Wednesday, 4 January 2012

I watch movies so you don't have to #7 - Invasion Of The Bee Girls (1973) - contains spoilers and some nudity

Invasion Of The Bee Girls (1973)
Directed by: Denis Sanders
Starring: William Smith, Anitra Ford, Victoria Vetri

Yup, that's right. The title says it all, really. Invasion Of The Bee Girls. Is it a metaphor? It can't possibly be about bee girls, right?


It certainly is about bee girls...but not your average kind. Oh no, we're talking sex-crazed, killing machine bee girls!

So, let's start from the beginning.

We start off in the small town of Peckham, California, where a motel cleaner stumbles upon the corpse of Professor Grubowski, one of the town's leading scientists.

Aaaargh! A corpse!

The local law enforcement team gets on the case. The autospsy result suggests that Grubowski died from extreme exhaustion. One witness describes hearing a buzzing sound around the time of death, but dismissed it as static from a television set.

But, we know the title, right? Surely, buzzing equals bees! Bee girls!

Anyway, it becomes clear that this is beyond the small local team and a big shot agent from the State Department of Security is sent over.

Neil Agar(William Smith)is our man and he gets to work.

But, before he can even start there's another death in the town. And the cause this time? Heart attack again!

Agar goes to some big library to have a word with Julie Zorn, Professor Grubowski's co-worker (and co-author on some big report on geological warfare...yup, serious stuff), to see if she can shed some light on his death.

Turns out Julie was the last person to see the Professor alive. They had dinner the night he was murdered.

Change of scenery...a couple on a mototcycle, riding along a very pretty road.

They decide to get naked...

...and passionately tumble down a grassy hill...

...then we hear that buzzing noise, the guy dies and the girl calmly walks off...

Hmmm...but, before we can even digest what just happened, we're at a frat party where a frisky young couple retires to a bedroom. They're just about to get down to business, when the girl sits down on the bed...

...and there's another corpse!

That night, unaware of recent events and the increasing bodycount, some colleagues of the Professor discusses his demise in a bar and how it might not be the worst way to die.

"Just think about it. Coming and going at the same time"

Meanwhile, Professor Grubowski's wife, Gretchen, receives a mysterious phone call.

They caller claims to have known her late husband very well and wants to meet. Gretchen agrees.

Later on Agar joins the men in the bar and is introduced to Dr Susan Harris, a leading scientist in town.

She looks mysterious....and why is she wearing sun glasses? Hmmmm.

The next day Agar goes to see a doctor...only to find him dead in the lab....and naked!

More deaths....and we find out that Susan Harris is involved somehow...she seduces a police officer and we hear that buzzing sound again.

Soo...eight deaths. It's time to hold a town meeting. Captain Peters gives the townfolk a bit of a rundown of recent events....ooh...and Susan Harris is in the audience.

So far they have identified three points of uniformity:

1. All the victims have been men
2. All the men have been residents of Peckham
3. They've all died by overexhaustion in the act of sexual intercourse

"Let me put it this way to public, civic and religious leaders of this community. I must stress the importance of total, I repeat total, sexual abstinence"

This speech doesn't go down so well with the men of the town.

So, the film is starting to drag a little....come on...I want to see bee girls in action!

Agar and Julie Zorn share a kiss. He needs to make an important call and asks her to wait in the car. On her way there she's attacked by a group of men.

Luckily, Agar gets there in time and saves the day...he's a pretty good fighter.

As recommended by Agar during his important phonecall, the town is put under immediate military quarantine. The military arrives and sets up roadblocks. Nobody is allowed to leave or enter!

Susan Harris seduces a fellow doctor.

"I'll cook you up something extra special"

I'm not quite sure where the connection was drawn between current events and the mating rituals of insects, but while Susan Harris is at home with her "victim", Neil Agar and Julie Zorn watch a documentary about insects.

"Examples of the female killing the male during mating are numerous in the insect world"

Susan gets undressed and straddles the man...we hear that familiar bee sound...and the man dies...his last moments captured in bee POV!

The following day Agar goes to have a word with Susan Harris. She is very busy with "an important experiment", but agrees to help. He wants to know how many times a queen bee mates.

She replies:

"Only once and only to reproduce. Once accomplished, she never mates again"

Agar leaves and she returns to her experiment.

This is when it starts getting intersting....finally!

It turns out Harris is the mystery caller and is luring the widows of the murdered men into her lab, where she performs acientific experiments on them. It's all very scientific...yup...

First, the ladies are sedated using a gold bee...

...then they're stripped and put in a glass chamber...

...Harris mans the super computer...

...the lab is prepared for the radiation beam thing...

...there's some blue light...probably the radiation...

...the victim is covered in some white goo...

...Harris pushes more blinking buttons on that ADVANCED computer...seriously, I loooove old computers in movies...

...they put on some more goo...

...lock the glass chamber and fill it with bees...

...and Voila! Another bee lady has been created, with crazy bee eyes and all! amazing is that. This five minute scene is reason enough to watch this movie.

After a succesful transformation...all the bee girls start touching themselves...some celebratory thing, I suppose...a job well done.

Back to (boring) normality. Agar is at factory where another body has been found. Captain Peters goes to see Nora Kline, widow of the last victim.

He doesn't quite get the expected reaction when he tells her about her husband's demise. She tries seducing him.

"No, stay! Keep me company in my time of need!"

She's already one of them!

Peters manages to leave...and just as he does, we hear the sound of bees and see that she has the crazy bee eyes!

Neil Agar has a big important meeting with some doctors, in order to find out more about genetic mutations. It turns out that Norsted (Susan Harris' boss) had been doing some mutation experiments with bees.

The experts manage to shed some light on the situation...

"If this mutation, on the nergy level we're talking about, did should be detectable by a photosensitive gamma count synthesizer"

Ahh...that old chestnut!

Later on it's time for Professor Grubowski's funeral.

All the widows/bee girls are present.

Luckily, Julie brought her gamma counter gizmo.

The bee girls sense that something is going on.

Wow...the tension is's almost unbearable, right?

Julie's back at work...

...when Susan Harris arrives and invites her over to the lab...

"It'll be safe. After all, you're a woman"

Julie follows...and guess what!

It's a trap...she's next in line to be turned into a bee girl!


...they start the procedure...

...luckilly, Agar has it all figured out by now and he runs over to the lab!

He shoots at the plugs and computers...

...shoots some more...

...grabs Julie...'s pretty chaotic...computers exploding all over the place...

...bee girls dying...

...but he manages to get out and watches the carnage through the window...

All done? Well...almost...a bit of a wrap-up. Captain Peters isn't quite sure what the motivation behind it all was.

"What Dr Harris didn't realise was that the radiation caused them to be, as a consequence they were endlessly driven to repeat the mating cycle"


We finish with Agar and Julie finally getting some private time together....on her bed...

...but something is not quite right...indicated by the music...

...and we zoom in on some bees by the window!

Wow! That's it.

I must say, I struggled with this one for a number of reason, many of which weren't necessarily the film's fault. I was watching a shitty copy, where the audio was several seconds out of sync for most of the movie. As you can see from the screenshots, the picture quality wasn't that great either...but I soldiered on. a's pretty fun, in an obviously very trashy and crap way. It really drags in places and doesn't make much sense most of the time but there are a few scenes in there that really stands out and makes it worth watching.

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