Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Bad Ronald (1974)

Director: Buzz Kulik
Warner Archive DVDr

This is a title I had heard of for years, presumably because of the outlandish scenario. A nerdy high school boy who lives in an old Victorian house with his ailing single mother, accidentally kills a neighbor girl. He panics and buries the body in a shallow grave and the mother has the bright idea of hiding Ronald (the title character!) in a bathroom that they build a fake wall over. Then once the heat cools down, moms will sell the house and they will move, fool-proof. But did you catch the part where I said she was ailing? Well mom kicks the bucket on the operating table and Ronald is stuck in his bathroom hideout getting nice and crazy, a prelude to being bad. While he is in there, a family with three teenage daughters moves into the rest of his house.Meanwhile, Ronald is writing a novel about a magic kingdom where he's the prince, his murdered neighbor's older brother is an evil duke, and the youngest daughter of the new family is the princess. He covers the inside of his potty room with giant paintings of his characters and leaves reality behind as he transforms himself into "Prince Norbert", because that's such a cool sounding name. He knocks out the Duke, kidnaps the princess, and then gets caught, the end. It's actually not a bad made-for-TV movie from Twilight Zone vet Kulik, it passes the 70 minute run time pretty quickly and there's a genuinely great scare moment towards the end. I couldn't help but think that if Ronald had had the internet in his barricaded bathroom that maybe he wouldn't have gone nuts, I mean, isn't that all the human interaction we need?


No comments:

Post a Comment