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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Stay in the lair until I get home..."
BAD RONALD has been described as "an obscure made-for-TV-movie." Actually, it was one of the better, if quirkier, productions of the "ABC Movie of the Week" series in 1974. This movie is very memorable to anyone born between the late 1950s and early 1960s, and has acheived something like cult status in that age group.

Stammering, stuttering, geeky Ronald is the...
Published on December 30, 2005 by Konrei

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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Shame On You Warner Brothers
I hate to give "Bad Ronald" one star. It was an above average telemovie from the 70s that had a pretty good gimmick. A teenager wanted for murder is hidden behind the walls in his house by his overprotective mother. After she passes away he remains in his secret room. As he slowly goes insane, a new family moves into the house, unaware someone else is living behind their...
Published 17 months ago by C. Taylor


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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Stay in the lair until I get home...", December 30, 2005
By 
Konrei "Everything I need is right here" (Boca Raton, Florida and Brooklyn, New York) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bad Ronald (VHS Tape)
BAD RONALD has been described as "an obscure made-for-TV-movie." Actually, it was one of the better, if quirkier, productions of the "ABC Movie of the Week" series in 1974. This movie is very memorable to anyone born between the late 1950s and early 1960s, and has acheived something like cult status in that age group.

Stammering, stuttering, geeky Ronald is the neighborhood wuss. He is constantly being picked on. In a bizarre set of circumstances, a neighborhood favorite is accidentally killed while Ronald is fleeing from yet another seven-against-one type streetcorner fight.

In mortal fear, Ronald runs home to his paranoid Mommy, who is convinced that (of course) Ronald will undoubtedly be blamed for the death of the most popular kid in school and will definitely be sent to the electric chair. She decides to hide him, and builds a secret room inside their house for Ronald to stay in when people come to visit.

Not long afterward, Mom goes to the hospital for some routine surgery, with a warning to Ronald not to leave the "lair" until she returns. Mom very inconveniently dies on the table, and Ronald remains hidden in his secret room even after a new family moves into his house.

The new owners have a pretty teenage daughter, and lonely, warped, fantasy-ridden Ronald begins to drill spyholes in the walls of the house so he can peep at her. He then forms a twisted plan to kidnap her and keep her in the lair with him forever, a plan which is spoiled when she discovers the lurking Ronald.

BAD RONALD is an unforgettable chestnut of a movie that is not very available, but is well worth tracking down, especially if you remember it from its showing as the Movie of the Week. Hopefully, with the burgeoning release of old television shows to DVD, BAD RONALD will come out of hiding fairly soon.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars SPOOKY '70s TV MOVIE, July 20, 2005
By 
This review is from: Bad Ronald (VHS Tape)
If you can get your hands on a copy of BAD RONALD then do it! It's a good Horor-Cult Classic flick that is way better than any Made For Tv movie has any right to be.

Ronald is anerdy teen who lives with his smothering mother. On the day of his birthday, Ronald crashes the cool kids party nearby and gets thrown out. On the way home a kid is taunting him, Ronald knocks the kid over and they hit their head ona rock/brick and die. Ronald rushes home to tell Mom who decides to hide Ronald in a downstairs bathroom in the house and board it up so he can hide from the cops. While living in the hidden room Ronald's mother croaks and now he's stuck in there...even when a new family buys the house! Ronald grows more and more demented as the days go by and he cant help but peep the young daughters through holes he's made in the walls. One day he decides peeping ain't enough: He's gonna get one of the daughters and bring her back to his "lair!"

Really good creepy freaky flick.

****
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ...Parental Discretion Advised, September 7, 2009
By 
David Baldwin (Philadelphia,PA USA) - See all my reviews
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Back in the Seventies ABC used to produce terrific telemovies that may not have had the budgets of their theatrical counterparts but whose overall quality rivaled them. Tops would probably be "Brian's Song", "Trilogy of Terror", and Steven Spielberg's "Duel". "Bad Ronald" is not in that elite class but it's very good. Ostensibly a horror movie but one could also view it as a dark comedy. The first third of the movie is probably it's strongest thanks to the work of Kim Hunter as Ronald's clinging mother who could give Carrie's mother a run for the money. Scott Jacoby has his moments as Ronald at times referencing Robert Mitchum in "The Night of the Hunter" in his performance. The film kind of slags off in it's latter moments becoming a more conventional horror movie. Not classic but not bad. I would never have heard of this film if it weren't for my sister who was something of a horror buff and who regaled "Bad Ronald" 30 years ago. It was well worth the wait.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Shame On You Warner Brothers, April 2, 2013
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This review is from: Bad Ronald (DVD)
I hate to give "Bad Ronald" one star. It was an above average telemovie from the 70s that had a pretty good gimmick. A teenager wanted for murder is hidden behind the walls in his house by his overprotective mother. After she passes away he remains in his secret room. As he slowly goes insane, a new family moves into the house, unaware someone else is living behind their walls. This certainly could have been a better film. The premise had a lot of potential that was never capitalized on, thanks to the micro-budgets and two week shooting schedule these made for television movies were given. It also has it's logical flaws. Like how could a smart young boy destined for a medical scholarship cause the accidental death of not one, but two different neighbors, and in both cases panic and bury the bodies making it look like murder. Or how he could live for months behind a wall without the new family smelling his body odor from not bathing. But taken for what it is, a 70s telemovie, it has it's appeal, and was worthy of it's cult status.

The problem here is not the movie, but Warner's DVD release. I can not even begin to review this film because it is an edited version. Some other reviewers here have commented on how three minutes are missing. That is not true. Nearly a half hour is missing. Furthermore this is not a DVD quality remaster, but a video tape master meant for the VHS market, and it shows.

Let me start at the beginning. The original "Bad Ronald" would have been 95-100 minutes long, depending on how many promos for upcoming moves were edited on to the end of the film. Back in the 70s network shows ran 50 minutes per hour allowing for 10 minutes of commercials and network ID's ( commercials for other television shows ). This was heavily regulated by the FCC. Local stations were allowed more time for commercials per hour. This is why syndicated reruns were often edited, cutting out scenes to allow for more commercials.

After it's initial broadcast, "Bad Ronald" was edited down to 74 minutes to be shown as part of ABC's daily 90 minute afternoon movie block called "The 4:30 Movie". This was the same time slot that occasionally aired "The After School Special", 90 minute films made for preteens that often taught valuable moral lessons. Unlike the other network programming, The 4:30 Movie did not air over the network, but rather ABC would send cans of film to their affiliates and allow them to pick and choose which films aired on which days. This was in the days when stations were still making the transition from film to video, and since some of ABC's affiliates still did not have video equipment, the decision was to distribute "Bad Ronald" on film, but of lower quality stock than the original print.

When "Bad Ronald" was put on VHS for the home video market, USA Home Video who had no access to the original source material, instead found a print from one of the local stations who aired The 4:30 Movie. This same print had been used several times, was full of scratches and embedded dirt, and worse of all, the soundtrack had gradually grown muddy. But this was the early days of home video, and no one seemed to care about picture or sound quality. Furthermore, USA Home Video sped up the credits and made a few minor edits so that many of the fade outs for the commercial breaks were removed. This cut the film further from 74 minutes down to 71 minutes.

Now nearly three decades later and Warner Brothers elects to release Bad Ronald on DVD as part of their archive collection. But do they remaster the film from the original film prints? No. Instead they use the USA Video VHS master. One that apparently was not stored properly because there are a few moments during the film where you can see where the tape began to erase. So basically, the copy released on DVD today is of lesser quality than the copy released on VHS back in the 80s. THE WHOLE FREAKING POINT TO BUYING A MOVIE ON DVD IS THAT IT IS SUPPOSE TO BE AN UPGRADE OF THE SAME MOVIES WE ALREADY OWN ON VHS.

I have seen bootleg VHS tapes of better quality than this. The colors are all washed out, the picture is never crisp, and when characters go someplace dark, like a basement, they become invisible, as does the entire set, because the original video transfer makes everything dark look black. And the sound, horrible. There are several sections of the film where even on repeated viewing you can not figure out what characters are saying.

And then there is that stupid 4:30 Movie editing. I have no idea what was cut from the 30 minutes, but it seems as if most of it had to do with the new family. Most of the version on the DVD is the set up with Kim Hunter, while most of the later scenes with Ronald behind the wall spying on the family that moved in are missing. The whole point of this movie was suppose to be the later. In fact, the entire second act of the movie seems abrupt. Also apparently missing is more of Ronald's relationship with Duane, with no explanation as to why Ronald hates him so much. I suspect the original cut of the film had more of Ronald being teased by Duane prior to the murders. With so much missing, I have no idea how better the original movie played.

Shame on you Warner Brothers. Shame on you for selling an inferior print of this film on DVD. This should be recalled immediately and the proper, uncut and remastered version should be released in it's place.But judging how they never properly remastered the "Kung Fu" television series when they screwed that release up, it looks like this will never happen. We will have to wait until the rights to this film pass to a home video company that actually gives a crap.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Love the movie, hate the Warner Archives issue!, September 28, 2010
This review is from: Bad Ronald (DVD)
My only copy of this, my favorite 'Psychotronic' TV-movie, was one I recorded onto VHS from WTBS one afternoon in the late `80s. I was willing to order the special overpriced 'Warner Archives' (Warner burned-to-order) copy (pictured) (that you have to wait for a couple weeks for while they do it)thinking I would get a nice clean, uncut copy. WRONG!!!! The color, picture quality, and sound is atrocious- much worse than my old one from TV. What's more, this copy is only 71 minutes- 7 minutes shorter than the original film is reported to be. What's going on here, Warner? You don't want anyone selling "unauthorized" copies yet this is the best you can provide fans? It's a disgrace. I waited over two weeks for Warner to send this and considered asking for a refund, but I think I waited too long. My advice is wait and see if this gets officially released- this is dvd-r and may not even play on some decks.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Creepiness From the Other Side of the Wall, July 26, 2010
By 
Wes Saylors Jr. (Boone, North Carolina) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bad Ronald (DVD)
"Bad Ronald" is one of those movies that, even today, seems admirably daring and creepy. In short, Ronald has accidentally killed a neighbor girl and his mother walls him up in a guest bathroom until "the whole thing blows over." Well ... mommy dies and a new, very attractive family moves in, and along with some of the furnishings, they get a Bad Ronald in the deal. The kid has begun vacationing from reality and believes the youngest of the three daughters of the newly moved-in family is a princess he has to rescue. Lots of genuine creepiness ensues. What's great about this TV movie is that it takes its time building up to a climax. In an era where TV movies and shows are cut to produce a stobe effect, Ronald is like a leisurely walk through a particularly quiet graveyard on a sunny afternoon. Something is gonna pop out of the grave and get you, but you'll have to wait for it. And it'll be worth the wait. Bad Ronald is a mood that builds to a satisfying climax. It is a movie that still holds up well today. But a word of advice ... if you feel someone is watching you from the other side of the wall, resist the temptation to explore.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Before there was gore...., October 20, 2009
By 
Whirledtraveler "whirledtraveler" (Tucson, Arizona United States) - See all my reviews
Bad Ronald is one of those movies that creeped me out when I was a kid. To this day, just remembering Jacoby's portrayal of Ronald sends goosebumps all over. Before there was slice 'em up vegematic gore that passed for horror, there were movies that were made to reach into the mental and psychological state; Bad Ronald is one of those movies. There are no gratuitous scenes of bare chested women, pools of blood, entrails, or appendages being hacked off just for the sake of blood, guts, and gore. Instead, this movie explores the lengths the human mind will go to justify physical actions. This movie was made a time when adolescents talking back to adults was viewed as being 'fresh' and disrespectful. A time when adults were referred to as "Mr. or Mrs., and people said "please" and "thank you" and followed a civil discourse when interacting with society. So when Ronald becomes 'bad' his behavior is terrifying and the slide down the fall to evil is not far behind.

I am glad that this piece of cinema is finally available to add to my collection. Thank you Warner Brothers.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very scary nerd lives in the walls!, September 7, 2006
By 
J. Lyons "usedwigs" (Philly, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bad Ronald (VHS Tape)
I thought back to the insouciant days of my youth and fondly remembered the movies that scared the living pee out me. "Bad Ronald" immediately popped in my head.

This 1974 made-for-TV movie starred Scott Jacoby as the geeky teenager Ronald Wilby who accidentally kills a neighbor's young daughter who made fun of him. His mother played by Kim Hunter fears the police will not believe that it was an accident and hides her son in a bathroom, which she walls off and turns into a secret room.

Mom soon dies and a new family moves in. Ronald decides to stay in the house and begins to unravel. He creates a network of paths and peepholes in the walls so he can monitor the new family and their three comely, young daughters. Needless to say, they are completely unaware that a young mentally unstable lad (think Andy Dick on a normal day.) lurks in their walls!

Terror ensues with a truly excellent and memorable ending. A must see for any fan of the "crazed-teenager-living-in-the-walls" genre.

After viewing this fright-fest, I spent a good three hours circling my house, inside and out, making sure there was no possibility of a secret room or psycho crawling within our 8-inch thick paneled walls. Happy to report there was neither, but I did notice our house could have used a new coat of paint and some curtains.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ANOTHER GREAT TV MOVIE GETS SNUBBED FOR DVD RELEASE!?, July 9, 2007
This review is from: Bad Ronald (VHS Tape)
This is a classic TV movie and one of the best of the time period! This film has some creepy moments and a good story. This film and "Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark" deserve DVD treatments.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bad Ronald, July 9, 2010
By 
Geminigirl (Philadelphia, PA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bad Ronald (DVD)
Bad Ronald is one of those movies that just "stays with you" years after you've seen it. My sisters and I saw it when it originally aired back in the day and it affected us to the point that whenever we'd encounter young men who exhibited behaviors like the title character, that person was automatically dubbed "Bad Ronald" by us.

This movie is not so much a horror movie as it is just creepy & sad - our house was kind of like the house in the movie & the thought of someone living behind the walls of your home while you go about your day-to-day is the aspect of the movie that haunts me to this day.

The title character is a shy, socially inept mama's boy who tries to fit in with other kids but is rebuffed and teased until one day he accidentally kills a young neighborhood girl. His terrified mother hides him away in a secret room in the house and leads the police to believe that Ronald has run away. This temporary measure becomes permanent after his mother undergoes surgery & dies shortly thereafter (one of the most powerful scenes of the movie is when the character overhears the realtor stating that his mother has passed).

Ronald has no way to support himself and is now mentally unbalanced & paranoid due to having to live in this manner until a new family (complete with 3 daughters) moves into his home. He becomes fixated on one of the daughters and begins to take dangerous risks until he is eventually discovered.

I'm not saying the movie is Oscar worthy but it took me back to a time when network movies sometimes rivaled those in the theatres. The dvd is very basic and contains no extras - the picture & sound quality are good and overall I'm happy to have been able to add this movie to my collection.
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Bad Ronald
Bad Ronald by Buzz Kulik (DVD - 2009)
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