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Goodbye Sci-Fi

Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett reflect on MST3K's final broadcast.

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Episode guide: 905- The Deadly Bees

Movie: (1967) A burned-out British pop star is sent to remote Seagull Island to rest her nerves, unaware that two rival bee keepers live there.

First shown: 5/9/98
Opening: Previously on the Satellite of Love…
Intro: The Observers are back…and they’re pissed
Host segment 1: Crow offers a sonnet to the cigarette hag in the movie
Host segment 2: Pearl, Bobo and Observer perform the “Please Stay” operetta
Host segment 3: Mike communicates like a bee
End: The Observers have it out and Brain Guy is victorious
Stinger: “The dog’s meat! Have you seen it?”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (228 votes, average: 4.16 out of 5)

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• Well, SOMEthing had to follow the brilliance of last week, and it was going to pale by comparison, but I think this episode holds its own pretty well. The British movies are not always my favorites, but this one is just silly enough to hold my attention. The riffing is very good and there’s a nice little running story in the host segments. All in all, lots of fun.
• Paul’s observations about this episode are here.
References.
• This episode is not on DVD, and, according to Shout, may never be. And because of that, I’m going to leave in all the little Sci-Fi Channel details that were in my taped copy (which I have been removing for episodes officially released on DVD and not containing all that stuff). For example…
• This week’s door sequence sponsor: Head & Shoulders.
• I forget where, now, (maybe somebody can remind me) but I recall that Mike, in some public setting, named the “Previously…” sketch in the opening as a personal favorite. I like it lot too, particularly Crow’s use of the word “skel,” which I only ever heard on “NYPD Blue.”
• This ep marks the first time we have heard Magic Voice since episode 809- I WAS A TEENAGE WEREWOLF. (It’s {deadly} Beez, natch.)
• And in this episode we get the return of the Observers (Mike and Paul), who are none too pleased to see what’s become of Brain Guy. Mary Jo is particularly funny in the intro sketch.
• Naughty riff: “Catherine? Oh, it’s you…”
• The VW logo is in the corner of the spaghetti ball bumper, the first time I recall Sci-Fi doing that. Later we get a second door sequence sponsor: also VW. I believe this is the first episode that had two in one show.
• Segment 1, featuring the sonnet to the cigarette hag, is a marvel. Quick, funny, well-written, everything works.
• I like the “Please Stay” operetta (which was written by Mike, by the way). My only problem is that piano is a little loud. I can’t quite make out some of the lyrics.
• This week’s annoying commercial: many many ads for Propecia, which make very non-specific promises to grow your hair back, and then makes some very specific and scary warnings about side-effects. (And by the way, between ads for Head & Shoulders and Propecia, what the heck is going on with MSTies’ hair?)
• Segment 3 is one of those “long walk to a kind of cute idea” segments, but it’s harmless.
• Of course that’s Jim as the bowler-hatted man, the first time he’s been on camera since he was an ape in Deep Ape early in season 8.
• And I’m not quite sure why the bowler-hatted man’s appearance in the movie puzzles M&tB so much. It’s only baffling if you haven’t been paying attention. He’s that guy from the beginning of the movie who was dispatched to look into whoever was sending threatening letters to the government. I assume his appearance at the end is a little jab at British bureaucracy: The whole thing is over and dealt with, and he finally arrives to look into things. Not hilarious, but not really baffling either.
• Behind the scenes: It was April 30, 1998, just before this episode debuted, that it was announced that Sci-Fi Channel was not picking up the “back nine,” (that’s TV industry lingo for the nine episodes the channel had an option to order, or not order, in addition to the 13 episodes it had already ordered, for season nine). Fans reacted glumly. Many saw the writing on the wall.
• Cast and Crew Roundup: Producer Max J. Rosenberg also worked on “The Incredible Melting Man.” In front of the camera, Michael Ripper was also in “Moon Zero Two.”
• CreditsWatch: Directed by Mike. Formerly an intern, Dan Breyer, becomes a grip and continues as one for the rest of the series. Intern Brian Bull worked this episode and then departed.
• Fave riff: “Objection! Stupid hat!” Honorable mention: “Frankly, to me, any bra is a Wonder Bra.”

159 Replies to “Episode guide: 905- The Deadly Bees”

  1. pearliemae
    Ignored
    says:

    Albert Finney?

       0 likes

  2. mikek
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    #100: “As far as Fawlty Towers goes, M&TB pick up Lord Melbury immediately but there is a second Fawlty actor on screen; James Cossins ‘the British Commish’ in the film was one of the guests thought to be a hotel inspector by Basil in that episode.”

    Really? I had not noticed that. Had he been wearing a mustache, as he did in that Fawlty Towers episode, it would have been more noticeable.

       0 likes

  3. Mr. B(ob)
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    says:

    I always thought Mike was at his funniest in front of the camera when he was doing characters on the show, both before and after he took over as host. For example, Mike as Valeria, Mike as the Amazing Colossal Man, Mike as Captain Janeway and in this episode, Mike communicating as a bee was highly amusing.

       4 likes

  4. losingmydignity
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    Yeah, Albert Finney?

       0 likes

  5. Manny Sanguillen
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    The audio on this episode was awful. Movie too loud and riffing too quiet. Must have been someone new handling the mixing that week.

    This isn’t one of the better episodes of the season, but it wasnt totally a waste. I have a hard time watching it because of the sound problems though.

    As for british episodes, The Projected Man is in a class by itself for me and cant be compared to this one. TPJ is one of my all time faves and I feel they did their best british riffing in that one. Anything else is second best to The Projected Man as far as I’m concerned.

    The riffing in this one wasn’t consistently great, but it had some funny moments.
    The movie was pretty dumb & boring though.
    But whenever I think of this one, the first thought is always “bad sound”.

    I do rate that opening host segment, however, as one of the best ever. And you can never go wrong with the chicken puppet, I always say.

       1 likes

  6. Cornjob
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    I’m a bit phobic about flying stinging insects, so killer bee and wasp films, even stupid ones (which is all of them I think) affect me on a gut level more than most people. I find that the old style superimposed insect swarms, as fake as they looked, were more convincing than the CGI swarms in more recent films. Just an obsrvation.

       0 likes

  7. DamonD
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    I’ve always been a bit fond of this one. It’s not an A-lister but it is one that I enjoy coming back to every now and then.

    Part of it are the host segments, some of the funniest stuff in the Mike era. Mike is dazzling as a bee, while I enjoy Crow’s song and the opening ‘Previously’ montage is a classic.

    The film itself is grim and depressing but the riff it well and it has one of my favourite ever reaction riffs:

    Servo – “Four. FIIIIIIIVE! Ahh!”

       0 likes

  8. DamonD
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    Oh, one thing I’ve always wondering about – is Tom’s little jaunty ‘Bucket o’ filth’ song a parody of anything? It’s fun, but I don’t know if it’s meant to be a reference of anything.

       0 likes

  9. HowToBeTopp
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    Let’s talk Freddie Francis some more.
    “Legend” doesn’t come CLOSE. If you don’t know the name, imdb this guy as Cinematographer. Any big-budget movie that absolutely fried your brain can be assumed to be shot by Freddie Francis until someone proves otherwise. Lunch hauled him out of retirement at age EIGHTY-ONE to shoot “Straight Story,” for godsake.

    That’s as cinematographer.

    Now look at what he directed. Almost all are available on VHS, far fewer on DVD, and are almost uniformly whack. “Craze” and “Girly” are typical-what IS this? “Paranoiac” (Jimmy Sangster script, a very young Oliver Reed! stars) is available on DVD, and it may be your next best friend, if you give it a chance.

    Who cares?

    Well, watch Deadly Bees again. Look for Francis’ signature shot–he loves to shoot through a room, into the next room, the next, the hall, the W.C., down the block, around the corner, AND IT’S ALL IN SHARP FOCUS. Silly movie, awesome cinematography.

       1 likes

  10. Pattie Blohm
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    Ordering guitar hero was one of several most effective things I’ve done, really would like the children will let me play!

       0 likes

  11. The Toblerone Effect
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    This ep disappointed me, because M&tB have alot to work with here in terms of the movie’s content, but I think they left some riffs “on the table”, so to speak. As far as I’m concerned, you could make fun of British people & culture until the cows come home, and I’d think it was funny every minute. Several of these characters are ripe for riffing, but I think the boys held back this time. It falls short of other Brit movies they riffed like Devil Doll and The Projected Man.

    Being a big ‘Stones fan, I almost fell off of my chair when I saw a young Ron Wood rocking with The Birds. I was shocked that none of them in the theater picked up on who he was. It’s a shame that there isn’t a studio version of “Eight Miles Wrong”, it has a Kinks-like edge to it.

       0 likes

  12. Jeraldine Lafevre
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    Jimmy Rollins has postponed the attempt to break the world record for striking the baseball the farthest due to calf pain.At this time the Main Issue presently is Will He confident enough to pull off this?Evening Wear Dress

       1 likes

  13. Sitting Duck
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    @ #84: IIRC Witchsmeller Pursuivant was from the fourth episode of the first series, which could be described as if the Gawdawful Arthur Miller play The Crucible was funny.

       0 likes

  14. trickymutha
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    says:

    Happy Turkey Day everyone! Deadly Bees is a classic that I have not seen in some time, as, we generally watch commercially issued DVD’s now in my house. That said, have a decent DVD-R copy from original broadcast- so perhaps I will bust out sometime. This episode has, I believe, Lord Melbry from Faulty Towers.

       3 likes

  15. Dan in WI
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    says:

    That previously sketch is really one to enjoy. They hit on all the major clichés. I always knew Mike and Gypsy would end up together.

    It was nice seeing the other observers. Is it just me or does Bill’s Observer look extra fat and lazy in this episode. He kind of has those Captain Joe cheeks going.

    This is probably one of the better films they ever did. I do have to admit to following the story at least as closely as the riffing. Don’t get me wrong I’m still glad for the riffing but I think this is a movie I could watch alone. (Not that I’ve tried.)

    Favorite Riffs:
    Bees are shaken off the furnace filter hive. Mike “No. Please. According to physicists we can’t fly.”

    Tom about the Birds performance “Guys just skip the music and go right to the heroin.”

    Due to the framing we only see half of a horse in a barn. Tom “That horse also plays Wilson on Home Improvement.”

    Crow “This is a movie that has everything… all wrong.”

    Manfred “But in the meantime you are perfectly safe here.” Crow “For your imminent murder.”

       3 likes

  16. mstgator
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    • (And by the way, between ads for Head & Shoulders and Propecia, what the heck is going on with MSTies’ hair?)

    Perhaps they were getting us ready for the 5,000 bald jokes that appear in the very next episode…

       0 likes

  17. MSTie
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    I’m probably one of the few people who can remember seeing this on television a year or two after its release. I remember two things about it. One, it added to my wimpy childhood fear of insects, and two, it introduced me to the concept of lip-synching which I never knew existed before and which was one of those “innocence-ruining” realizations. Huh. For what that’s worth.

    I love the MST3K treatment of TDB. It’s so ’60s and so British that I spend half the time now just marveling at Vicki’s hair, makeup, and clothing. (“Objection! Stupid hat!!) Frank Finlay, Dr. Manfred (“Have you heard of my Earth Band?”) was/is a great actor who seems baffled by the horrible mess that he got himself into by agreeing to do this film. One thing I can’t get over is WHY Vicki’s agent thought this would be a good place for her to recover. Guess it could have been restful, without all the bees. And the marital hatred. And the crazy guy.

    Favorite riffs:
    Fly away, Raisinets, fly away!
    Ah, yes, the pub. Plenty of warm beer, boiled meat, and old guys.

       3 likes

  18. pondoscp
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    Now this is what I’m talking about! After the awkward start to season 9, we’re finally into the good stuff. Nearly everyone raves about 903 and 904, but for my money it’s all about 905 and 906, two overlooked gems. The Deadly Bees is a great return to form, reminding me of the pleasant early days of the show. The more I watch this one, the more I like it. The bowler-hatted man is great! Lots of fun to be had here.

       6 likes

  19. Watch-out-for-Snakes
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    First things first: Happy Turkey Day everyone! Right now I’m watching football on TV with the sound off and listening to the Live Turkey Day Marathon over at Shout!Factory’s YouTube page (man I hope they do this again next year!). Gonna start dinner here in a couple hours. Hanging out with my beautiful fiancé. The sun is shining. Could I be more thankful?

    Now, on to this week’s episode: The Deadly Bees!

    As I said up at #65, this is a good-not-great episode, definitely in the bottom three of Season 9. Still, there are some things I like about it. The “previously on” opening is the best bit in the whole episode (“Don’t make me shoot you. . . . Croooooooow!”). Also, the dog’s meat. Other than that, this one doesn’t deliver that much. This is one of those episodes that is really easy for me to tune out, which I usually do somewhere after Host Segment #1.

    The Host Segments aren’t really that good, Crow’s poem in HS#1 doesn’t do it for me and neither does Observer’s song in HS#2. The best is probably HS#3 with Mike dressed as the bee and Crow looking for his “Just for Men” hair coloring. The return of the Observers (Mike & Paul) isn’t really that great (but the Observer episodes of S8 were never some of my faves), but turning them into raging Packer fans is nice (incidentally, the Pack are losing to the Lions right now, 26-10 at the end of the 3rd quarter).

    Ron Wood looks SOOOOO young in his brief appearance. Count me down as someone who kinda digs that song. Way up at post #7, it’s mentioned that after The Birds, Wood and friends started the band Creation, who had a (great) song called “Making Time.” That song is featured in the opening credits of Wes Anderson’s Rushmore and it’s excellent.

    As mentioned, this film was co-written by Robert Bloch, who you should know wrote the novel that Hitchcock would turn into Psycho. The Deadly Bees is not as good as that is.

    Director Freddie Francis also helmed the Tales from the Crypt anthology film (also from Amicus) and the Hammer Films Dracula Has Risen from the Grave, Paranoiac, and Nightmare (those last two I def recommend), amongst others that are best left unmentioned (. . . .Trog. . .), but Francis is maybe better known as an excellent cinematographer, having lensed The Innocents (one of the best ghost stories ever), Scorsese’s Cape Fear, Oscar-winner-and-teacher-favorite-to-show-in-classrooms Glory, and David Lynch’s The Elephant Man, Dune, and Straight Story. Long story short, Freddie Francis has done better work than The Deadly Bees; don’t judge him too harshly.


    RIFFS:

    Crow: “Christopher Robin decided on a diabolical plan to kill Pooh.”

    Crow: “Don’t let your mom dress the band.”

    movie: “The dog’s meat. Have you seen it?”
    Servo: “Wow!”

    Crow: “We go now LIVE to the heat lamp at Rax.” —-Semi-obscure midwestern fast food restaurant. There was one in my Illinois hometown back in the day; closed a long, long time ago…

    Servo: “I wanna get stoned before you kill me.”

    Mike: “This Tommy Chong-in-a-can will take care of it.”


    The Deadly Bees.
    If you’ve seen the dog’s meat,
    please let us know.

    3/5

       2 likes

  20. littleaimishboy
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    One of the best episodes ever. “Previously …” is in the HS Hall of Fame, and “Mike as a bee” is the kind of wonderful goofiness that got me hooked on this great show in the first place.

    If the movie on its own is “boring”, I honestly never noticed due to the riffing — and besides,

    “I don’t caaare.”

       7 likes

  21. fireballil
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    I do have a couple of fave riffs, they’re from the inquest into the death of Cigarette Hag:

    When the head of the inquest is seen, Crow calls him ‘the British Commish.’

    Then when he says that CH’s death was by ‘misadventure,’ Tom quietly goes ‘Whoo!’ It was subtle, but funny.

       2 likes

  22. Sitting Duck
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    Of course that’s Jim as the bowler-hatted man, the first time he’s been on camera since he was an ape in Deep Ape early in season 8

    If you count puppeteering as being on camera, then it’s his first since Jack Frost.

    Another Robert Bloch writing credit of interest is the Star Trek episode What Are Little Girls Made Of?, which could be described as a reimagining of Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness.

       1 likes

  23. Cornjob
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    A relatively low key episode, especially compared to the two before it. But the riffing is quite solid. The bit about her expression being xeroxed and stapled to her face is pretty much how Laura Bush (Wife of the last President of the USA) struck me. The poster of Westworld where Yul Brenner’s faceplate is falling off also made me think of Mrs. Bush

    “I’ve been making…this movie really hard to watch”

    “Maybe you’ve heard of my Earth band.”

    “Well, Vickie’s obviously here.”

    “Oh and do something about the house fire if you get around to it.”

    Has anyone ever been so uninterested in their house being on fire? That has to be my favorite part of the film.

       2 likes

  24. thequietman
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    says:

    I’ve always enjoyed this episode, for reasons that several people have already mentioned (the intro, operetta, blood from a turnip, etc.).

    But here are my favorite riffs:
    [Upon seeing the rather dingy farm set]: On a dare he built his farm blindfolded!
    [During the listless car chase]: Ah, I love this time of year in England …. what time of year is it again?

    When I finally had the opportunity to live in the UK for a period recently, I would sometimes say the latter to myself as I walked around London or whatever English town I happened to be in, regardless of the weather.

       2 likes

  25. Depressing Aunt
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    says:

    Toting her beloved colorful security-dog, our blonde-bobbed pop singer bubbles her way into my heart with her Nancy Drew slueth skills. AND she’s doing it on her vacation, man.

    Like I wrote before, I appreciate the British episodes. My dream is to go to some place in England that’s really remote, with a homey pub where I would fight off the awkward advances of amorous middle-aged dudes hiding from their bitter wives. Perchance I shall somehow find and journey to the area where the holiday portion of “Withnail and I” was filmed. It looked to have many animals, but no bees to speak of.

    (thequietman, I’ve been in London, too! A brief youthful holiday. But I was too depressed at the time to really appreciate it.)

    #48 makes the observation on a thing that has always amazed me about Manfred and Hargrove. Hargrove should have some knowledge of Manfred’s book, right? Even if it is an obscure book, they are both beekeepers in the same villiage! Blimey!

    I give this episode a “Bee” plus. (*groan*!)

       5 likes

  26. jjb3k
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    I’m a fan of a lot of the underrated episodes, the ones people don’t talk about much, so this one’s high on my list. Despite my crippling fear of bees, even. (I always have to turn away during those icky close-ups of the bees stinging Mrs. Hargrove to death – “Careful, men! Her skin is leathery, you may lose your butt!”)

    The “Previously on…” bit kicks Family Guy’s ass six ways to Sunday. “It isn’t broccoli I want…it’s you!” Great return of the chicken puppet, too.

    I dig the opening scenes with that swingin’ ’60s variety show. Say what you will about the Birds (not the B-Y-R Byrds, but still, the Birds), but I like that song they play here. Great riffing during Vicki’s lip-synched performance. “A rival show invades!”

    “Hey, they’re growing Bill the Cat!” Speaking as a huge Berke Breathed fan, that got a humongous laugh out of me.

    “On a dare, this guy built his farm blindfolded.” You’d think a movie set almost entirely on a drab brown dirt farm wouldn’t have a lot of opportunity for riffing, but man, do Mike and the bots knock this one out of the park. The needlessly nasty Hargroves are all the fodder they need. “Sure, they argue, but the sex is great!”

    And as if that weren’t enough, we also get Manfred (“You’ve heard of my Earth Band?”), perhaps the most fey villain ever in a MSTed movie, and also one of the most obvious. Love his stuttery talk about bees and how he captured “one or two of them. Three.” “No, four! FIVE!” Plus, on top of that, we have sweet dumb Vicki and her permanently Xeroxed shocked expression that makes her look like someone just hit her with a salmon. There’s a lot of goofy characters in this movie to help offset the drab setting.

    Also, really cheesy front projection effects. “Killer cookie crumbs!”

    Such great riffing during the fiery climax, from the flashbacks (“Come on, this was three minutes ago!”) to Manfred’s less-than-dignified death by staircase. “Now, you really can’t blame that on the bees.”

    I don’t care if there is an explanation for Bowler Hat Guy. I still laugh up a lung when Servo says “Is there going to be a credit that says ‘Guy At The End’?” :D

       7 likes

  27. Cornjob
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    says:

    As I mentioned in my old post #106 I’m a bit phobic of flying stinging insects, so I’m with you jjb3k. Wasps and hornets creep me out even more. And hopefully you’ve never gotten too close to a Tarantula Hawk.

    The Bill the Cat reference was well done, as was the “I’ll just drop in, get a bit of hose and stick it in the tail pipe. That’l take care of my little problem.” That might be my favorite MST suicide joke. I love suicide jokes. Maybe favorite suicide/depression/mental illness jokes could be a weekend discussion topic.

       1 likes

  28. Depressing Aunt
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    says:

    #127. Dark–! But as you can tell by my handle, I’m for it. I dig gallows humor. I like the joke from “A Date with Your Family” with Brother looking into the oven.

    “Silvia?”

       1 likes

  29. Cornjob
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    says:

    Just to be clear, when I’m laughing at depression and suicide, I’m laughing at myself before all others.

       2 likes

  30. Strummergas
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    Sorry for being such a stickler, but I feel compelled to make some minor corrections to post #7 in regard to The Birds. Ron Wood and Kim Gardner did not form The Creation. The Creation was already in existence when they were still in The Birds. After singer Kenny Pickett left Creation, bassist Ron Gardner (no relation to Kim) took over lead vocals and Kim Gardner was brought in on bass. Ron Wood joined the band during their final days after guitarist Eddie Phillips and Bob Gardner quit and Kenny Pickett returned to the fold. This line-up managed just one single before the band was dissolved.

    However, both bands are awesome and both are featured on the Nuggets II box set. Highly recommended for those who like mid-60s British rock. (a la The Who, The Kinks, The Stones).

       2 likes

  31. Turquois Plastic Pith Helmet
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    The first time I watched this episode, the riff “Release the Komodo Dragons!” near the start of the film (after the bee keeper is informed he’s having a guest) didn’t make much sense to me. After watching the movie once, the second time I watched it that same riff had me rolling on the floor, knowing what was to come. I think that’s the only time they’ve used a riff that was much funnier after you’d seen the movie once.

       0 likes

  32. docskippy
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    says:

    I hate this movie. In fact, I hate just about all the dreary, plodding, pointedly un-fun 60s Brit sci-fi/horror movies used as fodder for MST experiments during the Sci Fi Channel years.

       3 likes

  33. Yeti of Great Danger
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    says:

    docskippy:
    I hate this movie. In fact, I hate just about all the dreary, plodding, pointedly un-fun 60s Brit sci-fi/horror movies used as fodder for MST experiments during the Sci Fi Channel years.

    Well, I love this movie and all the other ’60s British pop culture stuff. In fact, The Deadly Bees is in my top ten of MST3K episodes and one I never get tired of. The weird fashions (typical of Brit ’60s) are only outdone by the Phyllis Diller wannabe in Operation Double 007 aka that other title. Love the riffing about the Cigarette Hag and how if there’s a fire, Vicky must be around someplace.

       4 likes

  34. jay
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    I watched this episode while I recorded it on my VCR back in 1998. For what it’s worth the only time that video has been watched again is when I duped it onto DVD in 2009 and that DVD is sitting in my MST collection binder unwatched. On the positive side I remember laughing at Mike’s bee communication dance. I think it was the way he wagged his bee butt back and forth. Ha!

       0 likes

  35. touches no one's life, then leaves
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    Depressing Aunt:
    #127. Dark–!But as you can tell by my handle, I’m for it.I dig gallows humor.I like the joke from“A Date with Your Family”with Brother looking into the oven.

    “Silvia?”

    THERE’S A RABBIT IN THERE!

       1 likes

  36. The Original EricJ
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    Yeti of Great Danger: The weird fashions (typical of Brit ’60s) are only outdone by the Phyllis Diller wannabe in Operation Double 007 aka that other title.Love the riffing about the Cigarette Hag and how if there’s a fire, Vicky must be around someplace.

    Aside from deeply, deeply issued misogynists, I thought only gay men and Trump supporters ever used the H-word?
    (Except in “Magic Sword”, where we actually didhave Hags.)

       0 likes

  37. thequietman
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    says:

    Hmm, this has too much color!

    This might just be the most British of the British films we had on this series. I still can’t fathom what was up with Hargrove’s wife. Was she meant to be clinically depressed, to the point she can’t even answer the phone and would rather let it just keep clanging into her ear?

    As to the episode itself, I’ve always enjoyed it (that opener had more effort put into it than most host segments!) and I still contend that we’ll get this (and next week’s Space Children) out officially at some point. The movies are available on DVD straight, so it’s not like the rights holders are averse to releasing them. We just need to wait out their current licensing agreement. I’ll be looking forward to that day but in the meantime I’ll go straighten a lampshade…

       1 likes

  38. docskippy
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    says:

    Yeti of Great Danger: docskippy:
    I hate this movie. In fact, I hate just about all the dreary, plodding, pointedly un-fun 60s Brit sci-fi/horror movies used as fodder for MST experiments during the Sci Fi Channel years.
    Well, I love this movie and all the other ’60s British pop culture stuff. In fact, The Deadly Bees is in my top ten of MST3K episodes and one I never get tired of. The weird fashions (typical of Brit ’60s) are only outdone by the Phyllis Diller wannabe in Operation Double 007 aka that other title. Love the riffing about the Cigarette Hag and how if there’s a fire, Vicky must be around someplace.

    Fair enough. We can still be friends!

       1 likes

  39. Sitting Duck
    Ignored
    says:

    The Deadly Bees passes the Bechdel Test. There are multiple non-male conversations between Vicki, Doris, and the Cigarette Hag. Also Vicki talks with the P.A. about the stress she’s under.

    In the Golden Turkey Awards, The Deadly Bees was nominated for Most Badly Bumbled Bee Movie of All Time. But it lost out to The Swarm.

    The prologue comes across as something more appropriate for a season premiere.

    For those distraught over Robert Bloch being involved with this film, you can always try attaching blame to his co-writer Anthony Marriot. Something similar is done with the lesser Shakespeare plays. Some folks apparently can’t handle the idea that the Bard wasn’t crapping out masterpieces from the get go, and that he might have started out with a few mediocre scripts before hitting his stride.

    Freddie Francis was also the uncredited cinematographer for the criminally underrated Return to Oz.

    During his monologue, Manfred states that that Hargrove treated his wife abominably. I don’t really see that, as it comes across as more of a Lockhorn-style mutual loathing marriage. Mrs. Hargrove is particularly unsympathetic, as she appears to just sit on hinder all day going through who knows how many packs, and can’t even be bothered to so much as answer the phone while Mr. Hargrove does all the farm work.

    Love how Beez’s credit for this episode was Deadly Beez McKeever.

    Shinola:
    Back when we talked Phantom Planet, I mentioned that it began a long string of fantastic outings, and this is one near the top. I know Deadly Bees leaves some people lukewarm at best, but I instantly treasured it. In fact, one of my big MST disappointments is somehow losing the VHS tape on which I recorded this and The Space Children back-to-back. They’re two of my season nine favorites, and it chafes me that they haven’t seen a DVD release to date.

    And looks like they never will.

    Jamie:
    I actually liked the rock number (eight miles long) nice and loud. I got into it. I wonder if that was an actual release there at the time by that particular band.

    Perhaps that’s why it ended up on the, “Even Shout couldn’t get the rights,” list.

    Favorite riffs

    “I’m sure we wish them the very best on their forthcoming tour of America.”
    Should they ever get one.

    Has the hate gone out of our marriage?

    So how well does a crap farm do, actually?

    Hot housedress action!

    She hasn’t moved that fast since Lucky Strikes went on sale.

    Appeal to your audience. Kill the cute dog.

    To think that she was once Miss East Puddingshire.

    Objection! Stupid hat.

    Now I’m paranoid about pop stars sneaking around my study.

    Excellent picture of your THUMB, thank you very much.

    “I have a theory.”
    No I don’t. Who am I kidding?

    This constitutes being nude in England.

    She washed the towel in new Fear Scented Tide.

    Hope she won’t find it off-putting when I dress like my mother.

    I think there’s room in the crawlspace for one more body.

    I’m not great at the murder thing, but I’m getting better.

    I decided not to narrate this part of my flashback. I think it speaks for itself.

    “Don’t leave me, Vicki!”
    I haven’t finished killing you yet.

    “Hawkins, drop that jacket!”
    Now the trousers!

    This Tommy Chong in a Can will take care of it.

    And the bees were sentenced to life imprisonment with no chance of parole.

       2 likes

  40. touches no one's life, then leaves
    Ignored
    says:

    Hags are also mentioned in the Harry Potter books.

    http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Hag

    Sitting Duck:
    Appeal to your audience. Kill the cute dog.

    Well, there was no other incidental character whom we could reasonably be expected to care about…

    Anyway, sorry, just not buying into the host segments this time. Mary Jo did too good a job being evil in the prior episodes for the idea that Pearl actually cared about Observer (or, indeed, any living creature other than herself) to seem even remotely credible. IMHO.

    And while Pearl claims the Observers stole the world conquest idea from her, SHE stole it from her son. Whom she MURDERED. Yeah, nobody likes to talk about THAT, but there it is.

    “As I held the pillow to his face, I vowed to avenge his death…”

    Of course, give the apparent timeframe of Dr. Forrester’s death, the existence of Dr. Forrester’s daughter raises more questions than it answers…one of the most notable questions being: Someone SLEPT with Dr. Forrester?!

    It occurred to me that if we wanted to be SILLY about it, we could presume Pearl’s ex-husband Jerome (“You want to know how Jerome died?”) actually spelled his name *G*erome and he was G. Octavius Neon from Wild World of Batwoman, who bequeathed to his son (among other things) the services of two Mole People, Jerry and Sylvia. Do you want to be SILLY? Well, *do* you, better say “yes,” DAMMIT!

    ;-)

       3 likes

  41. Yeti of Great Danger
    Ignored
    says:

    docskippy: Fair enough. We can still be friends!

    Absolutely! (or, in the words of Werewolf’s Natalie — Ebzolootly!) :-D

       2 likes

  42. Yeti of Great Danger
    Ignored
    says:

    The Original EricJ: Aside from deeply, deeply issued misogynists, I thought only gay men and Trump supporters ever used the H-word?

    Let’s see, I’m neither a misogynist, gay, a man, or a Trump supporter. I was quoting Paul Chaplin, who has also been quoted by others here. http://www.mst3kinfo.com/aceg/9/905/ep905.html Also, I think Mike used the term himself in the show, but we all know you don’t listen to Mike, so your ignorance is excused.

       11 likes

  43. touches no one's life, then leaves
    Ignored
    says:

    Sitting Duck:
    In the Golden Turkey Awards,

    written by Michael “Pinkboy” Medved and his brother Harry.

    I didn’t know until today that M.M. has cancer. Harsh. As much of a jerk as I think he is/was, I didn’t wish him any specific harm. :-|

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Medved

    Sitting Duck:
    The Deadly Bees was nominated for Most Badly Bumbled Bee Movie of All Time. But it lost out to The Swarm.

    I’m not sure how many people realize that was an actual separate genre back in the 1970s, the era of the disaster film, the time of Phase IV and City on Fire.

    Sitting Duck:
    For those distraught over Robert Bloch being involved with this film

    For more on THAT, see THIS:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Deadly_Bees

    Sitting Duck:
    During his monologue, Manfred states that that Hargrove treated his wife abominably. I don’t really see that, as it comes across as more of a Lockhorn-style mutual loathing marriage.

    Well, that’s just it, he was trying to “justify” his murder after the fact.

       1 likes

  44. littleaimishboy
    Ignored
    says:

    “The Birds appeared fresh from an all-nighter and performed ‘All I Need’. ‘We were all unshaven, knackered, and needed a bath,’ recalls Tony [Munroe]. ‘We got fifty quid each and couldn’t wait to get home to bed.'” – from the liner notes to THE COLLECTOR’S GUIDE TO RARE BRITISH BIRDS, CD with all their released material and more, including “All I Need” which was featured in TDB but never released as a single or whatever, not included in the track listing but making an unedited – as in “just like you heard it in the movie, complete with the beloved ‘Oh, Vicki!’ speech” – appearance at the end of Track 18.

    And no, that tour of America never did materialize …

       4 likes

  45. IR5
    Ignored
    says:

    Kind of a dark movie-right? I mean, Manfred’s hag smoking wife gets wasted by Bees. The Dog who seeks Meat gets mowed down by Bees. Manfred Mann gets mowed down by Bees. I love it. Makes me laugh every time. I give this episode 5 Bowlers.

       4 likes

  46. Jason
    Ignored
    says:

    I love this episode. Probably my favorite of the British films they tackled. The riffing doesn’t let up, and the host segments are fantastic. Shame it poses such problems for an official release.

       5 likes

  47. Johnny Drama
    Ignored
    says:

    Now this is what I’m talking about! After the awkward start to season 9, we’re finally into the good stuff. Nearly everyone raves about 903 and 904, but for my money it’s all about 905 and 906, two overlooked gems. The Deadly Bees is a great return to form, reminding me of the pleasant early days of the show. The more I watch this one, the more I like it. The bowler-hatted man is great! Lots of fun to be had here.

       4 likes

  48. touches no one's life, then leaves
    Ignored
    says:

    Finnias Jones:
    Crow: Why didn’t I marry a cigarette?

    “Can you marry beer?”

    John M .Hanna:
    Its too bad MST3K never got to do the all time worst bee movie of all time, “The Swarm” with Michael Caine.I realize the film is almost 3 hours long

    Rifftrax tackles extra-long films now and then, though.

    Dark Grandma of Death:
    Was the song Vicky Robinson sings in the studio supposed to be the one that catapulted her to fame?

    No, she was already famous before the events of the film.

    Zeroninety:
    Here’s something I didn’t pick up on till nearly ten years after I first saw the episode: Manfred does his whole “bumbling moron” act with Hargrove, “Oh, I’ve mislaid my Simmins book on beekeeping,” etc. So, supposedly, it should be a big shock that he has the beekeeping expertise to pull off his plan. BUT–Vicki discovers a book he’s written on beekeeping, published under his own name (!) with his picture on the cover (!!) So why is Hargrove going along with any of Manfred’s stupid act?

    He Just Didn’t Care.

    MSTie:
    One thing I can’t get over is WHY Vicki’s agent thought this would be a good place for her to recover.

    They had a really good ad in the trade magazines. OSLT.

       1 likes

  49. Kenneth Morgan
    Ignored
    says:

    Fun fact: Frank Finlay (Manfred) appeared as Inspector Lestrade in two separate Sherlock Holmes movies where Holmes faces Jack the Ripper (“A Study in Terror” and “Murder by Decree”). Both movies also feature Anthony Quayle, but in different roles.

    Also, “Deadly Bees” features Michael Ripper as Hawkins. I’m pretty sure he was in more Hammer and Amicus movies than anyone.

       2 likes

  50. The Original EricJ
    Ignored
    says:

    touches no one’s life, then leaves: “Can you marry beer?”

    …Not if it’s on the sun.

    touches no one’s life, then leaves: written by Michael “Pinkboy” Medved and his brother Harry.
    I didn’t know until today that M.M. has cancer. Harsh. As much of a jerk as I think he is/was, I didn’t wish him any specific harm. :-|
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Medved

    He was a jerk (although we can thank his national-radio jerkdom for helping to take down the Kevin Williamson machine in the 90’s), and sparked the wrong aspect of bad-movie fandom that, ahem, other devotees have since picked up on, but yes, nobody deserves that.
    Not even if Rifftrax says “Hey, have we done Lost Horizon yet?”, just because it kept getting mentioned in the books.

    Kenneth Morgan:
    Fun fact: Frank Finlay (Manfred) appeared as Inspector Lestrade in two separate Sherlock Holmes movies where Holmes faces Jack the Ripper (“A Study in Terror” and “Murder by Decree”).Both movies also feature Anthony Quayle, but in different roles.

    (Of which “Murder By Decree” is the much, much better one, but that’s a separate discussion.)

       1 likes

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