, , , , , ,


“What can I do?”

One of the side benefits of this project is it gets me out of my usual ‘rotation’ of MST3K episodes and viewing ones I rarely watch.  The Deadly Bees is one of those episodes.  It is a strong episode, but seems to have limited access at times.  I try to watch an ep 1-3 times before watching the unriffed version.  I’ve been overloading on The Deadly Bees the past few days.  I needed to give this one an extra spin or two.  I can only imagine how many times I’ll have to give Space Travelers to remember the riffing.

I think the main reason is I skip by this one is I confuse the title with Invasion of the Bee Girls, I don’t know why.  Something to do with bees, because they are nowhere near each other in other respects.  I look for 70’s style sirens and a Mid-60’s Brit thriller seems like such a letdown.

I do remember a spate of ‘killer bee’ movies in the 1970’s, but this apparently wasn’t one of them.

Whose Afraid of Virgina Woolf? meets The Birds via Scooby-Doo.  There is a fine line between clever and stupid, and this one spun out of control early and never got on track.  And at such a languid pace.  Being out of control should be at least exciting.  Another unlikeable group of people, all miserable and doing their best to make everyone else miserable.  Vicki (Suzanna Leigh) Robbins is an ok ‘curious outsider’ but no one else gives much.  The best performance is from the announcer of the Television show.

Did you know the pub owner was the constable?

Not a whole lot cut for the MST3K version.  Nothing that would help the movie out at least.  Two extended scenes cut for the SOL are Manfred at the pub sowing seeds of doubt about Hargrove and Manfred teaching Vicki about the ‘new species’ of bees he found.  Both didn’t really add anything.  A chunk of time setting up the inquest, with a sidebar with the two ministry officials doing a crossword, was also cut.  They just made the movie longer and this movie didn’t need to be any longer.

It is like Hargrove travels by jump cuts from the Pub to the beehive fire.

Given the era this movie was made, these are some of the worst effects I’ve ever seen.  At least paint the flies to look like bees.  The ‘swarm’ footage is laughable.

With the nightmare sequence and the mad villain confession sequence, we have to watch this movie twice!  The lack of adherence to any kind of real time frame or internal consistency makes it even harder to look past the other flaws in the movie.

Obligatory mention of Ronnie Wood playing guitar for the Birds in the opening.

Just think, the Ministry guys are there only to set up the unfunny bowler man joke.  Manfred isn’t the kind of killer to send letters to the police, he just wants his limited revenge or whatever.  I’d rather have rock climbing for padding than an overlong poorly told joke.

This is a movie which doesn’t need help looking foolish.

Watchabilty: 1 of 5.  Dull, dull, dull.  This could be a passable thriller, an exotic murder weapon, cat and mouse games, snooping around with cameras.  No life at all from any of the actors a real waste of an idea.  Dreadful.

Missing the Riffs: 1 of 5.  Really this movie was made for MST3K: poorly done in almost every way.  There is really nothing enjoyable about this movie without the riffs.