Some horror movies have useless, stock characters that the audience immediately wants to see die. That can be fun, but it’s not really the point. It’s a much more fulfilling experience when we can relate to or at least be entertained by the characters within a feature film.
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Luckily, there are plenty of horror pictures with larger-than-life, memorable characters. B-Movies are often very good about this. Even some of the campiest features have one or two standouts. Here are five such characters in horror films that really needed more screen time.
Ken Walsh, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge
Most people aren’t aware that this character even had a name. That’s fine, considering he has no bearing on the story as a whole. The parents in this film don’t serve much of an overall purpose. But then they went and cast Clu Gulager, who brought Ken Walsh to life and made him the most vibrant and memorable person in the entire movie. He’s the perfect irate TV dad with a short temper and a lack of understanding of teenagers and their environment. Given the amount that the parents factor into the original Nightmare on Elm Street, it’s a shame the same treatment was not given here. Mr. Walsh is a complicated fellow who shows genuine affection for his son but at the same time is too quick to blame him for causing the family’s pet parakeet to explode.
Grandpa is far and away the most interesting character in The Lost Boys, which is saying a lot, given the heightened style and larger-than-life cast. He lives far away from town, and never wants to get too close to the beach and its community. Instead, he dwells in a large house surrounded only by taxidermy, root beer, and the TV guide. That is, until his daughter and her children come to live with him. It’s revealed at the end that Grandpa is perfectly aware of the vampires and just never mentioned anything to anybody about it. It’s natural, in a way, as he seems to be a man that keeps to himself, but it also raises a lot of questions. Grandpa knows about the vampires and pretty clearly knows how to kill them as well. I’m not saying that a prequel about the Emerson boys’ grandfather is the direction the Lost Boys franchise should have taken, but actually that’s exactly what I’m saying.
With business cards that say “Electrician/Adventurer” Bill is an important character. He’s a gem. He comes in to fix the wiring and ends up aiding the main characters in an alternate universe adventure and rescuing a woman who is about to be murdered. In some ways, Bill is probably in the movie for the perfect amount of time. He comes in and out and then he’s done, but I still wish we could have seen more of him. He would have done great in some sort of spinoff. And he probably could have solved the plot of Shocker in mere minutes.
In a just world, Roland Kincaid would have been a major protagonist from Nightmare on Elm Street 3 onward, instead of being killed first in the fourth movie. Kincaid was one of the most lively characters in the franchise. The entire cast of Dream Warriors stands out, all of them are very well developed, but he is easily the most entertaining and quotable. A character this absurdly fun to watch should have been given the chance to continue. Or he should at least have been given a more memorable death scene. As one of the few people in the franchise to put up a real fight against Freddy Krueger, he shouldn’t have gone out like he did.
In a movie with a great script and a great cast across the board, it is Stephen Geoffreys as ‘Evil’ Ed Thompson that completely steals the show. Evil is a horror fan and a relatable character, even though he is completely over-the-top. He is the best friend of protagonist Charley Brewster and generally goes undervalued and unnoticed. Every horror fan watching can relate to him in some way. When he becomes a vampire, he becomes even more entertaining and makes a great villain for a few short but extremely memorable moments. Initially, Evil Ed was supposed to come back as the lead vampire for Fright Night II, but Geoffreys turned down the part upon reading the script. It’s a shame that he never got to come back in some capacity, although versions of Evil were featured in both remakes of the original. Sadly, neither approached how great it would have been to see Geoffreys in the role again.