‘They’ll love the very life out of your body!’
Invasion of the Bee Girls is a 1973 science fiction horror film directed by Denis Sanders from a screenplay by Nicholas Meyer (later director of Star Trek II and VI and Time After Time).
On April 4, 2017, Scream Factory is releasing the film on Blu-ray.
William Smith (Grave of the Vampire, Moon in Scorpio), Victoria Vetri (Rosemary’s Baby, When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth), Anitra Ford (Messiah of Evil), Cliff Osmond, Wright King, Ben Hammer, Anna Aries (The Ωmega Man), Beverly Powers (The Comedy of Terrors, Brides of Blood, Jaws), Cliff Emmich (Halloween II). Rene Bond (Please Don’t Eat My Mother!; Necromania) plays one of the Bee Girls.
Veteran Gary Graver (Deep Space; et al) handled the cinematography and Charles Bernstein (Daddy’s Deadly Darling, The Entity, A Nightmare on Elm Street), provided the groovy 70s score, except for the ends credits which are accompanied by Johan Strauss’ Also Sprach Zarathustra’ (famously used in 2001: A Space Odyssey).
Doctor Susan Harris, a mad scientist (Anitra Ford), has created an army of female beauties who seduce men to death. One by one the male victims are killed before the local police catch on to the plans of the infested females.
Neil Agar (Smith), a security agent with the State Department, is dispatched to Peckham, California to investigate the death of John Grubowsky, a bacteriologist working at government-sponsored Brandt Research.
Swiftly making the acquaintance of the laboratory’s head librarian, Julie Zorn, he begins interviewing the firm’s leading scientists, many of whom have reputations as sexual players. His investigation is soon complicated by a growing number of deaths, all men who died of congestive heart failure caused by sexual exhaustion.
Faced with a rapidly escalating body count, the local sheriff, Captain Peters, holds a town meeting at which the laboratory’s leading sex researcher, Henry Murger, urges the town populace to practice sexual abstinence – an idea greeted with derision by the locals.
Neil and Julie arrange a meeting with Murger afterward to discuss his theories as to the cause of his deaths, only to see him chased down and run over by a car with an unseen driver. Later, Neil discovers a secret room concealing sexual paraphernalia and Murger’s gay lover, Joe, who informs Neil that he saw Murger driving off with an unknown woman prior to his death.
Despite a curfew and the establishment of a military quarantine, the scientists continue playing their sex games. One of them, Herb Kline, is approached by Susan Harris, a beautiful entomologist working on bees. Though described by the men as an “iceberg,” she flirts with Kline and invites him over for dinner.
That night, as they get frisky, Kline suffers a fatal thrombosis and Harris reveals black compound eyes suggesting that she is more than she appears…
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“What salvages this somewhat unlikely plot is the movie’s sense of style. It looks good, it moves fairly well, the girls are pretty, Big Bill frowns impressively and there are a lot of near s-f gimmicks. My favorite was a sort of Redi-Whip cocoon that not only turns the girls into queen bees but gives them a facial and a hairdo at the same time.” Roger Ebert.com
“The pretty simple concept of the film gives way for lots of tongue-in-cheek dialogue, plenty of sex and violence, and all the drive-in fun you could want. Anchoring the movie is a bizarre script, which wisely doesn’t take itself very seriously and instead plays up the exploitation angles for all it’s worth. You get cheesy lab sequences; transformation scenes with flashing lights and an army of girls rubbing white goop all over naked woman recruits…” DVD Drive-In
“The film tempts and admonishes us at once. We get gratuitous boobs and butts, yet just when we think hot action is coming our way, it cuts to a face of a corpse. It is also a stylish, cogently directed film with a lively script and a funky wa-wa-wa-wa la-la-la-la theme song which recalls Ennio Morricone’s score for Bird with the Crystal Plumage. B-movie giant William Smith […] is perfect as the square-jawed agent on the bee girls’ trail. Anitra Ford […] is ravishing and fearsome as the queen bee.” David Elroy Goldweber, Claws & Saucers
” …I’m almost positive that this movie was meant to be taken in jest, and that its flagrant disregard for quality is at least to some extent deliberate. The cumulative effect of the daft setup, the lunatic dialogue, and the myriad minor bafflements on the one hand, and the heavy-handed psychosexual and sociopolitical symbolism on the other is just too much.” 100 Misspent Hours and Counting
Cast and characters:
- William Smith as Neil Agar
- Anitra Ford as Doctor Susan Harris
- Victoria Vetri as Julie Zorn
- Cliff Osmond as Captain Peters
- Wright King as Doctor Murger
- Ben Hammer as Herb Kline
- Anna Aries as Nora Kline
- Andre Philippe as Aldo Ferrara
- Sid Kaiser as Stan Williams
- Katie Saylor as Gretchen Grubowsky
- Beverly Powers as Harriet Williams
- Cliff Emmich as The Coroner
In the US, the film was misleadingly re-released as Graveyard Tramps