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THE SWARM IN GLORIOUS PAN AND SCAN


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Did anyone catch The SWARM on Sat?. I was curious to see the costume design (No Big Deal) and how bad it really was. And it REALLY WAS BAD! I didn't make it till the end. Bailed around the Hour and a Half Mark. Bad Acting;  Bad Dialog; Script; Special Effects AND SO BORING.

Poor LIVVY. At least Joan didnt  do bottom of the barrel material and called it quits after The Devils Own (which wasnt that bad). BIG QUESTION. Where was she  and her 2 boyfriends going on the train? To the preacher???? Seems like something was cut there (not that I wanted to spend more time on that boring subplot!) Although there were many candidates for WORST ACTING in the film, I think I'd give it to Katharine Ross. Whose line readings are beyond bad. I can't think of anyone who started out so well and who's career nosedived so quickly. This film tanked Irwin Allen's career and rightly so! I think the 70's was the worst decade for Hollywood films (and I was there, so I remember! LOL).

 

Patty Duke and Lee Grant were basically cameo parts. I bet they shot them in one day! (Jose Ferrer as well).

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I was also surprised to see the pan and scan for The Swarm - sounds like you stuck it out longer than I did.  And I thought the score was good too (the portion that I heard anyway).  I believe Dave Karger mentioned that Jerry Goldsmith was coming off his Oscar win for The Omen.  It was amazing that costume design was nominated in this one!  I liked the slightly puzzled expression on Dave's face when he mentioned this.

So many unfortunate appearances by great actors.  Pepe (1960) was another one shown on TCM a few days ago where you can’t believe how many famous actors fly by.

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Pepe (1960) was one of those movies that I believe ran REALLY long and was cut down.  The Leonard Maltin video guide gives the current running time at 157 minutes and states 'Pepe' was originally released at 195 minutes including overture and intermission. 

→ In regards to THE SWARM (1978) The regular theatrical cut runs 116 minutes, but there is an 'Extended Version' available of THE SWARM that runs 156 minutes and fleshes out certain characters and subplots.  Whether it makes the movie any better is up for debate!   But the 2 hr 36 min. version is out there . . . waiting. 

Also, this flop is the reason Irwin Allen wasn't permitted to direct the 1980 disaster movie "WHEN TIME RAN OUT . . . "  (aka:  "Earth's Final Fury, The").  James Goldstone helmed it.  I reckon it's easy to pile on "When Time Ran Out . . . " but it seems positively decent compared to THE SWARM. 

During the making of THE SWARM, I get the feeling Irwin Allen directed every single one of the actors to be as WOODEN as possible.  That's the only explanation I can think of.  

 

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5 hours ago, Hibi said:

Did anyone catch The SWARM on Sat?. I was curious to see the costume design (No Big Deal) and how bad it really was. And it REALLY WAS BAD! I didn't make it till the end. Bailed around the Hour and a Half Mark. Bad Acting;  Bad Dialog; Script; Special Effects AND SO BORING.

I remember reading the Medveds' Golden Turkey Awards about the helicopter pilot at the beginning, who radios back "OMG, they're all around me, millions of them!  Bees!...Bees!", and expecting this would be the minor actor's big William Shatner moment of hysterical overacting.  Not that he would deliver the line rather like the helicopter traffic pilot on a morning radio show.

As for more detailed opinions, I already weighed in on a recent Amazon viewing.  (In widescreen, no less):

(...Hey, neat, we can do those now!  😄 Just click the little arrow-thingy in the corner.)

44 minutes ago, Mr. Gorman said:

Also, this flop is the reason Irwin Allen wasn't permitted to direct the 1980 disaster movie "WHEN TIME RAN OUT . . . "  (aka:  "Earth's Final Fury, The").  James Goldstone helmed it.  I reckon it's easy to pile on "When Time Ran Out . . . " but it seems positively decent compared to THE SWARM. 

It does, actually--It returns the Irwin Allen genre back from his self-indulgent episode of hubris back to the classic disaster-movie tropes:

  1. Something good (like the world's biggest ocean liner, tallest skyscraper, town's founders-day festival,  or newest paradise resort opening) has to be interrupted,
  2. The owner has to be a ruthless greedy baddie who thinks it's too expensive to listen to the warnings of the crisis/structure analyst,
  3. ...Who happens to be our hero,
  4. The climax will involve the cast crossing some risky gauntlet over the Bridge of Peril, one by one, while we take bets who will survive, based on their moral worthiness of subplot.

The fact that Allen got back to crossing the bridge in Beyond the Poseidon Adventure a year later shows that the therapy was helpful.  Another one that's positively decent compared to The Swarm, but again, I go easy on the genre.  Heck, even Airport '79: the Concorde is positively decent by comparison, and that wasn't even Allen's. 

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6 minutes ago, Hibi said:

I cannot understand why a picture like Pepe would run OVER 3  HOURS. No wonder it bombed!

With all the American cameo stars, it was pitched as "Around the World in Eighty Days II:  JUST Cantinflas, But Then, He Was All You Liked In the First One, Anyway!"  

Unfortunately, it could have used some David Niven.  And some locations.  And a balloon.  And a Jules Verne book.

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Something else about PEPE (1960):  Beside the fact the Maltin review guide gave it a 'BOMB' there is not an actual review of the movie's plot.  It just says it's an incredibly long and pointless movie with plenty of guest-star cameos.  That's it. 

---------------------------------------------------

In regards to IRWIN ALLEN . . . remember Irwin turned to television in the mid-70s for more 'Disaster Movies' with these flix: 

FLOOD!  '76

FIRE!  '77

HANGING BY A THREAD  '79

THE NIGHT THE BRIDGE FELL DOWN (which was apparently filmed in 1979 and not aired until 1983).

and

CAVE-IN (which was also filmed in 1979 and did not air until 1983). 

→ Maybe a WARNER executive was fishing around in the vault and said "Hey, what's this stuff from Irwin still doing here?  Let's just air it and be done with it!". 

Re:  WHEN TIME RAN OUT . . . (1980)  James Franciscus seems to be having a good time as baddie Bob Spangler.

 

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Okay sure, Pepe was a pretty lousy movie, BUT there was and is however ONE big cultural trend that this movie would have a major influence upon, ya know.

(...and that being that since the day it was released to the theaters, 83% of all male chihuahuas have been named "Pepe" by their owners) ;)

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15 hours ago, Dargo said:

Okay sure, Pepe was a pretty lousy movie, BUT there was and is however ONE big cultural trend that this movie would have a major influence upon, ya know.

(...and that being that since the day it was released to the theaters, 83% of all male chihuahuas have been named "Pepe" by their owners) ;)

OK, so then why, do you suppose, so many people named their parakeets PETEY?    Seemed when I was a kid, every other kid in the neighborhood had a parakeet with that name.  Even in my house!

But 20 or so years ago, I was sitting in a hair salon, waiting for my wife to get finished when I noticed a parakeet in a cage in a corner of the shop.  I asked what the bird's name was, hoping NOT to hear "Petey",  and wasn't disappointed.  The young lady running the shop said the bird's name was, "Flip"  noticing my puzzled look, she clarified... "You know... FLIP, the BIRD?"  :D 

Anyway....  there was an old movie house in Southwest Detroit where my wife said she and her sisters could go and see the Mexican produced movies starring CANTIFLAS, who was a well loved comic actor in Mexico, and she was greatly disappointed by the movie PEPE.  

Sepiatone

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16 hours ago, Mr. Gorman said:

Something else about PEPE (1960):  Beside the fact the Maltin review guide gave it a 'BOMB' there is not an actual review of the movie's plot.  It just says it's an incredibly long and pointless movie with plenty of guest-star cameos.  That's it. 

---------------------------------------------------

In regards to IRWIN ALLEN . . . remember Irwin turned to television in the mid-70s for more 'Disaster Movies' with these flix: 

FLOOD!  '76

FIRE!  '77

HANGING BY A THREAD  '79

THE NIGHT THE BRIDGE FELL DOWN (which was apparently filmed in 1979 and not aired until 1983).

and

CAVE-IN (which was also filmed in 1979 and did not air until 1983). 

→ Maybe a WARNER executive was fishing around in the vault and said "Hey, what's this stuff from Irwin still doing here?  Let's just air it and be done with it!". 

Re:  WHEN TIME RAN OUT . . . (1980)  James Franciscus seems to be having a good time as baddie Bob Spangler.

 

It involves this Mexican, Pepe, traveling to Hollywood to get his horse back (I kid you not). in the process  he meets all these Hollywood stars. 

I can't get that awful theme song out of my head now...........P-E-P-E, PEPE, that'sa ME!

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16 hours ago, Dargo said:

Okay sure, Pepe was a pretty lousy movie, BUT there was and is however ONE big cultural trend that this movie would have a major influence upon, ya know.

(...and that being that since the day it was released to the theaters, 83% of all male chihuahuas have been named "Pepe" by their owners) ;)

I actually knew one! LOL.

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24 minutes ago, Mr. Gorman said:

The plot of PEPE sounds like thet post-war Italian movie about the poor man whose bicycle was stolen and who endeavoured to get it back (minus the Hollywood stars).

You mean Pee-Wee's Big Adventure ???

THAT wasn't set in postwar Italy, was IT?!!!!

(...sorry, couldn't resist, Mr.G ) ;)

 

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I started going through it of perverse curiosity. It's not good, but it wasn't quite as bad as I thought it would be. (heh) What I think is one of the most harmful things about it is the repeated insistence to show people waving their arms  and writhing about in slow motion as the bees come in for the kill. It's meant to be terrifying and indeed the idea of getting stung by so many is horrifying, but the slo-mo effect gives it an unintentionally comic air.

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31 minutes ago, Mr. Gorman said:

The plot of PEPE sounds like thet post-war Italian movie about the poor man whose bicycle was stolen and who endeavoured to get it back (minus the Hollywood stars).

Believe me, Bicycle Thief is much better (and shorter!)

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Hate it when movies with such an impressive cast turns out to be such a horror.

Having said that I also didn't find THE SWARM all that terrible. It's not a classic by any means, but there's something about it, its' corniness, the ridiculous scenarios, the overacting that somehow puts it in my view in the 'so bad it's good' category.

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A movie I find to be even worse now than it was when first released in 1982 is THE TOY. 

A most unfortunate waste of talent.  It was never a good movie and time has not improved it in my humble opinion. 

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3 hours ago, Mr. Gorman said:

A movie I find to be even worse now than it was when first released in 1982 is THE TOY. 

A most unfortunate waste of talent.  It was never a good movie and time has not improved it in my humble opinion. 

I saw THE TOY in theaters as a young one.

At the time I thought it was actually a cool flick, but once I grew older, I didn't find it as hilarious as I once did.

Same with STIR CRAZY, loved it as a kid, but now my funny bone went silent when viewing it years later as an adult.

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"The Swarm" is one of those type of movie one can watch a couple of times but not worth owning.

Pan and scan...what are we missing- about 30,000 killer bees? ;)

 

There was rumor back in 2010 about a remake, what ever became of it?

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7 hours ago, Bethluvsfilms said:

Hate it when movies with such an impressive cast turns out to be such a horror.

Having said that I also didn't find THE SWARM all that terrible. It's not a classic by any means, but there's something about it, its' corniness, the ridiculous scenarios, the overacting that somehow puts it in my view in the 'so bad it's good' category.

I read one fan review that thought the completely unexplained subplot of traumatized survivors seeing big-bee hallucinations was, quote, "A plot thread about survivors having a psychic link with the bees was sadly underexplored..."

That's definitely what you'd call overthinking the movie.

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16 hours ago, Bethluvsfilms said:

Hate it when movies with such an impressive cast turns out to be such a horror.

Having said that I also didn't find THE SWARM all that terrible. It's not a classic by any means, but there's something about it, its' corniness, the ridiculous scenarios, the overacting that somehow puts it in my view in the 'so bad it's good' category.

It comes off as a bad mini-series or tv movie. It's not bad enough to be entertaining. Just boring. People shouting; Bad dialog; subplots that go nowhere and have no connection to anything (particularly the Olivia love triangle). The Bee attacks are few and far between and not really scary etc. There are some so bad it's good moments, but a lot of boring, dull stretches in between. I might watch it again to see the final half hour (LOL) I missed when I bailed!

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11 hours ago, hamradio said:

"The Swarm" is one of those type of movie one can watch a couple of times but not worth owning.

Pan and scan...what are we missing- about 30,000 killer bees? ;)

 

There was rumor back in 2010 about a remake, what ever became of it?

LOL. Yeah, that's about right. Less bees.

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