Bruno, a chauffeur has promised his master to take care of the children when he's dead, and he refuses to break the promise. Even though they're now adults and demented. When some relatives come to visit because they are interested in the house, Bruno is kept busy by keeping the kids away from killing the visitors.
For the longest time I thought "Spider Baby" was a japanese movie, and for some reason that was something that kept me away from it. I certainly don't mind them, and some of my favorite movies are japanese, but they can also have a way of making the most interesting films boring. Now, going by the reputation, the cover I had seen (the cover for this release) and the year it was made, I didn't expect it to fall into the not-so-recent ghost trend that I dislike so much, so I eventually looked more into it. Well, when I finally did a year or two ago it turned out it's not japanese at all! Now that I got a chance to review it from Njutafilms I certainly felt it was about time to check it out.
It's about three siblings who are all crazy in their own little way. We have Virginia who thinks she's a spider, throwing nets at her prey (people), and then stabs them to death. Elizabeth is the more mature one, but certainly not one against murder. And then we have Ralph, the absolutely retarded brother who sleeps in small spaces. They are all taken care of by the family chauffeur, who promised their father before he died that he would take care of them and never feel hatred for them. One day they get visitors who plan to spend the night...
You can definitely see "Spider Baby" as being part of the process to modern cinema, much like the zombie movie of the same year, "Night of the Living Dead". "Spider Baby" is a cross-breed, laying somewhere between the ghastly horrors of the 50's (and pre) and "Texas Chainsaw Massacre". There's the atmosphere and feel of the old movies, even adding their naive entertainment. But at the same time it features some at-the-time gruesome scenes and a dose of black comedy. They're all contributing factors to making "Spider Baby" a special film that deserves the praise it has gotten over the years.
I have never cared much for Sid Haig and I don't see why he is in everything horror nowadays, but he plays Ralph in this movie and he does it great. Lon Chaney Jr. is fantastic as the chauffeur - certainly the highlight of the movie, if you ask me. I think everyone, even the black guy who died early in the movie, were treating us with great acting that just fit the mixed style that the movie was going for.
"Spider Baby" hasn't left me amazed, but it's one of those movies that deserves being a cult phenomeneon. It's atmospheric, strange, funny, well-acted, has a good pacing, you name it. There's really nothing that keeps this from being a possible favorite for every horror movie lover.