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

Writer/Director: Jack Hill

Stars: Lon Chaney, Jr., Carol Ohmart, Quinn K. Redeker, Beverly Washburn, Jill Banner, Sid Haig, Mary Mitchel

A faithful family servant (Lon Chaney, Jr.) acts as caretaker for the crazed remnants of a dying family (Beverly Washburn, Jill Banner, and Sid Haig) until members of another branch of the family (Carol Ohmart and Quinn Redeker) arrive, seeking to gain sole control of the family fortune.


Wow, I did not expect this.


The opening credits and song set the perfect tone for a creepy yet goofy and heartfelt low-budget gem.


It sat on the shelf for years after completion and was finally tacked on to the back half of a drive-in double bill, but quality won out and it has attained the cult status it deserves.


Lon Chaney, Jr. gives a terrific performance in one of his last roles, delivering a tearful monologue late in the film that reveals its emotional core. 

As depraved as they are, it’s just impossible to hate these maniacs.


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