The Deadly Bees (1966)

Based on H.F. Heard’s 1941 novel A Taste for Honey, this Freddie Francis film — look for an entire week of UK science fiction and horror next week — this movie predates the worries of the 70s killer bees by nearly ten years.

You know, singers don’t just get exhausted today and have to escape from reality. They used to in 1966, Vicki Robbins (Suzanna Leigh, Lust for a VampireSon of Dracula) collapses on television and has to go to Seagull Island to get her life back together. Look for a young Ron Wood in the opening number.

Originally adapted from Heard’s novel by Robert Bloch, director Freddie Francis and writer Anthony Marriott worked to improve said script and ended up with a movie that nobody seemed to like. Maybe it’s because there’s no Peter Cushing or Christopher Lee, as audiences expected them in almost every horror movie.

Bloch never saw the completed film, although he was a gentleman in how he felt about Francis, Marriott and Amicus, the studio who produced the film. He did say, however, that the movie “buzzed off into critical oblivion, unwept, unhonoured and unstung.”

If you want to see a movie with plastic bees glued to the faces of thespians, by all means, this would be that film.

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