Friday, February 26, 2016

THE BEES (VINEGAR SYNDROME BLU-RAY/DVD) - Let It Sting You in the Blu-ray Player

First and foremost, I want to give a great big bee hug and shout out to a great friend Chris Garofalo aka Quiltface Studios who created the newly commissioned cover artwork for the latest animal Horror attack from Vinegar Syndrome, The Bees. Your new cover is perfect for VS and captures the spirit of this release nicely. Beyond the initial release update from Vinegar Syndrome when the announced this title, Chris championed this Blu-ray as if he were releasing it and shared his concept with the world. Let this be the first of many collaborations between one of my favorite distro companies and one of my favorite artists. You can also check out the print Quiltface did for Vinegar Syndrome's release of Demonoid HERE.

Now… onto THE BEES…

Crazy South American bees infest and kill, to gory end with John Carradine as the researcher and John Saxon pulling up the hero’s end of things. Now I have a particularly unhealthy phobia related to these little stings. I’m not talking about the cute honey bees that give us delicious syrupy, sugary treates. Wasps and hornets are winged terrors that have plagued me since I went on a Cub Scout camping trip as a kid. I was stung three separate times in the first hour I was there and then refused to leave my tent. Shortly thereafter I found a wasp in my bed one night; obviously these fuckers were out to get me. Fast forward adulthood where my wife and I bought our family a home, only to discover a holocaust of dead bees in the attic followed by several years of bees coming down the furnace chase into my basement and into our house. I do not like bees Sam I Am. What’s the most striking thing about this flick? No one seems nearly afraid enough of these crazy swarms of bees. The entire movie is spent with folks covered in the little bligheters. I can hardly let one get within five feet of me, and John Saxon is ready to swim in them.

What does that mean for the Horror fan looking to explore this title? It means that you are in for a campy fun time with Horror icons. The Bees is not particularly frightening, but it is most certainly fun. I don’t think I’m giving too much away here when I tell you that the end sequence plays out like a popcorn machine of bees. Combine that with dialogue like, “I haven’t been able to decipher your language,” spoken to the bees and the comic relief is ensured. Giant swarms take over cities. Giant hives and colonies dominate the cityscape. John Saxon speaking before the UN. You catch my drift?

This goes beyond the typical animal attack movie with flamboyant TV drama music and making the problem global rather than local. All that being said, this really does fall in line with many of the 70’s animal Horror features that never quite get the Horror part accomplished but always make for fan favorites because they are perfectly entertaining.

Vinegar Syndrome does Horror to perfect providing excellent transfers. This is no exception. Sourced from a 35mm camera negative and preserved lovingly, The Bees are buzzing about this one. The displayed cover art is from Quiltface Studios as we mentioned at the outset of this review, but the original art is preserved on the reverse for purists. There’s a video interview with the director included and trailer. It’s not the most cumbersome extra package we’ve seen from VS, but it is more than sufficient. 

You can order your copy of The Bees now from Vinegar Syndrome:

From Vinegar Syndrome:

Evil corporations have smuggled a deadly strain of South American killer bees into the United States and now the entire world may be on the brink of imminent destruction! As cities tumble, body counts rise, and mass hysteria ensues, scientist John Norman (John Saxon) thinks he might have discovered the secret strategy to stop THE BEES!

Directed by Alfredo Zacarias (DEMONOID) and co-starring Angel Tompkins, John Carradine, and Claudio Brook, THE BEES is an epic disaster film and drive-in classic, chock full of outrageous action and jaw-dropping plot twists. Vinegar Syndrome brings THE BEES into your living room, newly restored in 2k in its previously unavailable Director’s Cut, and guaranteed to give you stingingly good entertainment.

Director: Alfredo Zacharias
1978 / 92min / English / Color / 1.85:1

Features Include:

+ Blu-ray/DVD Combo | Region Free | 1.85:1 OAR
+ Newly scanned and restored in 2k from 35mm camera negative
+ All extras on both Blu-ray and DVD.
+ Video interview with director Alfredo Zacarias.
+ Original theatrical trailer.
+ Reversible cover artwork (original).
+ English SDH Subtitles.

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