Documentary On A Nightmare On Elm Street 2 Explores Hollywood Homophobia In The Age Of Reagan

Scream Queens follows the journey of A Nightmare on Elm Street actor who could not continue his career due to the homophobic discrimination of Hollywood and the times
Documentary on A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 Explores Hollywood Homophobia in the Age of Reagan
Source - Photo by Roman Chimienti

To Roman Chimienti, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 thoroughly awoke his nascent horror film undertones. So while the second installment slashed the shallow plot lines of the genre (and siblings such as and Jason and Michael Meyers), this Freddy Krueger's depth had a lot to do with the film's real shock value.  But there were still far more laying beneath - and only one demographic picked up on.

"Nobody noticed it," Chimienti says of this "analogy for gay youth" that he believes the filmmakers sought and is the subject of his new film, Scream, Queen: My Nightmare on Elm Street 

His trailer shows a joyful identification of gay men and women who didn't miss the message and an

empowering sense of community that goes with it. "We had to find heroes and Mark Patton was one," says Chimienti of the lead actor

The film also broke ground in the way it portrayed the story of the outcast. "Movies like 16 candles told the story by making the character worse off than most so he could be laughed at," he says. "This character wasn't like that."

Getting to meet and interview Robert England for the film wasn't bad either. "It was thrilling because he gave insight that only he could," says Chimienti who co-directed the film with Tyler Jensen.

But the documentary definitely contains a serious look back at the history and what was at stake for the gay community - inside and outside of Hollywood. Chimienti first noticed a problem as a glaring omission. The movie and Mark's role thrilled me," says Chimienti. "He was an up and coming actor and just disappeared."

A change over in the times holds the answer, according to Chimienti. The far more accepting disco era passing, Ronald Reagan's ascension was not music to the ears of those who welcomed the past progress. "It was a very conservative time," he says.

That is clearly reflected in the administrations refusal to acknowledge the AIDS crisis - even as one of their own fell prey. "They turned their back on Rock Hudson as he pleaded for awareness," says the filmmaker.

At the same time, Hollywood still shielded their stars' privacy but took no further steps toward openness. "Gay actors could not come


out because they would not be marketable," says Chimienti.

But for someone who cracked the business like Patton, such a burden seems manageable to us out here.  "A lot of times people think that actors make great money and have charmed lives, but the studios can have a very big say in how you live your life," he says.

In Mark's case, according to the director, he didn't see a future in film as himself.

On other other hand, Scream Queens presented an opportunity.  "I was able to contact him, and this was a way to recreate his own story," says Chimienti. 

His journey aside, the film is also meant to stand against complacency that can come with progress. "This generation doesn't know about being discriminated in a movie because of sexuality or that terms like faggot could freely be used," he says.

For the one demographic in question, his message isn't to be missed either. "I'm trying to light a fire under gay youth," Chimienti concludes.

Trailer : https://vimeo.com/138654480



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