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Spider Baby (1964)

Cast: Joan Keller, Joan Keller, Mary Mitchell, more...
Director: Jack Hill, Jack Hill
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Image Entertainment
Genre: Comedies, Cult, Horror, Camp
Running Time: 81 min.
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This title is currently out of print.

Recently Rented By kolohe61

Exploitation titan Jack Hill, who went on to make such cult favorites as Switchblade Sisters, The Swinging Cheerleaders, and Foxy Brown, made his solo directorial debut with this fascinating, offbeat shocker. The three surviving children of Titus W. Merrye, who represent the end of his family's line, live in a dilapidated mansion where patient servant Bruno (Lon Chaney, Jr.) watches over the increasingly eccentric Virginia (Jill Banner), Ralph (Sid Haig), and Elizabeth (Beverly Washburn). All three Merrye siblings suffer from the same rare disease that felled their father and the other members of his family -- "Merrye Syndrome," a neurological ailment that begins to manifest itself at the age of ten, causing the brain to slowly decay and sending its victims into an alternately violent and infantile state. Bald, inarticulate Ralph is supposed to be a vegetarian, but "can eat anything he can catch," while Virginia, who seems to be in a perpetual dream state, imagines herself as a human spider and catches people in her "web" (a large net) and then kills them. While it might seem best to let nature to take its course and allow the family's sad legacy to die out, the Merrye siblings have two distant cousins, Emily Howe (Carol Ohmart) and Peter Howe (Quinn K. Redeker), who are interested in laying claim to the family mansion and any money remaining in the Merrye Estate. But not long after they pay a visit to Bruno, they start to have serious regrets about their decision to see the family. Shot in 1964, Spider Baby sat on the shelf until 1968, when it was briefly released as the second half of a horror double-bill on the drive-in circuit. But after it appeared on home video in the early '80s and was the subject of an enthusiastic essay in the book RE/Search: Incredibly Strange Films, the film began to develop a potent cult following and is now regarded as a minor classic of '60s horror. The film has also appeared under the misleading titles Cannibal Orgy and The Liver Eaters, as well as Spider Baby, or the Maddest Story Ever Told. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

check it out by BrodiesGirl June 26, 2004 - 8:32 PM PDT
3 out of 4 members found this review helpful
I can't even remember how I happened upon this movie, but I am happy I did! It was hilarious, the two girls are fantastic and the great Lon Chaney is fabulous. Check it out for a good laugh!

Spider baby rocks! by darksatyr September 11, 2003 - 11:50 AM PDT
5 out of 6 members found this review helpful
I loved this movie. One of the best old horror camp movies I have ever seen. And it stars Lon Chaney, the original wolfman! But the show is completely stolen by the two little girls. I laughed so hard and already want to see it again.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.46)
98 Votes
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