(1974/Lorimar/Warner Bros. Archive Collection DVD)
C- Sound: C Extras: D Telefilm: B-
The film got a terrific, much needed upgrade to Blu-ray and you can
order either version from Warner Archive below...
TV movies have gained the cult reputation by simply being out of
circulation as long as Buzz Kulik's Bad
(1974) has, with more than a few sources claiming it was broadcast as
part of ABC's
After School Special
series, but we are more certain now that is not the case for what was
a hit telefilm. Warner Bros. (who owns the Lorimar catalog, the
producer of the film) has finally issued a DVD of it and to my
pleasant surprise, I remembered it as I watched and it holds up
Jacoby (who co-starred with Jodie Foster in The
Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane)
is the title character, an introvert who could use a few friends and
is lucky to have the support of a loving mother (Kim Hunter), but
that is sadly not enough. It gets worse when he kills one of the
neighborhood girls by accident!
of running away or going to the police, Ronald tells his mother and
her solution sends this film into its bizarre trajectory: she
arranges for him to live secretly inside the house in backrooms and
out of the range of the windows. At first, this works because the
police do not immediately suspect him and there are not enough clues.
However, more twists take place and one of the creepiest and still
most effective TV movies to this day gets more eerie and suspenseful.
With a great additional cast giving fine performances that include
Pippa Scott, John Larch, Dabney Coleman, John Fiedler, Cindy
Eilbacher, Lisa Eilbacher and Linda Purl, this is a must-see Horror
thriller for anyone who loves them.
Peter Martin adapted from the John Holbrook Vance story. Why more of
his work has not been adapted is a mystery of its own, but finally
issued, Vance and Bad Ronald will hopefully be seen as the wild TV
classic it is.
1.33 X 1 image was shot in 35mm film and this is just a bad analog
transfer that has all kinds of detail troubles and is very soft, with
problematic color to boot. That is a shame because Director of
Photography Charles F. Wheeler did a fine job here and previously
worked on the original Twilight
and even the Blaxploitation sequel
Slaughter's Big Rip-Off.
Hope the film's original elements are secure and being saved. The
lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is better and good for its age, but I
believe there could be a little more room for improvement considering
this all seems to come from a second-generation source. The score by
Fred Karlin (the original Westworld
feature films) is a big plus.
there are no extras, but here comes the remake [it got delayed for
all the years since this posted in 2009], so see it before that
can order this and other Archive releases at this link: