In 1986, Disney televised an hour-long exercise in tame, family-friendly scares called “Mr. Boogedy” on what the IMDB refers to as Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color.
It’s the tale of a happy family who move into a haunted house. After seeing ghostly things, the children discover the house is haunted by an old crank who hated fun and merrymaking. He took a woman’s child to trick her into loving him, and then he burned down his house testing the magic cloak he got from Satan. To save the houses, and reunite the boy’s spirit with his mother, they have to destroy the cloak. Guess what? They destroy the cloak.
In preparation for this post, I re-watched Mr. Boogedy for the first time in over 25 years.
I’m embarrassed to say none of it made much of an impact on me. I remembered no chilling frights, and I couldn’t find anything quite awful enough to mock. Well, with the exception of that mummy dance scene.
What’s that dude’s deal, anyway?
If I learned anything from watching this one again, it was that sometimes you have to give a free pass to your warm-up scary movies, even if they don’t end up being much to write home about.
Or maybe I just learned that 80s TV families were more naive than I remembered, and would buy a cursed, cemetery-adjacent house from a talking skeleton.
Mostly, though, I think I learned the secret to portraying a moderately frightening monster in a children’s movie. Be loud, be spastic, and be glowing. That’s the Boogedy way!