“Spider Baby” is a 1964 film directed by well-known exploitation filmmaker Jack Hill. It’s a horror film that tends to get overlooked by the horror community and that is a shame as it’s a fantastic film with a great cast, including Lon Chaney Jr., Sid Haig and more.
The film tells the tale of three siblings who live in an old mansion with their chauffeur, played by Lon Chaney Jr.. However the siblings are inbred, crazy and suffer from “Merrye’s Disease,” which causes them to be lunatics and cannibals. They receive news that their mansion is going to be confiscated. However when their cousin and her husband, the two who are taking the home, decided to pay the house a visit, the siblings decide to get their revenge.
Not only is the film very dark and atmospheric but it also has a sense of humor. However by no stretch would I call this a comedy. The humor is simply used as a tool to ease the tension. The movie has a vibe very similar to Tod Browning’s “Freaks.” Hill’s black and white photography is used to such great effect. No gore in this one but the tension and dread Hill creates with his direction will have you on the edge of your seat.
This gem of a movie was created and shot in 1964, but the producer had financial trouble and eventually went bankrupt. It did not see theaters until 1968 and it do not do well at the box office. Then the filmed was re-named on several different occasions, which of course confused audiences. Later the film re-surfaced and became a cult classic, however I think the movie needs some more love.
If you enjoy old school, black and white horror films then you will love this one. A unique, fresh horror film that is totally worth your time.