Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Swarming Inferno

I guess it just all came together for The Swarm. First, This Island Rod, Roderick Heath's blog, did a terrific takedown of this 1978 Irwin Allen made-for-TV disaster.. movie. It was hilarious and without mercy, calling Allen a "second-tier George Pal", and worse. Now in my family, when the menfolk read something funny or interesting, of course they read it out loud to their wives. So I started reading selections to Ms. Spenser.

Unfortunately, she thought the movie sounded like fun.

Then I found out that the Filmsack podcast would be sacking The Swarm this week, and that sealed our fate. Since they only do movies from Netflix streaming, we now knew it was available. And so we watched.

The movie features Michael Caine as a shouty British bee scientist. He is found wandering around a nuclear missile silo full of dead soldiers. His story is that he walked in while following a swarm of deadly bees. Although the military don't trust him, when the bees threaten small town Texas, he gets to lead the defenses. SPOILER - he is not very good at this.

As is traditional in these Allen cheesefests, we get a number of roles for the long-time or soon-to-be washed up. Caine's team includes Richard Chamberlain and Henry Fonda. The Texas townspeople include Olivia de Haviland, Fred MacMurray and Ben Armstrong as a geriatric romantic triangle. It was sad to see Melanie from Gone with the Wind playing a matronly school marm, but MacMurray was Walter Neff! With two Fs, like in Philadelphia! To have fallen so low.

Anyway, I'm not going to go on about this, except to say that it is way more than 2 hours long. Read This Island Rod and listen to the podcast. Whether you watch the movie is up to you.

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