 outta 5 on the gnarly scale. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s one of my tops.
So dance on, Jesse, and Mark thanks you for being one of the warmest and most sincere stars I’ve gotten to meet. Let the Nightmare continue…