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One of a handful of films that NEEDS a remake...

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#1 of 3 OFFLINE   Dick



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Posted December 30 2010 - 02:10 PM


Directed by Irwin Allen in 1978, this film is about as bad as they get. Full of horrible all-star miscasting (much worse than we saw in TOWERING INFERNO or POSEIDON ADVENTURE) and atrocious performances by normally competent actors (Michael Caine, Richard Widmark, Katherine Ross, Henry Fonda....), this was the nadir of Allen's career, that I've seen anyway.

And yet, it was based upon a highly-readable book of the same name by an author named Arthur Herzog (not on a newer book of that title by Frank Schatzing, which is not concerned with bees), and had Allen stuck to the very interesting and (as far as was known at the time) scientifically accurate story about the accidental release of killer bees from Brazil which migrate to the U.S., he'd have had a much better film. Instead, he cluttered his big dumb epic with some of the stupidest romantic subplots ever seen onscreen, and a lot of hysterical military crap that wasn't even hinted at in the novel (which is for sale at Amazon, by the way), and special effects which evoked no suspense or fear in the audience at all.

I could see someone using digital technology to do this story right. After all, killer bees continue to be a menace (further north all the time, as the country warms up). It should be convincing and scary, and have the sort of attention to scientific detail that the best of Michael Crichton's or Robin Cook's stories have. The best sequence in the Allen film, in fact, is the only one that accomplished this, and the sole sequence that closely adheres to Herzog's writing: Henry Fonda, an aging scientist trying desperately to beat the clock with an antidote to killer bee stings, injects himself with venom while recording his reactions. I will not tell you how this comes out, but it is the only genuinely frightening part of a film that should have been full of them.

The DVD is the extended version, which I gather adds in scenes that were used for the t.v. broadcast. All that does is give us an extra half-hour of pure bullshit. Laughably bad, it actually pales beside Ed Wood's work, which is much more entertaining. Nice Jerry Goldsmith score, though, and that's the only credit I'll give it but for the aforementioned Henry Fonda sequence.

Hey, Warner Bros... stop remaking perfectly good films and instead grab a handful of ones that sucked but that had good source material and do them right!

#2 of 3 OFFLINE   JonZ


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Posted December 30 2010 - 02:29 PM

With todays technology...

King Kong Escapes

Creature From The Black Lagoon (Carpenter was attached to this remake for years, but it never happened)

#3 of 3 OFFLINE   TravisR


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Posted December 30 2010 - 02:55 PM

Originally Posted by Dick 

Hey, Warner Bros... stop remaking perfectly good films and instead grab a handful of ones that sucked but that had good source material and do them right!

There's always exceptions but I think they hit that point years ago.