Written by: Carroll Jenkins on October 27th, 2015
Theatrical Release Date: UK, 1967
Director: Freddie Francis
Writers: Robert Bloch, Anthony Marriott
Cast: Suzanna Leigh, Frank Finlay, Guy Doleman, Catherine Finn, John Harvey, Michael Ripper, Anthony Bailey, Tim Barrett
BluRay released: October 27th, 2015
Approximate running times: 84 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
BluRay Release: Olive Films
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $29.95
Synopsis: A pop singer has a breakdown while taping a television show and is sent to an isolated tourist boarding house to recuperate. Someone on the island has bred a new species of killer bee. Murder(s) ensue.
The high point in the film is the 30 second clip of the Birds lip-synching the punkish “It’s Not What I Need You For”, an unreleased [until recently] 1966 recording by Ron Wood’s first band. They were contemporaries of the Troggs, Yardbirds, early Who, Kinks and Rolling Stones. Other lesser [known] groups in a similar vein were the Pretty Things, Small Faces, Creation, and the Sorrows. Ron later made a name with the Jeff Beck Group and the Faces (with Rod Stewart), before being absorbed into the Rolling Stones.
Their scene occurs in the television station prior to the nervous breakdown of the Petulia Clark type played by Suzanna Leigh. Once Suzanna arrives at the island there is one worthwhile scene when she is attacked by the killer bees in the bathroom while in her bra (nice cleavage). She sprinkles flammable perfume on a towel and ignites it, but would actually have blown herself up in the attempt. She nearly kills herself anyway from smoke inhalation.
This is an extremely ordinary and mundane mystery with only two actual suspects. After all, we only meet five residents on the entire island. The murder weapon could have been any dingus but here it is killer bees. The special effects are cheap and cheesy, the pacing is slow, and the continuity is shoddy. The most fun to be had is to find faults with the script, but that’s like shooting fish in a barrel.
Also this film commits the two cardinal sins of filmmaking: it’s tedious and they kill the dog.
Note: The BluRay portion of this review was written by Michael Den Boer
The Deadly Bees comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. The source used for this transfer is in great shape. Colors look nicely saturated, flesh tones look accurate, black levels and image clarity remain consistently strong throughout. Also grain looks natural and there are no issues with DNR or compression. When compared to Legend Films DVD release this new release from Olive Films boasts more virbant colors and stronger image clarity.
This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in English. There are no issues with background noise or distortion and everything sounds balanced. Range wise though things sound rather limited. This has solely to do with the limitations of the mono source. Also dialog is always clear, the film’s score sounds robust and the ambient aspects of the soundtrack sound well represented.
This release comes with no extra content.
Overall another first rate audio / video presentation from Olive Films.
Note: Olive Films are also releasing this film on DVD.