Ha ha!

You certainly never know what movie he'll review next!

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Burl reviews Invasion From Inner Earth! (1976)



BURL HERE. WHAT IS YOUR LOCATION. Ha ha, yes, it’s me, Burl, and that was me doing my impersonation of the alien voice heard over the ham radio in the picture I’m reviewing for you today, Invasion From Inner Earth! It’s not likely that you’ve seen this one, but it’s my hope that this review will be read by a certain sort of person, that special sort of person, the kind of person who’ll be drawn to tracking the picture down, and, upon watching it, declare it “really something remarkable,” and themselves better for having done so!

It’s a Bill Rebane picture, and for some folk that will be all they need to know! (Ha ha, I know the opening credits say it was directed by “Ito,” but trust me, this is a Rebane movie!) It was the first Rebane movie I ever saw, and it really made a mark! I saw it way back when VCRs were expensive and rare, and my pal Dave’s family had one, but nobody else in my circle did! So it was Dave’s job to tape all the interesting-sounding movies that played late at night, and then we would watch them the next day!

Invasion From Inner Earth was such a title, ha ha! We watched the whole thing, waiting for the part where the actual invasion would take place, but instead what we got was a crushing disappointment! It was just a bunch of people stuck in the woods of Northern Manitoba (though of course the picture was filmed in Wisconsin), talking about their predicament! We thought it was the most boring thing ever filmed, and the ending baffled us!

Recently I thought I ought to give the movie another chance! I’d seen several Rebane pictures in the interim, movies like The Demons of Ludlow, The Alpha Incident, and of course The Capture of Bigfoot! (I’ve still never made it all the way through The Cold, ha ha!) I was especially looking forward to the moment I remember where a dr*nken bearded fellow (played by Paul Bentzen from The Devonsville Terror) talks about “All the furry forest creatures” and then does a crazy “thpthpthpthp” thing with his lips!

Well, that moment was certainly there! And the movie was just as chat-heavy as I remember, but here’s the crucial difference: I wasn’t bored! At least, not very! The plot goes like this: a sister and brother who live way out in the snowy woods and run some sort of fishing lodge are hosting three scientific type guys who are conducting some sort of research! Meanwhile, panic has broken out in town, and drifts of red smoke are menacing the population! We also see two UFOs, one which looks like it’s been sculpted out of clay by Walter Paisley and another which appears to be two paper plates stapled together!

Well, pretty quickly our characters are cut off from civilization! They get warned away from landing their small plane by a lurching individual who’s got some kind of alien sickness, ha ha! They fly back to the lodge and talk about what might be going on, and occasionally a disaffected voice will come on over the radio and ask them their location! Ha ha, it’s clearly aliens! The aliens have some sort of red spotlight which can appear and do anything from travel across the walls to blow up model planes! Eventually the last two surviving people are transformed into loincloth-wearing children, who scamper off across a field!

I’ll wrap this review up, as it’s already as long as the movie itself! Invasion From Inner Earth is occasionally tedious, poorly conceived and suffers from all the usual low-budget pitfalls! On the other hand the snowy locations are great, some of the acting is not bad, and the movie is generously sprinkled with touches of the bizarre! I’m going to give Invasion From Inner Earth two radio DJs driven mad from loneliness – even though there’s only one in the movie, which is why he’s so lonely! Ha ha! And I give an extra ha ha to the VHS cover, which makes it look as though the U.S.S. Enterprise is behind it all!

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