A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985)


You know what? Screw it. I like this movie and I don’t care who knows it. Does it break the rules Wes Craven set up in the original film by having Freddy (Robert Englund) bust out of dreamland to terrorize a bunch of kids at a pool party? Yeah, sure. Is it campy and homoerotic? Most definitely. But it’s also got some great special effects and a beautiful, dark score by Christopher Young. And I for one find it really refreshing to see Freddy terrorize a boy (Mark Patton) for once. (I should have written an essay in college about why America wasn’t ready to watch a horror film where the boy was the one screaming and falling down all the time.)

I understand when serious Nightmare on Elm Street fans roll their eyes over this one. But I find it too interesting to dismiss. Where else are you going to see Freddy trying to get inside a high school boy’s body (Mark Patton)? And where else are you going to see an evil gym teacher (Marshall Bell) get strung up nude in the shower and spanked to death? New Line Cinema’s founder, Bob Shaye, even makes a cameo appearance wearing a leather fetish outfit. Then you have Patton shirtless and dripping in sweat most of the time. And did I mention the flaming parakeet scene?

In the tradition of Clive Barker, the film’s male protagonist ends up needing rescued by his girlfriend (Kim Myers) in the end. The Sociology student in me probably overvalues the gender reversal aspect of the film, but I remember when watching the movie for the first time (during a late night movie marathon back in the sixth grade) how awesome it was to see a guy act the way I would in a horror movie. Would I be strong and brave and save the girl from the monster, or would I be the one screaming and crying and running away? Ask my female roommate who kills the spiders.

With Robert Rusler, Clu Gulager, and Hope Lange.

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