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

Unrated  |   |  Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi  |  24 December 1967 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 3,782 users  
Reviews: 86 user | 92 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:

Do YOU dare see it! 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:

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

After dinner, there's a brief scene that ends with Schlocker wagging his cigar at Emily. Originally this scene ended with Emily ripping the cigar from his hand and puffing on it, but the producers hated this irreverent moment and demanded it be cut. See more »

Goofs

When the window comes down on the back of the messenger you can see a hand at each side of the window holding it down from the outside. See more »

Quotes

Bruno, The Chauffeur: Just because something isn't good doesn't mean it's bad.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


8 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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