Monday, August 11, 2008

Why Is Nightmare On Elm Street 2 So Gay!?


The homoerotic undertones in Nightmare on Elm Street 2 : Freddy's Revenge are pretty well documented and oft discussed among the die hard horror community ; particularly the repressed homosexuality of the lead character, Jesse. It has been several years since I have seen the film and perhaps was not keen enough to pick up on all the gay-ness back in the day, but there's gotta be a reason why it's my least favorite in the franchise, right? Well I was feeling a little gay today and I decided to pop the dvd in for the sole purpose of picking out every last homosexual morsel that I could find in it and answering the question of Nightmare 2's queerness once and for all. Now I am not a homophobe in any way shape or form. In fact, there was a gay kid in my high school who I even contemplated being friends with at one point, but this movie just has way too much gay in it to chalk it up to coincidence. Something is fishy here. Here's what i've come up with.

First off, a few observations before we even delve into the film itself. Let me begin my case by saying that while the director of the film, Jack Sholder, denies any intention for the homosexual undertones in the film, he has since stated that after watching the film over again, he can see where we're comin from on this one. Also, the actor who plays main character Jesse, Mark Patton, is actually gay in real life. Not off to a very good start...How about the official poster for the film? Check it out :


The man of your dreams is back? Hm. The man of your dream's is bareback, is more like it. The image on this poster is also very telling. On one hand, Jesse with a girl, on the other, Jesse's true reflection of his homosexual nature, shown as being very frightening and ugly. You mean to tell me this shit wasn't intended to spark up gay controversy? Puh-leaze. Ok, on to the movie.

First and foremost ; the plot of the film. It's not your typical Elm Street fare. Freddy is trying to enter the body of young Jesse (that should raise a rainbow flag) in order to make him do his bidding for him. Now I aint sayin Freddy's gay, but why would he wanna enter a teenage boys body? The film is not even so much about Freddy as it is about Jesse coming to terms with a man entering him in his dreams, and his attempts to accept that. Another issue tackled is Jesse's lady friend trying to get the man she loves back from the grasps of another man, Freddy. You're fightin a losing battle, honey.

Right off the bat, within the first 20 minutes, we are treated to Jesse's sweaty half nude body way more then we should be. Once is fine. Hell, maybe even two or three times. But seeing the dude in his sweaty man-ties several times over just gets a little bit too exciting.


A few minutes into the film, I noticed some very peculiar pieces of "art" hanging in Jesse's home. I've never heard of anyone pointing this one out before. See if you can spot them...


To me that looks like a penis on the left and a....cock on the right. Subliminal gay imagery? I think so.

Less then 10 minutes into the film we are witness to our first big gay scene. Jesse and his friend get into a fight on the baseball field in gym class. Fight is actually quite the overstatement, however. Jesse's friend de-pants him, revealing nothing but a jock strap, to which Jesse retaliates by tackling his queer friend and attempting to remove his shirt :

Typical high school shenanigans? Ok, maybe. I'll let it slide.

What I cannot let slide however is what I saw just a few short minutes later. I'll let this one speak for itself :

This may very well be the gayest scene ever committed to celluloid. In fact, if this were the only scene that supported the gay theory in the entire film, i'd still have my suspicions about it. God only knows where that wooden thing has been...

In the same scene I noticed a few peculiarities in Jesse's room. First off, the sign on his door :


No chicks, eh? It looks like the sign says something along the lines of "no out of town chicks" but the dominant words in the sign speak its message pretty clearly. And what about the game in Jesse's closet :


While in his room, Jesse's female friend, who we can be pretty sure is nothing more then a friend, finds a diary hidden in his closet. The same closet Jesse is hidden in. The diary belongs to Nancy from Elm Street 1 and the passage that is chosen to be read is, in my opinion, no coincidence. "Sometimes when i'm lying here in bed, I can see Glen in his window across the way getting ready for bed. His body is slim and smooth and I know I shouldn't watch him, but that part of me that wants him forces me to..thats when I weaken, that's when I wanna go to him." The inner monologue of Jesse, to a tee. Betcha wish Johnny Depp was still in that window across the way, eh buddy?

Aaaaaand here's where it all goes just a little bit too gay. Jesse, now body taken over by Freddy, walks into the S&M club that his gym teacher frequents. Yes, his gym teacher is into that shit, and they make a point of it. Freddy/Jesse ties the gym teacher up in the showers and proceeds to slap his ass with a towel until its bright red and blistery. I shit you not :

I could stop here, I think i've more then proven my point, but this is all just too amusing. How bout this one. Jesse is terrified of the realization of his homosexuality, and seeks comfort in his friend, Grady :

Something is trying to get inside your body, alright. And I think it's your best friend.

While not a reflection of homosexuality per se, Nightmare 2 is the only Elm Street film to not feature the traditional theme music. Pretty gay, if ya ask me. On top of that, no pun intended, Freddy appears in just 13 minutes of the 87 minute run time. Not even he want's to be a part of his own movie. I wonder why.

Now look, I understand the fact that if you're really looking hard for something you will find it, whether you're just convincing yourself of it or not. Some of these points may be stretches and I may be creating them to amuse myself...but I really really don't think so in his case. My conclusion? Nightmare on Elm Street 2, intended or unintended, is the gayest horror film of all time. And if ya ask me, i'm prone to say this homosexuality was fully intended. It is not fathomable for me to believe that no one making this film noticed until it was too late. Someone's to blame here and I suggest he step up and admit his attempts to turn Freddy queer. Luckily, Freddy triumphed and kept the red and green sweater in favor of the rainbow one it seemed he was headed to slap on.

As one final note, it's certaintly not only the fans who recognize this. Check out this clip from the Nightmare Series Encylopedia (Disc 8 in the Nightmare collection) wherein the director and production manager discuss the phenomenon :

So what do you think? Leave a comment and let me know.


DCWorldHome said...

All right, so why do we care how gay this movie is? Maybe if the guys who wrote and directed it were actually gay it would have had a chance to be good (ouch, who said that?). I doubt there is a gay man (or a straight woman for that matter) who would have ever cast Mark Patton as the lead role of Jesse. Why would Freddy want to get inside of that when he could have had Grady.

We all know that the word gay is commonly used in a derogatory way, so in your defense I will too say that this film is Gay, as in a over the top stupid bad acting waste of time. If you want to talk about a gay movie, how about one with a dozen half naked guys sun bathing on top of a bus? And who can forget the guys taking a piss together in the open field (We can’t). I’m talking about Jeepers 2. Now you have me second-guessing why I liked it so much. Hmmm, was it good or just gay?

Bottom line, I’m sure we all agree that if Nightmare 2 wants to stay in the closet, lets lock the door! (Just let us keep Nancy’s diary.)

We enjoyed your blog, look forward to the rest.

MaryCherry said...

Grady had a poster of Limahl in his room. Now that is gay, in any sense of the word.

G said...

You didn't mention the INCREDIBLE part where Mark Patton and the girl try to make love, but suddently Freddy takes possession of his body and Jesse seem SO disgusted by the girl's body and then he run away. Magic.

RobocopsSadSide said...

I am so happy I decided to type "Elm Street 2 gay undertones" into Google this morning out of boredom, because I may never have came across this excellent post, Johnny!

Hah, never noticed the penis like ornaments on the wall, awesome!

I think I hold this film higher on the Elm St. roster than most people. I appreciate it for just how Un-Freddy it is. Plus, it is the last film in the series to show Fred before he became a stand up comedian (disregarding Final Nightmare).

As an innocent child, this was all way over my head. And people can say that you can find undertones in anything if you are looking for them, but with this particular film, there are just too many to believe the director when he says it was more or less... accidental.

The swimming pool scene is one of the greatest moments in Elm St. history, as is the bizarre finale which includes a melting Kruger, a giant rat eating a cat and dogs with dude heads. I love this movie for how fucked up it is.

I think a drinking game is in order.

Jonny said...

don't forget the Kate Bush poster Jesse had hanging in his room. i mean.


Capitão Márvel said...

"Luckily, Freddy triumphed and kept the red and green sweater in favor of the rainbow one it seemed he was headed to slap on."

I think you are missing the fact that Freddy is a child molester. (at least that was Wes Craven original intention)

CinemaCthulu said...

You know, when I've tried to point out the homosexual undertones you've just mentioned to my slasher film compatriots they look at me like I'm nuts. Thank you for helping to confirm my theory on ANOES 2

Anonymous said...

You once CONSIDERED being friends with someone gay in high school? How sweet of you... Obviously ANOES 2 has homosexual undertones in it. So trying to convey such little things such as a "cock" wall ornament is kinda stretching it honestly. This film is unique in the way that it is more psychological than your typical slasher flick. Freddy represents that side of Jesse that he doesn't want to express. That sets it apart from the other NOES movies. Part 2 is actually my favorite right after New Nightmare. Now I'm all for one expressing his or her opinions but you did so in such a bias way. Its pretty clear that you have a problem with homosexuality, and as a result ANOES 2.

Mark said...

The director can deny it all he wants, But in "never sleep again," the documentary on the nightmare series, the writer of this movie explicitly stated that the homoerotic subtext was all intentional.

Gerry Fisher said...

This movie was just shown this weekend at the Baltimore Queer Film Festival. No, you aren't imagining all those cues.

You're missing only one thing: the AIDS analogy. This movie was released in '85, which means that it was probably written in '84. Up until right around that time, we didn't even know what caused AIDS ("can you get it from kissing? what if someone coughs near me?"). It was damn scary.

With AIDS, something unknown invades your body, takes over, and it's murderous; once it's infected you, you can't control will take over. One of the symptoms of AIDS is night sweats; Jesse wakes up soaked in sweat every day.

No matter which way you cut it, it's a pretty negative portrayal of gay people and what gay people go through. But, then again, it's a not-very-good C grade horror movie. (I loved the first one, tho.)

Kaenan James said... far Freddy going after a teenage boy...he WAS a child molester in life...who went after little girls AND's not a far streach that Freddy being a pedaphile who went after both boys and girls...wouldn't go after a boy in his dreams.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why people keep saying Freddy was a child molester, he wasn't. In the remake he's an "accused" child molester but in the original he's a child murderer. No kid diddling just kid stabbing.