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Spider Baby

( 4 )

Overview

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...
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Overview

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.
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Special Features

Feature-length commentary with writer-director Jack Hill and actor Sid Haig; "The Hatching of Spider Baby"; "Spider Stravinsky: The cinema sounds of Ronadl Stein"; "The Merrye House revistied"; Still gallery; Alternate opening title sequence; Extended scene
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/25/2007
  • UPC: 030306814292
  • Original Release: 1968
  • Source: Dark Sky Films
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Vistavision (1.66:1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / Black & White
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:24:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 15,026

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jill Banner Virginia
Lon Chaney Jr. Bruno
Sid Haig Ralph
Joan Keller
Mary Mitchell Ann
Mantan Moreland Messenger
Carol Ohmart Emily
Quinn K. Redeker Peter
Karl Schanzer Schlocker
Beverly Washburn Elizabeth
Mary Mitchel
Technical Credits
Jack Hill Director, Screenwriter
Elliot Fayad Editor
Gil Lasky Producer
Austin McKinney Sound/Sound Designer
Paul Monka Producer
Ronald Stein Score Composer
Ray Storey Art Director
Lee Strosnider Sound Mixer
Alfred Taylor Cinematographer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Spider Baby
1. Opening Credits [3:53]
2. The Merrye House [3:37]
3. Caught In My Spider Web [1:14]
4. Virginia Hurt Somebody [6:37]
5. Something That Man Had [2:38]
6. They're Our Cousins [3:55]
7. They're Blasting Ahead [4:04]
8. Let's Go In [5:36]
9. I Smell a Bug [3:57]
10. Dinner Is Served [7:08]
11. We Have Lots Of Spiders [1:47]
12. The Accommodations [4:54]
13. Sneaking Around [3:46]
14. Kill Him! [8:38]
15. She'll Tell [3:00]
16. No Vacancy [5:56]
17. I Like You [4:14]
18. Ralph Can't Let Go [8:57]
19. End Credits [:20]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Spider Baby
   Play
   Chapters
   Special Features
      The Hatching of Spider Baby
      Spider Stravinsky: The Cinema Sounds of Ronald Stein
      The Merrye House Revisited
      Still Gallery
      Alternate Opening Title Sequence
      Extended Scene
   Setup
      English Subtitles: On
      English Subtitles: Off
      Audio Commentary With Jack Hill and Sid Haig: On
      Audio Commentary With Jack Hill and Sid Haig: Off
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

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4 Star

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3 Star

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    Posted October 18, 2008

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    Posted October 20, 2008

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