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 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 »
Helena says they saw dead bee-covered soldiers outside, but no dead soldiers were in evidence earlier when the recon team enter the missile base. See more »
[as helicopters drop special sound-emitting floats to attract the swarm to its doom]
Won't the noise of the helicopters drown out your sound?
No. It's an entirely different sonic level.
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Disclaimer in closing credits: The African killer bee portrayed in this film bears absolutely no relationship to the industrious hard-working American honey bee to which we are indebted for pollinating vital crops that feed our nation. See more »
This was the last of the disaster films produced by crowd panic expert Irwin Allen, his most famous being The Towering Inferno. When I was watching this again recently I realized the plot was almost identical to Outbreak, the mid nineties disaster film centered around disease control experts dealing with much the same issue; namely how do you contain the risk to public health while gun ho military nuts want to just nuke everything instead? In the end this film splits the difference. I do like how it points out how keenly important bees are to human existence.
The acting is good. Michael Caine is his usual gravelly best, while Katherine Ross is the one weak point although to be fair, she didn't have much of a role to work with. Her character should have been the moral force fighting against military insanity. This subplot is handled by Caine's character. I wonder if his agent forced a change there. Either way it renders Ross' character into being just the walk on love interest, although admittedly this was made in the seventies so what else do you expect for that time period. Speaking of which the swarm of African bees eventually start being called "The Africans" continually. The Africans are coming to get us etc. A tad uncomfortable to hear. Owing to the time it was made too, its pace may be slower for today's taste.
It also includes notable aging stars; Slim Pickens (the yahooing nutcase riding the bomb down in Dr. Strangelove), Henry Ford, Jose Ferrer, Richard Widmark, Richard Chamberlain and legendary centarian Olivia de Havilland.
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