Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Invasion of the Bee Girls, an STD with a Sting!

I first saw 1973's "Invasion of the Bee Girls" (IBG) last year.  On their show in the early 1980s, Siskel and Ebert actually praised this film.  Emerging from the height of the women's liberation movement, IBG oozes of social commentary regarding the role of females in America.  Though the drive-in flavor of this movie probably prevented anyone from noticing deep meaning in the 1970s, in 2014, with a historical perspective, the trained B Movie enthusiast is equipped to delve into the true themes of IBG.
 The plot:  In Peckham (really), California, lots of healthy men are dying because of over-exhaustion during sexual intercourse.  Most of these guys are middle-aged, balding scientists from a corporation (Brandt, Inc.) doing contract work for the government.  The corpses are usually found in no-tell motels, as their widows never had an idea of their infidelity.  Agent Neil Agar of the State Department, played by William Smith ("Policewomen"), and bookish scientist Julie Zorn, played by Victoria Vetri ("When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth") go to Peckham to investigate.  As the body count rises, the mayor and sheriff ask the town to adopt abstinence.  The head of the largest Union Local vehemently objects, and is then found dead after he is seduced by one of the aforementioned widows.  I guess he wanted Peckham to remain a workers paradise.
 Agar focuses in on Dr. Susan Harris (pictured above), played by Anitra Ford ("The Big Bird Cage"), who specializes in the reproductive behavior of bees for Brandt, Inc.  She was described to Agar, by her fellow scientists as an "iceberg."  However, when Brandt's lead scientist is propositioned by her, he tells Agar, "I'm about to explore the Antarctic and see what's below all that ice."  In a very steamy scene (pictured below), Harris seduces the helpless scientist and kills him in the act of sex.  Harris then abducts his widow and we see the very erotic transformation of a woman into a "Bee Girl." Before their cheating husbands die, these wives are portrayed as frumpy and blah.  After Harris abducts them and transforms them into her Bee Girls, these same women are quite shapely and seductive.  Hidden meaning? You decide.
As the movie progresses, the bookish Julie falls in love with Agar, and begins to let her hair down.  These two converge on Harris' secret lab which puts them into unimaginable peril.  Will our two heroes be able to fight off the Bee Girls?  Will the men of Peckham find a new respect for their wives?  Will Julie finish changing into a seductive vixen on her own (now that she has fallen for Agar), or will Harris abduct her and transform her into a Bee Girl?  This movie is gratuitous.  There is lots of nudity and a very violent scene which shows a brutal attempted rape of Julie.  Instead of watching any of the garbage highlighted on last Sunday's Academy Awards show, check out IBG for biting social commentary and cheap fun.      

1 comment:

  1. Why does sex always lead to some sort of horrible fate? Sheesh.

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