Cry Baby Lane (found Nickelodeon horror movie; 2000)
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Cry Baby Lane is a 2000 Halloween-themed comedy horror television film that premiered only once on Nickelodeon's television block SNICK on the night of October 28, 2000. After its premiere, it was never shown again, released on any home media, or aired outside of the United States.
The film was originally troubled in production, as it was originally set to be a big cinema film with a budget of $10 million, but as Halloween approached, the budget reduced to $800,000 so it would be ready for an October 31 release. Additionally, the production team only had 20 days to shoot the film.
Criticism and Nickelodeon's Response
The film's original premise was to be both scary and child-friendly. However, this still triggered an extreme number of parents complaining en masse about the film's content as they found the film to be too frightening and inappropriate for children.
This caused Nickelodeon to state that they did not own the film and were not responsible for its "accidental" airing, with some workers even denying the existence of the film period, or that they knew something about it when contacted by forums and sites from 2007 to 2011, due to it being considered a lost film for more than 11 years.
This ensured the launch of several fan-sites in the early 2000’s where people could talk about the film’s existence. Despite the overwhelming evidence, every time people contacted Nickelodeon; they always replied that they did not know anything about the film. Some Nickelodeon workers even went as far to spread lies and false evidence that the whole movie wasn't real, never being released on TV, and it simply being a myth.
Resurfacing and Aftermath
In 2011, a user on the blog forum reddit.com under the name "Firesaladpeach" stated that she had a bootleg VHS of the film that she recorded on the original night of its premiere, on a thread on the talk board “/r/TodayILearned”. She later released the film on YouTube, attracting hundreds of viewers. This may have prompted TeenNick to re-air the film on October 31, 2011, where they proclaimed in advertising that it was "Nickelodeon’s Dark Secret,” so scary it was “Banned from TV.” The airing ultimately revealed that Nickelodeon had the film all along since they knowingly stated its airing via introduction and were most likely ready for a negative reaction to their makeshift movie.
The film was originally rated TV-Y7 in 2000, but in its 2011 re-release, it was re-rated TV-PG-V. In 2015, it was re-rated once again, this time to TV-G. The movie aired on TeenNick's The '90s Are All That and The Splat, on March 31 and October 31, 2015. On October 31, 2016, it aired again on The Splat for the fifth time. It also aired once more on July 8, 2017.
The film’s director, Peter Lauer, was interviewed soon after its re-discovery and said that he was surprised and flattered by the attention his film had gotten 11 years after its original release. He claimed that he was unaware of its supposed banning by Nickelodeon, stating that he "just assumed they didn't show it again because they didn't like it. I thought [the movie] failed, and I moved on." A Nickelodeon representative later claimed that the film was never banned, disowned, or destroyed by Nickelodeon and that it was merely forgotten. Despite the original outrage and Nickelodeon's attitude towards the film, it has achieved a cult following.
- Daily Dot Interview with Peter Lauer Retrieved 21 Sept '17