"Killer bee" movies are a rather notorious little sub-genre of the horror flick, and while The Deadly Bees is far from the worst of them, it's by no means a winner. Bees could certainly have benefited from a better screenplay. No one expects this kind of film to have Oscar-calibre writing, but one does expect rather more from celebrated author Robert Bloch than the cardboard characters, tired dialogue, clichéd situations and nonsensical plot machinations that one gets in Bees. Even the twist ending is hardly a twist, and hardly worth the effort. The special effects are also on the wan side, with very poor matte effects and some extremely fake-looking bees. Of the cast, Frank Finlay probably comes off best; his performance is by no means great, but he finds the occasional interesting riff to play. Suzanna Leigh looks quite good, but her performance is actively annoying; to be fair, some of this is due to the poor material. And Guy Doleman is, at best, adequate, and often not even that. Freddie Francis has delivered much better -- and much more imaginative -- direction elsewhere, and his pacing is unforgivably poor. There's some nice cinematography, including some good bee's-eye-view shots, but there's little in Bees worth watching.
by Craig Butler review