56 user 27 critic

Bad Ronald (1974)

A perverted teenage boy who lives in the walls of a house finds the house sold to a family after his mother dies, and he falls for one of the new residents.



(teleplay), (novel)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ronald Wilby
Mrs. Wood
Sgt. Lynch
Mr. Wood
Elaine Wilby
Mr. Roscoe
Mrs. Schumacher
Babs Wood
Althea Wood
Ellen Wood
Duane Matthews
Sergeant Carter
Mrs. Matthews
Angela Hoffman ...
Carol Matthews
Karen Purcill ...
Wanda (as Karen Purcil)


A shy teenager accidentally kills a mocking peer's equally mocking younger sibling, and his mother helps him hide in a spare room in their house. Problems arise when the mother goes for an operation and dies, and the house is sold to a new family, with the teen still living inside. Written by Kyle Palkowski

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Wood family doesn't know it. But the old house they've just bought is already occupied... by a psychopathic killer. See more »


Drama | Horror | Thriller


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

23 October 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Indespærret  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


When Ronald is crawling out of the pantry, a boom mike is visible. See more »


Althea Wood: What do you think of this place?
Duane Matthews: [hesitantly] I guess I never thought I'd be eating here.
Althea Wood: What do you mean?
Duane Matthews: Ronald Wilby lived here.
Ellen Wood: Who's Ronald Wilby?
Duane Matthews: ...He murdered my sister.
[Babs drops her dinner spoon in shock]
See more »


Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Tampon Tango (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

Made for TV cult classic!
11 October 2006 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

On the face of it, Bad Ronald doesn't look like it has much going for it, but despite some silly plot devices and the fact that it was made for TV back in the seventies; this is actually a very decent little cult gem. The film capitalises on the idea of creepy old houses being haunted; only this time the house at the centre of the tale is not inhabited by ghosts, but rather by the psychopathic son of the previous owner. The premise works from what is probably the most obvious plot device ever, as we watch the title character; an odd young man obsessed by the fantasy world that he himself has created, accidentally murder a young neighbourhood girl. That's just the start of the chain of events, and when he comes home to tell his mother that he's killed a girl and buried the body in a shallow grave, she immediately decides that he must convert the downstairs bathroom into a secret hideout. He stays there while his mother brings him food, but tragedy strikes when she dies in hospital, leaving Ronald on his own. It's not long before a new family moves in, and Ronald isn't moving out...

I'm probably overrating this film a little really, but the way that the story is delivered is completely undemanding, and that makes this a very fun film to watch. Too many films these days are too complicated, but Buzz Kulik's film focuses on the important elements, and the resulting film is very simple and easy to get into. The film isn't heavy on characterisation, but the central situation has more than enough to make up for this, and the character of Ronald is easy to get behind, despite the fact that he's the villain of the piece. The fact that it was made for TV is obvious as the film looks very cheap and the acting is largely diabolical, but I've seen a lot worse from theatrically released films. There's no blood and gore in the film, partly because it was made for television, and partly because the story really doesn't need any gore to succeed. Bad Ronald is a real bona fide cult gem; it may never achieve classic status, but its well worth tracking down and I highly recommend this film to anyone that gets their hands on it. I know I'll definitely see it again!

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