DVD Talk
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Reviews & Columns
Reviews
DVD
TV on DVD
HD DVD / Blu-ray
International DVDs
Theatrical
Video Games

Features
Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
Interviews
DVD Talk Radio
Feature Articles

Columns
Anime Talk
DVD Stalk
DVD Savant
High-Def Revolution
Silent DVD

discussion forum
DVD Talk Forum
Resources
DVD Price Search
Customer Service #'s
RCE Info
Links

DVDTalk Info
Review Staff
About DVD Talk
Advertise
Newsletter Subscribe
Join DVD Talk Forum
DVD Talk Feeds


Sponsored Links
Search: For:
Reviews » Blu-ray Reviews » The Deadly Bees (Blu-ray)
The Deadly Bees (Blu-ray)
Olive Films // Unrated // October 27, 2015 // Region A
List Price: $29.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Jesse Skeen | posted November 13, 2015 | E-mail the Author
Buy from Amazon.com
C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Recommended
E - M A I L
this review to a friend
P R I N T
Printer Friendly

Absent during home video's early years but now getting its second disc release within a decade, 1966's The Deadly Bees was a British import from Amicus Productions released by Paramount in the US, who put it out primarily as half of a double feature at drive-ins. This makes a lot of sense as the movie is decent entertainment but not quite satisfying enough for a whole evening's worth. With a screenplay initially written by Robert Bloch (best known for Psycho), The Deadly Bees stars Suzanna Leigh as popular singer Vicki Robbins, whose management has been pushing her a bit too much and she ends up collapsing onstage during a TV show appearance. Her doctor feels she needs some time off, so he arranges to have her stay on Seagull Island for a few days at the farmhouse of his friend Ralph Hargrove (Guy Doleman) and his wife Mary (Catherine Finn). They set up a room for her, but it's a bit awkward as the married couple doesn't do much besides argue with each other. Mr. Hargrove is particularly obsessed with raising bees, which his wife doesn't care for too much.

While out walking the Hargroves' dog, Vicki meets neighbor H. W. Manfred (Frank Finlay) who coincidentally is also an avid beekeeper. He and Hargrove have been having a bit of a silent feud and Hargrove warns her to stay away from him, but he seems friendly enough while Hargrove increasingly gives her the creeps. The creepiness intensifies when swarms of bees begin attacking on the Hargrove property, first killing their dog and later stinging Mrs. Hargrove to death! Manfred is certain that Mr. Hargrove is behind this somehow, and asks Vicki to start digging up clues. Vicki really wants to leave, but she's stuck on the island for at least a few more days as there aren't many boats that arrive there.

When I first saw The Deadly Bees I was expecting something on a larger scale like Irwin Allen's The Swarm. While this falls quite sort of that, it works well enough on its own merits. Finlay and Doleman's talents are both beyond this movie, but they do what they can with it. Vicki proves to be a stronger female character than others in movies of this type and era, as she mostly stays pretty for the camera but isn't completely helpless and reduced to screaming all the time. The movie is rather cheaply-made though- fake backdrops in the outdoor scenes are obvious, and the bee attack scenes themselves are laughable. (Mystery Science Theater 3000 did feature this movie in one episode.)

Picture:

Olive Films' Blu-Ray uses the same transfer as Legend Films' previous DVD, and having that on hand to compare shows that the high-def format brings out a lot of detail that is essentially blurred on the DVD- signs in the background are readable as are the titles of books on shelves. While not exactly a visually striking movie, fans will find it worth the upgrade. Colors are a bit light (likely intentionally) but the print is very clean. Thankfully Olive seems to have overcome the compression problems that plagued some of their previous discs, as those are absent here.

Sound:

The mono audio is presented in 2-channel DTS-HD Master Audio (Olive's previous Blu-Rays had mono tracks encoded in 1-channel) but the disc is flagged to output as PCM and the sound stays in the center channel as it should. Like the DVD, the levels are a bit low requiring raising the volume higher than normal. The sound itself is nothing special but it's reasonably clean given what it is- there are some slight "print-through" effects in some instances where loud scenes are faintly heard repeated in the background afterwards (in most cases of this they're heard beforehand.) Amusingly you can also hear the camera clacking in many scenes. There is no hearing-impaired support on this disc, but the DVD had standard closed-captions. There aren't any extras on either edition, but at least on this Blu-Ray you'll be spared the music on the DVD's main menu which tries to set this up as a 90s thriller. (Olive has also released a new DVD of this title separately.)

Final Thoughts:

The cast of The Deadly Bees makes this a better-than-average "bad movie". Not a whole lot happens, but its running time is also short which makes for a decent double-feature with something a bit more substantial. Picture quality is a definite upgrade from the previously-issued DVD from Legend.

Jesse Skeen is a life-long obsessive media collector (with an unhealthy preoccupation with obsolete and failed formats) and former theater film projectionist. He enjoys watching movies and strives for presenting them perfectly, but lacks the talent to make his own.

Find the lowest price for 'The Deadly Bees (Blu-ray)'
Popular Reviews
1. Valerian and the City of A Thousand Planets
2. Silent Night, Deadly Night (Collector's Edition)
3. The Complete Monterey Pop Festival
4. Election
5. Play Dirty (Limited Edition Series)
6. Blood Feast
7. The Villainess
8. Maigret and the St. Fiarce Case
9. Ruby
10. Patti Cake$


Sponsored Links
DVD Blowouts
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Alien [Blu-ray]
Buy: $19.99 $9.99
8.
9.
10.
Sponsored Links
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Copyright 2017 All Rights Reserved. Legal Info, Privacy Policy, Terms of Use