IMDb > Spider Baby or, The Maddest Story Ever Told (1967)
Spider Baby or, The Maddest Story Ever Told
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Spider Baby or, The Maddest Story Ever Told (1967) More at IMDbPro »

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Spider Baby or, The Maddest Story Ever Told -- This highly influential cult classic from writer-director Jack Hill (Switchblade Sisters, Foxy Brown) tells the demented and darkly comic tale of the Merrye children -- Elizabeth (Beverly Washburn), Virginia (Jill Banner) and Ralph (Sid Haig)-- all of whom suffer from a rare genetic malady that causes its victims to mentally regress to a condition of "pre-human savagery and cannibalism."

The children live in the old family mansion, and though under the cautious guardianship of chauffeur Bruno (Lon Chaney Jr.), they manage to terrorize anyone or anything which passes through the gates. So when the family is visited by a pair of distant relatives and their greedy lawyer, a wild night of murderous thrills ensues.

Dark Sky Films proudly presents the Director's Cut of Spider Baby, transferred and restored in High Definition from the original 35mm negative under the personal supervision of Jack Hill and featuring previously lost footage.


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Down 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Jack Hill (written by)
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Spider Baby will give you nightmares forever! See more »
A caretaker devotes himself to three demented adults after their father's death. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
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Apparently you either love this film or hate it. I happen to love it. See more (87 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

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)

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 (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Jack Hill (uncredited)
Art Direction by
Ray Storey  (as Ray Story)
Makeup Department
Elliott Fayad .... makeup artist (uncredited)
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
Dave Stern .... gaffer (as David Stern)
Frank Zuniga .... still photographer
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Joan Keller Stern .... wardrobe (as Joan Keller)
Other crew
Barbara Bohrer .... script supervisor
Mike McCloskey .... production assistant (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

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

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Spider Baby" - USA (short title)
"The Liver Eaters" - USA (alternative title)
See more »
81 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:PG (DVD rating) | Finland:K-18 (2011) (DVD) (self applied) | Finland:K-14 (1996) (VHS) | New Zealand:PG | UK:15 | USA:Unrated | USA:TV-PG (TV rating)

Did You Know?

During the filming of "Spider Baby" (originally titled "Cannibal Orgy"), director Jack Hill wrote a treatment for a sequel called "Vampire Orgy," which followed Peter and Ann on their honeymoon.See more »
Revealing mistakes: 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 »
Virginia:I caught a big fat bug right in my spider web and now the spider gets to give the bug a big sting. Sting! Sting! Sting! Sting! Sting!See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in The Hatching of Spider Baby (2007) (V)See more »
Spider Baby ThemeSee more »


was a Fantomas song based on this movie
See more »
25 out of 30 people found the following review useful.
Apparently you either love this film or hate it. I happen to love it., 31 May 2001
Author: reptilicus from Vancouver, Canada

I am amazed at some of the earlier comments on this board concerning this picture. One wonders why the people who hate it with such a passion bothered to contribute to the comments at all? This film is an acquired taste to be sure but I happen to like movies of this sort.

Admittedly Lon Chaney did very few things in the 60's that could be called "memorable". THE HAUNTED PALACE and WITCHCRAFT are the only things that come to mind. (Let us forget about FACE OF THE SCREAMING WEREWOLF entirely and that story about Edward D. Wood directing the scene of Chaney climbing the outside of the building is probably hooey.)

Any movie that opens with Lon singing the title song (it was released as a .45 with Bobby Pickett's 'Monsters Holiday' on the "A" side)moves on to a cameo by Mantan Moreland who pops up long enough to get himself killed and which quickly segues to Chaney as surrogate patriarch to a totally insane family can't be all bad. The Merrye Family is definitely one that you would not want to live nextdoor to. I get the feeling Rhoda Penmark from THE BAD SEED would enjoy hanging around with the 2 sisters (Beverly Washburn and Jill Banner) and Ralph (Sid Haig) can cause shudders just by entering a room.

Is this movie a cult classic? Yes! Some people will not take to it right away (qv, some of the other comments on this board) but if you go into it expecting black comedy you will not be disappointed. Sure go ahead and rent this one. It may take more than one viewing but I think, if you keep an open mind, you might learn to like it.

PS: If you want to catch one of Beverly Washburn's earliest performances check out SUPERMAN AND THE MOLE MEN. She is the little girl whose home is visited by the creatures from beneath the Earth. If you want to see more of Jill Banner, start watching reruns of 'Dragnet'.

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One of the greatest moments in all of cinema jamesvculek
Screams, moans, bats, and bones... stover3
Public Domain? beware308
This is gonna be an idiotic question hamlet1286
Looking for other great Cult Classics Chickibidi
Spider Baby cubswin80-1
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