in 1984 Freddy Krueger He went down in the history of horror movies to become one of the most popular and feared characters by children for more than a generation. Although today he has an extensive saga, a restart and even one of the biggest mergers of all time – his mythical fight against Jason-, the central axis of a nightmare on elm street has a ribbon that has become an emblem for the community LGBT+ without having been thought, apparently, with that objective.
The first part of the successful franchise conquered the American and world box offices with the story of Frederick Charles Kruegera man with a dark and stormy past because his mother had been sexually abused by inmates of a psychiatric hospital, his father was an alcoholic abuser and since he was a child he had psychopathic behavior -an antisocial personality disorder-.
However, what captivated the public was his present, when he worked in the local power plant and in the boiler of the plant he had captured more than 20 young people from the neighborhood and had killed them. The police were unable to solve the case, while the newspapers dubbed him “The Springwood Slasher.” The phenomenon was so great that this story had to continue and therefore Warner Bros Entertainment gave the green light for its bloody sequel, without imagining what it would become over time.
Just one year after its first part, in 1985 the tape arrived that we will talk about throughout this text: Nightmare on Hell Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. With high expectations that were reflected in its budget (3 million dollars, raising 30 in the United States alone), the sequel met everything except the expectations of horror lovers who classified it as bad, although it did have an acceptable commercial success. The critics made reviews in important newspapers applauding or criticizing the innovations that were reflected in the final product, without realizing that everything connected to a common point: did the plot talk about the community? LGBT+?
To better understand the context, it is important to recap the story. Five years after the events of a nightmare on elm street, jesse -interpreted by brand patton– moved, with his family, to what was the house of Nancy Thompson -main character of the first part-. Even without fully settling in, he begins to have nightmares, which makes him unable to sleep well at night and wakes up screaming. He receives a visit from Freddy Krueger in one of her dreams and discovers in her house a diary of hers in which he recounts her nightmares and talks about the great murderer.
Although the story might seem normal, there is a first element to argue that this film had every intention of breaking with the genre paradigm dictated for the 80s: The protagonist is a man, when in every horror movie at that time it is always a woman. A first great novelty to leave behind the end girlin order to count a final boy. Situation that for the traditionalists was a tragedy, although for the avant-garde it allowed them to see something fresh to the tired and repeated formula of every film of the time.
Throughout the film there is more than one unusual landscape that has been taken up by the diversity community as an argument that it was a bisexual story that although its director jack shoulder He has denied, and even shown regret for what he did, he has not been able to explain the reason for the scenes.
Young men and with all the stereotypes of beauty of that time (tall, blonde, stocky bodies) playing sensually in the school showers, while practicing some sportwhile being scolded by their coach. Situations that today might seem normal, but at that time they were the opposite of what Hollywood gave the public – women under the same circumstances and situations.
There is a specific scene where the fearsome Freddy Krueger attacks and kills one of his victims, a man in the showers left alone after his training. What is unusual about this moment is the way in which death takes place, since the male nudesAlthough well cared for, they are evident. In addition to being tormented under an environment that could be considered “masochistic” and that was booming within the gay community in the 1980s.
Another peculiar scene takes place when Coach try to seducesubtly, to the protagonist in a drag bar. The brief moment passes full of LGBT+ elements that could now be considered cliché – men in latex, with long mustaches, perfectly marked but “effeminate” bodies – but that are clear references to a story indirectly narrated.
“I wasn’t conscientious enough to realize that some of this could be interpreted as gay”: Jack Sholder, director of the film for The timesUnited Kingdom.
The refusal of its creators to have everything interpreted as an LGBT+ horror film was sustained by its director, writer and producer for several years, however none of this could be contrasted when they were questioned because they had made it in that way. . In addition to the fact that his protagonist at the premiere “came out of the closet” and showed his interest in having wanted to make clear the doubts about the character’s sexuality, because in the end he was a teenager who, although he had a female partner, ran into his arms of his best friend to “feel safe”.
“I had to do what I could with a problematic material. That was a time when women didn’t want men show weaknessbut I knew that at least I wanted it to jesse had a fragile cry. If I was going to make this movie, it was important to me that it at least show a different kind of masculinity.” Mark Patton for Los Angeles Times years later.
“Simply became impossible to deny. I’m lying on the bed as in the sorrow and the candles drip and bend like phalluses…”. Robert Englund, the man behind Freddy’s make-up, mentioned that he even proposed to the young performer to insert one of the blades of his glove into his mouth during one of the attacks-seductions, but the scene was discarded.
“It’s obviously intended as a bisexual-themed movie.Englund declared in 2010. “It was the early eighties, before the AIDS paranoia. jesse he is struggling with whether or not to come out of the closet and Freddy is the manifestation of his own sexual desires. His friend (played by Robert Russell) is the object of his affection. all of that is in the movie”.
The fact that the protagonist of the entire saga talked about it like that and defended it ended up being the final and most powerful argument of the LGBT+ community to see Nightmare on Hell Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge as an emblem of the LGBT+ community in horror movies.
During a recent interview with too fabulous while promoting his new series, true terrorEnglund revealed that he would love to see a new version of A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge.
“If you do again nightmare 2 they should really deal with that subtext, Freddy playing with that boy’s sexuality. Now we are much more comfortable with itI think it would be a really fun thing to have Freddy playing with him. One boy could be gay, another not, they could be played with, tempted… Forced out of the closet or back into the closet. The public would accept it now. Freddy would do that because he’s in your head, but we would need someone very smart to do that”, he expressed.
Despite the negative criticism in those years and that even the creatives came to think that the innovation for the genre had been a setback to the success of the character, Freddy Krueger continues to be a world cultural reference of terror and his “revenge” is a timeless movie that the LGBT+ community has not been forgotten and that it could have a fair recreation where being gay or bisexual as well as the protagonist of a scary movie is not an element to destroy a film in critical reviewswell it is not a forced inclusion when from the beginning it was like this and by means of which they will say they denied the undeniable.