Bride of Boogedy This Way Comes

October 27, 2020 — I recognize that gazebo. It was a combination of words that had never formed in my brain before. It appeared because I was watching Bride of Boogedy on Disney+. You probably hate this introductory paragraph, but I really like it.

Bride of Boogedy is the 1987 made-for-TV sequel to the 1986 made-for-TV movie Mr. Boogedy. The first movie tells the story of a family who movies to Lucifer Falls in New England to find a colonial-era ghost holding his ghost-family ghost-hostage in it. Mr. Boogedy mostly doesn’t appear and when he does he shimmers in a corner. He’s also beaten by a vacuum cleaner. It’s a cringey little flick, unfortunately. Although it does feature John Astin. And the two sons are the kid from Married with Children and the kid from ALF.

I like the second movie a lot better. In it, the family who beat Mr. Boogedy opens a gag shop in downtown Lucifer Falls (in an old horror wax museum) while the town throws its annual Lucyfest carnival. Meanwhile, Mr. Boogedy escapes his overly wrought grave to get some strange. It has classic monsters, seances, the aforementioned carnival, Eugene Levy as a villain, Victor Schiavelli as a gravedigger. Lots to like.

The first movie mostly takes place in the house, with only one other building in town shown, but the whole downtown of Lucifer Falls features prominently in the sequel. And that downtown looked familiar to me. It didn’t take me long to place it. The green Victorian wrought-iron gazebo in the middle of the town square tipped me off.

Lucifer Falls is Green Town.

Green Town, Illinois, is the setting for the 1983 Disney movie Something Wicked This Way Comes, based on the Ray Bradbury book of the same name. I have watched this movie, like I have read that book, too many times to count. It is the story of a dark carnival that comes to a small town in the 1930s to tempt the souls of a town and of two boys in particular.

Here is the gazebo and Lucifer Falls town square in Bride of Boogedy.

And here it is again as Green Town in Something Wicked This Way Comes.

Mr. Boogedy himself even lands on top of it.

Notice the oval crown on the building behind Boogedy.
You can see it in the previous Something Wicked shot, too.

After I noticed that the two movies had been filmed in the same place, the next step should have been to find out where they were filmed and get a direct flight there. Except that I already knew that Something Wicked wasn't filmed in a real town. It was filmed on the Disney Studios backlot in California. So my next step was to map the major sites from Something Wicked to the sites from the two Boogedy movies. Because why not?

You can see a good overview of the town square in the first and last shots of Something Wicked, which is also the location of the parade search party from Something Wicked and the carnival in Bride of Boogedy. The only scenes inside the gazebo are a conversation between Will and Jim in Something Wicked, and the carnival band using it as a stage in Bride of Boogedy, although Mr. Boogedy himself does stand on the roof of the gazebo during the film's climax. I assume he didn't actually stand up there, but they did make it real enough that he's shown grasping the finial (see above).

The exterior of the bar in Something Wicked is the exterior of the Lucifer Falls Historical Society in both Boogedy’s. The interior of the bar is also the same as the interior of the historical society in the first Boogedy movie, although I can’t tell in Bride. There are two scenes set inside in Bride, one of which, the town hall meeting, was definitely not filmed inside, but the second, when the boys (now played by the kid from Married with Children and the kid from Harry and the Hendersons) might have been.

You can see the gazebo through the windows  of the interior in both Something Wicked and Mr. Boogedy.

Tetley's Cigar Store from Something Wicked is Lynch Hardware in Bride of Boogedy (the store run by Eugene Levy).

And those were really the only buildings shared between the two productions. The horror wax museum turned gag store from Bride of Boogedy is a store called J.M. McLean in Something Wicked, which doesn’t feature in the latter, although you can see it when the boys run to the library near the beginning of the film. 

So let’s talk more about that magical town set where Jonathan Pryce played one of the best villains of film and Mr. Boogedy played one of the worst. It was custom-built for Something Wicked on the Disney Studios backlot and lasted ten years before it was torn down for something else. I have no idea what else was filmed there, but I do hope the gazebo ended up somewhere cool.

Overall, these two movies have a lot in common. Both are Disney movies, both came out in the 1980s, both feature carnivals. Both have New England connections (the Boogedy movies take place in New England while the establishing shots of Something Wicked were filmed in Vermont). Both have bad special effects. Both villains insist on people using their titles. And both took place on the same fake town…that doesn’t exist anymore, carted away on some nightmare train in the middle of the night.

I could weave a timeline out of these movies. The evil Mr. Dark is defeated in the 1930s, and in honor of the moment, the people of Green Town proudly rename their home Lucifer Falls and throw an annual Lucyfest with a carnival mimicking Dark and Cooger’s original one. But Mr. Dark’s demise awoke a local spook, Mr. Boogedy, who tries to corrupt the town where Mr. Dark failed. But Lucifer falls again. And now they have to name themselves Lucifers Fall.

And if I can find out what other movies were filmed on this lot in those ten years of its existence, I’ll weave them into the timeline, too.