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

Five years after the horrible events at 1428 Elm Street, the Walsh family move into the Thompson home. Before Jesse (Mark Patton), the Walsh’s teenage son, can unpack, he starts having nightmares involving Freddy Kruger (Robert Englund, A Nightmare On Elm Street, Dead & Buried, New Nightmare) as murders begin occurring in Springwood.

    Tagline: Someone is coming back to Elm Street!

    Directing:
    • Jack Sholder

    Writing:
    • Wes Craven
    • David Chaskin

Release Date: 1985-11-01
  • Country: USA
  • Language: english
  • Runtime: 87
  • Budget: $3.000.000
  • Revenue: $29.999.213

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Wes Craven

Writer (characters)

Robert Shaye

Producer/Actor (Bartender - uncredited)

Sara Risher

Co-producer

Stephen Diener

Executive producer

Stanley Dudelson

Executive producer

Michael S. Murphey

Line producer

Joel Soisson

Line producer

Jacques Haitkin

Cinematography

Christopher Tufty

Cinematography

Bob Brady

Film Editing

Arline Garson

Film Editing

Daniel Marc

Makeup Department

Kevin Yagher

Makeup Department/Special Effects

Mark Shostrom

Makeup Department/Co-director second unit: transformation sequence (uncredited)

Robin L. Neal

Makeup Department

Bart Mixon

Makeup Department

Wendy Hogan

Makeup Department

Ron Nary

Special Effects

Rick Lazzarini

Special Effects

Paul Boyington

Special Effects/Visual Effects

Richard Albain

Special Effects

Loring Doyle

Visual Effects

Paul Huston

Visual Effects

Wes Takahashi

Visual Effects

Ian Kincaid

Visual Effects

Whitney R. Hunter

Second assistant director

Marshall D. Moore

Third assistant director

Robert Englund

Freddy Krueger

Mark Patton

Jesse Walsh

Kim Myers

Lisa Webber

Clu Gulager

Ken Walsh

Hope Lange

Cheryl Walsh

Marshall Bell

Coach Schneider

Melinda O. Fee

Mrs. Webber

Tom McFadden

Mr. Webber

Edward Blackoff

Biology Teacher

Christie Clark

Angela Walsh

Lyman Ward

Mr. Grady

Donna Bruce

Mrs. Grady

Allison Barron

Girl on Bus

JoAnn Willette

Girl on Bus

Steve Eastin

Policeman

Brian Wimmer

Do-Gooder

Robert Chaskin

Bar-B-Que Boy

Kerry Remsen

Girlfriend

Tom Tangen

Victim (uncredited)
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  • Director Jack Sholder and screenwriter David Chaskin create a flaccid, homoerotic horror sequel to Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street. Though conceptually intriguing, the work lacks focus and merely served as an excuse for the filmmakers to establish themselves as the creators of the most overtly, and without purpose, homosexual horror film to date. A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 (NOES 2) does not attempt to pick up where its predecessor left off aside from retaining the original’s setting and antagonist. However Sholder doesn’t abandon what Craven established in the original without purpose: He does present a “new nightmare” which serves, somewhat didactically, as an interesting metaphor as well as issues one of the most overt gay-themed works of horror to date. Shortly after the nightmares appear, Jesse discovers that he--and not the famed child killer--is responsible for the rash of murders occurring in Springwood. We watch as Jessie finds himself inside the locker room after his coach, Schneider (Marshall Bell, Stand by me, Capote, Identity, Total Recall, Manhunter, Natural Born Killers), whom he doesn’t care for, has been murdered as the camera pans back to Jesse, his hand engulfed by Freddy’s famed blade-riddled glove. However interesting it may be to have the malevolent nature of man be presented--not by a monster but, once a monster has been established--via the antagonist as he works through an innocent party (by definition, this is possession yet Freddy is able to commit murder without a host body), Sholder beats his audience over the head with the idea, even going as far as having Jesse, who has transformed into Freddy, state, “He [Jesse] can’t fight me [Freddy]. I’m him.” Thus, the potential for a cunning psychological thriller which dances around whether Freddy is real or if Jesse is merely insane is quickly dissipated due to Sholder’s heavy-handedness (no pun intended) as he goes on to saturate the film with a an overt, homosexual motif. NOES 2 opens with a bare-chested Jesse, drenched in sweat, as he awakens from a nightmare. The image of a post-coital, nubile young man will be repeated throughout the film ad infinitum as we are forced to watch the lead character prance around in his tighty whities and perform a masturbatory dance, complete with Jesse stroking his makeshift microphone as he pivots it on his crotch, to “Touch Me (All Night Long)” while unpacking (I would offer the activity of unpacking as an ejaculatory symbol but I don’t believe, given the weight of the rest of the production, that Chaskin is this creative). A board game, Probe, is unabashedly glaring out at the audience as it sits on the closet shelf (where else?). The homosexual theme is further reinforced with the introduction of Schneider, a gay coach, who--being a reputed S & M enthusiast--takes great pleasure in punishing Jesse and Ron Grady (Robert Rusler, Vamp), the high school heartthrob, for having a roll in the dirt as they wrestle over a botched softball play (which hosts a gratuitous shot of Patton’s gluteus maximus). This allows Sholder to bring the audience into the boy’s locker room for the first of three occasions during the film. Jesse then formally meets his antagonist, Freddy who, after caressing the teen’s face, states, “You’ve got the body,” of which, we see even more of as Sholder issues seemingly countless crotch shots of, not only Jesse, but also of his father, Ken (Clu Gulager, The Last Picture Show). Later into the film, Jesse, attempting to flee from his nightmares, flocks to an S & M club (where else would you go in such a situation?) where he meets, who else but Schneider, clad in full leather no less. Shortly thereafter, well within the grips of Freddy’s influence, Schneider is strapped up in the boys’ showers, stripped nude, whipped, and killed by Jesse. Of greater thematic interest in this regard is the fact that Jesse abandons Lisa (Kim Myers, Meryl Steep look alike, Hellraiser: Bloodline), after she attempts to seduce him, opting instead for the aide of Grady who, perhaps predictably, appears bare-chested as he sits up in bed and agrees to Jesse’s proclamation that the latter must spend the night after the lead pounces on top of Grady in order to awaken him. Even Grady finds Jesse’s statement, “Something is trying to get inside my body” odd, ironically retorting, “Yeah Dude, it’s female and it’s waiting for you in the kabana. And you want to sleep with me.” As if Sholder hasn’t beleaguered the situation enough, after Grady is killed, Jesse runs out back to the pool party where he left Lisa as hot dogs spontaneously ignite and beer cans erupt, spewing white foam in every direction. However, Sholder does posit a fascinating scenario as he combines the two motifs. Since Jesse is under the sway of Freddy and doesn’t share the killer’s Sadian outlook on murder, the director issues a latter day apologetic gay monster as we watch as Jesse tries to alleviate himself of his situation while he warns those around him that “It’s happening again.” Not since the figures of Irena Dubrovna and Countess Zaleska, in Jacques Tournear’s Cat People and Lambert Hillyer’s Dracula’s Daughter respectively, do we witness such reluctancy and fear from a horror antagonist due to the character’s homosexual urges. Do the joint themes function as a whole? No, because the former is too flighty in its presentation (and quickly answered in regards to its ambiguity) to be considered a serious agenda while the latter is too didactic. What results is a movie which merely serves as a venue for both screenwriter and director to create a gay horror film merely because they can (Sholder openly admitted in an interview that he doesn’t care for horror films and treated the opportunity as a stepping stone for his career). Even the insertion of foreshadowing via a color scheme of red and green to signal Freddy’s influence atop a fire motif do little to aide the piecemeal special effects by Richard Albain (Assault on Precinct 13, The Fog) of which, aside from Freddy’s tearing through Jesse’s body prior to his attack upon Grady, we are given a gratuitous scene of a spontaneously exploding family pet that is only topped by a scene which probably resulted in the end of cinematographer Jacques Haitkin’s career as Jesse addresses a lamp, on the other side of which resides Lisa. Even the film’s characterization is poor and inconsistent in that we are first introduced to Grady as the high school hunk, then as the crass student who stuffs his face while carrying on a conversation (hardly attractive), before we are forced to resort to the notion that the fight between Jesse and Grady at the beginning of the movie was merely brotherly fun because the lead befriends his high school rival abruptly and without justification shortly thereafter. Jack Sholder NOES 2 attempted to expand the fear evoked by Freddy by creating a parable for the evil which is inherit in all of us via, perhaps half a century too late, a leitmotif of the apologetic homosexual monster which merely comes off, considering it is the mid 1980’s, as trite and somewhat politically incorrect. By shifting Freddy from dream-time to real time, the director thus dissipates the killer’s threat to no effective ends as Freddy’s agenda is lost in his murdering of non-Elm Street individuals. Trivia tidbit: Brad Pitt, John Stamos, and Christian Slater auditioned for the role of Jesse.

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