REVIEW: SCREAM, QUEEN! MY NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET

Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street (2019)

Featuring

Mark Patton (Amityville IV)
Cecil Baldwin (Gravity Falls)
Robert Englund (Freddy vs Jason)
Robert Rusler (Babylon 5)
Marshall Bell (Starship Troopers)
Kim Myers (Hellraiser: Bloodlines)
Clu Gulager (Feast)
JoAnn Willette (Real Genius)
Linnea Quigley (Graduation Day)
Jeffrey Marcus (Frozen)
Joshua Grannell (The Diary of a Teenage Girl)
Heather Langenkamp (New Nightmare)

Mark Patton in A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge (1985)While there have been a few lengthy explorations of the “Nightmare on Elm Street” series, “Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street” doesn’t have much interest in the screen wrath and pop culture influence of Freddy Krueger. Instead, filmmakers Roman Chimienti and Tyler Jensen quest to spotlight the life of Mark Patton, the star of 1985’s “A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge,” who was set to hit the big time with his turn as Jesse, the boy tormented by the razor-fingered menace, only to find himself crucified by viewers for the gay overtones of the movie created by screenwriter David Chaskin. Patton was destroyed by the experience, erasing his desire to continue acting, but “Freddy’s Revenge” wouldn’t go away, growing in popularity and analysis as the years passed, giving the feature a second life, while Patton was singled out as the first male scream queen, complicating his relationship with a despised horror sequel he thought would rocket him to the big time.Mark Patton in A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge (1985)Patton labels “Scream, Queen!” as a “testimony,” not journalism, permitting cameras to follow him as he embarks on a 2015 tour of horror conventions. Going around the country, Patton engages with fans, but these are people he never knew existed, as the actor elected to keep away from his grim reality in Hollywood, moving to Mexico to set up shop on a dusty road, finding peace far away from his past life. The Patton on display in the documentary is eager to be of service, taking the responsibility of these paid interactions seriously, greeting all sorts of “Fred Heads” who are quick to share their fandom and, most importantly, their gratitude. Amazingly, over the decades since the release of “Freddy’s Revenge,” Jesse has become a gay icon, with the saga of the meek, feminine boy possessed by the rage of a movie maniac becoming a beacon for LGBTQ viewers, with some experiencing the first stirrings of something special within while watching the feature.Kim Myers and Mark Patton in A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge (1985)While film nerds and horror hounds have been aware of this resurgence of interest in “Freddy’s Revenge,” the news comes as a surprise to Patton, who experienced hellacious mockery and bullying for his portrayal of Jesse, exposed to the worst criticism and, later in life, the full blast of online ugliness, with fans singling him out as the element that ruined the hotly anticipated follow-up to “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” “Scream, Queen!” explores his reunion with “Freddy’s Revenge,” but Chimienti and Jensen aren’t making a movie documentary, instead using the event to dig deeper into Patton’s life, which was filled with promise before participation in the sequel. “Scream, Queen!” tracks Patton’s upbringing with his troubled family and his initial move to New York City, using his naivety to land an agent, soon embarking on a career in commercials and eventually scoring a role on Broadway, working with Cher on “Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean,” where he received his first taste of the fame he craved.Mark Patton in A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge (1985)Patton was primed for the big time, but he was also a gay man in an industry that didn’t want to acknowledge such a thing, forcing him to lead two lives in a way. “Scream, Queen!” inspects his private life, falling in love with “Dallas” actor Timothy Patrick Murphy, and it also details the experience of AIDS in the 1980s, with the disease destroying the gay community, forcing professionals to experience agony in secret, including Patton, who couldn’t bear the extraordinary homophobia of the era. A surprising amount of screen time is devoted to an understanding of the AIDS crisis and Patton’s own battles during the decade, which turned him into an advocate while taking on his own health issues. While “Scream, Queen!” deals with “Freddy’s Revenge,” Chimienti and Jensen also have something to share about the personal struggles of gay men facing a dire future of illness and condemnation, with Patton emotionally recalling his survival during a harrowing time.Robert Englund and Mark Patton in A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge (1985)“Scream, Queen!” returns to “Freddy’s Revenge,” highlighting its resurgence of popularity and critical examination, with the filmmakers visiting a college classroom and revival screenings to capture this newfound excitement over what’s now proudly considered to be classic by gay audiences, appreciated for its camp appeal (including Jesse’s awkward bedroom dance) and dark fantasies. If there’s a villain to be found in the documentary, it’s Chaskin, who for years blamed Patton for the erasure of his “subtext,” only to claim ownership of the material when the movie returned to prominence. Patton wants to confront the screenwriter, making the feature one long trip to this uneasy sit-down, which permits the actor a chance to share his complex feelings on the matter, purging himself of anger (director Jack Sholder coldly tells Patton to “get over it”). “Elm Street” fans are sure to enjoy this arc of the picture, which reunites Patton with his friendly co-stars (including Kim Myers and Robert Rusler), getting to the heart of issues surrounding “Freddy’s Revenge,” though curiously missing is Patton’s own assessment of the sequel. “Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street” packs a lot of material into its run time, following extreme highs and lows, but the helmers never lose sight of Patton and his intimate journey, with the actor coming to terms with his position as Jesse the Scream Queen, finding closure as he finally deals with the role that forever changed his life.

REVIEW: NEVER SLEEP AGAIN: THE ELM STREET LEGACY

 

CAST

Robert Englund (Wishmaster)
Heather Langenkamp (Hellraiser: Judgement)
Wes Craven (Scream 4)
Robert Shaye (New Nightmare)
Amanda Wyss (Highlander: THe Series)
Jsu Garcia (Along Came Polly)
John Saxon (From Dusk Till Dawn)
Leslie Hoffman (Star Trek: DS9)
Robert Rusler (Weird Science)
Kim Myers (Hellraiser 4)
Clu Gulager (The Virginian)
Marshall Bell (Total Recall)
Ken Sagoes (Intolerable Cruelty)
Rodney Eastman (I Spit On Your Grave)
Penelope Dudrow (After Midnight)
Jennifer Rubin (Screamers)
Ira Heiden (Alias)
Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)
Priscilla Pointer (The Flash)
Brooke Bundy (General Hospital)
Lisa Wilcox (Watchers Reborn)
Tuesday Knight (The Fan)
Lisa Zane (Bad Influence)
Tracy Middendorf (Scream: The Series)
Kane Hodder (Jaxon X)
Breendan Fletcher (Bloodrayne 3)
Zack Ward (Transformers)
Marshall Bell (Starship Troopers)
Erika Anderson (October 22)
Alice Cooper (Dark Shadows)
Miko Hughes (Roswell)
Whit Hertford (Jurassic Park)
Monica Keena (Aftermath)
Jason Mewes (Jay & Silent Bob Reboot)
Kelly Jo Minter (The Lost Boys)
Mark Patton (Amityville: Evil Never Dies)
Lin Shaye (Insideous)
Brooke Theiss (Catwoman)

The documentary itself lasts just under 4 hours, each film gets at least 25 minutes dedicated to it, and Freddy’s Nightmares and New Line Cinema get a brief discussion as well. Asides from Johnny Depp and Patricia Arquette more or less everyone from the 8 films is interviewed. I watched the whole documentary in one sitting, at no point does it drag. It isn’t just talking heads there are interesting behind the scenes photos and videos, some of which feature unused special effects and deleted scenes – including a replacement for Robert Englund if he had wanted to much of a pay rise for the second film, I’ll say this, thankfully the two parties came to agreement! The interviewees don’t just pander to one another and pat each other on the back, they are quick to point out flaws in their own performances and disappointment with others.537b56a81cd15eae281b892a881f5538Highly recommended. It is the perfect companion to the films.

REVIEW: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS

CAST

Chris Pine (Into The Woods)
Zachary Quinto (Heroes)
Zoe Saldana (Avatar)
Karl Urban (Dredd)
Simon Pegg (Paul)
John Cho (Total Recall)
Anton Yelchin (Alpha Dog)
Bruce Greenwood (Thirteen Days)
Leonard Nimoy (Transformers: The Movie)
Benedict Cumberbatch (The Hobbit)
Alice Eve (Men In Black 3)
Peter Weller (Robocop)
Noel Clarke (4.3.2.1)
Nazneen Contractor (Heroes Reborn)
Amanda Foreman (Alias)
Aisha Hinds (Cult)
Bill Hader (Superbad)
Heather Langenkap (A Nightmare on Elm Street)
Sean Blakemore (Bones)
Nick E. Tarabay (Spartacus)
Cynthia Addai-Robinson (Arrow)
Scott Lawrence (Avatar)
Nolan North (Con Man)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Fred Tatasciore (Hulk Vs)
Ser’Darius Blain (Jumanjji: Welcome To The Jungle)
Audrey Wasilewski (Red)
Usman Ally (The Hunt)

In the year 2259, Captain James T. Kirk is removed from command of the starship USS Enterprise for violating the Prime Directive: he exposed the ship to the primitive inhabitants of the planet Nibiru in order to save them, and Spock, from a cataclysmic volcanic eruption. Admiral Christopher Pike is reinstated as commanding officer with Kirk demoted to the rank of Commander and first officer. Commander Spock is transferred to another ship. Shortly after, the Section 31 installation in London is bombed, perpetrated by the renegade Starfleet operative John Harrison (Cumberbatch). Harrison then attacks Starfleet Headquarters in a jumpship during the emergency meeting about the situation, killing Pike and other senior officers. Kirk disables the jumpship, but Harrison escapes by transporting to Kronos, the homeworld of the hostile Klingons.

Admiral Alexander Marcus (Peter Weller) reinstates Kirk and Spock to the Enterprise with orders to kill Harrison. Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott strongly objects to allowing untested torpedoes on board the ship, and when ordered to allow them resigns his commission in protest. Kirk assigns Pavel Chekov to replace Scotty. En route to Kronos, the Enterprise’s warp capabilities mysteriously become disabled. Kirk leads a team with Spock and Uhura onto the planet, where they are ambushed by Klingon patrols. Harrison dispatches the Klingons, then surrenders after learning the number of torpedoes aboard the Enterprise.

Dr. Leonard McCoy and Marcus’s daughter, Dr. Carol Marcus (Alice Eve), open a torpedo at Harrison’s behest. Inside is a man in cryogenic stasis. Every torpedo aboard Enterprise contains a human in stasis. Harrison reveals his true identity as Khan Noonien Singh, a genetically engineered superhuman awakened by Admiral Marcus from centuries of suspended animation to develop advanced weapons of war against the Klingon Empire. Khan reveals that Marcus had sabotaged the Enterprise’s warp drive, intending for the Klingons to destroy the ship after it fired on Kronos, creating an act of war by the Klingon Empire. Khan also gives Kirk a set of coordinates. Kirk contacts Scotty on Earth and asks him to investigate. Scotty discovers they lead to a covert Starfleet facility near Jupiter.

The Enterprise is intercepted by a much larger Federation warship, the USS Vengeance, commanded by Admiral Marcus. Marcus demands that Kirk deliver Khan, but the Enterprise, with a hastily repaired warp drive, flees to Earth to expose Marcus. After the Vengeance intercepts and disables the Enterprise near the Moon, Kirk reveals Carol’s presence aboard the ship. Marcus forcibly transports Carol to the Vengeance before ordering the Enterprise’s destruction, Kirk offers Khan and himself for the lives of his crew, but Marcus rejects Kirk’s offer and orders Vengeance to fire when ready. However, Vengeance suddenly loses power, sabotaged by Scotty, who infiltrated the ship. With transporters down, Kirk and Khan, with the latter’s knowledge of the warship’s design, space-jump to the Vengeance. Spock contacts his older self, who warns that Khan is ruthless and untrustworthy, and, in another reality, Khan was only defeated at a terrible cost. Meanwhile, after capturing the bridge, Khan overpowers Kirk, Scott, and Carol, kills Marcus, and seizes control of the Vengeance.

Khan demands that Spock return his crew sealed in the cryogenic tubes in exchange for the Enterprise officers. Spock complies but surreptitiously removes Khan’s frozen crew and arms the warheads. Khan beams Kirk, Scott, and Carol back aboard the Enterprise, but betrays their agreement by critically damaging the Enterprise; however, the Vengeance is disabled when the torpedoes detonate. With both starships caught in Earth’s gravity, they plummet toward the surface. Kirk enters the radioactive reactor chamber to realign the warp core, saving the ship, but losing his life in the process.

Khan crashes the dying Vengeance into downtown San Francisco in an attempt to destroy Starfleet headquarters, destroying some of the city. Khan escapes the wreckage as Spock transports down in pursuit. McCoy discovers that Khan’s blood has regenerative properties that may save Kirk. With Uhura’s help, Spock chases down and eventually subdues Khan, who is consequently arrested and re-frozen, and Kirk is revived.

Nearly one year later, Kirk speaks at the Enterprise’s re-dedication ceremony. Khan is sealed in his cryogenic pod and stored with his compatriots. The Enterprise crew embarks on a five-year exploratory mission.I didn’t overly mind that the film is based on Khan, but I can understand how some people would have an issue with it. The first film so cleverly re-wrote the shows history and gave Abrams the opportunity to do whatever he wanted story wise so it was a little bit surprising to see he had embarked on somewhat of a `re-make.’ But all in all a very good film. Great action sequences and great CGI – even if you’re not a Trekkie this is still an enjoyable film.