What was the first thing you watched on Disney+? Was it The Mandalorian, or The Lion King (hopefully not the “photorealistic” remake), or maybe an old episode of The Simpsons? If your answer is anything other “Mr. Boogedy,” you’re doing Disney+ all wrong. One of the great joys of the new streaming service is searching through the forgotten Disney titles of yesteryear, the fever-dream movies and shows like Fuzzbucket, Meet the Deedles, and The Million Dollar Duck. But on the day that Disney posted a massive thread of “basically everything” coming to Disney+, the obscure title that received the most attention was Mr. Boogedy, because, well, look at this nightmare.
His skin has the texture of an old newspaper; he has only one eye, or the other eye is so crusted over that he can’t open it; and he’s surrounded by a glowing green light, like he swallowed an inanimate carbon rod. I needed to know everything about this creature, so last night, instead of watching something, y’know, good, I put on Mr. Boogedy.
Directed by Oz Scott, the made-for-TV movie that aired on ABC on April 20, 1986, follows a family of practical jokers — dad (Richard Masur), mom (Mimi Kennedy), and children (Kristy Swanson, David Faustino, and Benji Gregory) — who move to a creepy, rundown house in Lucifer Falls, New England. When weird things begin happening, like missing teddy bears and slimy green footprints climbing the walls, a creepy old man named Mr. Witherspoon tells the kids that the house is haunted by Mr. Boogedy, a crusty ol’ pilgrim who made a deal with the Devil and… I could continue to recap Mr. Boogedy, but it’s like they (ghouls) say, a picture is worth a thousand boogedys.
It’s that first image, of the young kid chuckling over eggs, that haunts me the most.
Anyway, Mr. Boogedy, who doesn’t appear until the final 10 minutes of the 45-minute film, has a lot in common with Emperor Palpatine: they’re both fond of evil laughter and shooting lightning bolts out of their hands. And honestly, is having your magical cloak sucked into a vacuum cleaner, which is how Mr. Boogedy is defeated, any more embarrassing than getting thrown into an endless chasm? Another thing they have in common: Palpatine is back for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, just as Mr. Boogedy returned in 1987’s Bride of Boogedy, which, unfortunately, is not available on Disney+. (Here’s a weirdly fascinating article about Scott’s attempts to bring back Mr. Boogedy and how it was originally intended as a feature-length film, described as “Scary Movie well, well, well before Scary Movie,” starring Cheech and Chong and Max von Sydow.)
Since Mr. Boogedy’s horrid face showed up on that Twitter thread, the movie has developed a cult following on social media, including a hashtag, #BoogedyChallenge, to mess with the service’s algorithm.
the first thing you stream on these dumb streaming services is apparently an important metric, so if you are using Disney+ and actually can get it to work, please make Mr. Boogedy your first stream so they get tricked into making a new sequel for it https://t.co/Fq2GlospDT
— jack allison (@jackallisonLOL) November 12, 2019
Hey, Disney+? Boogedy Cinematic Universe. Make it happen, you cowards.