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Spider Baby, or The Maddest Story Ever Told (Attack of the Liver Eaters) Reviews

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Anthony L

Super Reviewer

March 12, 2014
Spider Baby, or The Maddest story ever told represents two things; The last of the b-movie horrors, which by the late 60's had been done to death with wavering originality and the beginning of a new chapter in horror, a realism that inspired films such as The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and a new wave of film making that got people thinking differently and making their own independent films. A good cult film will do that. Spider Baby and Jack Hill also created the foundations for what was to become Exploitation film which would influence some of the most successful directors working today. I think the key to its success is the balance of darkness and humour, the description 'Black Comedy' has been overused so often i'm not sure people really know what kind of film it refers to anymore but Spider Baby is a good example of how the idea became mainstream. The performances are awesome, from Lon Chaney Jr's conflicted Bruno, to Sid Haig's likable yet unpredictable Ralph, to Quinn K. Redeker oblivious (and rather funny) Peter to Jill Banner's innocent but deadly Spider baby. Watch the fully restored version and wonder why it was ever referred to as a B-Movie.
rubystevens
rubystevens

Super Reviewer

June 8, 2008
this is in the public domain so there's no excuse not to watch it!! totally the inspiration for 'texas chainsaw massacre' and other hillbilly horrors. yes it's very low budget and the acting and effects are pretty weak but there's a bizarre black comedy atmosphere about the film that really sucks u in. go watch it right now. happy halloween!!
bbcfloridabound
bbcfloridabound

Super Reviewer

August 5, 2009
A pretty bizarre B-Movie. Black & White we open up with a little 1960'ties Black Comedy. The postman goes to what is rumored to be a haunted mansion, After the initial opening it turns real has into B- Suspense/ Horror. As the post man sticks his head in the window to see what that noise was, he is slashed by the young daughter of Lon Chaney Jr. A young couple come to adopt the two girls and the fun begins. This is just a B-Movie Cult Classic, though I often wonder what a film has to do to become a cult Classic. I can only squeeze out a 2 star rating on this one.
RCCLBC
RCCLBC

Super Reviewer

May 22, 2008
Think "Baby Doll" meets "Baby Jane".

Director Jack Hill is to Lon Chaney Jr what Ed Wood was to Bella Lugosi. Only Hill did it with a lot more style.

If you love horror films (cheesy or otherwise), this should be right up your alley. And you can't help but notice just how much this "cult classic" influenced many of the more successful horror directors of our time.

And although the story and the special effects are a little weak...the acting and some of the cinematography are remarkably good.
Ken S

Super Reviewer

May 5, 2007
Fantastically bizarre horror spoof/homage featuring a very young, very bald Sig Haig
366weirdmovies
366weirdmovies

Super Reviewer

December 12, 2007
A family of three childlike adults, one of whom is obsessed with spiders, is taken care of by family chauffeur Lon Chaney Jr. in a dilapidated house, until some outsiders come calling. The unsettling atmosphere created by director Jack Hill is utterly unique and almost impossible to convey: horrifying, surreal, humorous, touching, and supersaturated with sublimated sexuality.
Michael G

Super Reviewer

November 14, 2006
One of the most absurd, non-sensical and greatest horro cult classics ever.
Marion R

Super Reviewer

April 25, 2009
I thought it was an interesting film. Some aspects of the film I liked, other things I was not so crazy about. I was entertained for an hour and half.
Robert F

Super Reviewer

July 22, 2008
MIFF '08: Spider Baby (aka The Maddest Story Ever Told, aka Attack of the Liver Eaters, aka CANNIBAL ORGY), was a really fun midnight festival treat. I'd love to make a film like this - a trashy camp-horror-comedy. It was pretty slow in the first half (especially when the lawyers were exploring the house - boring!) But when the caretaker left, it got more exciting. The two girls were consistently hilarious but creepy - Ralph got a bit tired, though. It reminded me of The Addams Family, just with savage killings. There was one really sad moment - when the caretaker and the girls cry over wanting to be together forever. But what was with his special 'toy' at the end?! Totally not expecting that - I felt really bad for the girls.
ken j

Super Reviewer

May 6, 2007
nice little b movie from director jack hill and a very funny performance from a young sid haig way before devil's rejects also another highlight is lon chaney singing the theme song and not lookin very sober threw out the film another fav of mine
Mylunchboxthoughts
June 19, 2012
I absolutely love this movie. I love Sid Haig though, the future for him: Captain Spaulding in House of 1,000 corpses & The Devils Rejects
October 25, 2009
Nothing like seeing an older take on what zombies are like. But this is a bit deeper. It is a slow disease that takes time until you become a mentally challenged person who likes fresh meat; or what we consider zombies. The last was really good in this film. Beverly Washburn and Jill Banner were a great team of creepy young girls in their first state of getting the disease. Famous horror star Sid Haig played a man who was almost in the final stage of the disease. Lon Chaney Jr, who you might of seen playing a wolf man or a mummy, was the butler in charge of taking care of these people. This is until another side of the family wants to come and take the girls and the house away. But things go wrong. This movie has a lot of classic horror that you just don't see now a days. You get a lot of creepiness and some small scary scenes. Then a mix of a little comedy too for your enjoyment. Pretty good film.
February 27, 2011
Unlike other crazy cult films of the '60s, this one actually works. Watch it for Sid Haig and Chaney Jr., love it for the crazy plot and the way the cast devotes themselves 100% to their roles. Rob Zombie definitely had this one in mind when he made "House of 1000 Corpses."
HorrorMovieCinema
January 23, 2009
Jack Hill creates a weird story circling about the strange Meryee family which suffers from some strange disease, causing their members to degenerate into primitive pre-human lifeforms

or as Lon Chaney puts it out "rotting of the brain". Chaney himself, of course, is - in a fine performance - the loyal caretaker who suddenly has to deal with the fact that some relatives are trying to get their hands on the family estate (and heritage).

Besides great cinematography (under the given budget) and the genuine storyline one has to admire the characters, making the viewer think of something like "Addams Family" on Crack.

Classic stuff, with some bits which really are memorable (e.g. Chaney's groan "It's going to be full moon tonight" when the nerd hero and his love interest are discussing horror films in general and "The Wolfman" in special). And, last but not least, there's always Sid Haig...
terrym45
January 3, 2009
I had been waiting to see this underground horror film, from 1964 or 1968, for years! It FINALLY aired on TCM last night and it was a disappointment....The story IS a great idea for a horror flick, The film does have a couple of fun moments, a great look and it IS fun to see a young Sid Haig (THE HOUSE OF 1,000 CORPSES and THE DEVIL'S REJECTS) playing the simple/creepy yet oddly sweet Ralph, BUT for the most part...it's rather dull. Poor Lon Chaney Jr. and Mantan Moreland deserve a better film.
June 29, 2007
Just gave this one another look last night, still really digging this film.

A strange hillbilly horror film that moves along at a nice measured pace, slowly revealing the oddball nature of the Merrye family.

Well worth a look.
May 15, 2008
Bizarre horror/comedy movie from 1964. Originally titled "Cannibal Orgy" it sat on a shelf for four years before finally being released in 1968 (is it any wonder with a title like that?) If the theme song grabs you, you'll probably like the whole ride.
redmoonthir13en
May 8, 2008
It's 'the maddest story ever told', what more can you say? Oh, it has a very young Sid Haig and Lon Chaney Jr. I highly recommend it!
November 5, 2006
Incredibly strange film, and supremely fun to watch. I was surprised by how endearing Lon Chaney Jr's portrayal of Bruno was, and, good Lord, that's Sid Haig as Ralph! Insanity!

The atmosphere of the piece is the most entertaining thing -- the family is akin to Addams or Munsters, only a little more sadistic, methinks.
StaisilD
March 28, 2008
Jack Hill creates a weird story circling about the strange Meryee family which suffers from some strange disease, causing their members to degenerate into primitive pre-human lifeforms, or as Lon Chaney puts it out "rotting of the brain". Chaney himself, of course, is - in a fine performance - the loyal caretaker who suddenly has to deal with the fact that some relatives are trying to get their hands on the family estate (and heritage). The film works because it's extremely macabre throughout, and although we hardly see any gore at all - we always know that something bad is just around the corner, and the film features many nasty happenings, from one of the "children" playing 'spider'; a game which involves her wrapping her victim up in rope and proceeding to 'sting' them with a pair of kitchen knives, to the rotted corpse of the family father still lying in it's bed. The cast of characters are superbly odd, and this helps to create the morbid atmosphere that the film revels in. The two girls are the central focus of the film, and they make for two deliciously creepy leads. Their childlike tendencies make them macabre in a way that few horror villains have ever captured. Lon Chaney Jr's chauffeur is another great piece of characterisation, which is portrayed by way of a great performance. He brings just the right amount of sorrow and love to his character, and provides the backbone of the movie. The black humour is rife within the film and this, and the setting - a rickety old farmhouse - only further helps to instill the morbidity into the viewer's mind.
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