Invasion from Inner Earth (1974)
Director: Bill Rebane
Writer: Barbara J. Rebane
Starring: Paul Bentzen, Debbi Pick, Nick Holt, Karl Wallace, Robert Arkens, Arnold Didrickson,
"About 8000 years ago, the planet Mars came within very close proximity to the Earth— even closer than our own moon."
Those Guys, You know...They
Ah 70's regional filmmaking, it can be a fun rewarding experiance watching one of these films. It can also a real head scratcher. When it comes Wisconsin homeboy Bill Rebane you get a bit of both. I've had the strange pleasure of seeing a couple of his films before. Well not learning my lesson from watching those gems and from UFO: Target Earth . I cracked open the Nightmare Worlds - 50 Movie Pack DVD from Mill Creek Entertainment again and put in another "classic" Rebane flick.
Me brain hurts
Out in the middle of East Jesus, bush-plane pilot and nature dude Jake Stephens (Holt) returns from hunting. He tells his sister, Sarah (Pick) that the wildlife has all but vanished. There's three other people staying with the brother/sister team at their cabin. Three "researchers" who are doing "science" out in the woods. They've been staying at the cabin for the better part of a month and are getting ready to head back to civilization. There's Eric (Wallace), the handsome leader of the team. There seems to be a little romance between Eric and Sarah we're told. It doesn't really amount to anything though. Next is Andy (Arkens), the bitchy know it all. Last is Stan (Bentzen), the older joker and wise sage dude. So Jake takes the three to the nearby town of Hightower in his plane, while city hating Sarah decides to stay at the cabin. In Hightower air-traffic controller Sam warns Jake not to land because everyone in town is dying of some plague-like sickness. Sam himself appears to be sick as well and when Jake tries to land Sam runs out on to the landing strip and promptly drops dead. Wisely deciding not to land, Jake heads off to Bear Creek Lodge, which has it's own airfield as well. At the lodge, the boys split up. Stan and Andy go to start the generator, whilst Jake and Eric use the shortwave radio in the lodge. All they can get is static. Meanwhile Stan and Andy hear strange noises and see a creepy red light. The four decide to head back to the Stephens cabin.
Back at the cabin they theorize and theorize and theorize some more about what the F is going on. Wait! Before you're bored into a coma the film cuts to strange interludes involving late-night TV talk show where the guests talk about having alien encounters. A teenage boy and a girl vanish into thin air while watching the show, for no particular reason. Another of these interludes features a radio DJ going crazy because there's no one else alive. Plus we get some scenes of people panicking as UFO's attack cities, killing people with red smoke. Meanwhile back at the Stephens cabin, our gang slowly dwindles in number. First Andy, when he takes the plane and the red light blows him up. Then Jake, when he tries to reach town on his snowmobile. He collapses and disappears. Our final three head out to try and find some answers. The three get split up, one dies and two reunite and we're treated to a amazing headache inducing ending, which I won't got into because really you need to see it and scream “What the fuck?!?!” like I did.
Run, Sarah, Run
What I both love and hate about a Bill Rebane film is his total disregard for the audience and narrative technique. Do you want action? Well screw you because old Bill is going to give you talk and nothing but. Want to know what these aliens are all about? What about the creepy voice on the radio that talks to our heroes once in awhile? How about what that red light? How does it tie-in? Well, Bill ain't spilling. This film defies being called good or bad. It's a strange 70's low-budget film that in the end has a quaintness to it. Strangest of all, for a film that's 90% talk, it's never really boring. I didn't even fall asleep during it. Plus it's got a