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Nickelodeon Aired an Insane-Sounding Movie About Conjoined Twins Once — Watch It Now! [Video]

Our Adorable Past

Let’s hop into our Way-Back Machines and think back to the days when we either taped something from TV or it was never, ever seen again. No DVR, no BitTorrent, not even YouTube, not even DVD. Good old VHS. Well, someone on Reddit was wondering if anyone had been able to record something in this format way back in the year 2000, the year Nickelodeon aired a movie called Cry Baby Lane about dead conjoined twins who were hacked apart by their father and buried separately (because one twin was evil), only to be raised from the dead during a séance. It got little help from Nickelodeon before it aired around Halloween that year, and after it aired, it received tons of complaints from parents about its content and was pretty much never heard of again. Basically, they chose to forget it ever happened at all. But guess what, Nick? The Internet happened.

Here is a more detailed synopsis from Wikipedia:

Andrew (Jase Blankfort) and his older brother Carl (Trey Rogers) enjoy listening to ghost stories that the local undertaker, Mr. Bennett (Frank Langella) [Ed. note: Yes, that Frank Langella], 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 seance 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.

Because of its graphic content — and, quite possibly, the aforementioned subject matter — the network got a huge amount of complaints from parents after Cry Baby Lane aired, causing Nickelodeon to ban the movie from ever hitting the airwaves again. They never released it on home video, either. But even before it ran on October 28, 2000 — during SNICK! — they gave it hardly any publicity, not even covering it in their magazine. Not only that, it was originally supposed to be a theatrical release with a $10 million budget before it was downgraded to a TV movie with an $800,000 budget. Somehow, they were still able to afford both Frank Langella and Jim Gaffigan. (The director, Peter Lauer, wanted Tom Waits for Langella’s role as a creepy undertaker.) But Nickelodeon wanted a movie with a “genuine scare,” so Lauer delivered this charming little story about dead conjoined twins.

“‘Cry Baby Lane’ is a ghost story that I grew up with in Ohio,” [Lauer] said. “There was a haunted farmhouse, and if you went up there at midnight, you could hear a baby crying and it’d make your high school girlfriend scared, so I just kinda expanded on that, pitched it as an idea and Nickelodeon liked it.”

Scenes that did not make the cut were a skinny-dipping scene and a baby with an old man’s head on it. In a graveyard. (“Nick is for kids!”) The whole thing was shot in about 20 days in a “condemned neighborhood” in New Jersey and used almost every single bit of footage that they shot. That’s how tiny their budget was.

Needless to say, the gravitas of Frank Langella did not help them. But 11 years later, people looking for a demented trip down Horrifying Memory Lane asked around Reddit to see if anyone had a copy of Cry Baby Lane and sure enough, someone did! And now, the entire thing is on YouTube for all to see. People are also looking for an even better way to view this thing online, so keep your eyes peeled. In the meantime, the YouTube video is above. Get it while it’s undead!

(The Daily, io9)

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