April 5, 2020

Killer B-Movies About Killer Bees

The bees are coming for us! Well, probably not, but that won’t stop these killer bee movies from instilling some fear into you, or maybe some laughter.

Horror movies that center on animals that have turned violent are often called “creature features.” A great example would be the Anaconda film series. 

Often, these movies exist in the larger category of B movies. B movies are low budget motion pictures that tend to be released to mild fanfare.

Creature features and B movies in general tend to be unintentionally funny due to poor filmmaking and acting. This is definitely the case with the movies that have been rounded up here.

Below are a list of killer B movies that just so happen to star killer bees.

The Deadly Bees (1967)

The Deadly Bees was directed by Freddie Francis, who was actually a famous cinematographer who won two Academy Awards for Sons and Lovers (1960) and more notably, Glory (1989). 

Image courtesy of Amazon.com

In 1998, Mystery Science Theater 3000 did a commentary track over the movie. The cast includes Suzanna Leigh, Frank Finlay, and Guy Doleman. 

The plot follows pop star Vicki Robbins (Leigh) who suffers a nervous breakdown when performing one of her songs. To get away from the stress of stardom, Vicki travels to Seagull Island, but soon finds herself in the middle of a vicious rivalry between two beekeepers. 

When you first begin watching, it’s easy to see the movie as a rip-off of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. Ironically, the British band The Birds has a cameo at the beginning of the movie.

Some problems that arise early and constantly recur throughout the movie are the audio editing and duplication of scenes. 

The cuts between the audio clips can be so jarring that it’s almost on par with audio that you would hear in a movie made by high schoolers.

For instance, one moment you can hear the buzzing of bees and then in the next shot, all the audio cuts off and is noticeably replaced with something else.

When the audio is good, it’s good. The movie actually has a decent symphonic score. That’s one of the few things that it has going for it.

The viewer can also notice duplicate scenes. There’s one scene in particular where one of the characters is shaking an escape board full of bees. The same shot is used about four times throughout the movie.

Deadly Invasion: The Killer Bee Nightmare (1995)

Deadly Invasion was directed and written by Rockne S. O’Bannon, who would go on to create the cult science fiction show Farscape

Image courtesy of FOX network.

The movie stars Ryan Phillippe, Robert Hays, and Nancy Stafford. 

The plot centers around an average family living out in the boondocks of California. The community enters into a frenzy when news of killer bees begin to surface.

Everything about the movie feels like an after-school special, except injected with swarms of killer bees. This is definitely reminiscent in the dialogue.

The dialogue is spoken in a way as if the characters are actually talking to the audience and not themselves. 

Photo courtesy of FOX Network

A positive aspect of the movie would be some of the camera work. The opening title sequence is comprised of aerial shots that perfectly coincides with the subject matter.

Notable Mentions

Stung (2015)

Tsunambee (2015)

The Savage Bees (1976)

The Swarm (1978)

  • Robert Cumberlander is a staff reporter for The Chimes and a sophomore at Capital University, majoring in Film and Media Production with a minor in Entrepreneurship.

Leave a Reply