Archive for the ‘John Saxon’ Tag

The Bees (1978)   2 comments

the bees

A man and his young son break into the South American compound of apiologist (bee guy) Dr. Miller to steal the valuable honeycombs. Ignoring the danger signs, they open a particularly nasty hive of killer bees which overtake them. The next day, the man returns with some friends and his dead son. He blames the scientist for his son’s death because he brought things to the area worth stealing. Despite this flawless logic, Dr. Miller (Claudio Brook) asks the men to leave. The angry mob refuses and, as angry mobs often do, they wreck the place. In the riot that follows the villagers release the bees, die violently, and catch fire. In an effort to retrieve his notes, Dr. Miller dies, but manages to save his wife Sandra (Angel Tompkins) by locking her in a walk-in fridge.

Cut to Sandra in the elevator in John Norman’s (John Saxon) California apartment building. Two muggers attack Sandra in the elevator and immediately open her cosmetic bag. Standard behavior so far. Sandra, a natural beauty, has no need for make-up so in her bag she carries bees. The killer bees run amok and kill the muggers. Sandra emerges from the elevator unscathed since she coos sweetly and bees like that.

She arrives at John’s apartment with her bag half full of bees and never mentions the mugging or the two dead guys in the hall. John and Sandra hit it off right away and make plans to go to John’s lab to look at bees and flirt a lot.

Meanwhile, massive clouds of killer bees form all over the country and leave destruction and death in their wakes. Behind all the mayhem, a large cave of bees hums with activity. It reminds me of scenes in The Haunting in which Robert Wise shows us an event, then cuts to a shot of Hill House to let you know the house sees all — only with bees.

John, Sandra, and Sandra’s uncle Ziggy (John Carradine with an atrocious accent) start working on methods of taming the bees or preventing them from reproducing. It helps that Ziggy (the Bee Whisperer) believes bees use a more sophisticated form of communication than most people think. There’s a cool scene in which Ziggy translates bee dancing. It may have been a bit embellished, but it was still fun.

bees carra

Fighting the scientists, “Big Business” wants killer bees to thrive so they can add them to their huge corporate hive. This would create superbees and a more refined and expensive type of royal jelly. The corporate baddies want to replace the sugar in most consumer products with honey thus becoming honey sheiks and ruling the world and getting all the hot chicks.

To that end, “Big Business” has a politician in its pocket who helps them with the copious bee legislation which crosses his desk. At a hearing before several pols, John outlines his plan to treat the killer bees with a pheromone which will make the drones mate with each other rather than the queen, which breaks up the panel because they have a mental age of seven. They crack a lot of bad gay jokes and say things like “adding incest to injury” and make plans to go get popsicles.

While John speaks in Washington, the bad guys send a couple of guys to off Ziggy. They try to escape after their crime, but the bees have other plans and John returns home to a blood bath in the lab. Worn out from cleaning corpses out of their office, John and Sandra go to bed. John wakes in the middle of the night and begins to make love to Sandra only to find she and he and their bed covered in bees. The lovers manage to extricate themselves from the bedroom because they speak bee.

This was the last straw. John, determined to inform the world about the plight of the bees and the reach of their power and avoid bee-us interruptus again, goes back to Washington to testify before Congress. As he speaks, a cloud of bees enters the room and begins to air their grievances through John.

Alfred Zacharias (The Pearl, Crime of Crimes) wrote and directed The Bees and while it’s not the best B-movie I’ve seen, it is the best bee movie I’ve seen involving John Saxon, hit men, and terrorists wielding jars full of bees. I enjoyed The Bees and it even won an award. Dan Genis won the award for Best Special Effects at the Catalonian International Film Festival. Besides, it was fun. John Saxon always entertains, John Carradine played a fun, quirky character, and I never knew what would happen next.


bees bed


Queen of Blood (1966)   3 comments

Queen of Blood

An alien spacecraft sends a distress call to Earth moments before crash landing on Mars. Since it’s 1990 and the United States has a cadre of rockets at the ready for such an emergency, we send one up to see what all the fuss is about.

“Have you tried wearing it down?”

A crew of five, including John Saxon and DENNIS HOPPER, flies up to Mars to save the day. They find one survivor, a female in a catsuit with a weird tulip hairdo and green skin.

“Sure! Let’s bring her on board. What can happen?”

They decide to bring the alien on their spaceship because that always works out well. Before you can say, “Have you seen my cat?” Tulip Head gets hungry.

“Perhaps a soupçon of O positive before bed?”

Dennis Hopper…let me repeat that, DENNIS HOPPER tries to feed the alien but she won’t eat the weird Soylent Green-like astronaut food offered her. Later we find out why. Her tastes run to liquid nourishment and no one in the crew is safe from her snacking. Instead of killing her or jettisoning her into space, they tie her loosely and try to stay awake.

“Is there a Dunkin’ Donuts around here?”

As you might have guessed, she gets out and let’s just say, her efforts leave a few empty bunks in the crew’s quarters.  They still don’t kill her though because science (Basil Rathbone!) needs to study her and, oh crap, she laid eggs.

“Game over, man.”

Director, Curtis Harrington made some nifty films for American International Pictures like Night Tide and Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet. He also wrote Queen of Blood and a number of other screenplays. You don’t have to look too closely to find connections between this film and a couple later, more famous science fiction favorites. This is a fun one.

“Put. The alien. Back.”

30 Years On: 1984 a Great Year for Movies

A Review of one of the Great Years in American Cinema

Atomic Flash Deluxe

Scout's 20th Century Flash

Paula's Cinema Club

"Tiny little pieces of time they'll never forget"

Silver Screen Classics

From the Silents To Film Noir and everything in between

Realweegiemidget Reviews Films TV Books and more

You can take the girl out of Glasgow. Entertainment Reviews from a Wee Scottish Wife and Stepmum living in Finland.

CrazyDiscoStu - A Nerd Blog

A Blog For The Modern Geek - Lifestyle, News, Reviews, Film/Tv, Gaming, Tech, Music, Opinions, Culture, Craft Beer.


Our opinions don't stink!

Fade To Black

Movie & TV Reviews - Because everyone is entitled to my opinion.