The Deadly Bees (1967)

Genres - Horror  |   Sub-Genres - Natural Horror  |   Release Date - May 19, 1967 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 123 min.  |   Countries - United Kingdom   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

"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, clich├ęd 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.