Monday, September 28, 2020

Blame It On the Boogedy

 by Adam Riske and Robyn Buckley

A discussion of Mr. Boogedy and Bride of Boogedy.

Synopsis: Mr. Boogedy follows the Davis family, who move to small town Lucifer Falls and quickly discover their new home is haunted by colonial ghosts both friendly and malevolent. Bride of Boogedy continues the story by...remaking the original but worse??? Of note: the daughter in Mr. Boogedy is played by Kristy Swanson and replaced by Tammy Lauren in the sequel. Richard Masur plays the father, who Robyn aptly described as Uncle Joey from Full House. He runs a gag store business. He’s the worst.

Adam: Robyn, you and I watched Mr. Boogedy and Bride of Boogedy as both a warm-up to Scary Movie Month and a way to maximize our Disney Plus subscription. I think we both agree that the first movie, a made-for-television 45-minute feature (and failed pilot), was really fun and the sequel (which is twice the length) was the complete opposite despite featuring Wishmaster alum Tammy Lauren. What did the original do so well that the sequel didn’t? Also, how accurate are these movies to living in the New England area?

Robyn: This is New England by way of Hollywood and filmed in Canada - basically nothing like actual New England!
I think that the magic of Mr. Boogedy lies in its 45-minute runtime. We meet the Davis family and within five minutes they’re in the house and being haunted. There’s no downtime, no chance for the movie to drag. Mr. Boogedy is silly, but in the best possible way. This is the kind of movie that I would have quoted ad nauseam with my friends in high school/college. There’s such a weird humor to Mr. Boogedy that I found myself really appreciating -- the characters all work (even the absolutely terrible father) and the scares are exactly what you want from a Disney made-for-TV kids movie. The movie knows what it wants to be and what it needs to do to accomplish this.

Adam: It’s the perfect movie to program at 6:30pm during a 24-hour Scary Movie Month marathon while you’re eating pizza.

Robyn: Bride of Boogedy doesn’t have that benefit; they need to fill an hour and a half, but have no idea how to do so. The sequel has at least three endings, each more inane than the last. The characters have all somehow become much, much worse - I loved the mom in the first movie, but she was ruined in the sequel! The parents spend the first portion denying that anything could possibly be going wrong, despite knowing that ghosts were haunting their home in what could only be about two weeks prior (I never quite got a sense of how much time had passed since the first movie?). Bride of Boogedy adds in about 10 side characters that are not needed to tell the story… basically nothing about the sequel worked for me. What worked for you in Mr. Boogedy? Did you enjoy any part in Bride of Boogedy? Was there anyone in the cast (besides Tammy Lauren) that you were surprised/excited to see?
Adam: I liked a bunch of things in Mr. Boogedy. John Astin is fun as Mr. Witherspoon, who's kind of the town historian and doubles as the guy delivering all of the exposition about the legend of Mr. Boogedy. The makeup on Mr. Boogedy is just the right amount of fun grossness for a party Halloween movie. I’m burying the lead, though. My favorite part of the movie is the Widow Marion (Katherine Kelly Lang). I get it, Mr. Boogedy. I have a crush on her too. She’s a fine lady.

As for Bride of Boogedy, I lost interest really quickly. I like Eugene Levy (who co-stars in the film) but when he shows up in movies, I often get the sinking feeling that the movie is in trouble and needs a calculated Levy boost. My favorite part of the movie was the awkward acting by the kid playing the child ghost, Jonathan. For some reason, he made me laugh. His line deliveries are askew.

Random question: does it bother you when movies like Mr. Boogedy and Bride of Boogedy look like bootlegs even though they’re on Disney Plus? I felt like I was watching someone’s home movie, especially during Bride of Boogedy. Were these un-HDable?

Also, what are other Disney Channel movies you recommend for Scary Movie Month? I’m ride or die for Phantom of the Megaplex and Under Wraps.
Robyn: I think that the terrible quality is part of the charm! If it doesn't look like someone tossed it in the trash first, is it really a made-for-tv '80s movie?

As for scary DCOM? You can't go wrong with Halloweentown and Halloweentown II: Kalabar's Revenge. I'd also recommend Don't Look Under the Bed and Tower of Terror!

Adam: I need to watch those. Happy Scary Movie Month, Robyn! Let’s chat more Spooky Disney Plus next month.

Sounds great!

Adam: Boogedy, boogedy, boo!

I’m so sorry.

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