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

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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 3,445 users  
Reviews: 84 user | 80 critic

A caretaker devotes himself to three demented adults after their father's death.

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

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Bruno (as Lon Chaney)
Carol Ohmart ...
Quinn K. Redeker ...
Peter Howe (as Quinn Redeker)
...
Jill Banner ...
...
Mary Mitchel ...
Ann Morris
Karl Schanzer ...
Mr. Schlocker
Mantan Moreland ...
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 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 December 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Spider Baby  »

Box Office

Budget:

$65,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The studio where the bulk of the film was shot was not equipped with air conditioning, only fans. With temperatures in the triple digits outside, the crew were all uncomfortable, but none more than Lon Chaney Jr., who was often dripping with sweat by the end of his takes. A bucket of ice water was brought in so Chaney could be mopped down with a cold, wet towel after each take. See more »

Goofs

Shortly after Peter and Emily Howe arrive at the mansion, a cast member and camera are reflected in the car window as Peter rolls up the side window of the convertible. 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

References The Wolf Man (1941) 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

 
It's mad all right
22 August 2005 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

The film opens with one of the most horrific murders ever shown on film; the rest of the movie is never again quite this frightening or startling, but is enjoyable nonetheless as a horror-comedy of the same ilk as "House on Haunted Hill" or "Bucket of Blood." The story concerns a family of inbred Southern degenerates who were once proud and powerful but whom years of inbreeding have reduced not only to childlike idiocy but savagery; some distant relatives out for money decide to meddle with dire, predictable results. The movie, complete with a loyal retainer, cute but deadly kids, and some even deadlier aunties and uncles kept tucked away in the cellar is essentially an extended version of an Addams family episode (the drawn out dinner scene is a bit too sitcomish). However, there are enough funny-scary moments to keep things moving along: the more memorable of these being when bitchy ice queen Emily succumbs to brother Ralph's caveman charms and when sister Virginia, the spider baby of the title, gives her long dead father a good night kiss—a scene with a weirdly poetic quality like something out of Poe. Perhaps the best part of the movie is Lon Chaney Jr. in his touching portrayal of Bruno, the kindly chauffeur who is genuinely devoted to his savage and hopeless surrogate family.

A cult film that deserves its status.


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