21 June 2024
Killer Bees (1974)
74 min.
Directed by Curtis Harrington.
With Gloria Swanson, Edward Albert, Kate Jackson, Roger Davis, Don McGovern, Craig Stevens, John Ragin, Liam Dunn.
Screen legend Gloria Swanson heads up the cast in this lowkey - and generally quite effective - TV terror flick from genre director Harrington.

Iron willed Madame Van Bohlen (Swanson) has run the ultrasuccessful Von Bohlen Winery with an unwavering determination for decades.

But when prodigal grandson Edward (Albert) returns home with fiancé Jackson, unfortunate things begin happening at the Von Bohlen estate.

Fleeing in his car, a trespasser crashes in a fiery explosion...a telephone lineman mysteriously plummets to his death.

And everything odd somehow seems to be tied to the creepy African bees the Madame has such a strange control over...

This rather subtle horror is given interesting life via classy direction from Harrington and (with its conclusion) boasts a fairly original take on the attack bee subgenre; talented Jackson is always fun to watch and here she holds her own with La Swanson (that's no small feat).

Best scene: the cool sequence when Jackson accidentally discovers a secret upstairs honey lair fit for a queen...and thus seals her own destiny forever.

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