In a dilapidated rural mansion, the last generation of the degenerate, inbred Merrye family lives with the inherited curse of a disease that causes them to mentally regress from the age of 10 or so on as they physically develop.
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Spider Baby or, The Maddest Story Ever ToldDirected byJack Hill
An ol' favorite from way back. The digressions of Sontag aside, when we talk about 'camp' we are ideally talking about a kind of fun. What kind? Well, it doesn't have to be scandalous, but it does have to be tasteless. Spider Baby is the best kind of endearingly innocent tastelessness. Its pleasures are dubious and many. Foremost among them: Jill Banner in her iconic turn. Chaney looks sad to be here, God bless him.
In spite of (or perhaps because of) the way the plot falls apart at the speed of light, an odd sort of charm and a genuine spookiness do emerge from the proceedings. It's especially amusing that the Merrye disease apparently turns its victims into wolfmen, given Lon Chaney's involvement. He, the setting, and the two sisters are really what make this movie worth watching. Unless you're in it for the camp, that is.