Don't worry, we will never spoil anything pre-jump, though obviously everything after the break is operating under the assumption you've seen the film to the right, so be warned. And a big tip of our hat to Arbogast on Film for inspiring us with his post The One You Might Have Saved.
Name: Glen Lantz
Cause of Death: In 1984's A Nightmare on Elm Street, Glen apparently gets liquefied when Freddy Krueger turns the center of his bed into a giant blender that splatters his blood all over the ceiling.
Verdict: I would have saved him.
Reason: I get why Glen had to die. His death sets up the movie's final showdown between Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) and big bad Freddy (Robert Englund) or Fred, as he's referred to in Wes Craven's first Elm Street flick. But let's imagine a parallel universe where Glen had not fallen asleep watching TV and listening to music at the same time. Let's imagine a world where he survived. Better yet, let's imagine a world in which the filmmakers had realized Johnny Depp's enormous talent and decided to keep the character around for later sequels and spinoffs.
I'm not saying that allowing Glen to live and casting Depp in future Elm Street projects would have been a great thing for the franchise. For one, we would have been robbed of his insane and bloody death scene. And part of what makes the climax of the original Nightmare so compelling is that Nancy faces Freddy alone (with the help of a swinging mallet and an exploding light bulb). The suspense and focus probably would have been thrown off if Glen showed up to "cold cock" Freddy after Nancy pulled the killer out of her dream like she originally intended.
Still, its fun to imagine Depp being tied to the franchise throughout the eighties, giving up his leather jacket on 21 Jump Street to play a wiser and stronger Glen, guiding new teens through their encounters with Freddy, like Nancy does in the third part, Dream Warriors. Depp came back for a cameo in Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare. Maybe he might have been more inclined to make a cameo in the new remake starring Jackie Earle Haley as Krueger if he had stronger ties to the franchise. There's a pair I'd love to watch work together on screen.
And you know what? Glen is a good guy. He might be a bit of a spoiled teen, but he looks sharp, sensitive and sophisticated compared to oversexed jock Rod Lane ("Up yours with a twirling lawnmower!"). The romantic in me says that Glen and Nancy could have been great together.
Some might say that Glen actually survives and that he and Nancy actually do end up together judging by the final moments of the movie. I don't buy that. Nancy describes the murders in her journal entries found in the first sequel, and she's a lonely intern by the time we get to Dream Warriors. Glen, as we knew him in the first film, is dead. Now we'll have to settle for Veronica Mars alum Kyle Gallner playing Quentin, a very Glen-like character, in the Platinum Dunes redo opening today.