Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Movie Review: Scream Queen! My Nightmare On Elm Street

Scream Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street is the best documentary I’ve seen this year and in a very long time. This film sets the record straight about the controversial sequel to A Nightmare on Elm Street, which both launched and ended Mark Patton’s acting career. This film is about him attempting to make peace with his past and embrace his legacy as cinema’s first male scream queen. Scream Queen! also finds Mark confronting the Freddy’s Revenge cast and crew for the first time, including co-stars Robert Rusler, Kim Myers and Clu Gulager, as well as Freddy Krueger himself, Robert Englund.

Scream Queen! follows Mark as he travels to horror conventions across the U.S., with each new city unwrapping a chapter from his life. Getting to know him better through this documentary was a pleasure. At the same time, it was heartbreaking to hear what he and other fellow gay actors had to go through in the 1980s. The AIDS epidemic gave rise to a tidal wave of homophobia that forced many of these actors to go back into the closet or never come out in the first place. Scream Queen! illustrates how Mark wrestled with the reality that his agents, and Hollywood in general, wanted him to deny his truth, act straight, or be subjected to lesser roles.

The emotion, intensity, and authenticity of Mark’s story is palpable. I was already a fan of A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge and Mark before I watched Scream Queen! Now, I have even more respect for him because I have a greater understanding of the journey he’s taken and how he’s sharing that experience to have a positive influence on others. The best part is, it’s working. As a result of the renewed interest in A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge, Mark has emerged from the shadows to cast a light on an incredible story that’s worth telling.

Whether you’re a horror fan or not, Scream Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street is a stunning look at the human condition. It made me smile, laugh, and sit on the edge of my seat. By the end I was filled with a sense of satisfaction for the peace and understanding that Mark has found in his life. I’m thrilled that he’s happy and bringing joy to those he has inspired: the fans.

Coinciding with the 35th anniversary of A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge, Mark is coming to the City of Brotherly Love for qFLIX Philadelphia 2020, the LGBTQ+ film festival, where he’ll take part in a discussion about Scream Queen! prior to a screening on March 26 at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre. If you have the opportunity to attend, I highly recommend that you do so. Scream Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street is a documentary everyone should see.

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