Spider Baby [2 Discs] [Blu-ray/DVD]

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Synopsis

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. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Product Details

Release Date
6/9/15 
Studio
Music Video Dist.***
MPAA Rating
NR -- Not rated
Length
1 hour, 24 minutes
Sound
  • Dolby Digital Stereo
  • Dolby Digital Mono
Region
  • USA & territories, Canada
  • Europe, Japan, Middle East, Egypt, South Africa, Greenland
  • Blu-ray region A (North America, Central America, South America, Japan, Taiwan, North Korea, South Korea, Hong Kong, Southeast Asia)
  • Blu-ray region B (Europe, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Middle East, Greenland, French territories)
Subtitles
  • English
Video Features
  • Audio commentary featuring Jack Hill and star Sid Haig
  • Panel discussion from The Academy of Motion Picture arts and Sciences Film-to-Film Festival, recorded September 2012, featuring Jack Hill, Sid Haig, star Mary Mitchel, fan Joe Dante and more on the making of the film
  • Spider stravinsky: the cinema sounds of Ronald Stein-the composer of The Terror and Attack of the 50 Foot Woman among others is remembered by Harlene Stein, Jack Hill, American Cinematheque's Chris D. and others
  • The Merrye House revisited-Jack Hill revisits the original house that was used as the main location in the film
  • Alternate opening title sequence
  • Extended scene
  • Original trailer
  • Gallery of behind-the-scenes images
  • The Host (1960)-Jack Hill's eary short film featuring Sid Haig in his first starring role [30 mins]
Number of Discs
2

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