The Alpha Incident

The Alpha Incident is a 1977 American Science-Fiction-Dramatic-Thriller film directed by Bill Rebane. The film is also known as The Alien Incident in Belgium (English video title).

A microorganism from Mars, brought to Earth by a space probe, terrorizes passengers in a railroad office. A space probe returns to Earth from Mars, carrying with it a deadly organism which has the lethal potential to destroy all life on Earth. Being transported across country by train, the micro-organism is released when a nosy train employee inspects the cargo. This results in the entire train station being quarantined. Those who happen to be trapped wait for the government to find a cure, while trying not to fall asleep because that’s when this unseen killer strikes.

Bill Rebane: if you know him, you know The Giant Spider Invasion. And if you know The Giant Spider Invasion, you most likely know the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 version, with its running commentary of good-natured mocking. While it’s certainly true that Rebane’s work, Spider Invasion in particular, is a treasure trove of ridicule-friendly horror, the man should not be dismissed as a mindless moviemaking hack. He may have routinely lacked for funds, but a thorough examination of his output shows a man with an obvious fascination with fantastic tales, and a fierce determination to bring those tales to life. Whether that determination led to relying on hokey special effects or dialogue heavy screenplays, Rebane found a way, time and again, to tell his stories. And that’s what makes Rebane’s films resonate, despite their obvious shortcomings: they are his films. They are labors of love, filled with a charming purity that can only be achieved by an independent artist following his vision. On Sundays this month we’ll take a look at four features from this low-budget auteur from Wisconsin.

Runtime: 1h 35min
Director: Bill Rebane
Writer: Ingrid Neumayer (original screenplay)
Stars: Ralph Meeker, Stafford Morgan, John F. Goff

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