Bad Ronald (1974)

BAD RONALD (1974)
TV-Movie
Article 2893 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 4-9-2009
Posting Date: 7-15-2009
Directed by Buzz Kulik
Featuring Scott Jacoby, Pippa Scott, John Larch
Country: USA

When he accidentally kills a local girl, Ronald is hidden by his mother in a secret room so he can evade capture by the police. When the mother dies, the house is sold to a family that is unaware that Ronald is still hidden in the house.

In some quarters, this TV-Movie is considered to be notoriously bad. Well, it’s not near as bad as all that, but it is somewhat undernourished; I got the sense that the script was a couple of revisions away from being really complete; the plot points seem a little mechanical, the timeline is vague, and some of the character transitions are faulty. Still, it’s odd enough to give it a certain novelty value, and though the teenage girls are quite annoying, the acting is quite good. The fantastic content includes the theme of madness, and the idea that the house may be haunted (though we know it’s only Ronald). And, to its credit, at least this movie wasn’t another pilot for a tentative series. Still, I think it could have made a series (albeit a pretty bad one) … if they had retooled it into a sitcom. Plot holes abound; why doesn’t anybody notice the disappearance of Mrs. Schumacher for one thing, and why can’t anyone hear Ronald using the bathroom?

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