Halloween Scene: Spider Baby, or The Maddest Story Ever Told (1968)

You guys, this is a weird one. You’ve got a kind of haunted house/creepy family story following a chauffeur played by Lon Chaney (this might be the first Chaney movie I’ve ever seen) who is taking care of three children who are crazy killers. You see, as our narrator tells us in the beginning of the flick, it’s called Marrye Syndrome and it effects only one family ever and makes its victims regress back to a maniacal state (kind of like Wolverine, but with noses). We’re introduced to the truly strange children when the poor delivery man gets stabbed to death by Virigina who’s playing “spider”, then her sister Elizabeth walks in and says “Are you crazy?” but more like she’s saying “We’re having meatloaf again?” Then you’ve got their brother Ralph who’s played by Sid Haig like a pinhead from Freaks.

As the movie progresses (and it really does get slow at times, which is impressive considering it’s only got an 81 minute run time), extended family members come to reclaim the children from Chaney and start asking a lot of pesky questions, like what happened to their parents. I guess this is SPOILER territory, but I just can’t help talking about the weirdness. Their father is actually a skeleton, who they kiss goodnight. Their aunts and uncles, who are animal-like cannibals live down in a basement that looks like something out of The House On Haunted Hill. Oh, also one of the dudes, he might be a lawyer or something, is sporting a Hitler mustache. Not a good fashion choice bro.

So, yeah, the movie gets to a point where the woman in the poster above is changing into black lingerie for a good deal of time only to be attacked later by the kids who hunt her down in the woods surrounding the house. All in all, I gotta say that I recommend checking this little ball of weirdness out. The poster they show on NetBox is the above one, but I like this one MUCH better, it looks rad. Oh, also of note, the movie was originally made in 1964, but didn’t come out till 68, partly due to the studio going under, but also because the original title was Cannibal Orgy. It’s an interesting choice, but lacks the orgy aspect completely. Hell, there isn’t even any boob. I wonder if the Director’s Cut that the box art here boasts is any different (you know, has more orgies). Did orgy used to mean something else back in the 60s? Weird.

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