Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Invasion of the Bee Girls (1973)

Invasion of the Bee Girls is a staggeringly bad movie, but at least it knows just how bad it is. It’s played purely as campy fun, and on that level it succeeds quite well. Scripted by Nicholas Meyer, who went to to write so quite interesting movies, it has a premise that is so silly you can’t help liking it.

The small town of Peckham is home to a top-secret government research lab, so when a number of scientists die in mysterious circumstances State Department investigator Neil Agar is dispatched to find out what is going on. It turns out that the scientists, and quite a few other male citizens of this community, have died from an excess of sexual excitement.

The local police chief thinks it may be just coincidence, or mass hysteria, and urges the good people of Peckham to stop having sex. But Agar works for the government, so he has a much less far-fetched theory to explain these deaths. What if someone were creating woman-insect hybrids, driven instinctively to kill after mating? Wouldn’t that be a far more logical explanation?

Of course it turns out that he’s correct. With the help of a beautiful (not non-insectoid) female member of the staff of the lab, he sets out to prove his theory. Unfortunately most of those who could assist him fall victim to the dreaded bee girls.

The acting is bad, the plot is ludicrous, the special effects are laughable, and it’s all great fun. At any point in the movie where the plot starts to falter, the female members of the cast start taking their clothes off. Apparently creating a woman-insect hybrid can only be done naked, and to ensure success it is vital that the other insect-women should spend as much time as possible fondling the breasts of the new recruits. And such is their dedication to the cause they don’t hesitate to do so.

It’s all very silly, but it’s so obviously done with tongue planted firmly in cheek that one can’t really do anything but take it in the spirit of high camp zaniness with which it is intended.

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