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The Deadly Bees

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905 - The Deadly Bees
Air Date May 9, 1998
Movie Director Freddie Francis
Year 1967
Cast Suzanna Leigh, Guy Doleman, Frank Finlay
Preceded by 904 - Werewolf
Followed by 906 - The Space Children

The Movie


Yet another plodding British movie with depressing sets, joyless actors, minimal emotion, and just enough action to keep you from thinking that you've spent an hour staring at a painting. But just.

Overextended pop singer Vicki Robbins (Suzanna Leigh) collapses from exhaustion (and perhaps, heat stroke) while lip-syncing a tune during a music television show, and her physician (actor Michael Gwynn, whom sharp-eyed viewers will recognize as Lord Melbury from that one episode of Fawlty Towers) inflicts a visit to Seagull Island on her.

She arrives on the island and promptly ends up in the classic and most British of scenarios: There's murder most foul. There's a bad guy who's just a little too good, and a good guy who's just a little too bad. And, of course, she's the ingenue caught in the middle of it all. Phones are on the fritz, people are stranded, and well, it just sort of goes on from there in typical "Dark and Stormy Night" fashion.


The Deadly Bees

Suffice to say the ending is hopelessly obvious about five minutes after Vicki arrives.

Stylistically, this movie treats color as though it were a shameful, dirty thing (alas, the passage of time is often unkind to the pigments used in color processing), and the sad assortment of studio odds and ends that form the sets reek of Bengay, dry rot, and mothballs. Apparently none of the sets collapsed during filming, but with some of them it's really hard to tell.

The special effects aren't all that special, and production quality finishes a distant third behind The Screaming Skull and The Projected Man.

Perhaps this 1966 film was an attempt to leverage the commercial success of the theme ("When animals attack!") and technology (the less expensive parts) introduced in Alfred Hitchcock's 1963 The Birds. The tradition is carried on even today by such chillling productions as Birdemic. Sola pana!


The Episode

Host Segments


Two observers (Mike Nelson and Paul Chaplin) try to recruit Brain Guy

  • Prologue Mike Tom and Crow quickly go through a montage of disjointed melodramatic scenes reminiscent of of various cop dramas, soap operas and hospital dramas.
  • Segment 1 Mike and Servo quickly explain they were just doing the previous segment for fun. Bobo and Brain Guy are watching Daytime television and eating chili dogs. Two observers (Mike Nelson and Paul Chaplin) teleport into Castle Forrester and try to retrieve Brain Guy so he can help them rebuild their planet.
  • Segment 2 Crow is enamored by the cigarette-addicted old hag from the movie and writes her a love sonnet.
  • Segment 3 Tom tries raising a hive of wood ticks. Meanwhile Brain Guy is packing for his departure from Earth. In a Rodgers an Hammerstein style musical number he sings about leaving. Bobo and Pearl join in the song and convince him to stay with their lyrics.
  • Segment 4 Crow has misplaced his "Just For Men" hair dye. Mike decides to dress as a bee and communicate using bee's body movements. Using bee wiggles he easily conveys a number of complex ideas to Tom but fails to resolve Crow's Just For Men problem.

    Mike as a Bee

  • Closing Segment Mike, Crow and Servo agree that bees should be in every single movie and they're visited by the mysterious silent man in the bowler hat (Jim Mallon). In Castle Forrester the observers are having a psychic battle. Bobo distracts one of them with Chili dogs long enough for Brain Guy to steal his brain dish. The remaining observer challenges Brain Guy to a final battle of mental powers. This battle is cut short when Brain guy kicks him in the knee and snatches his brain dish away too. Stripped of their brains Brain Guy condemns the two observers to live out the rest of their lives in Wisconsin as raging Packers fans. The man in the bowler hat makes a final appearance.
  • Stinger: "The dog's meat, have you seen it?"

Alternate Credits

Obscure References

  • "I'm off to become Lulu."

Lulu was a British pop star of the late sixties and also had a role in the classic 1967 Sidney Poitier vehicle "To Sir With Love".

  • "Hat from the Norman Fell line."

Actor Norman Fell played the put-upon spouse of a sex-starved wife in the Three's Company sitcom spinoff The Ropers.

  • "Lord Melbury!"

​The actor playing the doctor appeared in Fawlty Towers ' pilot episode, "A Touch of Class ," as a confidence trickster calling himself Lord Melbury.

  • Manfred: "My name is Manfred."
    Crow: "You've heard of my Earth Band?"

Reference to British prog group, Manfred Mann's Earth Band, famous for their version of Bruce Springsteen's "Blinded by the Light."

  • "It's the guy from the Magritte painting!"

A reference to the René Magritte painting The Son of Man, in which the face of a man wearing a bowler hat is concealed by an apple.

  • "They're growing Bill the Cat!"

Bill the Cat is a disheveled, bug-eyed character from the comic strip Bloom County.

  • "Breathe deep the gathering gloom, watchlights fade from every room."

The poem read during the Moody Blues' "Nights in White Satin," inspired by the tinkling music played during that scene, similar to that of the song.

  • "Those chickens must be scared Ozzy Osbourne is going to get them"

Refers to the British heavy metal singer who gained notoriety for biting the head off a dove in 1981. Another Osbourne reference was made in It Lives by Night, only referencing the 1982 incident involving Osbourne biting the head off a bat.

  • "One of Elizabeth Kübler-Ross's stages of grief: heavy smoking."

A reference to the five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance), a theory put forth by psychiatrist Elizabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book On Death And Dying.

  • "Giddy-up, giddy-up, giddy-up, let's go..."

Lyrics from the wintertime song "Sleigh Ride."

  • "She's headed right for the Honeycomb Hideout..."

Honeycomb cereal commercials during the '70s and '80s featured a children's clubhouse (located in the woods) called the Honeycomb Hideout, where new visitors would be introduced to the cereal.

Memorable Quotes

[The opening credits are shown against scenes of a swarm of honeybees.]
Crow: They named every bee? This is gonna take forever...
[Slender British rock band The Birds (not the more famous Byrds) perform a song.]
Crow[singing] Eight… miles… wrong!
. . .
Servo: Guys, just skip the music and go right to the heroin.
[A car pulls up in front of a very hairy-looking tree.]
Crow: Hey, they're growing Bill the Cat!
[Hargrove is sitting down at the pub]
Hargrove: Morning, David.
Hawkins: Good morning, Mr. Hargrove. What can I get you?
Hargrove: Oh, the usual.
Servo: 9 A.M., why so late?
Hargrove: Make it a double, will you?
Crow: Alright, now we're in England.
Mike: Andy Capp: The Movie.
[Chain-smoker Mary Hargrove pours gasoline on her husband's beehives, tossing Doris aside when she tries to interfere.]
Mike: Wow! Look at her go! I didn't realize cigarettes had so many vitamins!
[After bees kill first Mrs. Hargrove's dog and then her, the local coroner questions Mr. Hargrove at an inquest.]
Coroner: Is there anything you can tell this court which would help it to establish the exact cause of your wife's death?
Hargrove: The cause should be obvious. She was stung to death by bees.
Coroner: And her dog?
Servo [as Hargrove]: Uh, the dog didn't sting her.
[Vicki gets dressed and sneaks out, her shoes clacking with a rather horse hoof-like sound.]
Servo[singing to "Sleigh Bells"] Giddy-up, giddy-up, giddy-up, let's go…
[Meanwhile, Doris, wearing a somewhat dull brown skirt and vest over a white shirt, walks through the woods.]
Crow: Hey, it's Nondescript Spice.
Mike: Whose woods these are?
Crow: Oh, I think I know.
Mike: Huh?
[High in the trees, the killer bees are swarming in a whirlpool-like circle.]
Servo[gasps] Killer cookie crumbs!
Crow [as Doris]: Damn, it's that "bee-loud glade" that Yeats spoke of.
[After Vicki passes out from exhaustion during her solo, the music is still playing on the reel-to-reel, with her voice still singing as well.]
Crow: She still lip-syncs better than Jewel.
[Vicki's feverish nightmare includes a shot of Tess, barking as bees swarm over her]
Mike [as Tess]: Avenge me! Ruff!
[While Vicki is waiting at Manfred's home, Hargrove brings him the rest of her luggage.]
Mike [as Hargrove]: If you're looking for her panties I'm already wearing the good ones.
[Moments after Vicki drops a flaming log on Manfred's carpet, his entire house is engulfed in flames.]
Crow: The house was made of typing paper and oily rags.
[At the very end of the movie, as Vicki is leaving Hargrove's farm, a man in a bowler hat walks in from out of nowhere. Then the credits roll.]
Crow [confused]: All right, start smoochin', movie! What the hell is this?
Servo: Is there going to be a credit that says "Guy At The End"?

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