Saddled with an unfortunate title, Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead was an unmitigated bomb upon its 1991 release. Since then, the film has received new life, embraced by generations of fans after running seemingly incessantly on HBO. The movie’s second act has accorded it classic cult status, as it’s actually a delightful teen cautionary tale against growing up too fast, a ’90s period piece with David Duchovny himself in a sleazy suit and haircut, and a generator of still-popular catchphrases (“I’m right on top of that, Rose!”). Buzzfeed is celebrating Don’t Tell Mom’s almost-25-year anniversary with an oral-history look at the movie’s beginnings (an early effort by screenwriter Neil Landau and directed by Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure helmer Stephen Herek), cast (everyone credits a then-18-year-old Christina Applegate for stepping up to the plate in her first lead role), and losses (the tight cast laments the death of Christopher Pettiet, who played middle child Zach). Entertaining anecdotes include the number of people who still run up to Joanna Cassidy and ask her to say the “Rose” line, and how Keith Coogan suited up to play skeet-shooter-of-the-dishes Kenny. Josh Charles declined to be interviewed about what was only his second film role, but we can’t have everything.
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