The strange saga of a long-lost "too terrifying for TV" Nickelodeon movie

The strange saga of a long-lost "too terrifying for TV" Nickelodeon movie

The hunt that you weren’t aware of for the semi-infamous made-for-TV horror movie Cry Baby Lane came to a close this Sunday thanks to the combined powers of Reddit and The Internet.

The Nickelodeon movie originally aired on a Friday night of the Halloween weekend in 2000, and was never seen again. Internet lore held that it was too horrifying and vastly inappropriate for a younger audience: The story goes that, the next day, Nickelodeon was flooded with complaints from flaming-torch-wielding parents, and the network responded by never airing it again, never releasing it to home video, and never mentioning it again.

Last week, a TIL [Today I Learned] post alerted the forces of Reddit to the movie’s long-lost status, and within the hour, a commenter claimed to have a recorded copy on VHS from when it aired. The hunt had finally come to an end. There was much rejoicing, but also much whining for instant gratification, and the inevitable flaming ensued when it wasn’t uploaded by the end of the day. It took the commenter until Sunday to rip the movie and upload it.

Shockingly, four days was too long of a wait for the likes of The Internet, and through incessant pestering and heckling, the commenter was driven to delete her account from Reddit (which is sort of a big deal for Redditors) after posting a link to the upload. So way to go, Internet. You’re really good at being nice to the people who do nice things for you.

Cry Baby Lane has since made its way to YouTube, where you can watch the entire thing for yourself—so long as Viacom doesn’t remove it for a second time. It has Frank Langella in it and features an amusing cameo from a young Jim Gaffigan. It also doesn’t seem very scary or controversial, but that’s beside the point. It's more interesting to see what passed for controversial 11 years ago.