Syllabus: Film 1985


By Nathan Lee

There's always been something slightly queer about Freddy Krueger, what with his perfectly deconstructed striped sweater and all, but there's nothing subtle about A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge, the gayest horror film of the 1980s. 'Horror film' may be the wrong classification for a movie where the haircuts (hello, unironic mullet!) are far more frightening than the ridiculous attempts to spook (exploding parakeets, demonic tennis balls, metaphysically malfunctioning toasters). Nightmare 2 is far more credible as a minor camp classic of the gay panic genre. Mark Patton stars as Jesse, a neurotic teenager under the sway of inexplicable hormonal impulses'a.k.a. Krueger. 'He's inside me'and wants to take me again!' Jesse shouts on awakening from a dream in which his P.E. coach, a leather daddy who hangs out at the local new-wave fag bar, is strung up naked in the showers and, uh, 'stabbed' from behind. Jesse's habit of starting the day with a high-pitched shriek (followed by adjusting the cargo in his tighty whiteys) leads his sister to ask, 'Mommy? Why can't Jesse wake up like everybody else?' Because, darling, your brother is different.