TERROR TV AND HIDDEN HORROR – Cry Baby Lane

Cry Baby Lane“Song of the South” was a film made in 1946 that was later banned by Disney due to an insensitive plot revolving around a tall tale teller on a tenant farm. In recent years many people have discussed if the film should remain outlawed by same the company that birthed it. I’m not here to discuss that whatsoever, I’m simply here to shed light on a film with a very similar fate.

In the year 2000 Nickelodeon made a TV movie called “Cry Baby Lane,” which was to be aired on the week of Halloween. The film was basically an hour long “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” episode, with way too many commercial breaks in order to keep your attention span fighting with itself, like the awkward climax of an Eddie Murphy comedy. Well, the latter may have been true at least (except for any appearances by Mr. Murphy). However the plot was a bit more over the top than the aforementioned half hour campfire adventures via our very own midnight society. Instead of cold ghosts, holes in barrels or red clown nose hexes we had Frank Langella starring in the story of conjoined twins – one brother good, the other one conveniently evil. They eventually took ill and died together in one sloppy Picasso of a sibling C.H.U.D. Their creepy farmer father then took his trusty hacksaw and well, separated them at death. He buried the good twin in a cemetery and the bad twin in a random grave right outside the farm house. This is the story told in order to set up the main plot, which revolves around a group of kids trying to prove that this local legend is true.

Ok, ok, I know you may be disappointed that none of the gruesome story told in the film is actually seen on screen and that there is much more intense content out there than this, but hear me out. This was produced by Nickelodeon for Nickelodeon’s target child audience. That’s pretty fucked up! Needless to say the movie was aired once on October 28, 2000 and was never aired OR SPOKEN of again. The main and most valid rumor for this is that the sheer amount of parents who complained that their children had been lobotomized by a borderline PG-13 script had shamed the Nick name so much they wanted to forget they had ever produced the televised Polybius.

The film was forgotten for years to come. That is until 2011 when it resurfaced on Reddit, thus inspiring “The 90s Are All That” to re-air it for the first and only time since the new millennium. Before this film was re-aired many internet rumors had sprung up (right next to the lizard people and Man Bear Pig sections) claiming that the film was cursed, the creators were incarcerated and that the film was aired only in order to to conduct a mysterious ritual upon suburban America. Yeah, we all know it was just banned by Nick before more soccer moms tried to sue Viacom. No matter what the endless amounts of CreepyPastas tell you, it’s nothing more, nothing less. But don’t fret fellow 90’s kids, we all know what eventually happens to all banned children films… They become awesome log flume rides!

Happy New Year Everyone!

– Sterling “The Spork Guy” Anno

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About The Spork Guy

Born in Fullerton, CA and having inhabited every county neighboring it at one point in time, Sterling is a Southern Californian gypsy on a personal mission to challenge the postmodern definition of "Art". Underground filmmaker, illustrator, project coordinator and promoter of punk rock music; Sterling considers himself to be anything but an artist. Sterling is currently Manager of Operations for the Oceanside International Film Festival and has a hand in making sure other great makers of cinema find their audience. He has had a stake in honoring various influential entities with lifetime achievement awards such as; animator Everett Peck, non-ficton filmmaker Jeffrey Durkin and iconic voice actor Jon St. John. Besides working for OIFF, Sterling has also lent his abilities to the Temecula Valley Film and Music Festival as well as Spike and Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation.

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