IMDb > Spider Baby or, The Maddest Story Ever Told (1968)
Spider Baby or, The Maddest Story Ever Told
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Spider Baby or, The Maddest Story Ever Told (1968) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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7.0/10   3,229 votes »
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Director:
Writer:
Jack Hill (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for Spider Baby or, The Maddest Story Ever Told on IMDbPro.
Genre:
Tagline:
Spider Baby will give you nightmares forever! See more »
Plot:
A caretaker devotes himself to three demented adults after their father's death. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
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NewsDesk:
(54 articles)
Win Pit Stop on Blu-ray
 (From HeyUGuys. 30 March 2014, 10:00 PM, PDT)

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31 Days of Horror: 100 Greatest Horror Films: Top 100
 (From SoundOnSight. 31 October 2013, 9:24 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
A very mad story indeed! See more (81 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Lon Chaney Jr. ... Bruno (as Lon Chaney)
Carol Ohmart ... Emily Howe
Quinn K. Redeker ... Peter Howe (as Quinn Redeker)

Beverly Washburn ... Elizabeth Merrye
Jill Banner ... Virginia Merrye

Sid Haig ... Ralph Merrye
Mary Mitchel ... Ann Morris
Karl Schanzer ... Mr. Schlocker
Mantan Moreland ... Messenger
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Carolyn Cooper ... Aunt Clara (uncredited)
Joan Keller Stern ... Aunt Martha (uncredited)
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Directed by
Jack Hill 
 
Writing credits
Jack Hill (written by)

Produced by
Gil Lasky .... producer
Marvin Levine .... associate producer
Paul Monka .... producer
Alan Riseman .... associate producer
 
Original Music by
Ronald Stein 
 
Cinematography by
Alfred Taylor 
 
Film Editing by
Jack Hill 
 
Art Direction by
Ray Storey  (as Ray Story)
 
Makeup Department
Elliott Fayad .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Bart Patton .... production supervisor
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Bart Patton .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
John Broadrick .... sound
Lee Strosnider .... sound
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Gilbert Haimson .... assistant camera (as Gil Haimson)
Carl Olsen .... key grip
Robert Pickering .... best boy
Frank Zuniga .... still photographer
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Joan Keller Stern .... wardrobe (as Joan Keller)
 
Music Department
Lon Chaney Jr. .... title song vocalist
 
Other crew
Barbara Bohrer .... script supervisor
Mike McCloskey .... production assistant
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
  • EIP  title design by (as e i p)
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Spider Baby" - USA (short title)
See more »
Runtime:
81 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Australia:PG (DVD rating) | Finland:K-18 (unrated) | Finland:K-14 (video premiere) | New Zealand:PG | UK:15 | USA:Unrated | USA:TV-PG (TV rating)

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:
Continuity: When Peter says, "This is thing isn't dressed," he has carving utensils in the dinner entrée. In the following shot no utensils are visible when Ralph grabs the meat.See more »
Quotes:
Bruno, The Chauffeur:Just because something isn't good doesn't mean it's bad.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Bloodsucking Freaks (1976)See more »

FAQ

was a Fantomas song based on this movie
See more »
27 out of 30 people found the following review useful.
A very mad story indeed!, 23 February 2005
Author: The_Void from Beverley Hills, England

From the moment the beginning credits role, you know that you're going to be in for one mental ride! The opening credits themselves are captivating due to the music and the voice over that plays over them, and the film never loses this eerie verve that it creates with the credits. Spider Baby is a captivating and fascinating trek through mental illness from beginning to end and it's quality certainly isn't justified by it's reputation. It's amazing how great and influential films such as this one can become lost and not often spoken of, while other, far lesser films, have gone on to meet wide acclaim. The influence that this film has had can be felt on many films, but most obviously the 70's exploitation classic - The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. The film has the added title 'The Maddest Story Ever Told', and while that may not quite be the case - this is indeed one very demented tale.

The story follows a family of inbreeds that have been afflicted by a genetic disorder known as 'Merrye syndrome', named after the family in which the disorder developed. This malady causes it's victims to enter a state of age regression that starts at the age of ten and continues throughout the remainder of the person's life, rendering them with the intelligence of a child. The final generation of the family has been entrusted to the care of the family chauffeur (Lon Chaney Jnr), and all is well for these odd people until a greedy branch of the family decides that they want to relieve the family of it's home. Mental illness has always, and will always be, a fascinating subject for horror movies as it probes into the unknown and Spider Baby makes best use of that fact.

The film works because it's extremely macabre throughout, and although we hardly see any gore at all - we always know that something bad is just around the corner, and the film features many nasty happenings, from one of the "children" playing 'spider'; a game which involves her wrapping her victim up in rope and proceeding to 'sting' them with a pair of kitchen knives, to the rotted corpse of the family father still lying in it's bed. The cast of characters are superbly odd, and this helps to create the morbid atmosphere that the film revels in. The two girls are the central focus of the film, and they make for two deliciously creepy leads. Their childlike tendencies make them macabre in a way that few horror villains have ever captured. Lon Chaney Jnr's chauffeur is another great piece of characterisation, which is portrayed by way of a great performance. He brings just the right amount of sorrow and love to his character, and provides the backbone of the movie. The black humour is rife within the film and this, and the setting - a rickety old farmhouse - only further helps to instill the morbidity into the viewer's mind. All in all; a very good and underrated horror movie that any and all horror fans would do well to catch if given the chance!

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