Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Weekend Views No.9 (oh, beehive! etc...)

Do you know that feeling, when you've perhaps been out too late/not got enough sleep etc. and a film greets you on the television that is SO BAD that you find it kinda comforting in your depleted state? The dialogue is so stilted, the performances so phoned in, the effects so crummy, the plot is negligible/defies any logic - but it all means that instead of having to be a)moved b)think or c)care - you just let it wash over you in all its cheesy glory. Such a film is The Swarm: Irwin Allen's 'three strikes and you're OUT' final disaster movie.
Let's look at the cast, eh? Michael Caine (notorious for his 'take the money and run' performances - so he hardly counts); Katharine Ross (a woman so devoid of charisma you'll think your television is an oil painting while she's onscreen); Fred McMurray (hold on, he was in DOUBLE INDEMNITY ferchrissakes!); Slim Pickens; Cameron Mitchell; Richard Widmark (who looks like he's trying not to laugh throughout); Richard Chamberlain; Jose Ferrer!; Olivia deHavilland!!; Ben Johnson!!?!; HENRY FONDA!?!?! NEVER has such a cast been so wasted in the pursuit of a story about some pissed off insects.
I apologise to those out there who already know of the legendary awfulness of this piece of tripe, but I have to say hats off to the exec at Channel 5 who managed to not only put it on, but put on the DIRECTOR'S CUT which ran to a mind-boggling 2 and 3/4 hours!!! Gee, thanks.
But strangely I'm feeling like a better-rounded individual having seen how inept the US government were at handling billions of angry African Killer Bees (who flew in from South America - spot the mid-70s paranoia) who, in a rather unfortunate scripting move got referred to as just 'Africans' in the latter parts of the movie (ie:' How are we gonna stop these Africans spreading all over the country?'). Houston got burned to the ground. That's not such a bad thing is it? And Michael Caine in the final hopeless scene couldn't even be BOTHERED to kiss the girl. I urge all my readers to see it asap. It defies belief...

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