Horror History: Bill Rebane

rebaneBill Rebane
Born Feb. 8th, 1937

If you’ve heard of Bill Rebane, it is probably due to his movie 1975 epic The Giant Spider Invasion. But that is a good start if you haven’t heard of him. Rebane made quite a few lower budgeted films, all made in Wisconsin, usually at his Shooting Ranch Studio, a full fledge film production studio that not only made several feature films, but tons of commercials, industrial films, and much more.

Rebane arrived in the US in 1952 at the age of 15, coming from Estonia. While he speaks 5 languages, he learned to master the English language by watching American movies, which helped fuel his love for the cinema. He started his media career at WGN-TV in Chicago, working his way up from the mailroom to eventually executive producer.

In the late ’60s, he started his film ranch in Wisconsin which would be the first full-time feature film studio in the Midwest, which ran for over 30 years. During those years, he made such films as Rana: The Legend of Shadow Lake (1975), The Alpha Incident (1978), The Capture of Bigfoot (1979), and The Demons of Ludlow (1983), and even a few more.

While his films might not be the best made films, they are usually entertaining, even if in a MST3K sort of way. And he made the most entertaining giant spider movie ever made! So for that fact alone, everyone should know and remember who Bill Rebane is.

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