Somebody needs to make gold Popsicle stick thrones for these two VHS tapes to sit on. Did I mention they are married and should never be separated? Both THE LITTLE GIRL WHO LIVES DOWN THE LANE and BAD RONALD had an immeasurable impact on my youth. Although I’m sure I was born attracted to horror, I can’t say that I became a true horror freak until I caught HALLOWEEN as a teen and therefore my love of both of these gems can be said to predate my more ravenous fandom. Why does that matter? It doesn’t. It just blows my mind that I’ve known Rynn and Ronald longer than I’ve known Laurie Strode. It seems impossible.
These two crazy kids helped me to forge my identity and their example always made me feel less alone. I know I’ll never be as cool as TLGWLDTL’s Rynn (JODIE FOSTER) but I understood at an early age her desire to live by her own rules, in her own house, separate from the toxic notions and shallow values of the outside world. I understood instinctively her attraction to animals, books and the ownership of her own free time and I easily recognized the enemies who wanted to control her (Mrs. Hallet!) or exploit her for sport (her entitled son Frank). And oh how I related to Mario (SCOTT JACOBY) who admired Wren the same way that I did and leaned on illusion to escape the body that so betrayed him. JACOBY of course, also stars in BAD RONALD and although Ronald certainly has his creepy side I can’t help but respect his boundless and self-reliant creativity. Furthermore, I can’t say I ever blamed him for losing his temper when he was pushed too far (and yes I know I’m starting to sound like an impressionable lunatic gushing over a J. D. SALINGER book).
But wait! This is a post about the VHS tapes and not the movies themselves! I will save that worship for another day! Naturally, I’ve got the DVD upgrades for both of these (BAD RONALD even sports a quote from yours truly on the back!) but I shall never discard these tapes that have meant so much to me (and are kind enough to rewind themselves when done). Truth is, both of these VHS covers are sort of oatmeal bland and borderline frumpy. TLGWLDTL’s illustration is basically from Mars and poor BAD RONALD’s sun damage renders its very title nearly invisible. Luckily they both are adorned with quirky stickers that answer questions that nobody asked like the vaguely judgmental “previously viewed” on TLGWLDTL and the equal parts cajoling and insufficient “horror” and “mystery” badges on BAD RONALD.
In both cases there are no images from the actual movies to be found on the back of the box and in both cases, it’s a missed opportunity. Let’s check out the inside tape of BAD RONALD! Oh, look it’s got a shiny silver U.S.A. HOME VIDEO label! Plus a security sticker claiming it belongs to VIDEO WORLD in North Carolina? Wrong! It belongs to me! TLGWLDTL’s inside looks like a bomb went off in there. I’d like to think I was the type to reattach a label with some thinly and evenly spread glue but apparently at one point in my life I though clear plastic tape would suffice?!! Huh, well, at least that dispels the myth that I haven’t grown over the years. Ok, back up on the high shelf with you two tapes! Settle down and curb the killing! Don’t make me separate you!