Has there ever been a Mayor in a movie who’s erred on the side of caution? A single guy (because they’re always men) who goes “well, I don’t want to cancel the Big Event, but I really don’t want half the town to die, so sorry folks”? Sadly, this film doesn’t give us the opportunity to find out.
C Thomas Howell, recently featured by us in “Bigfoot Wars”, is the Sheriff of a small town, haunted by the death death years ago of his father from multiple bee stings, and for some reason (possibly because I wasn’t paying attention at the beginning) a bunch of African killer bees have decided to hang out in his small town.
There’s a teen romance subplot featuring Howell’s son, and all sorts of relationship woes which viewers of SyFy Channel films will be familiar with. His estranged wife is Tracey Nelson, best known to me as Sister Steve from “Father Dowling Investigates”; and there’s also a gorgeous, friendly, funny local bee scientist (Fiona Loewi, whose career sadly didn’t go anywhere after this) who almost screams “roadblock to main romance”. Well, actually I thought she might be the villain for a while, but the film’s not that clever.
The Mayor, who for some reason is wearing a terrible wig, can’t cancel the Honey Festival, and his almost deliberate misunderstanding of all the science drives most of the film. The locals really don’t like being told what to do so constantly storm into danger; but there really aren’t enough bees to cause much of a problem, and long stretches of the film pass with nary a bee to be found.
“Killer Bees!” is a perfectly fun little matinee film, which is exactly how I saw it on “The Horror Channel” – I love those guys, showing awesome old TV shows and interesting horror movies on the regular. It’s not the fastest film of all time, and I think Howell should have ended up with the other woman, but so be it. Also, keep an eye out that you’re watching the right film, because according to IMDB there are seven different ones either with an identical title or with “killer bees” in their title. Although one of the others might be better, who knows?
Rating: thumbs in the middle