Welcome back to this feature at SuperMarcey.com called ‘The Super Five’. This is a different take on the ‘Top 10′ or ‘List’ style features, where I take a subject and simply name five things. It isn’t a top list, just simply five things for your enjoyment!
Those that know me, know I have a huge love for A Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. Those that know me are often confused as to why I love this film so much, so I figured why not explain myself here and list 5 reasons why I do. This film has become quite popular in recent years for its undertones, but that seems to be all that gets discussed. I do believe there is more to this film than that, and I do genuinely enjoy it despite it breaking the rules of the first film. Of course if you haven’t seen the film and don’t want to be spoiled do not read on. Here we go ….
5.) “It is the Top Gun of franchise horror films”
I will admit, the undertones are a big reason as to why I like this so much. I never understood whether it was something intentional or not because those under tones actually made this a more interesting film. As noted in the amazing documentary Never Sleep Again, the cast and crew swear that they had no idea of the under tones. Writer David Chaskin admitted that it was meant to be subtext, and he wanted to perhaps explore that sexuality subject quietly. However everything that followed just ramped up that subtext, and what we ended up with was a film about a teenage boy not being haunted by Freddy but his only sexuality. So yes on one front it is a Freddy film but on that other front Freddy represents a sexual side to Jesse that he just isn’t quite ready to perhaps explore or admit to. I really think it does work in that way, however there are some sillier moments that just make it well silly. The stuff with Coach Schneider is especially silly, and that really brings up a lot of undertones.
4.) The special make-up effects
WOW just WOW! The make-up effects in this film are just phenomenal, and back in 1985 I would say they were breaking new ground. The work on Freddy Krueger differed greatly from the first film, and he certainly looked more demonic here. The job they did here was amazing, and I have to give major props to Robert Englund for making it through that make-up process. The real star of the special effects is the work done during the scene where Jesse is staying over at Grady’s. Freddy emerges from Jesse, and the entire sequence is jaw dropping in how real it actually looks. It is so hard to imagine how they actually pulled it off, and again it is shown in great detail in Never Sleep Again. It did not look easy, and the work put into it was just crazy and it paid off. The scene is genuinely frightening and even after so many re-watches it still looks bloody good!
3.) Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger
What more can I say that hasn’t already been said about the amazing talent that is Robert Englund? He owns the role of Freddy Krueger, he is fantastic as Freddy and no one can ever play Freddy the way that Englund did. The Freddy we see in this film is as I mentioned different, he seems more sinister in this film and equally as frightening. A lot of the film hides Freddy and we can feel this performance from Englund in the shadows, and it is just so affective. The dance between Jesse and Freddy is a frightening one, and the pair played off each other pretty well. Englund some how manages to keep Freddy very scary throughout the film, even during the party sequence. I really like the Freddy that Englund delivered in this film, it was unique to the other films and he did scare me the first time I watched this.
2.) The Jesse/Grady Relationship
Jesse and Grady are just friends, but with the subtext at play and how things panned out it certainly felt like these boys wanted more than just friendship. Their whole relationship is an odd one, but there is this firey chemistry between the two actors and the way the characters were written. If this did not have the subtext, the chemistry would have still been there, Mark Patton and Robert Rusler were a perfect match for these two characters. There is a moment in this film where it almost feels like something more will happen, but it doesn’t, and it is just ripe for fan fiction! Their relationship is actually a core part of the film, and it is one of the strange elements that some how works despite everything. Robert Rusler did a great job as Grady, I really liked what he brought to the role and just how well he played off Mark Patton. There really is some great stuff here between these two, and I have to hand it to Jack Sholder and crew, they cast these two roles brilliantly! I would love to see Mark Patton and Robert Rusler in a film now, that would be just too awesome!
1.) Mark Patton as Jesse Walsh
Mark Patton – the first male Scream Queen!
Mark is fantastic as Jesse, I always felt it was an honest performance and I really liked his character. It was different seeing the main victim here of Freddy being a male, and we know why it doesn’t always work. But there was just something about the character of Jesse and the way Mark played it, along with how intimidating and frightening Freddy was, this just seemed to work some how. I think the screaming was over done for Jesse, and that certainly takes one out of it, but the play between Jesse and Freddy is handled nicely. The performance from Mark during these scenes is really damn good, each time I can almost feel the fear emanating off him. The pair played off each other well as I mentioned before, and the chemistry Mark shared with Robert Rusler was amazing. I do think he was at his strongest with Englund and Rusler. There was a nice friendship formed between Jesse and Lisa (the gorgeous Kim Myers) and the pair had nice chemistry as well. Jesse didn’t have too much family interactions and I felt Mark played it all just really spot on, and I should give a shout out to Clu Gulager who owned his father role. Yes Mark Patton is my favourite part about this film, I don’t think he gets enough credit for his work here. Despite all the issues this film had from its inception to what we got, this man gave it his all and he’s just great in this film.
Kudos Mr. Patton, you did well!