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Corporate smuggling of South American killer bees into the United States results in huge swarms terrorizing the northern hemisphere. A small team of scientists work desperately to destroy ... See full summary »
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Killer bees from South America have been breeding with the gentler bees of more northern climes, slowly extending their territory northward decade after decade. Entomologist Brad Crane has discovered that something is making them come together in huge, killer swarms. He wants to keep the General Slater from using military tactics from further upsetting the balance of nature as they join to try to stop the swarms from approaching Houston. Written by
José Ferrer appeared in this film as the director of a nuclear power plant as a favor to producer/director Irwin Allen. Ferrer did his scenes all in one morning by just walking across the Warner Bros. lot from the soundstage where he was filming The Amazing Captain Nemo (1978), a CBS mini-series that he was also making for Allen. See more »
When the passenger train is attacked by the swarm, Engineer Ned leans on the (mock-up) automatic brake handle which should have applied the emergency brakes, but instead the train accelerates. See more »
Typical Irwin Allen - So It's Not Great But It Is Campy Fun
You have to admit that Irwin Allen was the master of disaster back in the 70's - in quantity if not in quality. "The Swarm" is a pretty typical Irwin Allen disaster movie - meaning that, while it's not exactly a classic, it's generally good fun. Most of the performances here are pretty good - to be expected since there's a galaxy of pretty big names in this, including the likes of Michael Caine, Henry Fonda, Fred MacMurray and Patty Duke. Yes, there's a couple of dud performances. Katharine Ross as Helena struck me as having as much passion as a fish, but overall the performances were OK. The effects were pretty good - particularly the depictions of those under attack by the bees, but for some reason a couple of totally unnecessary romantic subplots were put in.
The story was OK. A giant swarm of African killer bees attacks a military base and then descends on a nearby small town in Texas. The battle between the military and scientists over who would control the fight against the bees is quite realistic, and the movie does keep building to a real sense of hopelessness as the swarm descends upon Houston.
I enjoyed this. No, it's not a masterpiece. From other reviews I've seen, I had the misfortune to watch the almost two and a half hour directors' cut. Apparently the theatrical version is far more compact at a bit under two hours. The directors' cut does seem to include a lot of unnecessary material.
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