FRIDAY NIGHT FRIGHTS: Spider Baby (archival 35mm print!)

Our screening comes from a beautifully restored 35mm print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive! Somewhere between the Addams Family and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre sits Spider Baby, Jack Hill’s 1967 cult masterpiece. Starring a flop-sweated Lon Chaney Jr., and a shockingly fresh-faced Sid Haig (Rob Zombie’s lead freak of choice for House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects), this drive-in era brainbomb concerns an inbred family of adults who have a disease that causes them to mentally regress into murderous, cannibalistic children. When greedy relatives arrive to dispossess them of their home — well, let’s just say things do not go well for the greedy relatives. Powerfully grisly for the time, Spider Baby (aka The Maddest Story Ever Told) is that rare gem that remains largely undiscovered while still having a huge influence on the horror genre going forward, over everything from the aforementioned Chainsaw and The Hills Have Eyes to more recent favorites like Martyrs and We Are What We Are. But most of all, it’s just a crazy good time.
Dir. Jack Hill, 1967, 35mm, 81 min.

Watch Cinefamily’s original trailer for “Spider Baby”!