Name That Trauma :: Reader Karen on an Artistic Killer Teen

I have a real stumper – just a few flashes of memory. An unpopular teenage guy is walking home and is taunted by a younger girl on the way. He throws a rock at her – maybe he hits her with a rock – anyway, she dies. His mother’s solution is to move him into the basement and conceal the entrance to the basement. His mother dies, and another family moves in. I remember he steals food from them at night.

The final scene I can recall shows him stabbing one of his paintings/ drawings/ murals in the subject’s eye and blood coming out. Saw it on T.V. in the mid-‘70s. I don’t know if it was made-for-T.V. or if there’d been a cinematic release.



UNK SEZ: Karen, that one’s a cinch, you’re talking about the made-for-television classic BAD RONALD from 1974. It starred SCOTT JACOBY and was based on a novel by JOHN HOLBROOK VANCE. If you’d like to know what we here at Kindertrauma think about that movie, just buy the DVD (there’s a link right down there on the right) and check out its back…we’re proud to have a laudatory blurb posted there for all to see!

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12 years ago

Ah!  Perfect timing!  I just got this from Amazon yesterday and I watched it last night.  Pretty good stuff.  One could say it’s a bit ahead of its time in regards to all those 1980’s to present horror films involving a tormented teen who lives in a fantasy world  & doing some killings.   Like these movies there are times where one can sympathize for the kid and be creeped out by him as well.  I learned about this TV movie from this site.  I didn’t see it when it first came out (1974) as I was seven and I doubt that the parents would have let me stay up to see this.  I do faintly remember TV adds for this-particularly the scene where one of the sisters goes to peek into the hole that Ronald made in the wall only to see him looking back!   That and when he grabbed the one named Babs by the face telling her to be quiet.  Now if one sees it today there may be a few unintentional laughs in regards to the cast: As was mentioned here before, Ronald looks like a teenage Howard Stern  (Or Harold Ramis), the mother is played by Kim Hunter (Zira of “Planet of the Apes”) and the father of the three girls is played by a pre-“9 to 5” Dabney Coleman.  Other than that and the “Charlie’s Angels” font used for the credits this is a good movie.

12 years ago

I’ve gotta see this one, I’ve heard a lot about it.

12 years ago

oh I LOVE this movie! I know I say that about most of the movies you guys bring up,  but I watch this one two times a year AT LEAST! As a kid I caught the last ten minutes (famous scene where the chick spots the hole in the wall!) and it was my lifes mission to catch this movie in full from that point on. It took about twenty years to remember it was called BAD RONALD and figure out I could buy a bootleg on eBay!

I think like someone else pointed out it works because we dont totally hate Ronald. He really just has the misfortune to accidentally kill somebody! Im a mother and I cant say I wouldnt do the same thing Mrs Wilby did! That woman was a quick thinker! Hahaha

Also gotta mention that Jacoby was also in LITLE GIRL WHO LIVES DOWN THE LANE, anothe unsung gem!

12 years ago

I knew it!!!!  I knew from the youtube image that my other most mysterious kindertrauma was about to be solved, o thank you!  From the moment Bad Ronald puts his mitts on that girl, I got a spastic chill and I knew I was about to see the only scene I remembered and which I’d been puzzling over (more or less) since I was a preeteen.  I was and still am spooked a bunch by her solid skull crunch because that cinderblock and her heavy fall looks pretty real to me!  I remember being most spooked by Bad Ronald’s sense of slow realization and stillness right after.  I did not remember that this scene occurred on a street, which, now that I watch it “again for the first time,” seems really strange and potentially more creepy that no one saw…
AHHHHH!  Who am I without my kindertraumas?!?!?  You solved them all already… it’s back to the brain tissue therapist to stir up some new ones, then!

12 years ago

Received my copy and watched it yesterday. It was just as creepy as I remembered. I was a little worried because of the warning that it might play in “play only” devices, but it was fine. No problem with the picture at all.  Thanks again, Karen