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The Swarm (Widescreen Expanded Version)

Michael Caine , Katharine Ross , Irwin Allen    PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)   DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 59.97
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Product Description


Legendarily chintzy "event" producer Irwin Allen (The Towering Inferno) went out with a gargantuan buzz-on with this jaw-droppingly goofy disaster flick. No cliché is left unturned, as a hyperactive strain of hallucination-inducing killer bees get it into their microscopic brains to derail a commuter train, destroy a nuclear power plant, and otherwise decimate a veritable cornucopia of washed-up Match Game panelists (Fred MacMurray, Henry Fonda, Richard Widmark, Patty Duke, Slim Pickens, and narcoleptic dreamboat Richard Chamberlain are just a few of the legendary has-beens to get fatally stung by what appears to be airborne coffee grounds). Be sure to stay tuned through the closing credits for a (lawsuit-preventing?) coda absolving the good ol' hardworking American honeybee of any and all sinister charges depicted herein. An irresistibly hilarious chunk of honey-roasted cheese--'70s style. --Andrew Wright

Product Description

Irwin Allen's doomsday epic pits an all-star cast against a North American invasion of killer bees!

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A laugh riot! June 4 2004
Remember the days of Irwin Allen? During the 1970s, this director ruled Hollywood with several all-star, action packed disaster films. There was "The Towering Inferno" with Paul Newman and Steve McQueen. "The Poseidon Adventure" with Gene Hackman and Shelley Winters. The only one he wasn't associated with, I think, was "Earthquake" with Charlton Heston and George Kennedy. A cast of stars both major and minor populated constellation Irwin Allen. He could do no wrong-his films weren't masterpieces of cinematic art, but they drew in audiences willing to spend money to watch these epics. Then Allen made "The Swarm," and a horribly swift silence descended over Hollywood. The 1978 film about a pack of civilization threatening killer bees should receive cult classic status from lovers of crud cinema. Where else are you going to see Henry Fonda inject himself with bee venom? Or Richard Widmark going down for the count while trying to stave off bees with a flamethrower? Say what you will about this film, and you could say plenty of terrible things about it, but it definitely falls under the "so bad it's good" category and thus deserves are attention.
Something's amiss at a missile silo somewhere in Texas. The military sends in a crack team of orange suited soldiers to discover what went wrong. It turns out a swarm of killer bees attacked the installation and killed all the personnel. General Slater (Widmark) arrives on the scene to supervise only to find Dr. Brad Crane (Michael Caine) strolling around the silo. Crane claims a swarm of deadly bees did the damage, a statement confirmed by a radar operator noticing something moving away at seven (!) miles an hour. A chopper sent up crashes when the bees attack (!!).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Old-fashioned monster movie with all-star cast Oct. 28 2002
Contrary to popular opinion, THE SWARM (1978) is not the worst movie ever made. Anyone who says otherwise clearly hasn't seen the collected works of Jesus Franco or Andy Milligan. Or Woody Allen. Having exhausted the possibilities of the one-disaster-in-a-single-film subgenre (THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE, THE TOWERING INFERNO, FIRE!, FLOOD, etc.), producer-director Irwin Allen - who died in 1991 - hired screenwriter Stirling Silliphant (IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT) to conceive a storyline in which several catastrophes occur within a broader narrative. Taking his cue from previous small-scale entries like THE DEADLY BEES (1966) and TERROR OUT OF THE SKY (1978), Silliphant concocted THE SWARM, an old-fashioned monster movie with an all-star cast, in which a huge mass of African killer bees rampage across America's south-west before descending on Houston, destroying everything in their path - including towns, trains, nuclear power plants, and the reputations of numerous high-profile actors.
Representing the last gasp of the disaster cycle inaugurated in 1969 by Ross Hunter's big-time adaptation of Arthur Hailey's AIRPORT and popularized by Allen with respectable entries like the aforementioned POSEIDON and TOWERING (the latter a bona fide masterpiece), THE SWARM encapsulates this director's basic commercial ethos: Big stars, big set-pieces, and big drama.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Warner Brothers DVD release of Irwin Allen's cult classic bomb The Swarm features a beautifully rendered widescreen transfer (which is the only format to truly appreciate this movie), the theatrical trailer, and a straight faced and rather serious sounding behind the scenes documentary that looks to have been made for televsion airing for the film's summer time hype (it contains easy to see commercial break segues). Sadly the promised Michael Caine commentary and Big Bug trivia did not come through, though there is a biography for the late Master of Disaster in the Cast and Crew section (it is also the only one offered). As we all know, mutant killer bees threaten Texas and Michael Caine and a whole lot of back-up stars have to stop them, or else. The movie remains a goofy, silly disaster movie that is incredibly hard to dislike. If you love so bad they're good movies, then this disc is a must have. An essential for any schlock fan.
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"The Swarm" is merely another in the long line of 1970's disaster flicks that the Hollywood machine churned out with almost reckless abandon. The difference here is that, instead of burning building or shaking ground, the disaster is a swarm of 'Africanized' killer bees that attack southern Texas with extreme ferocity. While there is no doubt that killer bees do exist and are quite vicious when they attack, this particular swarm seems capable of doing things that not even the USSR could have imagined accomplishing. These bees cause helicopters to crash, force passenger trains off the track, and... get this... cause a nuclear power plant to explode (!). These are some pretty impressive bees. For all the outlandishly ridiculous plot developments, "The Swarm" is still a fun movie to watch. It's especially fun to watch actors of higher pedigree try to contend with this material. On the one hand, there is Richard Chamberlain, an actor wants badly to be a better actor than the material he performs lets him be. On the other hand, there is Oscar-winner, Michael Caine, who shows a propensity for choosing awful roles at the same rate as he chooses award-winning roles (how else can you explain a man who wins Academy Awards in such compelling films as "Hannah and her Sisters" and "The Cider House Rules", while also starring in such monumental turkeys as "Jaws: The Revenge" and "Beyond the Poseidon Adventure"). It's fun watching the two of them recite the dialogue of this movie and seeing them not smirk at what they're saying. "The Swarm" is a bad, bad movie, but it has that extra bit of flair that allows it to be so bad it's good.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars "The Swarm" is badly bumbled.
The acting is terrible and melodramatic. The plot is ridiculous. This movie is absolutely inept, and is one of the worst movies I have ever seen.
Published on Sept. 9 2007 by Steven N. Whipkey
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent "Disasterpiece"
Great Movie! But why are the bees referred to as "The Africans" - reference to Zu Lu??? Sir Michael - can you explain??
Published on May 20 2004 by 1
5.0 out of 5 stars The Swarm
The Swarm was a very realistic movie about the attack of the Afraican Bee's. It shows realism and what we can face in the future ahead of us. Read more
Published on Oct. 15 2003 by Mike
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic
This is a must have movie for all lovers of bad movies. The film manages to include bees of incredible power that appear nearly invulnerable. Read more
Published on May 31 2003 by "dpncc17012"
5.0 out of 5 stars An Irwin Allen Classic in my book!
"The Swarm" is one of my all time favorite movies. Basicly because it scared the tar out of me when I was a kid. But nowadays I've gotten to where I really like it. Read more
Published on May 1 2003 by Michael S. Admire
1.0 out of 5 stars Worse than I remember, plus wrong bonus feature info
When you see a movie with your sweetie on a warm summer evening when the world was young, you tend to remember it through rose-colored glasses. Read more
Published on Aug. 11 2002 by Midge
1.0 out of 5 stars Extremely Dull
As a bad movie lover I thought I found a lost classic when I purchased this, but instead found it to be very dull. Read more
Published on Aug. 3 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars The Swarm is Better than ever!!
The Swarm may be one of those disaster movies from the late 70's but it is by far my favorite in the Killer Bee movie genre. Read more
Published on May 30 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars It always gives me a buzz.
THE SWARM is a legendary flop from Irwin Allen, the kind that destroys careers. Hyped from here to the moon, and called "the most terrifying movie ever made" by Allen... Read more
Published on Oct. 23 2001 by Chadwick H. Saxelid
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