Fox Tuesday Night Movien – Deadly Invasion: The Killer Bee Nightmare

As far back as 1974 Gloria Swanson turned up in the hokey vidpic "Killer Bees" and since then no one's come up with a way to stop them -- vidpix about killer bees, that is. There's not much of a scare in "Deadly Invasion," no matter how many bees and their electronic stand-ins zoom across the screen.

With:
Cast: Robert Hays, Nancy Stafford, Gina Philips, Gregory Gordon, Whitney Danielle Porter, Ryan Phillipe, Michael A. Nickles, Danielle von Zerneck, Jack North, Anthony Leger, Thomas E. Jacobsen, Douglas Patrick, Jennifer Buckalew, Mindy Lawson, Jeff Johnson, M. Scott Wilkinson, Dennis Christopher, Thom Dillon, DonRe Sampson, Carolyn Hennesy, Julie Mannix, George Sullivan, Curley Green, Jerry Penacoli.

As far back as 1974 Gloria Swanson turned up in the hokey vidpic “Killer Bees” and since then no one’s come up with a way to stop them — vidpix about killer bees, that is. Latest sitting ducks are Robert Hays and Nancy Stafford as an agreeable couple settled into “Blossom Meadow” to grow apples; latest epic’s even sillier than the first one, which at least boasted Swanson. There’s not much of a scare in “Deadly Invasion,” no matter how many bees and their electronic stand-ins zoom across the screen.

Chad and Karen Ingram and their three kids live in a lovely Victorian house in the middle of their orchard. Viewers know killer bees are on the way because a prologue is flashed on the screen to orient them and to make them nervous. After all, this “could be a true story,” as the legend reads.

At first meeting, Chad and Karen are charmers. Karen has her own business, and Chad’s a lawyer bent on writing a book and growing apples. City folk. Tracy (Gina Philips) is the oldest of the three children, but not the brightest.

A couple of teenagers honk a horn near the hive of newly arrived killer bees, and the kids pay for it. An odd localite (Dennis Christopher) spouts off the dangers of bees so some of the townspeople and viewers can get jittery, and the bees infest a wedding reception.

The characters are so dumb they don’t leave tout suite after the local bee expert himself (Michael A. Nickles) says it’s time to shake Blossom Meadow.

It’s a given that there will be a confrontation between the Ingrams and the bees, but director Rockne S. O’Bannon and the visual effects team supervised by Tim Landry don’t rouse much suspense — or credibility — out of the siege.

O’Bannon prods the tired vidpic through its paces. Acting’s not much, and special effects, camerawork and editing are routine.

At one point in the teleplay it’s pointed out that bees just want to be left alone; telefilmmakers should take note.

Fox Tuesday Night Movien - Deadly Invasion: The Killer Bee Nightmare

Tues., 8-10 p.m., Fox

Production: Filmed on locations in Utah and at the Osmond Entertainment Complex, Orem, Utah, by St. Francis of Assisi Pictures, World Intl. Network and Von/Zerneck Films. Exec producers, Frank von Zerneck, Robert M. Sertner; producers, William Bast, Paul Huson, Randy Sutter; co-producer, Barbara Black; director, Rockne S. O'Bannon; second-unit director, Quinn Orr; writers, Steven Rae, Bast, Huson; story, Bast, Huson.

Crew: Camera, Matthew Williams; second-unit camera, George Griner; editor, Stephen Adrianson; production designer, Steven Nielsen; sound, Jonathan Stein; music, Garry Schyman.

Cast: Cast: Robert Hays, Nancy Stafford, Gina Philips, Gregory Gordon, Whitney Danielle Porter, Ryan Phillipe, Michael A. Nickles, Danielle von Zerneck, Jack North, Anthony Leger, Thomas E. Jacobsen, Douglas Patrick, Jennifer Buckalew, Mindy Lawson, Jeff Johnson, M. Scott Wilkinson, Dennis Christopher, Thom Dillon, DonRe Sampson, Carolyn Hennesy, Julie Mannix, George Sullivan, Curley Green, Jerry Penacoli.

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