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>
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 »
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 »
This has gone well beyond the boundaries of prudence and good taste.
See more »
As the film ends, "THE END" appears on the screen, then suddenly changes to "THE END ?". See more »
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 »
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 kissa 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.
12 of 16 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this