Although Lon Chaney Jr. and Sid Haig headlined cult classic Spider Baby, it was the crazy baby-eyes of the Merrye daughters– Elizabeth (Beverly Washburn) and Virginia (Jill Banner)– that are entirely unforgettable. The girls are part of a family of freaks suffering a genetic disorder that regresses them to a state of, “pre-human savagery and cannibalism”, and their nosy relatives are wise to keep away.
Shot in only seven days, Spider Baby is a masterful, quirky horror flick about the stranger relationships in life, replete with a fully-formed cast of oddballs. Haig does not disappoint as animalistic Ralph, more a beloved pet than a brother, and exhausted caretaker Bruno (Chaney) has a real love for the doomed, murderous family. Hilarious, addictive and oh-so wrong, Spider Baby represents the best of ultra low-budget drive-in fare.
And remember, spiders aren’t supposed to eat other spiders– but cannibal spiders do.
By Britta R. Moline 7/16/2011