Bad Ronald (1974)
PLOT - Ronald is a shy gifted boy who lives with his overprotective mother in their giant Victorian house. One day Ronald accidentally kills a neighborhood girl who was teasing him. In a panic, Ronald buries the body and goes to his mother for help. Knowing it's too late to go to the police claiming it's an accident, the two think of a plan that has failure written in it from the beginning. The two make a secret room out of the downstairs bathroom, blocking off all the walls besides a small crawl space in the closet. There Ronald's mother tells him to hide where she'll bring him meals while they wait until everything blows over. Tragically after a few months Ronald's mother has to go in for a minor surgery but suddenly passing away during the operation. Ronald continues to live off canned goods inside the walls, waiting for his mother to return. It isn't until a new family moves into the house, unaware of Ronald living within their new home's walls. Here Ronald lurks around and sets his targets on the family's teenage daughter.
LOWDOWN - I'm a sucker for made for TV movies. In fact if you had to ask me to name several truly awesome terrifying movies, I'm sure half of them would be made for TV movies. Believe it or not TV movies were actually legit in the 70's, 80's, and even early 90's. I'm not talking about Lifetime movies, I'm talking old school ABC or CBS movie of the week films. Movies that actually had effort behind them and told really well written stories. I feel TV movies as well as TV shows back then were so good, so many of them got swept underneath the rug. Bad Ronald is one of them.
Bad Ronald has a charming quality behind it from the locations (that house was beyond beautiful) to it's likable cast that give powerful performances, to it's haunting score. This is a pretty far fetched story to believe in, but in the time it was made I could see it maybe actually happening. Showing how right from the beginning Ronald and his mother were damned. What is the most disturbing factor in this story is watching Ronald slowly begin to unhinge becoming more and more withdrawn and unstable. The creepiest part of course has to be after the new family has moved in, still unaware that Ronald is living within their walls. The timeline is always hazy, but I love how they question strange noises in the middle of the night, or food going missing from the kitchen. The best of course is the epic final act where one of the daughter's discovers one of Ronald's peep holes.
A creepy and highly enjoyable TV movie that's totally worth checking out. I myself own it on bootleg, but I know it was released on DVD some time back. If you are lucky enough to find this movie, I strongly urge for you to check it out. The 1970's truly had some great gems movie wise, and some of the best you can find on a Youtube channel TerrorTVLand. Check out this amazing collection of TV movies!
3 1/2 stars!