The original A Nightmare on Elm Street is one of horror’s most brilliant, unorthodox films, tapping into both the psychology of dreams and the suburban fear of the local boogeyman. A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge, on the other hand, is a deeply confused movie whose incredibly gay overtones were too much for the American public and horror fans in the mid-’80s; in truth, the movie itself didn’t seem to fully understand or appreciate its rampant gay subtext, resulting in a 2019 documentary titled Scream Queen! My American Nightmare about the experiences of male lead Mark Patton. But it’s 2021, motherfuckers, and now Freddy Krueger’s queer moment is being celebrated with new merch that highlights Nightmare 2‘s gay side out loud.
The merch, which comes from T-shirt brand Campy Creations, features Freddy’s signature finger-razor slashes across the middle — only instead of revealing one’s pulsating entrails, it reveals the rainbow flag, and, ostensibly, the wearer’s queer side yearning to break free. “Last time, he was in your dreams,” read the items. “This time, he comes out.”
Not only is the design pretty funny, it’s also a solid reference to the film, in which a young man becomes possessed by the spirit of Freddy Krueger, causing the child-murderer’s ghost to literally rip its way out of his body in a werewolf-esque transformation. Of course, this is only one piece of the larger gay mural depicted by this film, which also includes being cruised by one’s gym teacher in an S&M bar before he gets towel-whipped to death and a lurid dance sequence involving a pop gun.
Check out some of the merch below:
To LGBTQ horror fans around the world, The Pit salutes you. May you continue to see the incredibly obvious gay subtexts in so many of our horror movies that the public misses in its total ignorance.
Words by Chris Krovatin