Invasion of the Bee Girls (1973)

“They’re dropping like flies, Agar — they’re dropping like flies.”

Invasion Bee Girls Poster

Synopsis:
An FBI agent (William Smith) enlists the help of a beautiful scientist (Victoria Vetri) while investigating a rash of mysterious deaths in a small California town.

Genres:

Response to Peary’s Review:
This B-level serio-comic horror flick about a government agent (William Smith) sent to investigate “the deaths of several male scientists at [a] California institute conducting radiation experimentation” — all of whom “die from coronaries while having sexual intercourse” — is, as Peary notes, not quite as campy or “as much fun as its reputation would have you believe”. Nicholas Meyer’s script — while meant to be “tongue in cheek” — is taken far too seriously, instead merely providing a platform for exploiting female nudity (including a disturbingly gratuitous near-rape scene), and tapping into men’s fears about the destructive powers of sex. However, the film is somewhat redeemed by its utterly ludicrous premise, its eerie low-budget “special effects” (dark contacts transform the Bee Girls’ eyes into freaky black pits), a catchy score by Charles Bernstein, and “a memorably bizarre sequence in which thousands of bees encase a nude woman in a cocoon” as she transforms into a Bee Girl. Ew!

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Campy but effective low-budget visuals
    Invasion Bee Girls Eyes
    Invasion Bee Girls Vision
  • The trippy “transformation” scene
    Invasion Bee Girls Transformation
  • Charles Bernstein’s score

Must See?
No, but you may be curious to check it out.

Links:

One Response to “Invasion of the Bee Girls (1973)”

  1. Not a must – and, agreed, not as campy or as fun as one would like. But, on the other hand, not as bad as many say it is. It’s certainly watchable, but you may very well find yourself wanting it to be a little more off-the-wall; like, if the makers of it had gone those few extra creative steps, we might at least be laughing more along with it while simultaneously being titillated (that funny word, considering).

    But, as is, it kind of comes off like Roger Corman somehow wishing he were Russ Meyer.

    I first saw this many years ago on tv as an after-midnight horror flick. I now realize that all – all – of the nudity and sex stuff was cut then. ‘Bee Girls’ isn’t exactly great shakes with all of the nudity and sex intact but, shown stripped of its ‘original vision’, it’s one hopeless little piece of cinema.

    Its goofiness is sometimes more than apparent: i.e., at one point, a group of Bee Girls show up at a funeral to support a recent inductee. The others at the funeral find the girls’ appearance, well, slightly odd at best…as opposed to, say, ‘Stepford Wives’ kind of odd.

    And, yes, the transformation scene! That may possibly make this worth your while alone.

    I must say points do go to Anitra Ford as (Bee Girl Leader) Dr. Susan Harris. She certainly gets into the spirit of things, even if her part seems a little under-written – considering she’s more or less Queen Bee.

    The other female lead is played in charming fashion by Victoria Vetri – the name she was born with. The actress had an earlier stage name of Angela Dorian, the name she used to credit her most memorable role: in ‘Rosemary’s Baby’, as doomed Terry Gionoffrio. (Her actual name is used in ‘RB’ as an in-joke.)

    Remake, anyone? Or, I don’t know…a musical, perhaps?

    This movie can be found online for free.

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