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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 <email@example.com>
Director Jack Hill accompanied actress Carol Ohmart on a trip to Frederick's of Hollywood, where she personally picked out the sexy wardrobe she dons in the latter half of the film. See more »
The architecture of the Merrye house makes no logical sense; the actual layout of the rooms and floors as they relate to each other is impossible, something director Jack Hill later admitted. See more »
This has gone well beyond the boundaries of prudence and good taste.
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As the film ends, "THE END" appears on the screen, then suddenly changes to "THE END ?". See more »
"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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