‘Scream, Queen!’ Has the Body, Brains and Heart of a Great Documentary
In 2010, Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy, the definitive documentary on the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, was unleashed. Four hours of non-stop Elm Street and an entire second disk devoted to special features was everything Elm Street fans could want. Cast and crew from all eight films had their part in the documentary. Among them was a man long-missing from the world of Elm Street: Mark Patton.
Mark Patton was a mystery. The star of A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge vanished following his starring role in the sequel to the widely popular A Nightmare on Elm Street. Never Sleep Again became Mark’s door back into the world of horror and the spotlight.
Starring in one of the biggest horror franchises of the 1980s should have launched his career. Should have. But it brought Mark less than the success he hoped for. Where had Mark been and why had he disappeared? Nine years after his resurgence, Mark Patton tells his story in Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street.
On Friday, April 5, Scream, Queen! had its first advanced screening to a sold out crowd at the Cleveland International Film Festival, with a second screening on the morning of April 6.
Directed by Tyler Jensen and Roman Chimienti, Scream, Queen is a very honest, very real look into Mark’s life – from childhood to modern day – and how A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge played a role in his disappearance. The documentary features interviews with fellow Nightmare alum including Robert Englund, Jack Sholder, Robert Rusler, and David Chaskin – who plays an integral role in this story.
For many years, Freddy’s Revenge had been treated as the outcast of the Elm Street franchise. Viewers cited the lack of Charles Bernstein’s classic theme and rule-breaking among the reasons for disliking the film. The most common reason, however, is that the film is “too gay.” At a time when homophobia was high in Hollywood, the film that should have took Mark’s career to the next level had the opposite effect. Since then, the film has been praised by small groups in safe spaces.
Only within the last few years does it seem that Freddy’s Revenge has gained more praise among horror fans. The phrase “The Gayest Horror Film of All Time” has gone from being used to ridicule the film to being used to praise it, and there’s undoubtedly a link to the return of Mark Patton. Mark has also taken an active role in championing Freddy’s Revenge and his character, Jesse Walsh.
But his influence doesn’t stop there.
Fans who have met Mark online or in person know he’s a very genuine, honest person who treats his fans like friends. And that sincerity has inspired people to come out of their shell or open up to Mark. Scream, Queen! has that realness that fans have come to expect from Mark.
Scream, Queen doesn’t hold back. It pulls aside the curtain and gives you a look at the reality on other side, evoking laughter, tears, and frustration. It has the body and the brain of a great film: technically excellent filmmaking that presents a story with enough content to keep you informed, curious, and engaged. But more than that, it has the heart to move you and invoke reflection.
Scream, Queen solidifies Mark Patton’s role as one of the greatest voices in horror as well as in the LGBTQ community. He is the ultimate male scream queen and we will forever cherish him.