KINO LORBER BLU RAY RELEASE: Terror Out of the Sky (1978)

The Savage Bees was a big deal. I mean, Jeannie Devereaux (Gretchen Corbett) trapped in a VW Bug during Mardi Gras? Well, on December 26, 1978 CBS brought Jeannie back — now played by Tovah Feldshuh — put her in a love triangle with her boss David Martin (Efrem Zimbalist Jr.) and her kinda sorta boyfriend Nick Willis (Dan Haggerty), then has a bunch of bad bees get in with the good bees and before you know it, a softball game and a marching band are the targets of the swarm.

With dialogue like “Oh my God! His mouth. It’s full of bees!” and appearances by Lonny Chapman (Long John the tattoo artist in The Witch Who Came from the Sea), Ike Eisenmann from the Witch Mountain movies, Joe E. Tata before he owned the Peach Pit, Richard Herd (Schizoid), Charles Hallahan (The Thing) and Steve Franken (who also battles Ants! a year before), this is also the kind of movie with a National Bee Center ready to defend our country for the threat of killer bees.

You know, I read a review of this and the kid writing about it pish poshed the notion of killer bees. Well, I was there, every night when the news told us we were all going to get stung a thousand times and die. It’s easy to laugh about without living that life. I did. Bees were all we talked about. Also: quicksand.

Director Lee H. Katzin also made the bizarre and wonderful movies The Phynx and What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice? He also directed SavagesWorld Gone Wild and the pilot of Samurai, a show that would have had Joe Penny fighting crime as a sword-wielding vigilante.

Writer Guerdon Trueblood was a great cause of the week movie guy. I mean, the same talent did The Savage Bees, Ants! and Tarantulas: The Deadly Cargo. He moved on to airplane movies (SST: Death FlightTerror Out of the Sky) and also wrote Jaws 3-D and directed The Dandy Snatchers.

This being the 70s, the whole movie is more about a woman choosing between two horrible men than it is about bees. That said, there are some moments of fun, like the end when Zimbalist wears an anti-bee suit that is soon covered by millions of black and yellow striped monsters.

The new Kino Lorber blu ray release of Terror Out of the Sky has a new 2K master, commentary by film historian David Del Valle and filmmaker David DeCoteau (who made his own bug movie 1313: Giant Killer Bees) and trailers for the film. You can get it from Kino Lorber.

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