Back on our old site, there is probably close to a hundred different convention reports, or film fests, and whatnot. I used to post on those religiously, but after doing so many, it started to become tiresome because a lot of them started to sound the same. As well as some of the shows becoming more and more overpriced autograph shows, it was getting even hard to not be negative all the time. There are a ton of photos posted of many different celebrities that we’ve seen over the years. I thought about bringing them over to the new site, but haven’t completely decided on that just yet. But there are a few that I will be bringing over, such as this one, mainly because this is quite different than most of the conventions and film fests that I’ve been do over the last 20 years. Hope you enjoy!
I don’t remember the exact date, but it was early in 2005, but I remember calling my good friend Eric Ott with some exciting news. I had known Eric for maybe 10 years, and had never known anybody that was a bigger fan of the work on Wisconsin filmmaker Bill Rebane than him. Most notably for making The Giant Spider Invasion (1975), but Rebane had directed about 10 films throughout his career. Eric was always on the lookout for VHS tapes of his movies, as well as posters, and any other material from his work, even scoring some 16mm prints over the years. So when I read online that in Madison, Wisconsin, there was going to be an actual Bill Rebane Film Festival, and that Mr. Rebane himself was going to be there, I quickly called Eric to tell him that no matter what he had planned on May 7th, he was going to have to cancel it. Because we were going to make a road trip up to Madison for this.
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.
Regulars to the Krypt not only know of my love for Turkey movies, but especially when they come from Wisconsin and involve a giant spider that has been made out of a Volkswagen beetle. It just boggles the mind when a movie like Bill Rebane’s The Giant Spider Invasion not only gets a blu-ray edition, but a 2-disc edition with a ton of extras, including a new documentary by the talented Daniel Griffith. But it is all true.
VCI Entertainment will be unleashing this Rebane’s monstrous arachnid, The Giant Spider Invasion next month on June 6th. It will feature the new documentary Size Does Matter! Making of The Giant Spider Invasion which is probably the thing that I’m looking forward to the most. Below is all the other extras included on this special edition. Some of it looks like it might have been filmed back at the Bill Rebane Film Fest that took place in Madison, WI, back in 2005, which I was honored to be in attendance. So it will great to see that being archived.