The Bees (1978) Poster

(1978)

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The Bees is pretty bad, but a lot of fun to watch.
GC-928 September 1999
O.K. heres the basic plot: we have been poisoning the air for so many years that nature has fought back by sending us KILLER BEES. Now if that doesn't grab you how about this: This film features a swarm of bees addressing the United Nations, as Angel Thompkin's screams "You have to listen! You have to listen (sic) what the bees are trying to tell you!" I really had fun watching this, but I am truly amazed at how bad it is. There are surprising continuity errors. (In one scene hit men shoot a man as he is sitting in a chair. In the next shot, it's a different older chair.) Many of the shot's of the bee swarms look like they are just clouds of smoke. However, Nightmare On Elm Street's John Saxon is in it, and Claudio Brooks gets hit in the head with a rock. All in all I highly recommend it.
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A Honey of a Turkey!
Bolesroor11 June 2003
If you would like to laugh at a truly silly, truly original, truly awful film, then this is the movie for you. I won't lie to you- it's terrible! If you're looking for an evening of suspense and drama go rent JAWS. If you're looking to see a Mexican farmer stung to death by several hundred special-effect bees while shouting for his honey, THE BEES is for you.

It stars the King of the B's himself, John Saxon, as some sort of scientist bee expert. Or something. He and a nearly-attractive blonde try to warn the world about the over-breeding of the killer bee, and the inevitable disasters to come. But those greedy fat cats have only one thing on their minds: Honey. I swear to you I laughed so hard while watching this movie that I choked. If you like B movies, you will love THE BEES!
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10/10
John Carradine has the worst excuse for a German accent that I've ever heard! I love it!
lee_eisenberg25 November 2006
My 10/10 rating assumes that you're ready for some nice, corny, really dumb entertainment, because that's exactly what the lower-than-B-movie "The Bees" provides. Portraying killer bees getting loose and wreaking havoc, it's just plain laughable. If nothing else, the movie should show why John Saxon may be the greatest B-movie actor of the last 40 years. Of course, his co-star John Carradine - doing the lamest excuse for a German accent that I've ever heard - can't really lay claim to being Laurence Olivier either.

Anyway, if the killer bees ever arrive, they ought to go after the people who financed this stinker. It's probably the best example of unintentionally funny.
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5/10
Buzzin' makes me feel good.
Hey_Sweden24 December 2016
"The Bees" is a gloriously awful animal attack thriller marked by some truly incompetent filmmaking, a ridiculous script, and some hilariously insipid acting. The story involves the corporate smuggling of killer bees into America, which causes a massive swarm such as the country has never seen. The scientists desperately trying to solve the problem (John Saxon as the egghead hero, the ravishing Angel Tompkins as his love interest, John Carradine as her German accented father) realize that they're going to have their hands full.

Led by director Alfredo Zacharias ("Demonoid"), the filmmakers here miss any horror in the premise by bungling almost every action scene. Most of the time, the only possible reaction to the goings-on is laughter. Granted, some of the humor *is* intentional - there is an occasional priceless line such as "That's adding incest to injury." When it comes to the insect cast, we have a practical cast of thousands, and regarding the human actors, Saxon gamely tries to look serious, and Carradine is as genial as he's ever been. Mexican icon Claudio Brook appears early on as Tompkins' husband. There's even an appearance by the "President"! Highlights include a good ol' boy hiring kids to procure bees for him so he can treat his rheumatism with bee stings. There's a fair bit of violence and a couple of impressive vehicle crashes. Everything is capped off with a delightfully idiotic music score (composed by Richard Gillis) that completely works against any suspense that Zacharias and company might otherwise have created. The ending is priceless and right in tune with so many other ecologically themed thrillers of the 70s.

Warner Bros., the makers of "The Swarm", went so far as to pay off New World, the American distributors of this flick, to delay their release so the two movies wouldn't be in direct competition.

Five out of 10.
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10/10
The inconvenient truth about killer bees...
simonmills4730 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Spoilers coming-but it really doesn't matter.

Angry bees attack the UN to assert joint control of the world between themselves and mankind. If we don't leave them in peace, they dispose of us. Enough said, except for the fact that the UN bees are entirely different from the set of angry bees that menace mankind in the first half of the film. Frankly this film was a lot more entertaining than "An inconvenient truth", AND it has John Saxon, and John Carradine to boot. The fight between Saxon and the Mexican hit-man (yes, this film has everything) is a real treat.

This film should undoubtedly be on the global school curriculum.
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6/10
"The Bees" must bee seen to bee beelieeved!
weho9006922 July 2007
Warning: Spoilers
"The Bees" is a LOT of fun (but you have to be willing to go along for the ride and NOT take it seriously at all). Kind of a cross between a TV sitcom (like "Three's Company") and Irwin Allen's (also laughable) "The Swarm", remember: it's all just goofy FUN.

John Saxon (the hardest working B (or bee) Movie Actor of the 70s), dishy Angel Tompkins, and John Carradine (looking quite frail as Tompkins uncle "Ziggy" with an utterly fraudulent German accent) form a team of bee experts whose research and chutzpah come to the rescue when huge swarms of killer bees make their way to the United States (via corporate greed), wreaking (laughable) havoc. Humor abounds (both intentional and, more significantly, unintentional). The results are cornball, played to the campy hilt by all involved.

The bee attacks are particularly amusing, underscored by goofy soundtrack music that goes disco at times when the bees get their close-ups. How can anyone not enjoy seeing the Rose Parade in Pasadena upset by an attack of the buzzing fiends? Face it, you WILL be rooting for the bees in this film, cheering them on as they go after the actors.

SPOILER ALERT (AS IF with a movie like THIS!)...That the solution for the bee problem involves using pheromone sprays to confuse the male drone bees, tricking them into mating with each other (essentially turning the bees GAY!), and thereby somehow rendering them sterile (huh???) kicks this one out of the field. But it doesn't stop there...Saxon and Tompkins actually communicate with the bees and reach the United Nations to warn, "You have to listen! You have to listen to what the bees have to say!"

"The Bees" must bee seen to bee beelieeved!

Sure, the bee effects are hokey, but what would anyone honestly expect from a film like this? CGI??? This was 1978!

Worthy of rediscovery, "The Bees" is just good, old, grade-Z, 70s bad-movie fun. Great to heckle (a la MST3K) with a swarm of your best friends. (Liquor (or your vice of choice) is highly recommended. Perhaps toast each bee attack with "the bees knees" (a simple combination of gin plus honey, shaken with ice, strained, and served straight-up) a popular Prohibition-era drink from The Savoy Cocktail Book.)

Screen "The Bees" with any of your favorite bee-themed, B-Movies. Suggestions include: "Invasion of the Bee Girls" with honeys Victoria Vetri and Anitra Ford; Bruce Geller's Emmy- winning "The Savage Bees" TV Movie; "The Killer Bees" starring Kate Jackson and Gloria Swanson (a must-see, if you can find it); or the hypnotic episode titled "Zzzzz" from "The Outer Limits" (original series, of course).

Or -- and this one you should already have thought of yourself -- precede "The Bees" with Hitchcock's "The Birds" and rely on guests' libidos to take the prurient overtones to the next level...(anyone for royal jelly and prophylactics?)

Have a real stinger of an evening!
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So bad its hilarious
Rrrobert6 August 1999
Wow. This must be the funniest bad film of modern times, a real 1970s counterpart of Ed Wood's earlier classics. It features some awful acting and fluffed lines by the unforgettable cast featuring those B-movie veterans John Saxon and John (Star of 97 Mexican cheapies) Carradine, and glamorous starlet Angel Tompkins who apparently failed her "Charlie's Angels" audition and so ended up in this. Fifth billed is super-star Alicia Encinas, who has about four seconds of screen time and speaks one line of dialogue.

Watch out for the most obvious stock-footage ever seen (I mean, how many thousands of times have we seen that plane crashing film?---and how about those terrified-crowd scenes that were obviously filmed sometime in the 1960s), obvious dummies that drift in the breeze and are supposedly impersonating characters jumping from tall buildings, some outrageously bad sequences depicting ordinary citizens being attacked by rampaging bees that are so over-acted they actually do seem like a send-up, and watch out for poor arthritic John Carradine attempting to unbutton his jacket but on realising he wont be able to do it, pretends he was merely sweeping a bit of lint from his suit; I'm sure no one in the audience will ever notice that!

Love that funky and totally inappropriate theme music too! See it with "Demonoid" for maximum laughs.
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8/10
Gloriously ghastly 70's killer bee abomination
Woodyanders19 March 2016
Warning: Spoilers
A strain of killer bees smuggled into America by an evil and unscrupulous corporation threaten to destroy mankind. It's up to a small team of scientists to figure out a way to destroy them before it's too late.

Writer/director Alfredo Zacharias treats the inane premise with sidesplitting misguided seriousness: The copious use of laughably obvious stock footage (look fast for a clip of former President Gerald Ford on a float at the Rose Bowl Parade!), ineptly staged attack scenes, shoddy (far from) special effects, an incredibly inane solution to the problem that involves turning male bees into homosexuals (yes, you read that correctly), and a surreal climax set at a UN meeting complete with a heavy-handed plea for tolerance between humans and bees (!) all add to this hilariously horrendous honey's considerable campy charm. John Saxon tries hard as the stalwart John Norman, Angel Tompkins looks mighty foxy and just barely manages to retain her dignity as the perky Sandra Miller, and John Carradine hams it up shameless as flaky old fudster Dr. Sigmund Hummel (Carradine's uproariously overdone and unconvincing German accent in particular serves as a key source of unintentional belly laughs). The funky-throbbing score by Richard Gillis hits the get-down groovy spot. An absolute cruddy hoot!
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Much of the "zzzzz" noise actually comes from the audience
Wizard-823 February 2003
The idea of a low-budget quickie made to take advantage of publicity surrounding THE SWARM - of all movies! - will undoubtably sound irresistable to many trash fans. However, most of the movie is boring talk, without the campy sight of big-name stars making fools out of themselves or large-scale but silly special effects. And while it's shorter than the full-length cut of THE SWARM (which runs about 2 1/2 hours!), it feels *longer* due to a sluggish pace. Still, the movie has some mirthful moments, the best being the whole segment in the park with the old man and the little boys.
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horrible but quite enjoyable WARNING!!!!!!!!! SPOILERS
callanvass16 July 2004
Warning: Spoilers
horrible flick but is also enjoyable on a B movie level this has a lame score extremely bad dialog and laughable acting except for 2 people John Saxon is good here but too bad his lines suck and he is a horrible movie John Carradine is campy and over the top here but he sure is fun to watch Angel Tompkins is so so and has some ridiculous dialog here overall she was passable in her role and most of these characters are really dumb and this has some really bad bee effects and lots of laughable bee attacks and some hilarious death scenes and more logic lapses then you can think of there are a couple of really funny moments when Saxon delivers a bad speech overall a funny movie but still not worth renting hopefully my other review comes soon it's taking longer then usual * out of 5
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6/10
I like the strange music.
lockbox9291 June 2002
It's truly the best film of all time. It was pretty funny to watch. I'm surprised that Mystery Science Theater didn't get a hold of this!

This isn't giving away anything... but I really love the disco tune that plays whenever someone's getting stung to death.
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1/10
Worst of the worst.
insomniac_rod20 December 2004
I had the misfortune to watch a Spanish dubbed version of this movie. If the performances are horrible, the Spanish dubbing make them even worse! Seriously, the dubbing is laughable! You can't take seriously a movie when Mexican actors try to imitate the Cuban, English, or Arab accent.

Claudio Brook looks creepy every time he appears on screen. I don't know how John Saxon (Dr. John Norman) got involved in this mess and his acting is certainly bad.

The f/x are laughable. Poor production values were used for a movie that intended to be a huge hit.

We shouldn't accept this kind of crap! Probably other people find it amusing because they're not used to this kind of ultra low budget movies. The worst thing about the movie is that it tried too hard to be a decent movie. You can say it failed.

Avoid "The Bees" at all costs!

Not even Mystery Science Theater material.
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Bad but Bad Enough for a Few Laughs
Michael_Elliott3 April 2011
Bees, The (1978)

* 1/2 (out of 4)

It was expected that THE SWARM would be a major hit so this Mexican film was rushed into production to try and cash-in on the others success but when the Irwin Allen film turned out to be a disaster there wasn't any "demand" for a rip so THE BEES has fallen into never land and very few have been brave to dig it up. The "story" involves some African bees that are crossbred with some from Brazil and they turn out to be craving humans and animals. Soon the bees are killing people throughout Brazil and Mexico and soon find their way to America and it's up to three dedicated folks (John Saxon, Angel Tompkins, John Carradine) to destroy the killers. I guess I should add that the major break in killing the bees is to create a special serum that will turn the males into homosexuals and they'll end up attacking one another. I'm not kidding. With that added bit you can tell this sucker is from the 70s and what a poorly produced mess it is. The nature attack genre has given us killer sharks, snakes, whales, bears, frogs and countless other creatures but the bee hasn't been too friendly as quite often its films are very bad. That trend continues with this production, which is just a major joke and you have to feel sorry for the cast members. Thankfully the film is bad enough to where you might find yourself laughing and being entertained by the campiness. As with THE SWARM, the special effects here are just awful with the majority of the bees being "dots" on the screen or some type of item being blown around by a fan. Every once in a while the image of bees are plastered over the footage we're watching but for the most part there's not a bee to be seen. There are several sequences where we see one attack after another and this is where most people are going to get the laughs because the performances are beyond horrid. The funniest has to be one where a woman removes her glasses, wipes them and then puts them back on just in time to see what's getting ready to attack her. Check out the woman in the bathroom who gets stung and then goes into her "death scene", which is bad enough to where many viewers might die from laughter. There's not a single death scene that actually makes on feel for the character or builds up any suspense and that's not a good thing for a film like this. Saxon is clearly bored with the material as he sleepwalks through it but he's always fun to watch. Carradine really hams it up as he's quite often shouting for no reason but this over-the-top performance at least gives us something entertaining to see. Thankfully both Saxon and Carradine have quite a few scenes together so genre fans will at least get to see them. THE BEES isn't the worst movie on the subject but it might just be the dumbest. The political speech at the end is unbelievable and let's not even get started on the other political stuff that works itself into the story.
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EXTREMELY Bad but entertaining all the same WARNING!!!!!!!! SPOILERS!!!!!!
callanvass15 July 2004
Warning: Spoilers
downright laughable but is entertaining on a so bad it's good level it has a lame music score extremely lame dialog laughable effects and the bees look fake at times with lots of laughable moments like when the girl jumps into the water keeps going underwater and says help me help me the acting is bad John Saxon actually comes out of this looking decent too bad his material was awful!!!!!!! i love John Saxon though come back soon!!! Angel Tompkins is so so here and spurts out dumb dialog John Carradine is completely over the top and campy but he is fun to watch plus all the characters are idiots and the effects suck and laughable bee attacks and the death scenes all suck! and that crappy ending where Saxon gets to deliver a bad speech and the ending stinks and leaves many questions unanswered and there is this idiot who actually wants a bee to sting him and there is tons of logic lapses overall horribly made and written but fun if your in the mood for a dumb movie fun don't get me wrong that does not mean this still isn't a lame flick because it is but it is just entertaining * out of 5 but i cannot recommend this unless you are desperate for bad B movies like this
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2/10
Unbelievably Bad
Uriah432 March 2016
Warning: Spoilers
After a brief introduction, this movie begins with a scientist named "Dr. Franklin Miller" (Claudio Brook) and his wife, "Sandy Miller" (Angel Tompkins) working on a project in Brazil to transform African killer bees into a hybrid variety which are less aggressive. However, when a local boy is killed attempting to steal honey from one of the hives, the residents riot and subsequently kill Dr. Miller in the process. As a result, all of his work is temporarily halted. Not long afterward, realizing the destruction that swarms of these killer bees pose for the United States, another scientist named "Dr. Norman" (John Saxon) meets with Sandy Miller in New York and attempts to take up where his colleague had left off. Now rather than reveal any more of this movie I will just say that it began with an interesting premise. Unfortunately, what really hurt this movie overall was the incredibly idiotic ending which has to be seen to be believed. Likewise, some of the disaster scenes were downright laughable as well. That being said, had it not been for the presence of Angel Tompkins, I would have rated this movie even lower than I have—it's just that bad.
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