Directed By: Alfredo Zacarias
Starring: John Saxon, John Carradine, Angel Tompkins, Claudio Brook
Synopsis: Africanized killer bees threaten mankind, or is it the other way around?
Man versus nature. It’s a common theme in many horror movies. Some of the best, even. The Bees is not one of the best, but for some reason, I enjoyed the hell out of it. Honestly, I can’t put my finger on it, because it’s pretty formulaic and overly preachy at times. Maybe it’s John Saxon and John Carradine, because both are awesome. Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve got a soft spot for Vinegar Syndrome, because they too, are awesome. I love that they release movies that just about no other company will touch. Whatever it was, I was happy to pick this one up.
The gist of the movie is that killer bees are making their way up from South America, doing what you would expect killer bees to do. Mankind, in all of their wisdom, uses science to figure out how to combat the bees in an attempt to save the day. Of course, we jack it up, pissing off the bees, and causing them to mutate into an intelligent colony with a message to mankind; “Stop fucking up the planet, or we will end you.” Although this pushes an environmental message, it is very interesting how far ahead of its time it is. It’s no secret that our species isn’t real careful with our planet, but it’s also interesting that bees happen to be one of the creatures that are suffering the most.
The Bees stars two of the genres long-standing workhorses in Saxon and Carradine, which makes a significant difference in the quality of this movie. Without them, I think this would have fallen even more to the wayside. Although they are the heavyweights, the acting is pretty solid throughout. I laughed my ass off at the Jimmy Carter impersonator, but Gerald Ford is actually in the movie (although a stock clip from a parade).
If you’re a fan of creature flicks or B movies, you should check this out, and if you don’t support Vinegar Syndrome, you should. What they do is important. They don’t release blockbusters or even genre headliners, but they give releases to titles that would likely be lost without them, including horror, exploitation, and even some good old 70s and 80s porn. Hit them up at vinegarsyndrome.com or at your local horror convention.