Directed by Jack Hill and starring the legendary Lon Chaney, Jr. Rarely, do I ever get an opportunity to find a movie that truly blows me away, especially with the amount of trash being churned out in the genre today.

The story tells of a rare and peculiar disease (Merrye Syndrome) whose only know occurrence is in the descendents of one Ebeneezer Merrye. This "progressive age regressive" begins at age 10, reversing the child's cognitive capabilities as they age. It slowly reverting them pass the prenatal stage toward primitives cannibalism. Bruno (Lon Chaney, Jr.) serves as both chauffeur and caretaker of these twisted demented children, protecting them from the outside world and vice versa.

Unfortunately, a greed relative (Carol Ohmart) and her brother (Quinn K. Redeker) arrive to claim the Merrye family fortune presenting the children with some new playthings.....themselves. Bruno tries his best to hide the family secret, but curiosity killed the cat and so does Ralph (Sig Haig). Virginia (Jill Banner) is the SPIDER BABY, the black widow of the house striking with her stinger upon the prey of the less than innocent. One by one, the children begin to take matters into their own hands.  Bruno realizes there is only truly one way to protect the children from the evil of society. Will the curse finally end????

"SPIDER BABY" is a perfect mixture of the macabre and the mad sprinkled with a touch of black comedy. The story, the cinematography, and the cast are magnificent. Jack Hill went on to direct such memorable films as  "Switchblade Sisters", "Coffey", and "The Swinging Cheerleaders" forever etching his name in the history of exploitational filmmaking. This is also one of Lon Chaney's greatest performance and a must see for all Chaney fans. Checkout Anchor Bay's recent 30th anniversary release of this film. It is the most complete and cleanest release of this frightful film. Also, as an added bonus, the video contains footage from the 30th anniversary re-release of "SPIDER BABY". See some great interviews with the cast and crew. Once you watch "SPIDER BABY", you will be entangled in her web forever.

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05/14/05 02:30 AM
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