Dying is hardly ever easy and there are a lot of ways to go when one’s time is up. Whether heart attack, car accident, victim of a serial killer, torn apart by sharks or eaten by a giant monster, death is usually unexpected for most and never wanted. If one had to choose, most would probably prefer to go in their sleep and not killed by a massive swarm of killer bees which almost anyone would agree is a truly terrible way to go. So it is that some of the characters in this feature film get to experience just that and it is definitely a frightening and horrific thing to see.
One minor quibble is the fact that some of the visual effects within are not as good as they could have been, but the makers of this picture more than make up for it with some good sound effects (i.e. the dog barking and shrieking in pain) and some above average performances from the cast who make it believable. One of those persons is lead actress Suzanna Leigh who plays a pop starlet named Vicki Robbins, in need of a rest away from the hubbub of it all. It is at the farm belonging to Ralph Hargrove that she finds herself and where everything starts to go wrong. For his part, Guy Doleman who stars as Hargrove does a great job of making the viewer wonder whether he could be the villain or not due to his very off-putting behaviour. Additionally, Frank Finlay stars as a neighbour who might also be the culprit behind the horror going on and director Freddie Francis flits between the two characters, continually making the audience change their mind over who might be the guilty party, the man behind the bee attacks. It does not help that each seems both innocent and guilty enough and both have apiaries filled with thousands of bees.
While it does lend to the tension present in the film, one has to wonder just how coincidental is it to have two bee farmers upon the same little island, living in fairly close proximity to each other. There are of course a few flaws to be had, small leaps in logic like that aforementioned fact, but for the most part, The Deadly Bees does not disappoint and makes for a fairly engaging time. With Francis at the helm, Robert Bloch and Anthony Marriott on script and some fine actors bringing it all to life, the movie entertains which is exactly what a film should do.
3.5 out of 5