So, Nathaniel asked me why I forgot to mention the giant, hallucinatory bees in 1978's The Swarm. And, he's right to ask, because it's probably the most stunning/ least magical visual special effect in the movie.
What's most interesting is that the bees inject a venom into their victim that make them not just hallucinate, but hallucinate a very large bee.
Now, as a kid I saw an ad for The Swarm on TV as the Late Late Movie on local UHF, and they kept showing the clips of the hallucinations. Unfortunately, at age 11 or so, I was not qualified to stay up for the midnight to four AM shift, so I missed the broadcast and never saw the movie I assumed was all about giant bees. At some point when SimonUK suggested we watch this movie, like, two years ago, I eagerly said "you mean the movie about the giant bees?"
"No, the one with Michael Caine."
"Right! With giant bees!"
Monday, August 22, 2016
Sunday, August 21, 2016
No one is going to accuse The Swarm (1978) of being a great movie. Or, really, even a good movie. Or, you know, a movie.
It may be a bit odd the movie isn't that good as it it's directed by producer of disaster-porn Irwin Allen, but maybe he should have stuck to producing. The movie follows the logic of many-a-disaster movie, which people my age know mostly from Independence Day. Multiple storylines. Scientists trying to understand what's happening. Lots of people die. Lots of famous faces in roles big and small.
Our disaster here? BEES. Which, I really shouldn't make fun of, because this is the kind of shit that is, in fact, going to take humanity out. But... BEES. SWARMS OF KILLER BEES.
Our all-star cast is anchored by Michael Caine who plays The Scientist, or - more specifically - the bee scientist. Other honest-to-god big names include Katherine Ross as The Doctor, Richard Widmark as The General, Richard Chamberlain as The Other Scientist, Cameron Mitchell as The Pentagon Official, Olivia de Havilland as The Aging Beauty, Fred McMurray as deHavilland's SUITOR #1 and Ben Johnson as SUITOR #2. Jose Ferrer as the manager of a nuclear power plant. Patty Duke as a waitress. Slim Pickens as a sad city worker. And a clearly very deaf Henry Fonda shouting lines as YET ANOTHER SCIENTIST WHO DOES NOT KNOW THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD OR BASIC MEDICAL PROTOCOLS.