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Killer Bees & Swarms



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The Deadly Swarm (2003)

"Hoping to save his ailing wife, Jacob Schroeder (Shane Brolly, Underworld) travels into the Amazon rainforest to capture wasps whose venom might hold the cure. But when the lethal cargo is lost in a plane crash, Jacob must find it before the wasps go on a killing spree".
Kaarina Aufranc co-stars.
In this TV-movie from the SciFi Channel/USA Network, it’s a swarm of deadly wasps on the rampage against a no-name cast of characters. "A Chicago electrician stumbles through a portal to a parallel Earth where human survivors battle ravenous spider-human hybrids and a monstrous spider-woman, who wants to feed on our own Earth". Richard Grieco (21 Jump Street, Booker) and Kate Greenhouse (Roswell: The Aliens Attack) star.
Here’s the official SciFi Channel websites: www.scifi.com/deadlyswarm (promo picture only, no text or complete cast info) and www.scifi.com/webs (complete description & cast list)
Not to be confused with Irwin Allen’s disastrous movie, I mean disaster movie, of 25 years earlier:

The Swarm (1978)

Promoted at the time as being based on SCIENCE FACT, about cross-bred African killer bees making their way north from Latin America, attacking animals and a handful of people, and based on Arthur Herzog’s well-researched, low-key novel of the same name (1974). Gene Wright says in “Science Fiction Image” (1983),
“But after the scriptwriters swarmed over the novel, what was left was a ravaged field of empty gestures – a standard monster movie whose idea of an ecological disaster was to sting several of Hollywood’s biggest names and make them scream.”
The Hollywood Hall of Shame by Harry and Michael Medved:
“I never would have dreamed it would turn out to be the bees!” says a beleaguered Michael Caine in this unintentionally hilarious disaster movie. “They’ve always been our friends!” Schlockmeister Irwin Allen certainly hoped that the popular insects would be his friends; he planned to use them in this sloppy end-of-the-world fantasy to make box office honey but found himself badly stung instead. Neither the presence of Caine, Henry Fonda, Katherine Ross, Richard Chamberlain, Jose Ferrer, Slim Pickens, and Fred MacMurray nor the fact that the inept action begins as a small town flower festival could remove the pervasive stink from this project. Warner Brothers planned the broadest release pattern in the studio’s history, with the bumbling bees invading a record number of theatres across the country. After a production budget of $13 million and an additional $8 million spent on advertising, the movie’s $10 million gross proved a major disappointment.
© 1984 Harry and Michael Medved. All rights reserved. More recent movie reviews are on the official website: MichaelMedved.com
The special effects are so cheap that when the killer bees attack an Amtrak passenger train, somehow making it derail and go tumbling down a hillside, you almost expect to see the Lionel name on them. Hard to believe this one came from the producer of the excellent Towering Inferno (1974, about firefighters going into America’s tallest building to try and save the people inside from disaster. Steve McQueen played the fire chief)
Cast of “The Swarm” includes:
Michael Caine of MonsterVision movies The Hand and Jaws the Revenge
Katherine Ross, the mom in American Graffiti spinoff “Happy Days”
Richard Widmark, Henry Fonda, Richard Chamberlain, Olivia de Haviland, Fred MacMurray, Lee Grant, Jose Ferrer, and Ben Johnson (being from another planet, he didn’t know what he was getting into I guess)
116 minutes, rated “BOMB” by Leonard Maltin

The Bees (1978/79)

John Carradine of “Billy The Kid Vs. Dracula” and John Saxon (the bad guy of Enter The Dragon) starred in this low-budget version of “The Swarm,” but why?
In this version, a greedy corporation brings the Africanized killer bees to America to market their honey, but they escape and terrorize anyone who paid good money to watch it in a theater.

The Deadly Bees (1967 British)

A beekeeper trains his giant bees to kill people he doesn’t like. Based on “A Taste For Honey” by H.F. Heard and apparently filmed darkly in darkovision with lots of dark shadows for a dark effect.
Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode 905 host segments for “The Deadly Bees” from 5-9-98

The Deadly Mantis (1957)

A giant killer “incredible preying mantis” (the British release title) from prehistoric times revives in the Arctic and heads south to attack New York City. Not even Air Force bombs can stop the creature, which is eventually cornered in a tunnel with poison gas. Clifford Stine used mattes and macrophotography of a real live mantis, though the effect worked better in his previous monster movie “Tarantula” (1955)
Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode 804 host segments 2-22-97 for “The Deadly Mantis”

Invasion of the The Bee Girls (1973)

It may sound like a spoof, but somebody actually made this R-rated flick in which radiation spawns a swarm of insect women. But instead of stinging people to death like any self-respecting drive-in bee monster movie, these bimbos seek out men to have sex with and do it 'til the men are dead. You won't recognize any names in the credits except writer Nicholas Meyer, who went on to write the modern Sherlock Holmes movie The Seven Percent Solution (1976) starring Laurence Olivier (Clash Of The Titans), Robert Duvall, Alan Arkin and Jeremy Kemp. But Nicholas Meyer is even better known as the director of Star Trek 2: The Wrath Of Khan

The Deadly Tower (1975)

No mutant bugs - Kurt Russell’s first movie as an adult was this one, based on a true story, about a guy who went psycho and began shooting people from a University of Texas tower in 1966, shooting 46 people of which 13 died. America’s first SWAT team (Special Weapons & Tactics) was formed as a result. “The Deadly Tower” MonsterVision 100% Weird page, with Joe Bob's Mailbag, is on the Deadly Tower page
No relation to the MonsterVision movie Deadly Friend

"Deadly" movies are available on video and on DVD from Amazon.com
Other stuff on bees at Amazon.com

Believe it or not, time didn't run out on Irwin Allen after "The Swarm," though it did in this Medved review with:

When Time Ran Out (1980)

Having already exploited the dramatic potential of burning office buildings, submerged luxury liners, and man-eating bees, producer Irwin Allen eagerly turned his attention to the explosive subject of killer volcanoes. The result featured a malevolent mountain in Hawaii pouring tons of lava over Paul Newman, Jacqueline Bisset, William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Red Buttons, Barbara Carrera, Burgess Meredith, James Franciscus, and Veronica Hamel. Apparently, Allen spent so much on his cast he had nothing left for special effects, which are unbelievably shoddy for a movie that cost $22 million. Much to the producer’s delight, Mount St. Helens thoughtfully contrived to blow its top just in time to publicize the movie’s release, hut not even this unsolicited assist from Mother Nature could coax patrons into their local theatres. When the new picture grossed less than $2 million — following the prior failure of The Swarm, Viva Knievel, and Beyond the Poseidon Adventure — time finally seemed to have run out for Hollywood’s “Master of Disaster.” Most recently Allen has applied his formidable talents to producing TV specials and designing a theme park (“Winter Wonderland”) for Marineland, in Palos Verdes, California.
[Paul Newman's costars included Sheila Allen, the producer's wife, in a performance only topped by Tori Spelling in Aaron Spelling's "Mother, May I Sleep With Danger?"]
Irwin Allen also made Earthquake, a past MonsterVision 100% Weird
But he didn't make Empire Of The Ants...that was Bert I. Gordon
Of course, you can also get bitten by a Skeeter or a Piranha or even Jaws host segments
They thought they killed the shark, only to suffer Jaws: The Revenge
You can even get attacked by Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds

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© Bill Laidlaw. All Rights Reserved. I never would have dreamed it would turn out to be the bees!