Reviews

Invasion From Inner Earth (1974)

The world is being invaded. People are dying in clouds of mist and red lights. I’d ask “Where does the terror come from?” but the title kind of gives it away. Which is too bad. Without that dead giveaway info, the origins of this attack are on the wonderful side of vague. People present theories. They postulate on what’s causing the mass destruction and then the final images appear and…

Intercut with the scenes of epic destruction that, frankly, look like they are from a different film (not just stock shots or crowds running but almost everything), we see a group deep in the Wisconsin woods. They only have a vague clue as to what’s going on. It turns out they have been separated from humanity for a very special reason. My first thought was: “They’re being allowed to enjoy all that great snow before the Apocalypse!” But, no, not really.

The rest of this review is in two sections. I haven’t watched the film in a couple of years. The next section is my remembrance of the film. Then, I will watch it again and share whatever new stuff I see.

Snow.

No, I remember more of it than that. I will say that I am a big fan of snow. I’m a sledding man. This film has a lot of it and it’s great. If something on screen is boring you, you can look at the scenery. Clever, clever.

The majority of the running time follows the people in the woods who are all “types”. The naïve young woman, the tough guy, the rich guy, the good-looking “Hey! How you doin’?” guy and the older goofball. They talk a lot and try to figure out what’s going on. And, here’s the kicker, it rarely gets dull. Oh, some of it is embarrassing but rarely dull. And that’s because we don’t quite know what’s going on.

The film jumps into those strange interludes every once in a while. UFOS chasing crowds. A local talk show that goes goofy. Folks in a bar falling under attack. Some of them get a little goofy but I was convinced that the world was falling apart and that the people in the cabin were separated out for some reason. I had the great bit of luck where I fell asleep ten minutes before the end and woke up during the last minute. Something very odd happens in that minute. And because I was coming out of sleep, I thought it was all mega-super-odd. The VHS I had was simply titled They. There was no unsubtle pointing towards a solution like the Inner Earth title does. The confusion runs real high. Here’s the extra kicker: The They version has no closing credits. The final image, some synths and it all goes to black. I rewound, watched what I’d missed and felt rather confused, like someone was watching me and laughing. I was in a special club consisting solely of me. What is this movie?

Well, I’ve watched it again and —

Snow.

It’s a running gag. It might pay off at the end; it might not.

I have rewatched the film under the title Invasion From Inner Earth. I have seen the closing credits. I know who made the film. I still enjoyed it. I’ve grown a greater appreciation for Bill Rebane’s films over the years and I don’t really know why. This is one of those films where I would love to know the production details.

The sections that do not involve the folks at the cabin seem to be from a different movie. I’d love to know if Mr. Rebane shot the cabin stuff or the other stuff first. Maybe he shot the random scenes (strange interludes) and then lost his funding. So, he went to the cabin with a couple of folks and made the movie, inserting the bits he’d already shot along the way. It certainly is an atypically structured film. The little linking bits and the title tell more about what’s going on than any of the cabin stuff does. Although, they don’t quite match. It’s all UFOs and abduction stories and junk in the linking bits. In the cabin bits, different theories are advanced. They end with the “Inner Earth” theory but nothing is officially decided.

Frankly, the film works better that way. It’s like Monster A-Go-Go except Bill Rebane added the extra footage himself.

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