Whenever we cover a horror film on the Cult Film Club, it’s the perfect excuse to dive into our large collection of vintage Fangoria magazines to try and find issues that are relevant to the movie we chose. It’s always a blast to crack these open and to read the articles that were released before the film, with the eager perspective of writers that love films like this. It’s always a fun time to get an idea of what was expected, and then contrasting that with what would come, and the the eventual legacy the film would have decades later. Often there are are treats like photos of deleted segments, or mentions of scenes that never made the final cut of the film. We live for this stuff.
For A Nightmare on Elm Street 2, we found three issues of Fangoria that had feature stories covering the film. The first is issue number 49, officially published in November of 1985 (so released around the end of the month of October.)
This article, written by Mark Shapiro, features on set interviews with the director Jack Sholder, the screenwriter David Chaskin, special effects artists Dick Albin & Kevin Yagher, and actor Robert Englund. There isn’t a ton of really juicy tidbits in this piece, but there are some interesting artifacts like the expectations of the director (in terms of this film topping the first in scares and structure) or how Englund acknowledges that the writer and director have kept a sillier, more fun side to Freddy intact in the sequel. Apparently there a lot of scenes cut from the first film that showed more of Freddy’s sense of humor. This is certainly an aspect that would be explored in the further sequels…
The next issue is number 50, originally published in January of 1986.
This second piece from issue 50 was written by John A. Gallagher and is an interview with Nightmare 2 scriptwriter David Chaskin. Considering the legacy of the film and the fact that there is a metric ton of homo-erotic subtext to this film, I think some of these interview answers are fairly telling in retrospect. Chaskin has gone back and forth on whether or not the sexual undertones of the film were on purpose or taken out of context, but I believe he eventually settled on the fact that it was purposeful, his way of trying a metaphor of the AIDS epidemic and homophobia into the Nightmare lore. In this interview, one of the first questions by Fangoria’s Gallagher is a direct query about what Chaskin’s approach to the story was. Chaskin responds that he wanted to imbue the script with what scares himself. So considering what he eventually put into the film, well, it’s a bit telling. That being said, even if he was potentially a bit homophobic and what not, this opened the door for a wonderful entry of bizarre queer horror that is probably far more important to cinema now than it was when it was released in theaters.
The third and final issue we found in our collection was number 52 originally published in March of 1986.
This piece centers on the make-up and special effects work of Kevin Yagher and Mark Shostrom. One of the things we adore about this movie is it’s campy nature, and the effects work on the picture reflects this campy style to the max. Whether it’s Freddy literally bursting forth through Jessie’s torso, or a ginormous liver-colored tongue surging forth from his mouth, the make-up is awesome and crazy.
Also, as huge fans of Fangoria magazine we highly recommend subscribing to the new print edition of the magazine. The periodical has been through a lot of different phases and eras of relevance, but the current team working on the magazine is top notch. The magazine is the best it’s been in well over a decade and totally worth your hard-earned cash. Head on over to Fangoria now to subscribe. We did!