Invasion of the Bee Girls (1973)

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Post  BoG on Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:36 pm

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In Peckham, CA... bodies are turning up - males who have died of coronary thrombosis due to... too much sexual activity (well, if you gotta go, that's not a bad way to do it; a character even states this out loud). The government sends in agent Neil Agar, played by brawny William Smith, almost always a villain in seventies films. This plays out like the notion of 'what-if-James Bond-encounters-a-campy sci-fi plot involving-forced-female-mutation' sort of movie. Agar teams up with the local librarian (sexy Vetri from When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth) and the local sheriff.
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Some of the scenes are close to softporn in this one; several female characters disrobe and proceed to 'seduce' a male character, though nothing is really shown of the actual sex act. It's fairly sleazy, even with a supposed underlying 'message' about the spread of venereal disease in the U.S. - it's also tongue-in-cheek. I guess this was where writer Nicholas Meyer's sense of humor was at back then, in his first film as writer (Meyer went on to Time After Time-1979 & Star Trek II:The Wrath of Khan-1982).
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Overall, the film is slow and there's not much action; Smith, as agent Agar, does have a fight scene with 3 local bozos who try to rape Vetri and another one with a closeted homosexual, but even the climactic action is brief and ends abruptly. The villain turns out to be Dr. Susan Harris (exotic-looking Anitra Ford), who has developed a weird process to turn normal women into sexual predators patterned on queen bees. This didn't remind me of other killer bee movies (The Bees; The Swarm); instead, it recalls Phase IV (74) for me, the one about mutated ants; of course, Phase IV is very serious where-as this one is like a parody of the 'insects-against-us' films.
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In the end, this can also can be viewed as a whacky, sci-fi depiction of aggressive feminism, where-in horny males get their comeuppance. It's also a slightly askew look at the seventies, when all those key-chain parties were happening and the middle class was bored, resorting to promiscuity as one distraction. But, I never learned the motivations of the female villain; we do learn in the end that her mutating procedure resulted in sterility, causing the women to mate compulsively, but I never learned why she began this stuff in the first place. Pretty silly.
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