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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Video Beaverhausen: Oh, Those Bloody Bees!

When someone decides, in a British horror film, to go to a quaint village or a remote little UK island, you immediately know he or she is bound for trouble. Sinister things happen in those places, it would seem, especially when one is trying to recover after a traumatic incident.

In The Deadly Bees (1966), Suzanna Leigh, a very pretty and talented British actress who was quite popular in the US as well as abroad throughout the 1960s and '70s, portrays a very Dusty Springfield-like recording artist who suffers a nervous breakdown. Though this is a daily routine for me, Ms Leigh hopes to chill out on a quaint, isolated island village for a rest cure.

No sooner than you can say, "You in danger, girl!",  our protagonist is plagued by the hives -- the kind with bees in them.

My friends, Tracey and Merv, are beekeepers. They have some rather sprawling property behind their Connecticut home and have become beekeepers. Maybe this film could give them a few ideas. I'll have to put the buzz in their ears.

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Amicus Productions made this film at Shepperton Studios in London. It was one of many films in the horror genre that they did, including Dr Terror's House of Horrors and Tales from the Crypt ~ the last two based on a compendium format originated in the UK by the classic Dead of Night (1945). They even produced a couple of Dr Who movies with the late, great Peter Cushing in the title role.

Amicus shared a lot of talent with Hammer Films, including Cushing, Christopher Lee and director Jimmy Sangster (who directed this film among many others for the studio). Frank Finlay co-stars in this one.

Robert Bloch (Psycho) wrote the screenplay based on a British novel. Special effects are tacky but fun. As an inside joke, there's a song by The Byrds on the soundtrack. (The Byrds and the bees, get it?)

First time ever on dvd and never on videotape.


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