Bad Ronald (1974)

Bad Ronald (1974)

"Bad Ronald" enjoys quite an impressive cult reputation, despite "only" being a low-budgeted and made-for-TV film from the early 70's, so I simply had to check it out to see what all the fuzz is about. I can't deny "Bad Ronald" has something irresistibly special! The atmosphere is thoroughly unsettling and Scott Jacoby portrays a strangely menacing Ronald. There are no special effects or bloody massacres in this film, yet it's an engaging little thriller with a fairly original premise. Ronald is a geeky and slightly peculiar teenager who lives with his dominant and overly protective mother. He's obsessed with his personally created comic book universe, yet his mother insists on becoming a prominent doctor. When Ronald accidentally murders a young girl after she mocked him one too many times, his mother sees no other solution than to construct an extra lair in their house and hide him from the cops. Then when mommy doesn't return from the hospital one day after a routine operation, Ronald remains hidden in the house and new tenants move in. Slowly going insane from loneliness and paranoia, Ronald mistakes the new tenants' daughter for his comic book heroine. The script is a little too far-fetched to be plausible and it definitely contains too many improbabilities, like the bizarrely noisy neighbor Mrs. Shumacher, for example, and the fatal gal blather operation. But at least it's never boring or exaggeratedly ridiculous, so I'm certainly not complaining. Ronald's parental house provides the film with a uniquely sinister setting, complete with hideous wallpaper & furniture, peepholes and secret cupboard passageways. Especially considering it's a TV-production, "Bad Ronald" is well photographed, suspenseful and it approaches several themes that are appealing to fans of grim 70's exploitation. (IMDB Coventry)

The film Bad Ronald I think is really a commentary on what it is like to be an introvert, rather than just the story of an individual. The underlying message of this film speaks so much more than the surface one. A shy person, someone unsure of him or herself can feel like a shut in. Like they too are trapped within a confined space. The flaws in their personality imprison them in their home, not the death of their mother as in Ronald's case, but the situation is the same. Such introverts can never be comfortable with the way they live, just as Ronald isn't, because they are surrounded and flaunted by people who do not suffer the same affliction as they.

Ronald was forced to observe these people in the form of the people that move into the house he is trapped in, real life introverts seem them in the form of atheletes, socialites, quote end quote players, the rich, the beautiful, etc. Also attempts to fight back against these people or join their society seem futile to outsiders, exactly like Bad Ronald's attempt to date a popular girl far to good for him and romance one of the girls that comes into his house of habitation. A fantasy world, like Ronald's Entarantia (a movie parallel to geeks who live in the Star Wars universe), are their only way to stay sane. Bad Ronald carries alot of weight to it. Also it kicks ass. (IMDB stalinsays)

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