Great and delightfully strange horror-drama-comedy who has turned
into someting of an American Cult Classic, and directed by
the future exploitation cult movie maker Jack Hill, the man who made
Pam Grier a legend with WIP and Blaxploitation classics as
The Big Doll House (1971), Coffy (1973, read more about this film
on my Cult and Classics Page 2, far down) and Foxy Brown (1974).
The Merrye Family consists of the 2 girls Virginia
(great film debut by then 17 years old Jill Banner), who loves playing
and who has 2 tarantulas as pets, and Elizabeth (Beverly Washborn)
and of the mentally ill brother Ralph (played by a young Sid
Haig, and of an uncle and two aunts that are locked into the cellar.
The Merrye's all suffer from a hereditary disease where the brain
rots, this because of inbreeding and which makes them very unstable.
Yes, a disease that turning them into Cannibals.
The man who's looking after them is the family driver
and handyman Bruno, magnifically played by legend Lon Chaney, Jr.
promised the youngsters father that he will never abandon them. Chaney
sings the theme song too.
One day the family is visited by two cousins, Emily (Carol Ohmart)
and Peter and with them a lawyer with his secretary and they
plan to lock the children into some institution and to obtain the
estate themselves. Unwisely they decide to stay the night.
Lowbudget indie that were shot in just 12 days by
future exploitation master Jack Hill. This old US DVD presented the
film in a
1.66:1 widescreen ratio and with english mono audio. Extras: an audio
commentary with Jack Hill, alternate footage and footage
from the 30 year anniversary in 1994 of Johnny Legend, Washburn, Sid
Haig and Jack Hill. In Black & White