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Sunday afternoon, Fantastic Fest hosted the U.S. premiere of Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street, a documentary that looks at the importance of A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge and its homosexual subtext. Among the numerous subjects it tackles, the doc spends some time on star Mark Patton, his complicated post-fame life and how he's reclaimed a piece of the spotlight to become an advocate for equality.
Patton played Jesse Walsh, a sensitive, soft-spoken type whose career was adversely affected by Freddy's Revenge, which was his first (and last) leading role. Given that the 1985 sequel was once considered the dark sheep of the Nightmare franchise, and the rare occasion where the "final girl" is played by a male lead, it's since been both re-discovered and re-embraced by fans thirty-plus years since its release.
Speaking to the crowd, in which SYFY WIRE was a part of, Patton was asked by an audience member about his feelings to the Jesse Walsh homage in It: Chapter Two. The homage itself is Richie Tozier (Bill Hader) wearing a shirt similar to one Jesse sported in Freddy's Revenge. It's more than a clever callback, however, as it echoed not only Richie's homosexuality but how it was central to the fear that Pennywise preyed upon.
"I'm thrilled with it," Patton began. "It was funny, people on the internet, they really get in an argument about it. I don't want to denigrate straight people in any way, but straight guys would [say], 'Why do you have to do that to everything?' And we know what we're talking about. Costume designers, they put those tropes in there all the time. They're coding you, constantly."
Patton also added that he's putting versions of both Jesse's shirt and Richie's shirt into production at some point in the near future. So, be sure to keep an eye out for that.
If you're at Fantastic Fest, Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street will play again Tuesday, September 24 at 8 pm.