Spider Baby (1968)

Jack Hill’s glorious black comedy tells the story of a disturbed family of children and their guardian over the course of one night that distant relatives come to take them into custody.

A precursor to films such as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Spider Baby is somewhat postmodern in its execution. Kicking off with a glorious title song performed by star Lon Chaney and featuring some superb performances from Chaney, Jill Banner as the psychotic girl who gives the film its title with her “playing spider” antics and a startlingly young and gangly Sid Haig as the simple and imposing Ralph, the film plays very much to the macabre sensibilities of things like the Addams Family. It’s surprisingly violent in places, genuinely creepy, very hammy and gleefully dark. A classic that’s well worth a pick up.

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