“The dog’s meat! Have you seen it?” Isn’t it in the dog? Join this episode’s Grue-Crew – Whitney Collazo, Chad Hunt, Daphne Monary-Ernsdorff, and Jeff Mohr – as they travel to a seemingly harmless bee farm for a bit of R & R in The Deadly Bees (1966).
Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 139 – The Deadly Bees (1966)
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Trouble strikes when an exhausted pop singer, sent on a vacation to a farm, realizes that the farm’s owner grows deadly bees.
- Director: Freddie Francis
- Writers: Robert Bloch (screenplay); Anthony Marriott (screenplay by); Gerald Heard (novel A Taste for Honey, 1941)
- Selected Cast:
- Suzanna Leigh as Vicki Robbins
- Frank Finlay as H.W. Manfred
- Guy Doleman as Ralph Hargrove
- Catherine Finn as Mary Hargrove
- John Harvey as Thompson
- Michael Ripper as David Hawkins
- Anthony Bailey as Compere
- Tim Barrett as Harcourt
- James Cossins as Coroner
- Frank Forsyth as Doctor
- Katy Wild as Doris Hawkins
- Greta Farrer as Sister
- Gina Gianelli as Secretary
- Michael Gwynn as Dr. George Lang
- Maurice Good as Agent
The Deadly Bees, an Amicus Production directed by Freddie Francis, is Daphne’s pick. She used to watch “creatures run amok” films on Saturday afternoons with her mom and this film seemed to fit that profile. It looked absolutely cuckoo to her and it did turn out to be fun to watch.
Whitney has a thing about bees, making The Deadly Bees cringeworthy for her. Though it’s a little bit out there, the Freddie Francis direction and the drama between characters with the requisite backstabbing definitely make the film entertaining. Chad also finds The Deadly Bees to be entertaining. Even though he sees through the mystery toot de suite, he likes the writing and how the story plays out. The scene with what Jeff calls a “bee-nado” captures his attention. He agrees with Chad that the plot-supplied red herring doesn’t pass the smell test. He would love to see a production of The Deadly Bees with Robert Bloch’s script starring Peter Cushing and Boris Karloff as originally intended. And, oh yeah. Suzanna Leigh. New movie crush.
A television adaptation of H. F. “Gerald” Heard’s mystery novel, A Taste for Honey (1941), aired as an episode of The Elgin Hour on February 22, 1955, under the title “Sting of Death.” Boris Karloff stars as Mycroft, the episode’s protagonist. A Taste for Honey was the first of three mysteries by Heard featuring Mr. Mycroft, the implication being he is the retired Sherlock Holmes. The Deadly Bees abandoned that idea. What if Boris Karloff played Sherlock Holmes? You can view the episode here: The Elgin Hour, “Sting of Death,” w/ Boris Karloff
The Deadly Bees is available to stream from Classic Horror Movie Channel, PLEX, Flix Fling subscription, and several PPV services; and as a Blu-ray disc from Olive.
Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror: The Classic Era records a new episode every two weeks. Up next in their very flexible schedule, as chosen by Whitney, will be The Aztec Mummy (1957). Yeah, they switched mummies in the middle of the tomb, but that’s the “very flexible” part of their schedule.
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