Sunday, February 01, 2015

Invasion of the Bee Girls/Graveyard Tramps (1973)

Note:  This review was originally posted to my Epinions account.

Normally I like to dedicate at least three paragraphs to a rundown of a movie’s plot.  I don’t know if that’s going to be possible here.  I’ll probably spend more time tearing it apart than I will actually describing it.  The reason is that the movie has such a basic plot and not a very good one at that.

In a nutshell, a scientist is found dead of a heart attack.  The contributing factor was too much sex.  (I know; it’s a heck of a way to go.)  Agent Neil Agar is sent in by the State Department to investigate, only because the scientist in question was working on something for the government.  Dr. Susan Harris, who is running things while the actual head of operations is out of town, may have something to do with it.

You may be thinking that this could make for an interesting movie, especially considering that there’s a lot of gratuitous nudity in it.  After all, the movie starts with two naked people rolling down a hill.  Nudity was about the only thing that the movie had going for it, and even that wasn’t much to speak of.  The movie was released almost 40 years ago.  The film quality isn’t that good, plus the movie has managed to avoid an NC-17 rating.  You get to see a lot of naked people, but it‘s nothing like the quality you can get today.

Agar works with a woman named Julie Zorn.  The two manage to figure out that there’s some sort of insect-type thing going on, but they can’t quite put their finger on it.  How they arrived at this, I don’t know, but they spend a lot of time in a bedroom looking at projector reels of insects and their various mating habits.  (If I was in a room with a woman that attractive, I’d be thinking about mating habits, but not about the mating habits of insects.)

There are also a lot of sexual jokes and innuendo thrown in for good measure.  While several men are talking about the deaths, one comments that it’s not the worst way to go.  There’s also a scene where a scientist is warning people not to have sex.  Since they don’t know about the bee angle yet, he tells the people that incidents of STDs seems to be swelling, much to the amusement of those watching him.

It looks like the movie was supposed to be some sort of horror/mystery/sci-fi movie with a few erotic scenes here and there, but it came across as a bad attempt at getting porn into mainstream theaters.  (This is about the closest thing to porn that I’ll ever get on demand without paying for it.)  The movie only runs 85 minutes, which is actually a good thing.  It drags on for the first 70 minutes, then hurries along to the conclusion in the last 15.

While the acting was at least decent, special effects weren’t that great.  We occasionally got the view from a bee’s perspective, which was just a special filter that looked like a basic attempt at a compound eye.  The bee women also had all-black eyes that looked convincing, but only because overall film quality was pretty bad to begin with.

There were a few fashion points that I noticed.  First, many of the bee women wore these large, ugly sunglasses indoors and out.  I can only imagine that it was to avoid having to use the contact lenses a lot.  I also found it odd that all of the women that Dr. Harris converted were able to get the sunglasses so quickly.  Once a woman becomes one of Dr. Harris’s bee women, they’re often shown with the glasses the next time we see them.

It also looks like many of the women had an aversion to bras.  There was only one occasion where a woman took off her shirt to reveal something other than bare breasts.  I’m not complaining, mind you.  I found many of the women to be attractive.  I just thought it was strange.  (Read: gratuitous.)

This is one of those filler b-movies that Comcast seems to use to pad its selection of free on-demand movies.  I’d only recommend watching this if you can get it for free or very little money.  You’ll also probably want to watch it alone.  This is not a movie I would have wanted to watch with a female relative.  I think I would have wanted to finish it just for the attractive, naked women, but I don’t think I would have admitted it to her.

Note:  The movie was originally released as Invasion of the Bee Girls, but was re-released as Graveyard Tramps.  The original name is more fitting, I’ll admit.  I don’t know why they changed the name.

Overall, two stars. 

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