Bride of Boogedy was one of the first movies to scare the crap out of me. It premiered on TV as a Sunday night Disney special when I was seven years old, and thankfully my dad recorded it on VHS because I watched it countless times. I still remember being so scared in parts that I had to bury my head under the blanket. Since the movie turns 30 this year, I decided to watch Bride of Boogedy again after not viewing it in a very long time to see how it held up, and I was pleasantly surprised.
Bride of Boogedy is the sequel to the original Mr. Boogedy special that aired a year earlier in 1986. Both premises are pretty much the same: the family is still relatively new to town, the ghost of Mr. Boogedy is trying to come to life in their haunted house, and Boogedy terrorizes the family until they fight back.
There’s so much to love about Bride of Boogedy. The musical score is super creepy, there are well-timed lightning strikes and fog, and town’s New England setting was perfect. Despite some of the humor being a little forced and overdone, there are some scary scenes that made me remember why I had to cover my eyes at certain parts so long ago.
One thing I’d forgotten about was how morbid the backstory was for a kids movie. It began 300 years ago in colonial times when William Hanover (Mr. Boogedy) fell in love with a widow named Marion. When Marion rejects him, Hanover makes a deal with the Devil, exchanging his soul for a magic cloak that gives him evil powers. He kidnaps Marion’s son, Jonathon, and accidentally casts a spell that kills them both along with Marion. Pretty heavy for a kids plot, right?
I also forgot how many great cast members were in Bride of Boogedy. Richard Masur played the gag-pulling dad, Tammy Lauren (Wishmaster) was the teenage daughter, Vincent Schiavelli served as the creepy gravedigger and Eugene Levy was the town jerk who redeems himself. All had great chemistry together that struck the perfect balance of scary and humorous.
Mr. Boogedy’s appearance was probably the scariest aspect of this film. His effects makeup was great, and he could honestly serve as a character in any adult horror film. In action, though, Mr. Boogedy wasn’t quite as scary as I remember. He’s a one-trick pony, firing green lightning from his fingers and saying “Boogedy” like a goofy dad trying to scare you. He’s definitely more frightening on the front end of the film as a character who lurks but hasn’t fully revealed himself yet.
This may sound crazy, but Disney needs to create a Mr. Boogedy prequel. We’ve only heard about this dark, disturbing backstory by word-of-mouth and seen parts of it in a very poor flashback from the original special. How great would it be to see everything unfold where it all started when Mr. Boogedy makes a deal with the Devil? Do it, Disney. DO IT!
Bride of Boogedy still holds up as a great scary kids movie. The digital effects are a bit dated at this point, and some of the dialogue is a little cringy, but it’s a good starting point for kids looking to take their first step into horror. You can find Bride of Boogedy on Amazon streaming right now.
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