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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Movie Review - The Swarm (1978)

There is something to be said about the hypnotic noise of buzzing that bees do when going from flower to flower. It’s relaxing to listen to when chillin’ in the park or your backyard but what about a few million of them? You be the judge when you watch the movie “The Swarm” (1978). Bees are my favourite insect and therefore took a real interest in this film.

The movie opens right into some action; men in hazmat suits running around what seems to be a military base. They are being extra careful in entering the facility. The group encounters a control room with officers collapsed at their desks. Just then they give the all clear but are confused over what has occurred. Dr. Brad Crane (Caine) had mysteriously shown up on site and being questioned as a civilian. Dr. Crane explains that he has been following a group of bees which had come from the south; specifically the African honeybee. The bees had come in and stung everyone. General Slater gives him a hard time at first until he talks with General Thomson who is in Washington. As it turns out the good doctor happens to be the advisor to a minister that works with the President. All control has been given to Dr. Crane to get the bees under control. Dr. Crane’s first order is to have a few colleagues flown in who have expertise in this field. A vaccine was also trying to be made as the sting is very potent. It would only take 3-4 stings to kill a person. In a series of tests, investigations and efforts to control the bees, they migrate to a small town and wreak havoc on the residents. They sting and swarm their way to Houston, Texas where the final fight occurs. Control of operations had been given back to the military but in the end the doctor works out one last plan to eradicate them. I really want to remain a little vague on this one as to not ruin the complete story.

I really liked the effects on this one. The bees are real. They attach themselves to people and objects resulting in some good death scenes too. There were a couple scenes though where the victims were hallucinating of a giant bee –that looked fake. Overall good fright created. The problem with this movie was the storyline dragged; it built a good beginning but was slow to come around to produce the final product. Too many ‘filler’ scenes broke the flow and prevented the story from being held together. The acting was decent, a star studded line up; Sir Michael Caine, Henry Fonda and few other veterans. Everyone played decently enough. The sound affects were pretty good, nothing like a million angry bees buzzing. Oh wait, I heard that back in the summer with the world cup soccer.

I did like this movie aside from the storyline flaw. I will have to admit I’m swayed because the film involves bees but in any case there isn’t too many bee inspired movies out there. I would recommend watching this and rate it 6.5/10 but note it had potential to be better. If anything you have to see the bees!

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