6.9/10
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112 user 99 critic

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

Not Rated | | Comedy, Horror | 24 December 1967 (USA)
Trailer
1:19 | Trailer
A caretaker devotes himself to three demented siblings after their father's death.

Director:

Jack Hill

Writer:

Jack Hill
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Lon Chaney Jr. ... Bruno (as Lon Chaney)
Carol Ohmart ... Emily
Quinn K. Redeker ... Peter (as Quinn Redeker)
Beverly Washburn ... Elizabeth
Jill Banner ... Virginia
Sid Haig ... Ralph
Mary Mitchel ... Ann
Karl Schanzer ... 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:

Come into my parlor, said the spider to the... See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the climax as he's struggling with Mary Mitchel, Sid Haig had the flu and a temperature of 103°. The producers employed a doctor to standby on the set to give Haig an injection every few hours so he could continue to work. See more »

Goofs

When "dead" Mr. Schlocker is pulled from the dumb waiter, he is gripping a flashlight in his right hand. Dead people can't hold flashlights. See more »

Quotes

Schlocker: This has gone well beyond the boundaries of prudence and good taste.
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Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

2007 Director's Cut runs 84 minutes and includes one extended scene in which Bruno reveals more about the Merrye family and Schlocker reveals his intentions for the Merrye estate. See more »

Connections

Featured in Fright Night Theater: Spider Baby (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Spider Baby Theme
(uncredited)
Written by Ronald Stein
Performed by Lon Chaney Jr.
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User Reviews

 
It's mad all right
22 August 2005 | by poccaSee 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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 December 1967 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Spider Baby See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$65,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lasky-Monka See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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