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Generally speaking, the words "scary" and "Nickelodeon" don't occur in close proximity to each other. One exception to that is in the case of a TV movie called Cry Baby Lane. Airing on October 28th way back in the year 2000, Cry Baby Lane purportedly received so many complaints from parents who thought it was too scary that the movie never aired again, nor was it ever released on video.
At least, that's the myth that's grown up around it, which Nickelodeon has denied. Still, the internet was never one to let facts get in the way of a good urban myth, so Cry Baby Lane has since gained a bizarre cult following online. Its reputation was only fueled by the fact that it was virtually impossible to actually watch it. According to Nickutopia, that changed this past summer when a Reddit user uploaded a copy of the movie from an old VHS tape. The sudden appearance of the film online generated a new round of buzz, and now that buzz has come to a head: Nickelodeon will be airing the infamous Cry Baby Lane tonight, Halloween night, for the first time since its original airing. It will air as part of Nick's nostalgic "The '90s Were All That" programming block.
So what possible content could a Nickelodeon movie contain that would generate this much hullaballoo? Here's the wiki summary:
Andrew and his older brother Carl enjoy listening to ghost stories that the local undertaker, Mr. Bennett, tells them. One night Bennett tells the tale of a local farmer whose wife gave birth to conjoined twins, one being good-natured while the other was clearly evil. The farmer, ashamed of them, kept the twins locked in their room. Eventually the twins got sick and died together, so the farmer sawed them in half and buried the good twin in a cemetery and the bad twin in a shallow grave near the house. Later, Andrew and his friends decide to hold a séance in the cemetery where the good twin is buried, but they unintentionally awaken the bad twin instead. Gradually, the bad twin possesses nearly everyone in town, and it is up to young Andrew to stop him.
Okay, I'll grant, that scores high on the Goosebumps/Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Scale of Spookiness, but I have a feeling that the movie will be a disappointment for anybody who's been mythologizing it for years. Cry Baby Lane is a fascinating curiosity, but perhaps one best left unvisited. The story that's grown up around it is great fun; I certainly would never have heard of it if not for its legendary single airing. Why ruin the mystique by actually sitting down to watch it?
If you're interested in seeing what all the fuss is about, Nickelodeon will air Cry Baby Lane tonight at midnight, with a second showing at 2 a.m. on TeenNick. As for me, I'll be popping Session 9 into the player to ring in All Hallow's Eve.