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Well, so what do you suppose the message was for this movie? Oh, wait, I know. Don't see it!
  — Crow T. Robot (at the end of the movie)


The Movie

Synopsis

Overextended pop singer Vicki Robbins (Suzanna Leigh) collapses from exhaustion (and perhaps, heat stroke) while lip-syncing a tune during a music television show. Her physician (actor Michael Gwynn, whom some viewers will recognize as Lord Melbury from Fawlty Towers) suggests that a visit to Seagull Island will soothe her.

Vicki arrives on the island and is quickly embroiled in a murder plot, and she finds herself caught between rival beekeepers.

The Deadly Bees

Information

  • The guitarist on the far right in the band at the beginning of the movie is a pre-Faces, pre-Rolling Stones Ron Wood.
  • Co-writer Robert Bloch had originally envisioned the characters of Hargrove and Manfred being portrayed by Christopher Lee and Boris Karloff respectively. However, they were unaffordable on the movie's budget.
  • The Hargrove farm exteriors were built entirely on a sound stage.
  • Was nominated in The Golden Turkey Awards series for Most Badly Bumbled Bee Movie of All Time. It lost to The Swarm.

The Episode

Host Segments

Two observers (Mike Nelson and Paul Chaplin) try to recruit Brain Guy

  • Prologue Mike Tom and Crow quickly go through a montage of disjointed melodramatic scenes reminiscent of of various cop dramas, soap operas and hospital dramas.
  • Segment 1 Mike and Servo quickly explain they were just doing the previous segment for fun. Bobo and Brain Guy are watching daytime television and eating chili dogs. Two observers (Mike Nelson and Paul Chaplin) teleport into Castle Forrester and try to retrieve Brain Guy so he can help them rebuild their planet.
  • Segment 2 Crow is enamored by the cigarette-addicted old hag from the movie and writes her a love sonnet.
  • Segment 3 Tom tries raising a hive of wood ticks. Meanwhile Brain Guy is packing for his departure from Earth. In a musical number he sings about leaving. Bobo and Pearl join in the song and convince him to stay with their lyrics.
  • Segment 4 Crow has misplaced his "Just for Men" hair dye. Mike decides to dress as a bee and communicate using bee's body movements. Using bee wiggles he easily conveys a number of complex ideas to Tom but fails to resolve Crow's Just For Men problem.

    Mike as a Bee

  • Closing Segment Mike, Crow and Servo agree that bees should be in every single movie and they're visited by the mysterious silent man in the bowler hat (Jim Mallon). In Castle Forrester the observers are having a psychic battle. Bobo distracts them with chili dogs long enough for Brain Guy to steal one of their brain dishes and hand it off to Pearl for disposal. The remaining observer challenges Brain Guy to a final battle of mental powers. This battle is cut short when Brain Guy kicks him in the knee and snatches his brain dish away too. Stripped of their brains, Brain Guy condemns the two Observers to live out the rest of their lives in Wisconsin as raging Packers fans. The man in the bowler hat makes a final appearance.
  • Stinger: "The dog's meat, have you seen it?"

MST3K cast

Regular cast

Guest cast

Trivia

  • This was the final episode in which Jim Mallon made an on-screen appearance.
  • Magic Voice is heard for the final time during the Prologue.
  • Alternate Credits: Beez McKeever is credited as "Deadly Beez McKeever".

Obscure References

  • "A Touch of Honey, the novel on which this was based..."
Crow is singing to the tune of "A Taste of Honey", a pop standard written by Bobby Scott and Ric Marlow. A vocal version of the song—first recorded by Billy Dee Williams, and then recorded very successfully by Lenny Welch in the summer of 1962—was also recorded by the Beatles for their first album in 1963.
  • "Hat from the Norman Fell line."
Norman Fell was an actor, most famous for his role as landlord Mr. Roper on the sitcom Three's Company and its spinoff The Ropers, and his film roles in Ocean's 11, The Graduate, and Bullitt.
  • "Lord Melbury!"
The actor playing the doctor, Michael Gwynn, appears in the Fawlty Towers episode "A Touch of Class" as the conman "Lord" Melbury who eventually humiliates Basil Fawlty.
  • "Hey, they're growing Bill the Cat!"
Bill the Cat is a disheveled, bug-eyed character from the comic strip Bloom County.
  • "I used to live next to the Jeffersons."
The actor playing Mr. Manfred, Frank Finlay, bears a passing resemblance to actor Paul Benedict, who played the Jeffersons' neighbor Harry Bentley on the CBS sitcom The Jeffersons.
  • "My name is Manfred." "You've heard of my Earth Band?"
Manfred Mann's Earth Band is an English rock band formed by South African musician Manfred Mann. Their hits include covers of Bruce Springsteen's "For You", "Blinded by the Light", and "Spirit in the Night".
  • "And this starts the Great Chicago Flood."
The O'Leary Legend is an apocryphal account that the Great Chicago Fire was started when a cow owned by Mrs. O'Leary knocked over a lantern in the barn where it was kept.
  • "She'd be a little more relaxed at the Lockhorns'..."
The Lockhorns is a long-running, single-panel newspaper comic about a married couple with a contentious relationship.
  • "That horse also plays Wilson on Home Improvement."
On the TV sitcom Home Improvement, the Taylor family's neighbor Wilson's face was always partially obscured, usually by the wooden fence that separated the two homes' yards (but sometimes by other objects).
  • "Those chickens must all be scared Ozzy Osbourne's going to show up later."
Ozzy Osbourne is a British heavy metal singer who gained notoriety for biting the head off a dove in 1981. Another Osbourne reference was made in Experiment #1010 It Lives by Night, only referencing the 1982 incident in which Osbourne bit the head off a bat.
  • "One of Elizabeth Kübler-Ross's stages of grief: heavy smoking."
The five stages of grief model (or the Kübler-Ross model) postulates that those experiencing grief go through a series of five emotions: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. It was introduced by psychiatrist Elizabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book On Death And Dying.
  • "A few dead bees." "Starring Tom Cruise."
A Few Good Men is a 1992 legal drama film (adapted from a stage play by Aaron Sorkin) about the court-martial of two U.S. Marines and the tribulations of their attorneys as they prepare their defense. It stars an ensemble cast, including Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore, Kevin Bacon, Kevin Pollak, J. T. Walsh, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Kiefer Sutherland.
  • "Breathe deep the gathering gloom, watch lights fade from every room."
These are the first lines of "Late Lament", a poem written by the Moody Blues' drummer, Graeme Edge, which is spoken at the end of the song "Nights in White Satin". The reference is inspired by the tinkling music played during this scene, similar to that of the song.
  • "I'm off to become Lulu."
Lulu is a Scottish singer, actress, television personality, and businesswoman. She is noted for her powerful singing voice and became popular in Great Britain in the late sixties. She sang the theme for the James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun and also had a role in the classic 1967 Sidney Poitier vehicle To Sir with Love (for which she also sang the hit theme song). Vicki looks a little bit like her.
  • "Giddy-up, giddy-up, giddy-up, let's go..."
Lyrics from the wintertime song "Sleigh Ride". Her heels clacking as she walks sounds like a horse trotting.
  • "She's headed right for the Honeycomb Hideout..."
During the 1970s and 1980s, Honeycomb cereal TV commercials featured a children's clubhouse (located in the woods) called the Honeycomb Hideout.
  • "Cinematography by Ángel Cordero."
Ángel Cordero Jr. is one of the leading thoroughbred horse racing jockeys of all time and the first Puerto Rican to be inducted into the United States' Racing Hall of Fame. He led all jockeys in wins at Saratoga Race Course for thirteen years. Cordero rode three Kentucky Derby winners and won over 6000 races in his career.
  • "It's the guy from the Magritte painting!"
In René Magritte's painting, The Son of Man, the face of a man wearing a bowler hat is obscured by an apple.

Memorable Quotes

[The opening credits are shown against scenes of a swarm of honeybees.]
Crow: They named every bee? This is gonna take forever...
[Slender British rock band The Birds (not the more famous Byrds) perform a song.]
Crow[singing] Eight… miles… wrong!
. . .
Servo: Guys, just skip the music and go right to the heroin.
[A car pulls up in front of a very hairy-looking tree.]
Crow: Hey, they're growing Bill the Cat!
[Hargrove is sitting down at the pub]
Hargrove: Morning, David.
Hawkins: Good morning, Mr. Hargrove. What can I get you?
Hargrove: Oh, the usual.
Servo: 9 A.M., why so late?
Hargrove: Make it a double, will you?
Crow: Alright, now we're in England.
Mike: Andy Capp: The Movie.
[Chain-smoker Mary Hargrove pours gasoline on her husband's beehives, tossing Doris aside when she tries to interfere.]
Mike: Wow! Look at her go! I didn't realize cigarettes had so many vitamins!
[After bees kill first Mrs. Hargrove's dog and then her, the local coroner questions Mr. Hargrove at an inquest.]
Coroner: Is there anything you can tell this court which would help it to establish the exact cause of your wife's death?
Hargrove: The cause should be obvious. She was stung to death by bees.
Coroner: And her dog?
Servo [as Hargrove]: Uh, the dog didn't sting her.
Coroner: Have you ever been stung by your bees?
Hargrove: Yes.
Servo (imitating a bee): Bzzzz...He’s LYING!!
[Vicki gets dressed and sneaks out, her shoes clacking with a rather horse hoof-like sound.]
Servo[singing to "Sleigh Bells"] Giddy-up, giddy-up, giddy-up, let's go…
[Meanwhile, Doris, wearing a somewhat dull brown skirt and vest over a white shirt, walks through the woods.]
Crow: Hey, it's Nondescript Spice.
Mike: Whose woods these are?
Crow: Oh, I think I know.
Mike: Huh?
[High in the trees, the killer bees are swarming in a whirlpool-like circle.]
Servo[gasps] Killer cookie crumbs!
Crow [as Doris]: Damn, it's that "bee-loud glade" that Yeats spoke of.
[After Vicki passes out from exhaustion during her solo, the music is still playing on the reel-to-reel, with her voice still singing as well.]
Crow: She still lip-syncs better than Jewel.
[Vicki's feverish nightmare includes a shot of Tess, barking as bees swarm over her]
Mike [as Tess]: Avenge me! Ruff!
[While Vicki is waiting at Manfred's home, Hargrove brings him the rest of her luggage.]
Mike [as Hargrove]: If you're looking for her panties I'm already wearing the good ones.
[Moments after Vicki drops a flaming log on Manfred's carpet, his entire house is engulfed in flames.]
Crow: The house was made of typing paper and oily rags.
[At the very end of the movie, as Vicki is leaving Hargrove's farm, a man in a bowler hat walks in from out of nowhere. Then the credits roll.]
Crow [confused]: All right, start smoochin', movie! What the hell is this?
Servo: Is there going to be a credit that says "Guy At The End"?

Video releases

A home video release of this episode is not currently forthcoming. However, the host segments are available on the Satellite Dishes disc included in Volume XXXIX.

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