BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Bad Ronald (1974) - Blu-ray Review

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Bad Ronald - Blu-ray Review

4 beers

There’s a spot on the wall.  It wasn’t there before.  You move closer.  What is it? And so, you move even closer.  Closer still.  And then the spot moves.  It’s an eye!  Someone is inside the house.  Holy shit, man.  Screaming and running away are the only choices!  That’s one terrifying scene in this mad flick that has burned its way into my very soul. 

That’s right, Bad Ronald has returned for some more afternoon delight!

Ronald Wilby (Scott Jacoby) is baaaaack!  Based on Jack Vance’s novel, Bad Ronald, remains unreleased no more.  First shown on television in the early 1970s, this film may have slipped into obscurity, but it was never far from people’s thoughts.  Somewhere along the way, thanks to its genuine creepiness and its atmospheric setting, the film developed a cult following. 

Thanks to the remastering efforts from the Warner Archive Collection, Bad Ronald, also starring Dabney Coleman and Pippa Scott, is FINALLY released from the walled-up downstairs bathroom.

"The disturbing movie is well-acted and creepy as hell as it successfully tells a horror story that you never thought you needed to witness"


Allow me to explain.  The socially awkward Ronald and his controlling mother (Kim Hunter, Stella from A Streetcar Named Desire and Zira in the Planet of the Apes movies) are trying to outsmart the police.  Ronald is menacingly different and always a problem when it comes to associating with other kids.  There is indeed something “off” about him and, on the day this cult movie kicks off, little Ronnie has done a bad, bad thing.

Ronald, often lost in his own world of wizards and castles and knights, has done a really terrible no-good thing.  After getting rejected by one girl, he attacks her younger sister, Carol (Angela Hoffman), knocking her over and cracking her head open.  The girl, who had been teasing him, dies right then and there and Ronald, afraid of the consequences, runs home to his mother for protection.

This begins Bad Ronald’s prison sentence inside the house.  The police know he did it.  They know where he lives, too.  He MUST be hidden.  By enclosing him in the bathroom and moving around shelves to make it appear as if the house only has one bathroom, his mother keeps him out of trouble.

But what happens when she suddenly dies will blow your mind!  Because, of course, the house is sold and, of course, Ronald is still living in the walled-up area of the house.  WEIRD!  Full of cupboard escapes and secret food raids to the kitchen and back, this movie is an unsettling expression of parental abandonment.  It’s Norman Bates 2.0.

Enter the house’s new residences: the Wood family, with a mother (Scott), father (Coleman), Babs (Cindy Fisher), Althea (Cindy Eilbacher) and Ellen (Lisa Eilbacher), think they have stumbled upon a find!  They don't know that there is an extra room and person attached with the property.  They are a loving family and make the decision TOGETHER to buy the house. 

Their dreams of a happy life are quickly shattered when things start to go missing around the house.  Something is up and, after the three teenage daughters turn on each other, soon Ellen goes missing while the parents are gone on a trip.  Bad little Ronnie, completely in his own head now, has her with him…in the secret room, where now he is peeping on all the girls.  

And the madness, as he slips further and further into his imaginary world, is only beginning!

Bad Ronald - Blu-ray Review

Directed by Buzz Kulik (Brian’s Song), Bad Ronald is just an all-around a weird and wild tale of what happens when a child is left abandoned with only his drawings and his imagination.  Sure, there was something off with the boy to begin with, but still, holing someone up in the wall is not getting them professional help.  Best Mom of the Year award right there! Chills.

The disturbing movie is well-acted and creepy as hell as it successfully tells a horror story that you never thought you needed to witness.  But you did AND YOU WILL!

Bad Ronald is an ABC movie of the week cult classic!  Can we now have Crowhaven Farm and Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark?

Bad Ronald - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime:
74 mins
Director
: Buzz Kulik
Writer:
Andrew Peter Marin
Cast:
Scott Jacoby, Pippa Scott, John Larch
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
A chilling blend of American Graffiti and Psycho.
Memorable Movie Quote: "The Wood family doesn't know it. But the old house they've just bought is already occupied... by a psychopathic killer."
Theatrical Distributor:
ABC (Television)
Official Site:
Release Date:
October 23, 1974
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
October 9, 2018
Synopsis: A shy teenager accidentally kills a mocking peer's equally mocking younger sibling, and his mother helps him hide in a spare room in their house. Problems arise when the mother goes for an operation and dies, and the house is sold to a new family, with the teen still living inside.

Bad Ronald - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Warner Archive Collection
Available on Blu-ray
- October 9, 2018
Screen Formats: 1.33:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

The brand new 1080p transfer is crisp and crackling with fine details.  Originally shot on 35mm film, this release from Warner Archive Collection. supports a High-Definition encode and a 1.33:1 ratio.  With solid colors and an atmospheric charm, the cleaned-up image is detailed with nice burnt oranges and strong blacks hitting strong levels for something originally filmed in the early 70s.  The grain is natural and consistent.  Colors are strong and vibrant even.  The overall contrast is deep even if there are noticeable defects in the crush of shadows.  The DTS Master Audio 2.0 is a decent monaural soundtrack for the series.  Dialogue is clean, clear, and balanced with the music.  It is unfortunate that the release has no supplemental material, though.  One should not ignore Bad Ronald.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

None

Bad Ronald - Blu-ray Review

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