Bill Rebane, ‘The Giant Spider Invasion’ featured in Merrill exhibit

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MERRILL – Just in time for Halloween, the Merrill Historical Society will pay homage to a Wisconsin filmmaker who produced strange, kitschy and thoroughly entertaining B-movies.

The grand opening of the exhibit, “Bill Rebane’s Hollywood Midwest,” will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Merrill Historical Society, 100 E. Third St.

After the opening event, Merrill’s Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary will host a free showing of two of Rebane’s films at the Northwoods Veterans Post, 601 Johnson St.Rebane’s most famous film, “The Giant Spider Invasion,” will show at 1 p.m. “Twister’s Revenge” will be screened at 3 p.m.

The exhibit will feature archived materials and memorabilia from Rebane’s producing career. Included in the materials will be one of the original giant spiders from “Spider Invasion,” recreated in its original state. The showpiece will underscore how Rebane created special effects and outlandish creatures before the digital age offered computer-generated graphics.

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