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Spider Baby or, The Maddest Story Ever Told (1967)

Unrated | | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi | 24 December 1967 (USA)
A caretaker devotes himself to three demented siblings after their father's death.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Bruno (as Lon Chaney)
...
Quinn K. Redeker ...
Peter Howe (as Quinn Redeker)
...
Jill Banner ...
...
Mary Mitchel ...
Ann Morris
Karl Schanzer ...
Mr. Schlocker
...
Messenger
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Storyline

In a dilapidated rural mansion, the last generation of the degenerate, inbred Merrye family lives with the inherited curse of a disease that causes them to mentally regress from the age of 10 or so on as they physically develop. The family chauffeur looks out for them and covers up their indiscretions. Trouble comes when greedy distant relatives and their lawyer arrive to dispossess the family of its home. Written by D.A. Kellough <dkelloug@infinet.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Spider Baby will give you nightmares forever! See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

24 December 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cannibal Orgy, or The Maddest Story Ever Told  »

Box Office

Budget:

$65,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The wrap party was held at the home of actress Mary Mitchel and her then-husband, producer Bart Patton. The couple's dog had recently had puppies, and that evening co-star Sid Haig and his wife took one of the pups home and named it "Uncle Ned" after the character in the film. See more »

Goofs

When Peter reads the textbook's description of Merrye Syndrome the following text on the page is a random patchwork of unrelated paragraphs. See more »

Quotes

Elizabeth: What's it gonna do, Bruno?
Bruno, The Chauffeur: Well, it's gonna it's gonna make a big flash and go bang!
Virginia: Oh boy!
See more »

Crazy Credits

As the film ends, "THE END" appears on the screen, then suddenly changes to "THE END ?". See more »

Connections

Referenced in Creature (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Spider Baby Theme
(uncredited)
Written by Ronald Stein
Performed by Lon Chaney Jr.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Memorable, original, and unique
29 September 2007 | by (prejudicemadeplausible.wordpress.com) – See all my reviews

"Spider Baby" is weird. It's demented. It's insane, and it's easily one of the creepiest movies you'll ever come across. Here's one movie that never comes up in discussions of low budget horror films, but really should. There are virtually no effects, few 'boo' moments, instead relying on classic methods like an intimidating house, creepy shadows etc.

The movie has a simple plot: a couple of distant relatives and their lawyer arrive at a spooky old house with a bad reputation to take control of the estate only to find three teens with 'Merrye' syndrome, a bizarre disease named after the family caused by generations of inbreeding. When the caretaker loses control of the three siblings horrific and hilarious results follow. The buildup is excellent, including the highlight of the film, a hysterical and very creepy dinner scene with several unorthodox menu choices.

The characters are memorable. Lon Chaney Jr. is great as usual in the role of the dangerous children's caretaker, but Sid Haig easily steals the show with a bizarre performance as the spider-like and mentally disturbed Ralph, who does a lot of fun stuff over the course of this movie, like passing off cat as rabbit. The ending shot is quite excellent as well.

All in all this is pretty much the definition of cult classic. It's fun and creepy and hysterical and though it has a following it hasn't suffered from overexposure. No, it's not the best film ever made on a technical or narrative level, but it's wicked fun and it's very, very unique. Enjoy!


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