THE SWARM (1978)
Director: Irwin Allen
Cast: Michael Caine, Katharine Ross, Richard Widmark, Richard Chamberlain, Olivia de Havilland, Ben Johnson, Lee Grant, Jose Ferrer, Patty Duke, Slim Pickens, Bradford Dillman, Fred MacMurray, Henry Fonda, Cameron Mitchell
Texas is under threat from a swarm of mutant African killer bees. Picnickers and flower festival attendees are being stung to death and, as if this weren’t terrifying enough, the insidious insects of the titular mass are ruthlessly capable of crashing helicopters, derailing trains and blowing up nuclear power plants. Can heroic entomologist Michael Caine and sexy lady toxicologist Katharine Ross save the day? Is this the end of humanity as we know it? And what about the cut flower industry?
There is never a moment in this fabulous 70s disaster epic that is anything less than ludicrous. The dialogue is some of silliest ever spoken; the special effects (including attack scenes in which the victims are apparently bombarded by raisins) are sublime; and the roster of Hollywood has-beens, spouting mawkish claptrap and succumbing to bee toxin, is one of the best ever assembled. The movie is also significant as the high point in Michael Caine’s career as one of cinema’s all-time greatest shouters. Every one of his high decibel utterances is to be treasured.
WHERE: Astor Theatre 1 Chapel Street St Kilda WHEN: 22 November 2019 @ 7.30pm