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Mr. Boogedy

August 29th, 2008 by step-nephew redboy · 7 Comments

AUNT JOHN SEZ: Kids, looks like your UNKLE LANCIFER and I have yet another parent/drill sergeant meeting at the esteemed Valley Forge Feline Military Boot Camp. Apparently, our ginger-furred stepson Gato Malo faces expulsion after disrupting the school’s semi-bi-annual competitive spaghetti eating contest. On such short notice, we manged to wrangle our step-nephew REDBOY of old-timey music blog Blues for the RedBoy into babysitting Kindertrauma Castle for the day. Please be on your best behavior while REDBOY discusses the Disney traumatizer MR. BOOGEDY. Take it away REDBOY!

Every child, it would seem, is destined for that one initial break from normalcy in which the security of their adolescent world is shaken to its very foundations by something which, while initially frightening, is, in hindsight, actually incredibly stupid.

Debate rages as to what purpose such developmental devices serve, whether or not it is to insulate the child mentally against the adversity of a difficult world or, as I believe, to teach the child that clowns, gnarly trees, ventriloquist dummies and people with spinal meningitis should be given a wide birth.

In spite of such consensus from the scientific community, that robot chick from SUPERMAN 3 still freaks me the hell out 20 years after the fact. I still find myself mildly disturbed at the thought of Augustus Gloop drowning in chocolate while a pack of lazy adults look on and I still find MR. BOOGEDY rather off-putting.

What? What do you mean Kindertrauma has no reference to MR. BOOGEDY?

Sacrilege!

At a time when Disney and their fascist regime of cartoon animals were less inclined to protect their intellectual property at knifepoint, somebody managed to drop the ball and let this little wart slip through to the development phase.

In the spirit of such forgotten properties as SONG OF THE SOUTH and THE BLACK CAULDRON, MR. BOOGEDY, while not overtly racist, would share SOUTH‘s same fate by virtue of its strangeness – an attribute not generally in keeping with the singing rodents and copyright lawyers which people the ‘Magic Kingdom’.


The general story of MR. BOOGEDY – first aired on network T.V. in 1986 – involves the Davis family (DAVID FAUSTINO, CHRISTY SWANSON, etc.) who move to the New England community of Lucifer Falls (Hmmm) only to find that their new home is haunted by several ghosts, including the title character: a devil-dealing, murdering, scar-faced magical ghost-pilgrim (?!?!?).

Having befriended the resident ghost of a little boy (a colonial era victim of Boogedy), the three Davis children, along with the help of JOHN ASTIN (awesome!), attempt to steal Boogedy’s magic cloak (on loan from the Devil, as seen in a weird psychedelic flashback), all the while trying to convince their irritatingly irresponsible parents that it is indeed ghosts leaving slimy footprints on the ceiling, and not just their imagination.


I know it must sound anything but frightening, and what with dancing mummies and the ole’ piano playing by itself gag, one could easily make that case, but to my still developing adolescent brain, the specter of the burnt faced, cackling quaker-oats-guy freaked me the hell out. Especially creepy were the scenes in which he didn’t even appear, rather his presence suggested by some prodigious off screen breathing, and P.O.V. shots as seen through outside windows and from behind basement shelving.

BOOGEDY proved popular enough to garner a sequel (BRIDE OF BOOGEDY), and it too managed some traumatic moments, including a possessed, levitating RICHARD MASUR floating down the hall screaming “Boogedy Boo!” in an over modulated voice. It wasn’t long after BRIDE OF BOOGEDY‘s premiere that Disney made a play to consolidate its wholesome image, canning its more controversial characters and slapping a singing side-kick onto every piece of computer generated crap they cranked out.

Suddenly dead children, Satan and possession were too good for the likes of Michael Eisner.

Upon second viewing, BOOGEDY, like most other traumatic children’s fare, does not hold up particularly well when it’s seams come to light, but the fact that it holds up at all given its rather short shift is an indication of just how strange it truly is. And just as Disney boasts it’s legendary vault in ‘Limited Time’ sales pushes, so too must there invariably be a broom closet in the bowels of the Magic Kingdom; a haunted place where MR. BOOGEDY, Uncle Remus and Disneyland’s accident reports are kept from prying eyes. Who knows, perhaps some day they will again come to light.

It’s a small world after-all.

A small, dark, terrible world.

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Tags: Repeat Offenders · Tykes in Trouble




7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 AbsintheNo Gravatar // Aug 29, 2008 at 7:55 am

    This is by far one of my favorite Halloween Disney movies.  I used to watch this every year with its sequel.  For some reason Boogedy himself never freaked me out I was more bothered by the second one with the possession and the floating father going Boogedy Boogedy.  Damn Disney for blocking these awesome pictures – it would be a great double disk release.

  • 2 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Aug 29, 2008 at 8:45 am

    Redboy,

    I am forever in your debt for introducing me to Mr. Boogedy (Kids, both Mr.Boogedy and his sequel Bride of Boogedy can be found on youtube). How did I miss these? As Absinthe said these are perfect Halloween movies. I’m sure if I had seen Mr.B in my youth that the pop-up book devil scene would have disturbed me. The devil always scared me and the whole surreal fake set thing I find freaky too (yikes, remember that episode of THE COSBY SHOW where Rudy imagines they’re all in some trippy cardboard DOGVILLE-style fairy tale land?) They really need to put these out on DVD and soon. Mr. Boogedy rules! 

  • 3 joshacid37No Gravatar // Aug 29, 2008 at 9:16 am

    Funny, I definitely remember seeing Bride Of Boogedy on the Disney Channel many years ago, but I never caught the original.  I must have been totally lost watching Bride, what with all the missing pre-established story and character nuances.  Welp, I’m off to Youtube to waste enliven my pre-holiday-weekend work day watching some old Disney haunted house movies…

  • 4 sbdNo Gravatar // Aug 29, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    I haven’t seen either but based on the screen caps, yeah, the tiny-headed Hallowe’en party devil and John Astin and his Concorde lapels would probably freak the feces out of me more than Boogedy himself.

    BTW, to any future filmmakers: putting a colorful halo around a figure does not make it more scary, mystical, or otherworldly.  It’s just stupid.  George Lucas proved that.

  • 5 Amanda By NightNo Gravatar // Sep 1, 2008 at 2:07 am

    My boyfriend is a HUGE John Astin fan, so he has this… and I’ll be watchin’ it!

    I’ve been outta town. So much to read here… YAY!

  • 6 sbdNo Gravatar // Sep 1, 2008 at 7:44 pm

    John Astin is truly great but between his eyebrow, increasingly Marty Feldmanish eyes, and the mustache, he’s almost more than the eye can bear in this.

    Finally got a chance to watch MR. BOOGEDY and oo, yeah, that Devil…  Convert that whole scene to black and white, make it silent and Luis Buñuel couldn’t make it more surreal and creepy.  With a little research though I discovered that this actor also played bit parts in Ron Howard’s hoot and holler, EAT MY DUST as well as the completely awesome UFOria.

  • 7 JenAndMikeNo Gravatar // Oct 9, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    Two of my all time favorite Halloween movies!  I wish I could find them, in a good quality dvd!  I did find Song Of The South on a great quality dvd and I am so happy!  Got it at http://www.songofthesouth4me.net/ Thanks!  Jennie

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