Scream, Queen!: My Nightmare on Elm Street (2019)

scream queen my nightmare on elm street poster 2019 movie documentary
7.0 Overall Score

Cathartic for Mark Patton, interesting subject

Tries to cover too much ground

Movie Info

Movie Name: Scream, Queen!:  My Nightmare on Elm Street

Studio: The End Productions

Genre(s): Documentary/Horror

Release Date(s):  April 5, 2019 (Cleveland International Film Festival)/March 3, 2020 (DVD)

MPAA Rating: Unrated

Gingerly taking his place among horror history

Mark Patton came from a small town and went to New York City to change his life.  Finding fame on the stage in Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean which was turned into a major picture by Robert Altman.  Going to Hollywood, Mark Patton where he met Timothy Patrick Murphy and began a relationship.  When he was cast as the lead in the big budget sequel A Nightmare on Elm Street 2:  Freddy’s Revenge, he thought his career was made…but a homoerotic streak in the script derailed his career, outed him, and made working in a time when homosexuality was closely tied to the AIDS epidemic an impossibility.  This is Mark’s story…his Nightmare on Elm Street.

Directed by Roman Chimienti and Tyler Jensen, Scream, Queen!:  My Nightmare on Elm Street is a horror LGBTQ documentary.  The film premiered at the Cleveland International Film Festival and was met with average reviews.

I remember seeing A Nightmare on Elm Street 2:  Freddy’s Revenge as a kid and thinking…this is weird.  It didn’t feel like A Nightmare on Elm Street and wasn’t as Freddy heavy.  Of course rewatching the movie later, you get why there is something different about the story and about Jesse.  This is the story of the effect of A Nightmare on Elm Street 2’s decisions.

scream queen my nightmare on elm street mark patton horror convention

Horror fans are different…totally different tone than some other conventions

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 had a male lead who was a “damsel in distress”.  It wasn’t typical for horror films which often had female leads, nudity, and were pretty “anti-gay” like many movies and shows at the time, and the fact that A Nightmare on Elm Street was such a big hit brought a lot of attention to the sequel.  David Chaskin’s script flips this and has Jesse fighting a monster inside of him.  It isn’t very subtle, and much of the debate comes from where Chaskin was going with it.

Mark Patton tries to explain his story and has a lot of venom toward David Chaskin.  The documentary has a struggle to tell the story and do it smoothly.  It is a little jarring and all over the place at times.  The movie wants to focus on A Nightmare on Elm Street, but telling Mark’s life is necessary for context…it just feels like it needed more base or streamline the chain of events better before getting to the Nightmare on Elm Street stuff and clearer picture of Mark’s path after the film dealing with the fallout.

scream queen my nightmare on elm street mark patton david chaskin interview

Started to get a bit awkward

The film’s look at fandom is an interesting look.  I’ve always thought it must be strange for actors having to be someone that they portrayed years ago because of often niche  fanbases.  The movie explores the flipside of fandom where there is often there is an open acceptance of people in horror film communities, but there is also a less accepting side…but that in general is life.  It is changing and is always changing, and the movie does seem to get that.

The movie is a catharsis for Mark Patton and that is good.  He is able to put some demons of his past officially in the past and that is a benefit from the film.  The documentary is tackling a strange aspect of an over thirty year old horror film and trying to put it into a modern context which isn’t always possible.  It wraps it all up with reflection in modern times and how this fear could spread again without keeping in check, but it is a bit of a rocky road to get there.

Related Links:

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2:  Freddy’s Revenge

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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