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BRITISH CREATURE HORROR SUSPENSE YARN 'THE DEADLY BEES'

title: THE DEADLY BEES year: 1966 cast: Suzanna Leigh, Frank Finlay, John Harvey, Michael Ripper director: Freddie Francis rating: ***1/2

Don't mistake THE DEADLY BEES as one of those by-the-number creature-feature bug flicks where bees fly around killing people because of the ozone or military or whatever else causes "beasts" to cause havoc in other films of this type...

Despite the maligned camp status, DEADLY BEES is an intelligent British thriller centering on a beautiful singer who finds solace on an island, at the house of a professor who isn't nice to his wife, or her dog, and might just be mad enough to make bees... deadly. But with too-friendly/science-minded Frank Finlay involved, things are never quite what they seem, and this Amicus production mirroring Hammer Films (with the latter's regulars Michael Ripper, Suzanna Leigh and director Freddie Francis) is more Hitchcock than body count exploitation: building tension and mystery from start to finish. And when the bees do attack (although the effects are rather dated) it's quite a neat buzz. 

Suzanna Leigh in THE DEADLY BEES
Suzanna Leigh in THE DEADLY BEES

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