The Swarm (1978)

The Swarm (1978)

1978 PG 116 Minutes

Action | Drama | Horror | Science Fiction

Scientist Dr. Bradford Crane and army general Thalius Slater join forces to fight an almost invisible enemy threatening America; killer bees that have deadly venom and attack without reason. Disast...

Overall Rating

5 / 10
Verdict: So-So

User Review

  • Before we had Murder Hornets...We had THE SWARM!!!!

    In the 70s, this was one of the media's tools to terrify the populace. Unbelievably as it may seem, when released this movie scared the pants off of America in the same way that Jaws did when it made it to the theaters. The Killer Bee swarms in South America, created in cross-breeding African and Western Honeybees, of course had to share the stage with the other big threats of the day: The Upcoming Global Ice Age and Nuclear Power Plant disasters, both of which also made minor appearances in this film. Nevertheless, the fashionable fear in 1978 was bees and Hollywood was there to make sure YOU got the message that Man was bad and Nature would soon kick his ass.

    That asides, the movie in itself now is laughable, no better than the Global Warming Fear Films that the SyFy channel (AKA NBC) churns out today. The movie passes well beyond the level of believable when train passenger cars explode as they roll down a hill, the nuclear plant explodes like an atomic bomb killing 36 thousand people or when the military decides to burn Houston like Sherman did Atlanta, even though the bee swarms are not inside buildings or cars. The over-the-top fiction that even 2 stings from these bees will kill you, even though Science (oh, doesn't the Left like to laud that term up on a pedestal when it suits their agenda) knew at the time that the level of toxin in this new strain of bee was no more lethal than that of the average Honeybee. Rather, it was their aggressiveness in tracking threats and ruthlessness of their attack, compared to normal bees, that was the true fact of concern.

    The movie does bring a grade A cast to the table and most of the performances are respectable, although I did find the fact that Michael Caine liked to explode and shout through scenes rather disconcerting and over-dramatic. There are plenty of other situations that make no sense, like Henry Fonda's character using himself for a guinea pig when he's the only one who can work on a serum or Michael Caine breaking out a pane of glass to gain entry to a locked building, when people were already inside who could have opened the door, when the bees were attacking the town (and now had easy access to all the people in the building via the broken glass). Unlike the other disaster films of that decade, The Swarm doesn't even come close to being a serious threat and is little more than an inconvenient buzzing in the ear of the audience.