You know how if you watch Nickelodeon enough times, all of the Nicktoons seem to get darker and darker in a way. Well this is a lot like that...
A buddy of mine worked at the studio, I never really remember what as, but I do remember he worked at the studio for some time. This was around the time that HEY ARNOLD: THE MOVIE came out and he said that after that film, Nick planned three things:
- A new season of HEY ARNOLD with a more updated storyline noncanon to the original series (scrapped)
- A new live-action series with a darker, 1990's style (like Afraid of the Dark) about kids living in a cul-de-sac (scrapped) [This is Ed, Edd, N Eddy. The creator Dan Antonucci originally went to nick with the show.]
- A TV movie based upon the scrapped live-action series.
Now, when the two shows were scrapped, the movie remained. They wanted to go back to the 90's with this film and would have succeeded. He told me about them hiring writers of dark themed kiddie shows to write the film, titled "Grimland".
Upon explaination, there was a dispute between several of the writers, leading to their execution from the project. He said he actually got a chance to see what the production was like. I recorded some conversations because his state of being seemed to get worse since he first mentioned it to me.
"What 'Grimland' was about is the 1990's and the scary shit on TV at that time. I opposed to the idea of the Hey Arnold series idea because their plan was to have the characters in more adult themes... Well Arnold's grandparents were to have died after the film, leading Arnold to problems in his life.
Helga becomes obsessed with Arnold to the point where, in the opener, she is seen being heavily pregnant with Arnold's child (seen a baby with a football shaped head in a sonograph, where at the end of season 1, she was to have the baby.), now this was supposed to be considered a type of 'gag' where Helga would actually be into the pregnancy to enjoy every moment, rubbing it in his face everytime and trying to force him to marry her for the sake of the baby, to which he refuses.
She cradles her belly and rubs it, stalks him profusely unlike the locket with a picture of him like in the original series. At one point she was to have said, according to the script, 'due to your careless actions, I now have a piece of you inside of me'. Gerald was to have joined a gang which results in severe activity and shootings in the show.
This series was never meant to be for children due not only to the changes of characters, the obsessiveness of Helga (especially her pregnancy), but the fact that there was more adult themes to the show as well, including indications of Mr. Simmons being homosexual, the school psychopath actually killing animals, lesbanism, sexual intercourse, and so many others. I'm glad the execs never put it on the air..."
After a small while, I got curious. I asked him about the second show, and he said that "nothing came of it. Well... That's a lie. They converted it into a movie. This intrigued me. I asked him if it was ever aired "Fuck no! I mean it was shot, edited, and everything but there is a fucking GREAT reason it was never aired!"
And explanation of the reason made it clear to me that some freaky shit was happening. I noticed that he wasn't looking too hot so I told him to get some sleep. I got an email from him recently, I have decided to include it in this, its relevant.
"Hey man, I didn't get an inch of sleep yesterday. All of those memories started to seep into my dreams. I want to make things clear that yes I'll tell you everything I can tell you, but there has to be a point where shit ends man. Talk to you later dude. I gotta try to get some sleep..."
"What can I tell you about 'Grimland'? Well first was the writing staff. All were ex-kiddie show hosts noted for darker themed kiddie shows, which was odd for a network like that to hire about ten or eleven of them for one movie. Another were the ideas that they had"
What were the ideas? "Well lets see, first the opening was completely freakydeaky. It began with two kids on a moonlit Fall night, heavy fog and all, running through the streets of their town. One falls down and begs for his friend to help him.
There is a shot of the fucker getting dragged off, screaming nonetheless, as his buddy took too long to contemplate helping him. Heavy tearing of flesh was heard and screams stopped, like someone was eating him alive almost, the kid takes off and the title comes up. What the fuck was up with that?
Well they used THAT opening sequence but the scripts somewhat differed. One featured a main character being a 13 year old with an abusive father, another a sixteen year old loner with NO family whatsoever. Now there was conflict but some had some good pointers and ideas. Then stuff got weird. Like how they explained what the fogshit was but it never got far into it. Well there were some fights, a couple of 'fuck you's thrown about, resulting in the execution of about three.
The rest, in the quote-unquote memory of the fallen writers, used some characters. It explained that the 13 year old's father sexually abused her as a kid, to which she turned to witchcraft.
The loner was to have gotten one of the characters, the witch girl in fact, pregnant through rape in a later scene, resulting in him getting his brains splattered in forced suicide. High counts of blood, gore, mutilation, like fucking sadism shit all over the place. And the goddamn exec's ALLOWED this shit!"
After a while, I told him he should stop and change subject. He said, and I swear I thought that I got it on tape, he said that "They wanted to fucking KILL the kids.
The fog-things that weren't seen in the opening were cannibals hypnotized by that fucking bitch. They were described in graphic detail, every scene, every character, EVERYTHING!!! And it still haunts me when the shooting began..."
"Well when shooting began, they casted the roles PERFECT-FUCKING-LY! The opening scene was shot and the shooting went deep into the nearing end of November. Production was a horror show. I mean graphic shit. But you want to know what was the freakiest? They shot a scene where the witch girl, aged six, is forced to watch her father strip naked and molest her.
They basically shot a kiddie porn scene for a Nickelodeon film. Exec's heard and they immediately said that it wasn't to be used. This pissed off the director and he wanted revenge. He had them shoot some graphic shit man, the deaths described I thought were worse, but when they were SEEN, they were so fucking horrifying, I actually threw up. I quit and left the fucking place."
That was about a couple of months ago. When I asked him about the footage, he said "It's probably in the archives somewhere, God rest their souls..." But one thing he remembers is the forced suicide scene, that scene he knows was never staged. I asked the Nick studios about this film, they basically said "Fuck Off!"
My friend killed himself, his note stating that the dreams are getting worse and worse and sleep is becoming less and less. He couldn't handle things anymore and he said he loved his mom. He hung himself in his backyard from a tree. In his memory, I want to find that movie, whatever curse he subdued and awoke seems to have gotten to me. I'm determined to find the film if it takes me to my grave...