31 Nights of Horror (#6) | 2017
On this episode of The Nightly Chill:
Cinematico Magnifico continues his search for late-night scares beyond the walls of The Last Video Store on Earth. Tonight, we take a look at the campy and literal b-movie, The Bees!
NOTE: All movies reviewed for “31 Nights of Horror” are currently available to stream in the US via Shudder, a horror-centric streaming service.
As Africanized killer bees spread across South America, American corporations are desperate to make the best of a bad situation by selling the bees’ honey and royal jelly for a premium price.
But when the bees get loose, spreading and mutating across the entire United States, humanity will have to unite if anyone wishes to come out of all this alive in The Bees.
Written and directed by Alfred Zacarias and starring prolific genre actor John Saxon, The Bees is one of the best bad movies you will ever see.
From its atrocious acting, nonsensical plot, painful attempts at action and stunts, and the least convincing special effects this side of an Ed Wood feature, nothing about The Bees should work. It certainly doesn’t do the movie any favors knowing that, in 2017–nearly 40-years after the release of the movie–the decades-long fear of the Killer Bee has, for the most part, proven to be largely unfounded.
And yet there’s something about The Bees that, despite its worst efforts, allows it to be so unwittingly entertaining. The sheer absurdity of every bad line or inept scene of what’s supposed to be terror or the numerous prolonged, hammy fits of conversation makes for a great movie to sit back, take in, and laugh at with a group of friends.
Now, to be clear, this isn’t necessarily a redeeming aspect of the film itself. The movie is bad from top to bottom. Even Saxon’s usually reliable, quality performance gets lost in the flood of stupid dialog, bad ideas, and poor execution.
TO BEE FAIR
Could a better overall movie have been made from the idea of a naturally dangerous but beneficial creature like the bee gaining the desire to attack and kill off humanity? Yes, very much so. And whether or not its sister movie, The Swarm, is that movie is entirely up for debate.
But I don’t think a more entertaining movie could ever come from it.
Because it’s in the stylized, passionate failing that is The Bees that provides such a fun experience. A good story with passable acting would have, perhaps, resulted in a much more dull, too-serious for its own good final product. The movie’s inherent message of “man destroying the environment for the sake of profit” certainly would have come across as far too preachy.
If nothing else, The Bees stands as a testament to the sheer amount of entertainment to be had so long as filmmakers have the necessary creativity and passion to overcome a lack of budget or inherent talent.
So should you and your friends find yourself in the need of a good laugh more than a good scare, The Bees is definitely the movie you should CHILL with and laugh at.