Friday Night At The Home Drive-In: Invasion from Inner Earth (1974)

Poster for Invasion from Inner Earth (1974)Invasion from Inner Earth (1974) by #BillRebane

Pilots and their passengers, who are  are stranded in the remote Canadian wilderness, begin to hear strange reports over their radio. Soon they find that they are at the mercy of an alien death ray.

“They’ve been waiting millions of years for this moment”


#Horror #SciFi

As I said in my post about Monster a Go-Go (1965), I’ve enjoyed other movies by Wisconsin filmmaker Bill Rebane, including The Giant Spider Invasion (1975), Blood Harvest (1987) and The Alpha Incident (1978). Like Monster a Go-Go, I had never seen Invasion from Inner Earth (1974) before picking up a copy of Weird Wisconsin: The Bill Rebane Collection on Blu-ray. In fact, one of the things that attracted me to the box set was the fact that it contained a bunch of Bill Rebane movies that I had never seen.

So far, they are not his best films (if we are to go by the IMDb ratings). Invasion from Inner Earth (1974) currently rates a 2.6 – which is a significant improvement over the staggeringly low 1.7 that Monster a Go-Go (1965) currently boasts. I enjoyed them both more than the low ratings might suggest – but then again, I have a taste for “bad” movies. 

I find it interesting that Bill Rebane decided to set Invasion from Inner Earth in Canada – and more specifically, in Manitoba. You might say that my mind was blown by that fact. For those who don’t know, Manitoba is my home. Every week I tweet about a movie that was made in Manitoba on what I like to call #MadeInManitobaMonday. Most of them aren’t set in Manitoba, but a few of them are. 

Those who follow my #FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn posts may recall that I featured one other movie that was set in Manitoba. It’s called Fiend Without a Face (1958) and it’s a darn good film. Invasion from Inner Earth is not quite in the same class as that one, but they’re both fun. Of course, neither of them was made in Manitoba…

Mao showing distance from Winnipeg to Michicot, Wisconsin.Invasion from Inner Earth is, like most (all?) of Bill Rebane’s films was made in Wisconsin. I’ve actually driven down to Wisconsin a couple of times for a few days of rest and relaxation. It’s not ridiculously far from Manitoba. It’s about eleven and a half hours from Winnipeg to Michicot, where we once spent a week at a golf resort (long story). So, I suppose Bill Rebane might have taken similar road trips in his lifetime. Or, maybe he just looked at a map and asked himself where he would wind up if he got on I-94 W and kept driving.

He could have chosen Ontario, which is more directly north of Wisconsin. But Ontario tends to get a lot more attention, with cities like Toronto and Ottawa. Manitoba is just a little bit more obscure and unknown – dare I say, exotic? Whatever his reasons may have been, I’m glad he set Invasion from Inner Earth in Manitoba. It makes it seem more special to me. It also earns the film automatic membership in a very exclusive club; movies that are set in Manitoba, but were not shot there. Aside from  Fiend Without a Face (1958), there’s The Republic of Love (2003), Riel (1979) and three – count ’em – three movies by Kevin Smith: Tusk (2014), Yoga Hosers (2016) and Moose Jaws (coming soon?). There are others, but I can’t think of them right now. 

What more can I say about Invasion from Inner Earth (1974)? It’s a slice of #NotQuiteClassicCinema probably best left to hard core fans of “bad” movies and Bill Rebane Completists. John Stanley, in Creature Features, gives it one star and has nothing good to say about it. I found moments of joy hidden within the prolonged periods of head-scratching inactivity. But I, as one of my Twitter buddies once said, am a movie watching masochist. I prefer to think of myself as an extremely patient observer, but I suppose those things aren’t mutually exclusive…

In conclusion, consider adding  Invasion from Inner Earth to your next #FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn – if you have a strong desire to see it, and if you feel that the previous paragraph in any way describes you, too.