When a military establishment is attacked by a huge swarm
of African killer bees, scientist Crane leads the fight to
combat the threat before it reaches Houston. However, that's
easier said than done when the bees act with an intelligent
hive mind, and thwart each attempt to stop them. Meanwhile
the swarm is growing in size...
more big names than you can shake a script at, you would expect
a good film with strong performances. Wouldn't you? The first
third is instantly forgettable; the plot crawls along on its
hands and knees, pleading for some life to be pumped into
it, and the dialogue is stilted as if nobody quite knows what
to do with themselves.
when you begin to despair, the pace picks up. Richard Widmark
stomps up and down trying to look important, and Michael Caine,
sounding exactly as he does in every other film, finally gains
a purpose. You just long for him to say, "You're only supposed
to blow up the bloody bees!"
slow motion swimming impressions seen when the bees attack
the first small town is hilarious. Richard Chamberlain goes
one step further with his Saturday Night Fever disco
dance when the bees find their way into a nuclear power station.
Although comical, it's also sad; Chamberlain is a marvellous
actor woefully under-utilised here.
is the second movie in succession I have reviewed where flame-throwers
have come into play. In this one, it is decided by officialdom
to set Houston ablaze after it has been evacuated and the
bees have arrived. Budgetary restraints means this consists
of a dozen men torching a single car and waving the flame-throwers
aimlessly in the air. When the bees infiltrate the Houston
building in which our heroes lie, the flame-throwers are again
brought into action, this time inside, causing pandemonium
as people are accidentally set ablaze and, in their panic,
bump into others, so spreading the conflagration. I didn't
know whether to laugh at this scene or be horrified.
a nice little scene between Caine and Fonda about beer and
pizza, but most of the film's dialogue is cringe-worthy and
inspires laughter for the wrong reasons. "Can we really count
on a scientist who prays?" a character enquires of Widmark.
"I wouldn't count on one who doesn't," is the reply. Apparently
the movie had a dialogue coach; I'll bet it was a 32-seater.
seem to be giving the impression The Swarm is unworthy
of consideration, when that's really not the case. It's just
that with director Irwin Allen's pedigree of The Poseidon
Adventure and The Towering Inferno, you can't help
wondering how much better it might have been.
piece de resistance comes when the final credits roll. A disclaimer
in case the honey bee wants to take the film makers to court
for defamation of character: "The African killer bee portrayed
in this film bears absolutely no relationship to the industrious,
hardworking American honey bee to which we are indebted for
pollinating vital crops that feed our nation." How about that
for political correctness before its time!
this item online
compare prices online so you get the cheapest
(Please note all prices exclude P&P - although
Streets Online charge a flat £1 fee regardless
of the number of items ordered). Click on the
logo of the desired store below to purchase
All prices correct at time of going to press.