By Mark Saldana

Rating: 4 (Out of 4 Stars)

Actor Mark Patton will forever be remembered as the male “scream queen” of A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. Even though he has been honored and celebrated in recent years as a trailblazer in horror cinema, his journey to this status has been a rather difficult and heart wrenching journey. This tremendous documentary by directors Roman Chimienti and Tyler Jensen reveals the very intimate details of Mark Patton’s life and career as a closeted gay actor during the 80s and how his Nightmare on Elm Street movie, the AIDS crisis of that decade, and the prejudice he encountered all derailed what could have been a more successful career. It genuinely is an emotional and heartbreaking film that ultimately has an empowering impact.

During the 1980s, Mark Patton discovered his passion for acting and pursued his calling with much passion and determination. After working both on stage and in television, Patton gets what could’ve been his big break into cinema in the sequel to a popular and successful horror movie. Though the movie’s writer and director make some highly questionable choices, Mark Patton’s true self could not be contained. It was a time when gay people were either feared or hated and the AIDS epidemic only added to this sentiment. Mark Patton’s Nightmare installment soon rubbed some audiences in a negative way, and his personal problems put a definitive end to what was his main passion in life.

I was truly blown away by this powerful documentary. I was somewhat aware of Mark Patton’s background and how his Nightmare on Elm Street film impacted his career. However, to be completely honest, I had not really given much thought to what his overall life was like during what was a frightening and stressful time for Patton as a gay actor during the height of a health epidemic. This revealing and incredible film gives audiences a glimpse of reality and the disheartening problems Patton encountered during a tremendously scary time in Hollywood. This film honors the formers actor’s courage and ability to live life on his own terms despite the adversity and challenges that could have destroyed him and actually did to several friends and loved ones close to him. It is a triumphant and inspiring true story for the ages.

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