• A Review Page For Those Movies You Watch At Home!

    Couch Potato Movie Reviews is, obviously, a blog that exclusively reviews movies. What makes this blog different is the fact that all of the films we are reviewing are all movies that are available on home movie rental companies such as Redbox, Netflix, Blockbuster, and your quickly disappearing neighborhood rental store. This blog is designed to take a more detailed look at those movies that either were sent straight to DVD, received a very limited release in the theaters, or were distributed through the art house or film festival circuit. We will also review those big Hollywood films, but only after they are available for home viewing.

    All the reviews are written by fans of the great art of film making rather than some newspaper reviewer or stuffy film student. We don’t know everything about film but we do know what we like, and we are more than happy to share our opinions with you. What you do with those opinions are totally up to you, although comments are welcome and encouraged.

    Each film review has a one to five star rating at the end of the critique. Here is what those star ratings mean for you couch potatoes:

    * * * * * : Five stars: go and buy this one, don’t just rent it!

    * * * * : Four stars: put this at the top of your rental list.

    * * * : Three stars: average, not bad just not great either.

    * * : Two stars: only rent if you have to see everything.

    * : One star: don’t waste your time with this.

Invasion Of The Bee Girls

TITLE: Invasion Of The Bee Girls

YEAR: 1973

GENRE: Science Fiction

AKA: Graveyard Tramps

Back in the later 1960’s and deep into the 1970’s older downtown movie palaces and small town drive-in theaters were looking for material to play on their screens that would draw in crowds away from the suburban multiplex theaters that starting popping up around the country. Many of these theaters resorted to exploitation-type of films, which relied on sensationalized marketing and promises of extreme violence and gratuitous nudity that would flock in the college-aged crowd and people looking for a cheap thrill. One of the better films from that sub-genre would be Invasion Of The Bee Girls, a naughty little science fiction flick that unlike most exploitation films actually has some storyline and plot development.

The small town of Peckham, California, is having an attrition issue as the men in the community are turning up dead at an alarming rate. All of the men have died from congestive heart failure as a result of sexual exhaustion, which has the local Sheriff Peters (played by Cliff Osmond) baffled. Sheriff Peters calls in the FBI which sends special agent Neil Agar (William Smith) who works for the State Department. Local research specialist Dr. Harry Murger (Wright King) believes that it is some type of sexually transmitted disease, and to combat the sickness a town meeting is held to encourage the town’s people to become sexually abstinent, which does not sit too well with the citizens. After a military occupation the male persuasion continues to drop dead, Agar learns of a bizarre plot hatched by entomologist Susan Harris (Anitra Ford) to create a swarm of bee-style women that are killing the men through the traditional mating process. Along with unaffected Julie Zorn (Victoria Vetri), Agar must stop the hive of sex-crazed killers before they strike again.

As with most sexual exploitation films of the time the plot is wafer-thin, but Invasion Of The Bee Girls actually spends some time developing the plot and giving a few characters (mostly Agar) limited development. This may not be much, but it is a major step up compared to most of these type of movies. The special effects sets are pretty much borrowed from other 1950’s and 60’s sci-fi films, and the make-up on the female bee women is mostly black contact lenses and sunglasses. One aspect where the effects worked well was when Nora Kline (Anna Aries) is turned into a bee woman, and the scene where she is engulfed in a cocoon and covered with real bees will make most fans’ skin crawl. The acting is much hit and miss especially with the women, but Ford (an original Barker’s Beauty on “The Price Is Right”), Vetri (1968 Playboy magazine “Playmate Of The Year”), and the rest of the female cast was hired more to show off their ample breasts and backsides than their thespian skills. The mix at times sounds like it was being delivered from a one-speaker mono kids’ stereo and the film work was darkly shot with the exception of the topless nude scenes which are crystal clear.

Vetri was a third-tier actress throughout the 1970’s and made the news in a notorious way when she allegedly attempted to murder her longtime husband Bruce Rathgeb in 2010 by shooting him at close range. The screenplay was the first work for Hollywood veteran Nicholas Meyer who later became famous for writing and directing Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country as well as the under appreciated Time After Time and the excellent made for TV drama The Day After. As stated before, Invasion Of The Bee Girls is much better than most exploitation films but then again that is not setting the bar too high. The film has moments of being entertaining but overall Invasion Of The Bee Girls will never be mentioned in the annals of science fiction as one of its greatest films. Overall it is a fun little film for those who like lots of cleavage and nudity mixed with a cheese whiz plot but offers little else to the rest of the nerd film world.

* * 1/2

–Mark

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