Thursday, November 18, 2010

In short: Killer Bees (2005)

aka Killing Bee

Original title: Satsujinbachi - kira bi

A gaggle of Japanese Girl Scouts and their lone male chaperone are happily going camping quite a few hours away from civilization, as if not one of them had ever seen a horror movie.

At first, it's all long, painful scenes of teenage squeeing and insufferably cutesy humour, but after some hours, the first of the kids is attacked by a mysterious insect (there will be some discussions if the killer animals are in fact bees or rather hornets - I'm saying they're bad CGI), and suffers from anaphylactic shock. Being a brilliant man of action, the chaperone is convinced the most intelligent action to take now will be loading the ill girl on his back while one other girl leads the way with a flashlight, and just leaving the rest of the teenagers alone with Mother Nature.

Naturally, the girls staying behind make the acquaintance of some friends of the grumpy digital insect that bit their friend, too. It doesn't look good for the future of the Girl Scout tradition in Japan.

If this short plot description makes you think this direct to DVD killer animal concoction sounds rather bland, you are right on the money. It's one of those films that consist of a lot of teenagers screaming and (if the audience is lucky) dying, a bit of crying and a whole lot of wandering through (at least quite pretty) woods and not much else.

It's a bit of a shame, really, because the handful killer bee attack scenes are hilarious. Who knew that Japanese bees are sneaky like ninjas, often lone wolves like Solid Snake, have their own stalker cam, and know exactly which parts of a teenage body to attack for maximum deadliness? They also are active by day and by night and just love flying into fire.

Alas, we don't get to spend as much time with these true heroes of the film as I would have wished. Director Norihisa Yoshimura does seem to prefer crying teenagers to exciting CGI animals, which just possibly might be the wrong direction to take when the core of your film's cast consists of inexperienced actresses around the age of fifteen.

Friends of unconvincingly acted yet enthusiastic death scenes can look forward to a few moments of fun, as well as to a new reason not to scream when attacked by killer bees, but if one hopes for anything a bit more exciting (or just a bit more), one will be sorely disappointed by this particular killer insect movie.


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