Killer Bees (1974)

Article 2998 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 7-23-2009
Posting Date: 10-29-2009
Directed by Curtis Harrington
Featuring Edward Albert, Kate Jackson, Gloria Swanson
Country: USA

A young man brings his pregnant girlfriend to his ancestral home, much to the consternation of his family and his domineering grandmother. The girlfriend tries to gain acceptance to the family, but she is troubled by a series of local accidents… and the grandmother’s uncanny relationship with the swarms of bees in the orchard…

I’ve seen a number of killer bee movies already, but I must admit that this modest little take on the theme is perhaps my favorite. It’s less muddled than THE DEADLY BEES, more offbeat than THE SAVAGE BEES or TERROR OUT OF THE SKY, and certainly less silly than THE SWARM. Much of the credit goes to effective performances by Kate Jackson and (especially) Gloria Swanson, who took the role of the family matriarch after Bette Davis was forced to turn it down after being warned by her doctor. I also like the way the movie sets you up for one ending, but has another more effective and less predictable (albeit logical one in its own way) up its sleeve. It’s a bit on the slow side, and, with a rating of 4.4 on IMDB, I know I’m in the minority, but I found this one to be an eerie little winner.


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