This little honey (sorry) is the perfect example of why I prefer bad movies from the 1980’s and earlier: because back then they played them straight and weren’t constantly making self-aware jokes to the audience. If this movie had been made more recently it would have been INTENTIONALLY cheesy and goofy, like the Killer Condom flicks or the Gingerdead Man movies.
Invasion of the Bee Girls plays like a sexploitation version of The X-Files long before that show was on the air. The hero of the movie is a State Department investigator played by cult figure William Smith, known from the tv series Laredo and from countless exploitation flicks like Black Samson to the “Hell’s Angels Fighting The Vietnam War” biker movie The Losers. The film’s screenwriter was THE Nicholas Meyer of Star Trek II and The Seven Percent Solution fame. Herb “The Worm Eaters” Robbins also shows up onscreen.
William Smith’s character, Neil Agar, is sent to California to investigate why a scientist involved in top secret government research dropped dead under suspicious circumstances – he died of apparent sexual exhaustion and people nearby swear they heard a sound like bees buzzing at the time. Neil probes deeper (I’m REALLY sorry about that one) and questions other male and female scientists at the fictional Brandt Corporation, with any resemblance to the real-life Rand Corporation being purely coincidental I’m sure.
The scientists and their significant others are all the kind of oily quasi- “swingers” who were big in 70’s films, so naturally their dialogue and clothing are often unintentionally hilarious. The top female scientist Dr Susan Harris is played by the beautiful Anitra Ford and displays plenty of suspicious behavior. When another scientist and then a man from the nearby hick town also turn up dead from sexual exhaustion Neil can sense something big stirring (you can bludgeon me to death with a sledgehammer if you like).
This movie treats the viewer to lots of scenes of predatory females killing men via R-rated sexual activity, William Smith kicking rapist butt, a gay scientist impervious to the Bee Girls’ charms and a townhall meeting where the authorities tell the citizens to stop having sex lest they die (I’m sure Mayor Bloomberg approves). There’s also a loooooong (Nah, too easy) and boring scene of pseudo-science using the sex lives of bees to theorize about the cause of all the recent deaths. This bit goes on for so long it makes the mad scientist’s rant about time travel in The Yesterday Machine seem as brief as a Tweet.
SPOILERS – Dr Susan Harris, my favorite female mad scientist of all time, stumbled on to a way of mutating women into human/ Queen Bee hybrids, complete with Fly-eye Point of View shots when their transformation is complete. This process involves having the other Bee Girls rub honey all over the naked body of the new girl being initiated. The honey eventually forms a chrysalis, then Dr Harris’ bees climb all over the woman’s body while the good doctor fiddles with lots of faux scientific equipment that buzzes and hums. These metamorphosis scenes are accompanied by Rimsky- Korsikov’s Scheherezade, which you’ll never listen to the same way again.
A nice morbid touch is the fact that Dr Harris, the very first Bee Girl, recruits her newbies from the widows of the men who die in her arms and in the arms of her sister Bee Girls. This macabre bit was the justification for this movie’s alternate release title: Graveyard Tramps.
At any rate, it turns out Dr Harris’ use of radiation in her Bee Girl process has accidentally made her and her sister Queen Bee hybrids sterile, so instead of getting pregnant like a Queen Bee should after sex they instead are driven by their new urges to mate over and over again to try to become pregnant. Naturally their male partners cannot possibly keep pace and drop dead of exhaustion. Ignore reviews that claim the Bee Girls are aliens. I don’t think half the IMDb reviewers actually watch the movies they try to examine.
Naturally Neil puts a stop to Dr Harris’ mad plan to transform all the women on Earth into Bee Girls, killing all the hybrids in the process and as a bonus he winds up with the only surviving “good” female character as his new lady-love.
Overall, Invasion of the Bee Girls plays like a Larry Buchanan movie would if Larry had ever been capable of competent directing, tight editing and slightly better dialogue. This film is a must-see for anyone who loves weirdass cinema.
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