Spider BabyJack Hill directed a lot B movie exploitation flicks in the late ’60s and 1970’s but one of his earliest was the demented 1967 movie Spider Baby or, the Maddest Story Ever Told.

Lon Chaney Jr., in one of his last roles, plays a caretaker of a super-messed up family. There’s three grown children in Merrye family. They all live in a decrepit mansion and the three Merrye kids all suffer what’s referred to as Merrye Syndrome. They are socially and mentally regressed and incredibly violent. There’s two sisters (Beverly Washburn, Jill Banner), the youngest likes to play “spider” and the oldest is a brother (Sid Haig) who lives in a dumb waiter and doesn’t saying anything. Chaney constantly tries to cover up their crimes. A couple of unscrupulous distant relatives, their lawyer and the lawyer’s assistant have come to take control of the estate and the siblings which leads to their secret being revealed.

To make things interesting, in the basement there’s even more relatives living in the basement but they’ve become even more feral. The arrival of strangers set off a chain of events the spiral into chaos and murder. The film was shot in 1964 but the producers went bankrupt and Spider Baby wasn’t released until 1967.

Jack Hill would go on to direct Pam Grier in several blaxploitation films, most of them had Sid Haig in them, and by the 1980’s he stopped making movies. Lon Chaney Jr. would make a few more movies, mostly terrible stuff before he passed away in 1973. As for Spider Baby, it’s a lot of demented fun.