Step right up folks and witness the huge variety of our bee movies! We got killer bees, Africanized bees, gay bees, zombees, genetically enhanced bees but that’s not all! For the same price, which is free, you will also get all the wasp movies too! From ordinary wasps over giant wasps to killer wasps, we got ’em all! All in all, we went over 24 killer bee and wasp movies so get ready to be stung!
After this hopefully engaging intro, it’s time for some harsh truths. There are no good bee or wasps movies. Unfortunately, these are not sharks or crocodiles, so most of the movies are B or even C movies with limited budgets and pretty horrid special effects. While those old-timey creature features from the seventies stood the test of time when it comes to really gnarly bee footage, everything else is pretty dull and out-dated. With a few exceptions, of course. So, they are best viewed as movies so bad that they are good. Especially if you’re an animal attack movie fan.
Movies about bees and wasps movies can be divided into two very distinct categories. First, we have the seventies wave of killer bee movies with five movies following the same pattern of Africanized bees wreaking havoc upon the unsuspecting population. Our second category are movies featuring genetic manipulation of the bees or wasps. Starting with Flying Virus in 2001 almost all subsequent movies featured some sort of DNA splicing or dangerous genetic experiments. My advice is to go back and forth between the movies to keep things fresh.
Facts about bees
One of the things you might have heard about bees lately is that they’re in trouble. We are heavily dependent on bees and there are some estimates that if bee numbers continue to fall we will face catastrophe. Climate change, destruction of their natural habitat, pesticide use and many other factors contribute to this problem. However, poor bees are also facing one other huge problem: Colony collapse disorder. It’s been happening so much in these last few years that television show Black Mirror even made an episode about it. After this rather depressing intro let’s dive into our two sub-genres of movies about bees and see whether they have any basis in reality.
Africanized honey bee was created by crossbreeding East African lowland honey bee with various European honey bee subspecies. So, much of what you’ll hear in these movies is true. Complete with the introduction of East African lowland bee into Brazil and their subsequent escape from quarantine in 1957. Since then, they were responsible for approximately 1000 deaths. They reached the United States somewhere around 1990 fulfilling the movie scientist’s worst nightmares.
Strangely enough, even our second category is rooted in science. There is some progress in bee genetic engineering and the current bee crises pushed researches to try even harder to find solutions. If you want to know more about it, I recommend you check out this The Guardian’s article: Invasion of the ‘frankenbees’: the danger of building a better bee. So even all those crazy movies with scientists experimenting on bees seem a bit more realistic now.
When it comes to the future of bee movies, I hope that the invasion of Asian giant hornet will spark the imagination of our film-makers and kickstart a new wave of movies. Not to mention the religious motives that are ripe for exploitation. After all, the only release in the last five fucking years was the Chinese Killer Bee Invasion, so we’re really hungry for more killer bee, wasp or hornet movies.
There are a couple of movies that do feature bees but they could not be considered a straight-up killer bee movies. In these movies, bees or wasps play an important part but they are not the main theme of the movie.
The Reaping  – Okay, this movie does not have any bees or wasps, it has locusts. But the reason why I included it in the honorable mentions is that it should have them! If you keep reading you will stumble upon the quote from the book of revelations detailing what type of insect should be featured here. However, there’s also one more thing about this movie. It has one of the best insect footage I have ever seen. The swarms of locusts look realistic and scary as fuck. This being a $40 million budget movie, they had the means to make these special effects look amazing. Too bad we don’t have such entries on this list but what they lack in visuals they make up in heart and soul.
My Girl  – This one has bees but I wished it didn’t. It’s a coming-of-age drama starring young Macaulay Culkin, Jamie Lee Curtis and Dan Aykroyd. I vividly remember watching it in the nineties as a kid. It blew me away with its story and characters although it features almost all the standard-issue elements of this type of movie. And those were real bees if you’re wondering.
Bee Movie  – I mean, it goes without saying that a movie with this amount of bees in it has to be included on this list. It’s about a young bee who just finished college and started working in the honey-making business. Not sure that he had much choice, but that’s life for ya. Soon he discovers that humans have been stealing their honey for centuries and decides to do something about it. Cute and heartwarming, it makes a nice break from all the other bee movies.
Black Mirror – Season 3 Episode 6: Hated in the Nation – I know that this is a television show, but I simply had to mention this episode. After all, with a runtime of 89 minutes, it’s longer than most of the movies on this list. It follows two detectives as they’re investigating a series of strange deaths. Their investigation will lead them to the most unusual place. I don’t want to give away too much of the plot so it’s best you check out this episode for yourself. If you haven’t watched this show I urge you to check it out and Hated in the Nation could be a great intro.
The Wicker Man  – If you haven’t checked out this Nicolas Cage oddity I highly recommend you do now. This is the second adaptation of David Pinner’s 1967 novel Ritual, with the first one released in 1973. Set on an island it follows policeman looking for his missing daughter. His quest isn’t going so well as all the people living on this private island seem to be members of a strange honey-selling community. Engaging from start to finish, The Wicker Man is full of strange scenes that are so odd you’ll need a moment to process what happened. And then start laughing.
Cage cranked up to ten is a true delight to watch. With a sleek visual style and competent camerawork, the movie sucks you in its strange world. You feel like you’re in a living nightmare where anything might happen. It also reminds me of The Deadly Bees , being set on an island filled with bees. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, be sure to check out the alternative cut of this movie with grand bee finale. You can also find it on YouTube, but it’s so much better to witness it live.
Candyman  – I am the writing on the wall, the whisper in the classroom. Without these things, I am nothing. So now, I must shed innocent blood. Come with me. Oh man, this movie scared the shit out of me when I first saw it. It has that Clive Barker vibe and if you’ve seen any of his Hellraiser movies you’ll know what I’m talking about. The opening sequence for Candyman shows Chicago being swarmed by bees hinting that they will play a significant role in a movie. And they did.
This is just a fucked up movie with a lot of fucked up scenes and a fucked up script. Underneath it all, you can see the motives of racial injustice and how they plagued American society since its beginning. Clive’s short story is set in Liverpool but after witnessing just how fucked up Chicago was, he decided to change the location of the movie. A masterpiece of nineties horror featuring the first iconic black villain that will haunt the dreams of people around the world, is a must-see. And yes, the first time I saw the movie I couldn’t say the words.
Killer bee movies that you should skip
Either too cheap, boring or just pretentious, these movies were pretty bad. I mean, I couldn’t even finish some of them. They are technically movies about bees but without any redeeming qualities. However, some people might find them interesting or funny.
Killer Bees 
A Japanese bee movie featuring almost all-female cast sounds like a promising setup. And yes, I was expecting, scratch that, hoping, that this is going to be some sort of weird and sexual flick. What we actually got is an incredibly cheap movie without character development, special effects, tension or almost anything else. The only thing I liked about it was the girl scouts motto: 3, 2, 1, hustle hustle! After a bunch of girl scouts goes camping they get attacked by bees and have to reach civilization as soon as possible. And that’s it. If you like watching Japanese girls yelling stuff, running and walking through the forest, you might wanna give it a try. It’s like incredibly soft porn without any nudity. If that makes any sense. I mean, the story isn’t that bad, it’s just boring as hell.
Blood Honey 
This movie was the biggest disappointment on this list. With a title Blood Honey and a poster featuring a girl being stung by bees, I was excited to watch a modern killer bee movie. What I got was a pretentious drama with almost no bees and a whole lot of bad acting. The attempts of character development came out awkward and awful dialogue only amplified this. There are some good shots of nature and decent lighting. And that’s it. The music was almost nonexistent and when we did hear something it was jarring and totally out of sync with the movie. You can see what they were going for with the whole daughter-dying father dynamic, but this is not how it’s done. Just skip this one. You would be better off watching those poor Japanese girl scouts in the forest.
Tsunambee: The Wrath Cometh 
Produced by Wild Eye Releasing, known for their incredibly cheap shark movies, Tsunambee combines the religious prophecies with killer bees. It started with a quote from Revelations which checks out and sounds really ominous:
And out of the smoke locusts came down on the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth. They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. They were not allowed to kill them but only to torture them for five months. And the agony they suffered was like that of the sting of a scorpion when it strikes. During those days people will seek death but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them.
The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. On their heads they wore something like crowns of gold, and their faces resembled human faces. Their hair was like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. They had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle. They had tails with stingers, like scorpions, and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months.
First of all, hot damn does that sound fucking weird or what? Our bible-writing homeboys were smoking some heavy shit. Secondly, this makes for one hell of an intro for a killer bee movie. They were clearly describing some killer bees with their stingers attacking humans. The only problem is that Tsunambee is an incredibly disjointed and amateurish movie. The camera shakes a lot and editing is all over the place. The story after this enticing start goes completely off the rails along with pretty much every other thing in this movie. And don’t get me started on the special effects. Still, it can be a fun viewing if you’re looking for those ultra-cheap killer bee movies.
Older killer bee movies
In this section, we will be going over some of the older killer bee movies released between 1957 and 1978. It’s strange that they were no bee movies released in the eighties, a period where almost every other killer animal got the opportunity to kill a lot of humans. You can watch them as period movies, studying how people lived back then and what was popular. Not to mention filming techniques and special effects. I am still considering writing an article exploring the question of whether these movies were racist. I think they were just using the bee panic of the sixties, but I’m just not sure. Anyways, most of them are up on YouTube, so you can check them out for free.
21. Monster from Green Hell 
Released the same year Soviets launched Sputnik 1 into space, Monster from Green Hell uses the space race as the basis for its story. Those days only a few animals escaped the radiation that turned them into huge beasts bent on destroying humanity. This is actually an adventure movie set in Africa with just a couple of scenes with our mutated monster. It has a certain old school charm that I couldn’t shake even a few days after watching.
It made me want to read some Asimov or Clark, but that could be just me. After sending several animals into orbit around Earth, scientists lose contact with the rocket that apparently crashed somewhere in Africa. Next thing you know and there are reports of strange things going on there so decide to see what’s going on. With the great score, snappy editing and great intro, I was hooked. It was so cool to watch them monitor radio wave devices for data instead of computers. But don’t worry, computers are here alright. Clinking and clanking and the size of a truck.
It didn’t take long for us to see our giant wasp that mutated from all the outer space radiation. After all the entire movie is some seventy minutes long. And a lot of the scenes are stock footage. I just loved the scientific vibe mixed with the serious tone of the no-nonsense adventure. Knowledge drives out fear, what a fucking sentence! The first person narration adds a special flavor like you’re reading a book.
Pacing is also really good and you don’t have to wait too long for the next obstacle or interesting scene. Those stock footage scenes of nature and animals were seamlessly spliced together with our main heroes’ quest and they look really stunning. Especially the lion scenes. Monster from Green Hell is an old school B movie and since almost all of the movies on this list are B movies, it’s fun to compare it to them. To see how things changed and how at the same time things haven’t changed much.
20. The Wasp Woman 
Produced and directed by the king of B and C movies Roger Corman, this is a black-and-white horror movie from a different time. Set in the corporate world, I was amazed to see charts with quarterly profits and discussions not too dissimilar to the ones people are having today. I mean, I knew that the corporate world was very much alive and kicking back then it’s just so jarring to see it in a movie about bees. A stark reminder that we haven’t moved an inch towards progress and a better society.
Shot on sets of other movies and with a really small budget, The Wasp Woman looks exactly as you would imagine it would. I strongly suggest that you first watch the 1995 remake and then come back and check out the original. Mostly because of the story. After Eric Zinthrop, a pseudo-scientist experimenting with wasps is fired from his previous job, he finds a new one in the most unexpected company.
It’s so odd watching these black-and-white movies and thinking about how would they look like in color. Just imagine the set of this movie. In color. It’s just weird. Drawing inspiration from The Fly, The Wasp Woman is an undemanding blast from the past that will make you seek out other cheap and shlocky movies from this era. Willed into existence by incredibly committed director and producer, it has an interesting story with a surprisingly modern vibe.
Not only about corporate greed but also about the lengths people are willing to go to remain good-looking. This was before the era of plastic surgeries, so they didn’t even know what was coming. It was also Susan Cabot’s last movie. Suffering from serious mental illnesses, her fate almost mirrored Janice Starlin’s. She reportedly took her own son’s dwarfism growth hormone in order to get better, only to make her condition even worse. Susan was killed by her son in 1986, after years of seclusion.
19. The Deadly Bees 
This was supposed to be a huge movie starring two heavyweights of that era Christopher Lee and Boris Karloff. Based on a novel A Taste for Honey, the script was written by none other than Robert Bloch (Psycho, Star Trek). What we actually have here is a sturdy mystery movie set in the English countryside. It reminded me of those Sherlock Holmes television movies. There are several sub-plots explored here, from the troubled husband-wife relationship over the music industry to actual beekeepers. After a pop star collapses during a recording session she’s sent to Seagull Island to recuperate. Her doctor is a good friend with local beekeeper Ralph Hargrove, who’s kind enough to offer her accommodation. Soon she discovers that mysterious things are happening during the night and starts fearing for her life.
The Deadly Bees also works as a period movie that can transport you to the sixties. Granted, life in the English countryside hasn’t changed much, or anywhere else for that matter. I just found even the notion to be disconnected on an island in the sixties appealing. There’s a bar with a keg of beer and a couple of feuding beekeepers, what more to want? The acting was really competent and in-character. Without any melodramatic moments that were so popular back then. The scene where Hargroove’s wife wrestles with the maid as she’s about to burn the hives proves that. They really went for it and it showed. There are some continuity errors and the movie, in general, isn’t scary or that engaging but the mysterious atmosphere keeps it going. When you add to that an original story about bees you got yourself quite a refreshing movie. Enjoy.
18. Invasion of the Bee Girls 
After watching so many creature features, I finally stumbled upon a movie that I always wanted to see. It’s a movie with not a lot of bees but with a lot of nudity. I don’t want to give away too much of the story, so I’ll keep this short: As men suddenly start dying under mysterious circumstances, special agent Neil Agar is dispatched to get to the bottom of this. The only clue seems to be the fact that all of the men died in the middle or right after sexual intercourse. Death by Snu-Snu!
Granted, when you combine the title of this movie and what you’ve just read, I think you can figure out the story easily. Also known as Graveyard Tramps, Invasion of the Bee Girls is an old school bad movie with an intentionally silly plot played as straight as it could be played. After all, we’re talking about sex-crazed housewives and bee experiments, how serious could you play it?
Made during the peak of exploitation movies, it’s a staple of seventies movie-making quality. Everything is done by the book and since the movie is in the public domain, you can check it out for free. Same as some of the movies on this list, it’s a great movie to play to your unsuspecting guests. Just say that this is another movie about bees from the seventies and let the evening unfold. You can even entice them with the women empowerment tagline. Compared to the rest of the movies, Invasion of the Bee Girls visually looks great. The sets were okay and this is not some z-grade flick from the two-thousands. Campy and fun, it’s was very refreshing after all those “serious” movies about bees. And the story doesn’t mention Africanized bees or genetic experiments, which is a huge plus.
17. Killer Bees 
One of the few movies that deviate from a standard narrative of killer bees despite the title. This is actually a family drama with relatively unexplored supernatural and horror elements. It’s about a young guy returning home with his soon-to-be wife and being met with disapproval. The matriarch of this rich family is Madame Maria von Bohlen, a self-made woman who seems to have formed a special bond with bees living in her vineyard. Played by Gloria Swanson, one of the most famous actresses of the silent era, Maria’s character is the only one fully developed. You’ll also recognize Jack Perkins from Invasion of the Bee Girls, one of two actors who appeared in two killer bee movies. The other one is Ben Johnson.
This being a television movie from the seventies you can expect low production values. This is particularly noticeable in framing of the certain scenes. It makes you appreciate the progress we have made. When it comes to the story, I found it refreshing after all the other nightmares. Yes, there are nosy sheriffs here too, but at least there’s no parade or a huge event in the middle of the town. And no swarm of bees threatening an entire city. Killer Bees cannot be watched as a movie so bad that it’s good. It’s too serious and competent for that. So, if you’re looking to take a break from city mayhem you’re welcome at the Madame Marias’ vineyard.
16. The Savage Bees 
You need to give this one some time to warm up. The atmosphere at the start is pretty dead and the whole thing looks amateurish and tedious. However, as time goes on, you get more and more pulled into the story and characters. Unlike Killer Bees  this one can be viewed as a movie so bad it’s good. I have to admit that I was literally on the floor laughing during the scene with the little girl and her bugle. For fucks sake, even now, as I am writing this, I can’t help but laugh. Melodramatic and over-the-top, it’s perfect for trashing. Just like in the rest of these old movies they used thousands and thousands of real bees! This makes some of the scenes look really scary, especially if you don’t like seeing hundreds of bees squirming on the naked skin of actors.
In case you’re wondering how did they shoot these scenes, they had a bee wrangler. An entomologist and production consultant Norman Gary controlled the bees with kept the bees under control with synthetic bee pheromones and smoke. He was also responsible for some of the script detailing bee behavior. After two ships collide in the middle of the night a swarm of bees escapes from the cargo space. And these are not your ordinary bees since one of the ships was carrying a shipment of killer bees from Brazil! To make things even worse this is all happening in the New Orleans harbor with Mardi Gras staring in just a day… Starring young Michael Parks (From Dusk Till Dawn, Red State, Tusk) and Ben Johnson (Wild Bunch, The Getaway) and Gretchen Corbett, the cast was very likable. The only movie on this list that actually spawned a sequel.
15. Terror Out of the Sky 
Also known as The Revenge of The Savage Bees, this is the sequel to the very successful television movie shot two years earlier. Featuring a completely new cast, we are now following scientists attempting to locate bees that have escaped from a national bee center. They have tried interbreeding Italian and African bees. With disastrous results, as you might have expected. I just loved the first few minutes of this movie, showing Gretchen Corbett from the original movie having nightmares about bees. After she wakes up, she’s somehow magically transformed into Tovah Feldshuh. Pure gold. Instead of Mr. Parks, we have none other than Dan Haggerty best known as Grizzly Adams, as Tovah’s ex-boyfriend. I have to admit that the man has one hell of a beard.
Again we have pretty decent bee footage with live bees buzzing around. And as you might have guessed everything else is basically the same as in any other bee movie of this era. Apart from gruesome body horror, of course. This movie has some of the gnarliest bee stings I have ever seen. With swollen and deformed limbs and faces, they could have easily made a horror movie instead of this usual bee chasing malarkey. The ending is pretty strange with even stranger scenes preceding it. It would seem that this franchise just loves out-of-the-box endings. To give you a little taste just imagine a bunch of half-naked young boys trapped with our chief entomologist Tovah who remains fully clothed. With a steady pace and a lot of different scenes “building the characters”, Terror Out of the Sky is a fun little television movie that doesn’t aim much higher.
14. The Bees 
Simply title The Bees, this movie is one of the worst ye-olde bee movies. It’s comparable to today’s commercial milkers like Sharknado. The initial release of the movie was postponed to not interfere with the release of The Swarm. Warner Brothers actually paid the American distributor New World Pictures to do it. Which ties in with the current trend of releasing similarly tilted movies to mooch of the blockbusters scheduled for release. However, it is also really unintentionally funny. In almost all aspects. We are again treated to the same story of Africanized bees coming to the United States with horrific and unintended consequences. Our team of heroes consisting of John Saxon, who you might know from Bruce Lee movies, his girl Angel Tompkins and her hilarious German father John Carradine, make every scene seem funny.
And to know that every scene had to be shot twice, in English and Spanish so that the dubbing would match up perfectly is an additional source of hilariousness. The story featured here actually happened, only in slow-motion. So Africanized bees did escape and they did make it up the continent. Only some forty years after their escape, in 1990. There are a lot of scenes with live bees buzzing around our actors that look pretty good. The Bees is one of those movies where you can go to the bathroom, make a sandwich, come back, and still not miss anything. Not to mention roll another one.
13. The Swarm 
The most expensive and most famous movie about bees was also the last movie I watched in this batch. It’s also the longest with a runtime of an amazing 155 minutes! That’s a lot of bees, so I recommend you stick with the original version of just 116 minutes. Starring Michael Caine and released in the middle of the disaster movie craze, Warner Bros had huge expectations for it. And although it’s supposedly considered one of the worst movies ever made, it’s not that bad. If you’re looking to have some fun, of course. Otherwise, it will be an extremely boring affair.
It has unbelievably good bee footage which is no surprise since they used 15 million bees! Over 600.000 of them had their stingers removed to safe to work with! That’s a lot of fucking bees. I think that you can guess the story by now: a swarm of Africanized bees is loose and killing everything in sight. It’s up to our hero Brad Crane to stop them. Strangely enough, the general telling him that it’s impossible that these are bees was right about their timetable. As we know they did appear some ten years later in the states.
Filled with cliches, unintentionally hilarious dialogue, and a lot of wooden acting, you can have fun with The Swarm. Just not expect too much of it. It’s like an endurance test because it’s so unusually long. Especially if you opt-out for the extended version. To put things into perspective you could watch three other movies about bees from this list during that time. To make things even more interesting, this is the movie that did convince me that I need to explore the subject of racism in bee movies. The very fact they shortened the Africanized killer bees to Africans is proof that something is up here. Finally, I would like to highlight one of the positives and that’s the score. Composed by one of the greats, Jerry Goldsmith, it’s possibly the only element of this movie done professionally.
Modern killer bee movies
After the onslaught of killer bee movies in the seventies, this sub-genre got eerily quiet. It’s like someone told them to drop the subject completely. We had to wait seventeen years to see new bee movies. And although one featured the familiar story of Africanized bees and the other was a remake, all the later movies were about genetic experiments on bees. Most of them are B, C, and even Z movies, fun creature features perfect for relaxing.
12. 1313: Giant Killer Bees! 
Have you ever seen those really cheap movies? You know the ones I’m talking about, with incredibly cheap sets, bad acting and everything else? Well, have I got a movie for you or what. 1313: Giant Killer Bees! is perfect for fucking with your friends, especially if you’re hosting a bee movie night. You can start by saying that we need to see all types of movies and just because they didn’t have money we shouldn’t write them off.
Not only is this movie just plain bad but it also features gay bees! Actually, the whole movie is filled with scenes of young and muscular guys touching themselves. Without any nudity, of course, making the whole thing even more awkward. It simply needs to be seen to be believed. CGI is something you could have done after a YouTube tutorial although the special effect of disappearing socks was pretty good. The music, ahh shit, I better leave something for you to discover.
The sets are hilarious also. From the lab that looks like someone’s kitchen to the whole “research complex” that’s clearly a fuck mansion, you will keep finding stuff to laugh about. With most of our researchers running around in tighty-whities, every scene is pure gold. Excruciatingly long sequences of people touching themselves or showering will make you question your sanity. And just when you think that it’s all over, the movie throws a walking sequence at you that again needs to be seen to be believed. After the movie is over, you will feel that you accomplished something. Like surviving torture or escaping from prison. Freeeddooomm!!! There’s a whole series of these 1313 movies and they are all featuring these young and handsome guys frolicking around. And they are all featuring well-known stories like 1313: Hercules Unbound! or 1313: Frankenqueen.
11. Killer Bee Invasion 
If you’re wondering what’s the perfect time to watch a Chinese movie about killer bees without subtitles it’s 3 AM after five beers. This way you’ll be able to perfectly understand the story and characters. Part of a Chinese animals attack movie franchise (Crocodile Island, Mega Crocodile, Land Shark, The Monster), this is another so bad it’s good movie. So, a team of bad-ass soldiers led by a chick with the bow (new bow who dis) is sent to an island to figure out what happened there in some lab. The story along with everything else is pretty easy to pick-up so you actually don’t need the subtitles for this one. They were trying to extend human life and then something went wrong. Somehow this released a huge swarm of killer bees.
Fast-paced and with a lot of action, Killer Bee Invasion just keeps going. We are transported from lush jungle setting to a high tech laboratory, like in some video games, much like in Mega Crocodile. The special effects range from laughable to acceptable. One of the things that I found most amusing in these Chinese movies is propaganda. Sadly, I could not analyze the characters here but one thing emerged: they are fascinated with suicide. Sacrificial suicide, to be more precise, where someone sacrifices his life so that the rest of the party could carry on the mission. The incredibly forced way these scenes are written takes every bit of seriousness from them and makes them just fucking strange. With a runtime of just over seventy minutes, Killer Bee Invasion is a refreshing break from all the standard-issue bee movies we will be going through on this list.
10. Die Bienen – Tödliche Bedrohung 
While we’re on a subject of movies without subtitles, I watched this one with the Russian dubbing. The original audio is in German. I don’t speak either Russian or German. Although I must say that I do know a bit of German. Also known as Killer Bees or Killer Swarm, this is a television movie with a good atmosphere and excellent locations. Shot in Ibiza you can clearly see that they were going for that holiday vibe.
You know, the family starts watching the movie and starts remembering their last holiday and all the usual things that happen on these popular destinations. Taxi drivers, packed beaches, all types of people, and everything else. The movie starts like any other crocodile or shark movie with two couples having some fun on a yacht. Of course, they disturb a huge swarm of bees and they start chasing them. The swarm looks really good, much better than in most of the movies on this list. It’s a German swarm, I don’t know why I’m surprised.
After this intro, we meet our heroine Karla who’s trying to find some answers after her father ends up in a hospital after a bee attack. If I had to bet I would say our handsome taxi driver is going to hook up with Karla. Oh wait, it turns out that he’s an entomologist who decided to switch professions. I shit you not. There are a couple of unintentionally and intentionally funny scenes, as they clearly knew they were making a campy movie about bees. Again, we couldn’t escape the genetic manipulation, but what can you do. It will make you appreciate more the movies with different plots. This is the third German television movie that I’ve seen recently. After shark attack Hai-Alarm auf Mallorca I also checked out Zwei zum Fressen gern about a giant crocodile. I wonder what other animals will I stumble upon.
9. Killer Bees 
Starring the king of B movies C. Thomas Howell whom you might know from a plethora of series he appeared in, this is the third movie with the same title Killer Bees. It deviates from the narrative of genetic experiments and features a story similar to Deadly Invasion. Sheriff Lyndon Harris is trying to keep his small town going by solving disputes and maintaining the fragile peace between the greedy and corrupt mayor and poor residents.
The last thing he needed were killer bees. However, after a strange death, he starts suspecting that this might be the case. As you can see, almost all of these movies have the same story of figure of authority trying to save his city despite corrupt officials. Almost exactly the same story as in Jaws. If you would like to read more about why this narrative works so well, I recommend you check out Jaws – A philosophical analysis.
Killer Bees actually tries to develop several sub-plots and sets up a nice redemption path for our poor sheriff. He sided with the mayor and basically sold out and now half of the town hates him. Not only that, but he’s so good and hapless that the coroner has to suggest he takes out hot female bee expert for a lunch. If this movie was made in the seventies they would already be fucking. One of the stranger decisions was to introduce multiple sclerosis into the story as that female bee expert suffers from it.
However, instead of talking about it in a constructive way, the movie just uses it to throw in a couple of jokes and character decisions. I think that the goal here was to scare the average viewer who would then be happy he doesn’t have MS. The special effects are awful with our deadly swarm looking like a bunch of floating bloats. I guess that they used particles instead of actual CGI modeled bees. This is possibly the worst of B bee movies but you might find it amusing, especially if you’re looking to take a break from the older movies.
8. Flying Virus 
Also known as Killer Buzz (dear lord Satan have mercy on us), Flying Virus is another C bee movie featuring awful special effects, bad acting, and crazy story. After seeing for the third time that this is an American Cinema production we learn that the movie is starring none other than Rutger Hauer! However, what I learned upon watching it is that he appears in only a couple of scenes.
Flying Virus opens with the most action-packed sequence in all of the bee movies. There are arrows, bullets, grenades flying everywhere with explosions happening every twenty seconds. This is not a surprise since the movie lifted several scenes directly from Rambo: First Blood Part II. The story is another environmental disaster warning, luckily without sheriffs and idyllic cities. Set in the Brazilian jungle, an indigenous tribe is trying to fight off an oil corporation building a pipeline through their habitat. Now we know that Avatar didn’t steal their story from The Smurfs but actually this movie.
The dialogue is horrible along with a couple of scenes that make absolutely no sense. Like the one where Rutger pulls pins out of several grenades strapped to a vest of a soldier and he conveniently runs away from him. And if you’re wondering why is this movie called Flying Virus with the story set in a jungle, you’ll soon find out. Towards the end of the movie, bees end up in a 747, a genuine Bees on a Plane.
This part is actually pretty good and exciting. A testament to just how well the concept of “animal in a plane” works. And we have an Oscar-winning performance of the copilot after he’s attacked. To top things off, they mention Christie Love in a snappy comeback, so I googled that term. It turns out that Get Christie Love! was a television show that aired for one season between 1974 and 1975. Who would mention this in a 2001 movie about killer bees is beyond me.
7. Deadly Swarm 
Both I and the main handsome guy in this movie had a bad feeling about the spread of killer wasps in this small Mexican town. And we were right. If you’re looking for those B movies that you have been watching half-asleep in the middle of the night, well, congrats, you’ve found one. Set in Mexico and Guatemala, I was really happy that we won’t be disturbing any perfect towns back in the States.
Deadly Swarm has an adventure vibe that sets it apart from the rest of the movies on this list. Although you should be fully aware that this is another C animals attack movie with all the things that go along with that fact. Crazy scientist steals an especially aggressive wasp from a native tribe living in Guatemala to use in experiments. The truck carrying the load has an accident just outside a small Mexican town, releasing the killer wasps in nature. Now a scientist hired to control the local mosquito population must figure out how to stop this menace.
Deadly Swarm wants to be a horror/comedy but eventually ends up being a thriller. A thriller that even kids can watch. The special effects are again really bad, making us appreciate the seventies bee movies with those gnarly practical effects. The acting was decent, although there are a few memorable characters, as in every C movie. They usually have a small role but you’re really happy whenever they show up because you know they are going to say or do something hilarious. In the end, this is a by-the-book animals attack movie with a vibrant setting. The fact that they actually took themselves seriously is both a blessing and a curse because the movie floats between genres. You can always trash it and see just how cliched it will get. And it will get cliched.
6. Deadly Invasion: The Killer Bee Nightmare 
This is the first killer bee movie I have ever seen. I was just a kid and caught this one being shown one night on tv. The fact that I can vaguely recall the story and characters even today is a testament to just how much certain movies can influence us when we’re young. I remember this one being scary as fuck, but watching it now I couldn’t help but laugh. Especially since the lead role was entrusted to Robert Hays of his Airplane! glory.
Not to mention young Ryan Phillippe acting, sorry, “acting” the hell out of his character. What can you expect from a TV movie from 1995 about killer bees? Well, first of all, I would like to say that it has some pretty fucked up scenes with live bees. Live bees that are getting under shirts and skirts to be more precise. They were really uncomfortable, unlike the huge attacks that started happening after the swarm was revealed. Second of all, you can clearly notice commercial breaks, something you just don’t see these days.
If there ever was a movie that made me think that there’s something going on with these bee attack movies it’s this one. The accent was on the fact that these bees are not native to America and that they are African killer bees. Just imagine scenes where something wild and deadly from Africa attacking a sleepy little American town. And in that town, a perfect little American family. Hell, the story sounds like something Chinese would make. Even their family in Mega Crocodile has a single father taking care of a kid.
As time went by, the movie got crazier and crazier, with characters making extremely strange decisions. This coincided with increased melodrama intended to scare families watching it. Although I have lived through the nineties I’m still amazed at just how an innocent the decade was. Just imagine people who were emotionally engaging and found themselves in these characters. And if I hear that kid whiz one more fucking time I’m coming into the screen and strangling him myself.
5. Black Swarm 
After his brother is killed in a tragic wasp-related accident; and before you start laughing, these things do happen; our hero Devin bravely continues the family tradition of bug bustin’. Apparently in exactly the same van that his late brother Dan had. The story gets thicker as Dan’s widow comes back to the small town of Black Stone along with her daughter Kelsey. Little did they know that soon they will be running for their lives as the Black Swarm is unleashed. Did I nail that intro or what?
Welcome to the even more hilarious section of our killer bee movies. This one plays out like a fucking soap opera complete with melodramatic music and cliched twists. It even has Robert Englund, who used his charisma to make the movie even more entertaining. Generally, the acting was good here, I mean, as good as it could be with a script like this. The special effects were again pretty cheap with only a couple of scenes looking alright.
They were better off with practical effects. Some of the scenes with people stung to death looked really good, almost like in a decent-looking horror. However, as soon as you think that this movie could be serious it throws a monkey wrench into the story making it silly and ridicules. If you thought that 1313: Giant Killer Bees! was the only movie with zombees, you are wrong! I also love how people are freaking out about certain parts of the story and whether it is believable that this or that would happen. Jesus Zombie Christ, you’re watching a C killer bee movie called Black Swarm where bees turn people into zombees, what did you expect? I found the whole thing excitingly entertaining.
4. Swarmed 
Well fuck me, I haven’t seen live wasp footage for a long time. Although shot in 2005, Swarmed looks a couple of years older. Actually, it looks like it’s straight from the nineties. Despite this, the visuals are pretty decent with a combination of live wasps and CGI ones. In an effort to create a new type of pesticide, scientists experiment on yellow jacket wasps. While most of them simply die, two accidentally get loose and start killing people in a small town of Dundas, Indiana.
Fuck me if Dundas, Indiana is not the stupidest town name I have ever heard. And the fact that the movie was actually shot in Dundas, Ontario does not help. So we got a standard-issue insect attack movie complete with corrupt officials and people trying to warn them. For the first time in the history of killer wasp and bee movies we actually have a black protagonist. Well, if you don’t count a couple of extras in The Savage Bees.
Although Swarmed sometimes looks like it’s going to turn into a full-on porn movie, it never does. It tries to be funny and mostly fails, but the really hilarious stuff is the dialogue and over-the-top characters. They clearly knew they were making an entertaining B creature feature. I mean they use “kill juice” to kill the wasps, what more to want? I also loved how the metal detector stood in for a pheromone detector. And if you’re wondering why are they using pheromone detectors you will have to see the movie. There are a lot of scenes that are played straight-up serious when they are clearly intended to be funny. Like the scene in the police gym. One final thing, I know that bee sound effect from somewhere, is it a game, another movie, who knows? So, if you know, please write in the comments. Thanks.
3. Dragonwasps 
I think that by now you have realized that all of these movies are so bad that they are good. And Dragonwasps is a perfect example. As the first SyFy movie that I like, our giant wasps dance a fine line between cute and nasty. Driven by a committed performance by our lead guy Corin Nemec, the movie is set in the lush jungles of Belize. With nature and history like this, you don’t need grand sets or CGI. The story is as crazy as it gets, with clear B movie vibes. The sheer balls on the writers must be humongous.
I imagine them walking in with this script trying to get it funded and being laughed out of the building. You can see they were going for that Predator slash Alien vibe. Although I kept waiting for Sarah Kerrigan to show up. After she learns that her father is missing sexy Gina takes her girlfriend Rhonda in the jungles of Belize to try and find him. Soon they get mixed up with a bunch of soldiers which was a lucky turn of events as they are soon attacked by giant wasps.
Dragonwasps just flow off the screen with a really nice pace and competent camerawork. There’s always something going whether it be intentional or unintentional. Oh yeah, in case you were wondering why they call them that, it’s because they spit fire. Cause you know that they can. This should have been the soundtrack for this fucking movie. Prodigy – Spitfire. One of the more interesting things is that this is the second time we see voodoo being used to save people from giant bees. The first movie was The Savage Bees from 1976. Finally, I will leave out the detail of what they used to repel the wasps as I think it adds that cherry on the top of this B bee movie. This is the last time I will use that, it’s okay.
2. The Wasp Woman 
This remake of the cult classic of the same name is one of the best wasp movies out there. Directed by Corman’s protege Jim Wynorski, this is a cheesy exploitation flick that never tries to be anything else than that. Starring my childhood crush Jennifer Rubin, also known as Jessica Hanson from Screamers, The Wasp Woman has all the interesting story elements of the original but with updated visuals. Granted, the special effects are not that good but the creature itself looks decent enough. Especially with those large breasts. I’d tap that. As long as they are not Bee Girls, everything’s okay. In the background of this mess, you can examine the women’s quest for beauty that’s remained constant throughout the ages. Same as the male fascination with sex and female bodies. Speaking of which, this version of the movie has decent amounts of nudity, unlike the fifties version.
The atmosphere is very vibrant and there are a lot of things going on simultaneously just like in the original one. We are following both the unraveling of Rubin’s character, crazy Dr. Zinthorp shenanigans, and all the rest of the sub-plots. The eighties vibe is strong with this one although once ankh necklaces and nipple piercings start appearing you know you’re in the nineties. Just think of this, 2004 superhero movie Catwoman with a budget of $100 million features exactly the same story! In the end, The Wasp Woman is a nice and refreshing movie if you’re binging movies about bees and wasps. It has a certain charm and although it could be much, much better, the story sets it apart from the rest of the movies on this list.
1. Stung 
If I had to recommend one movie about bees and wasps, it would be this one. It’s the only really good and serious movie on this list. Stung is a movie about giant wasps attacking people at a garden party. Starring Clifton Collins Jr. and Lance Henriksen, this is a fun creature feature that knows its limitations. It looks amazingly good with phenomenal special effects combined with practical ones. After all the crappy visuals we were forced to sit through in other movies you will be elated at these professionally done effects.
There are a lot of murders and gnarly scenes that will make you wince at least once. Body horror galore. The finale was especially creepy and you could almost feel the dread and horror our protagonists felt. I mean right from the start you could feel that this is going to be a great movie. It opens with two of our caterers driving to the party cracking jokes about vomit and sex. With metal blasting on the speakers. Just imagine if they licensed Deicide’s Dead by Dawn. They based the giant wasps on a real wasp species, the tarantula wasp. It’s called that because it lays its eggs in tarantulas and looks nasty as fuck.
When asked what Stung was “really about”, director Benni Diez answered: “Capitalism! Well, not really. But it’s the hard working underdogs who have to save the day, as the upper class crowd virtually turns into flesh eating über-wasps. A survival thriller with a warm heart.” Beautifully said, I must admit. Character development was okay with the main characters, although there were some tedious moments in the middle section of the movie. However, the next kill is always a couple of minutes away, so this good and healthy pace keeps things going.
Stung is deliberately tacky B movie extravaganza complete with snappy comebacks and crazy story. It’s unashamedly funny and the working-class angle is what gave it an authentic vibe that most of the bee movies desperately needed. Is there anything more familiar than a caterer or bartender sneaking off to smoke a joint? Horror and comedy go together like beer and weed, and if you like this sub-genre I am sure you will like Stung too. Enjoy.