Davis, de Havilland, Flynn, Cagney, Bogart ...

Davis, de Havilland, Flynn, Cagney, Bogart ...

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Apiphobia and Spheksophobia -- Everybody Has A Phobia -- I Have Two!

Spheksophobia - fear of wasps
Apiphobia - Fear of bees











I watched a movie last night called The Swarm.  It was released in 1978 by Irwin Allen as the disaster movie of the year, and it was a disaster.  The cast consisted of - wait for it -Michael Caine, Richard Widmark, Henry Fonda, Fred MacMurray, Jose Ferrer,  Richard Chamberlain, and Olivia deHavilland.  It is my guess that all of them had gambling debts to pay off, and didn't want a visit from Rocko and Luca late some night.  I can't think of any other reason these actors would be in this movie, especially Olivia!  I also can't think of any sane reason why I would watch it.  However, I was tired and lazy last night, and just watched what was on because the remote was on my desk, all the way across the room.

I have a paralyzing fear of bees and wasps.  It's so bad that all I have to hear is hummm and bzzzzz and my heart starts racing, perspiration breaks out on my forehead and I can hardly move.  I don't know where it came from -- I was stung a few times as a kid, like any other kid, no big deal.  But there it is nonetheless.  I'm too scared to even swat at them, so I keep a can of sticky hair spray around.  Aqua Net is best -- use that stuff on your hair and you have an impenetrable helmet.  If you spray the buzzing thing with it, their wings get stuck and they fall like a stone.  Then you can use a big book (I use my Complete Works of William Shakespeare) and squash them.  One time, though, a particularly large wasp took refuge in the runners of my sliding glass door.  So I sprayed him right there, probably using the last of my Aqua Net.  I don't think he died of sticky wings -- I think he drowned.  If I were a Buddhist, I'd be excommunicated, or whatever Buddhists do.
  

I guess my honey-scented shampoo
wasn't such a good idea

The story of The Swarm is very complicated - African bees make their way to Houston and try to kill everybody.  The End.  Actually, the key characters finally figure out how to get rid of the little buzzers, at least the characters that were left after various disgusting bee deaths.  I won't ruin the ending for you in case you want to see a really terrible movie for yourself.

I think I'm allergic
to this facial mask!
In 1967, moviegoers were treated to The Deadly Bees.  I never heard of anybody in it, except Frank Finlay, who is an excellent actor.  Maybe he had an unexpectedly high electric bill when he took the role.  I've never seen it, don't know what method was used to kill the bees, and actually don't really care.  If the writer took a cue from a lot of monster movies, he may have used electricity to do it.  I've always wondered why the military doesn't just electrocute all movie monsters, considering how many times it has been proved to be the only solution.

Wasps!

Come on over here, big boy!
Such a pretty little thing!
Now we turn to wasps.  I don't know of many wasp movies, although I'm sure they are out there somewhere.  The main movie I know of is actually one of my favorite cheesy Roger Corman movies, The Wasp Woman (1959).  Maybe I like it in spite of my phobia is because it is so unrealistic, except for the few parts that show real wasps.  Susan Cabot is unintentionally hilarious as the woman who wants to look young by taking some mad scientist's wasp serum.  She should have just stuck with Oil of Olay.  The poster is completely misleading.  Our wasp woman is Susan Cabot with a wasp head stuck over her own.  It's pretty funny.  But, I just love this movie!



A very disturbing thing happened in 1995.  Somebody actually did a remake of The Wasp Woman.  The filmmaker strikes me as a rather odd guy.  I never saw it, don't know where to find it, and sincerely doubt that it could possibly be better than Corman's movie.  I will say, however, that the wasp costume is pretty cool:
This is the maker of the film.  He decided to play the wasp
woman himself, and thought that modern audiences would
enjoy a more ample bosom with some serious cleavage. 

This is just a picture of a totally insane person trying to break a record for how long a person can stand still with 200,000 bees covering his body -- he needs a fire hose turned on him:



After reading this article, it should not surprise you that this is my favorite movie about bees or wasps:

Environmentalists, please do not chide me.  I know how important
bees are to the natural world.  But if one gets in my house,
he will nonetheless die a horrible, sticky death


If you don't care for my little piece, just don't say anything.
I also suffer from enissophobia!




25 comments:

  1. kudos for sitting thru THE SWARM, one of the more ghastly IRWIN ALLEN productions!!! actually, I do not think that there is a decent BEE/WASP movie out there...even the camp "THE WASP WOMEN" is tired and dull!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Becky - I am terrified of bees, too! But - you made me smile. You also convinced me never to see these! By the way, do you know any films about elevator phobia? Just askin'

    ReplyDelete
  3. Dear FlickChick . . . if you're still looking for a film somehow related to elevator phobia, you might consider Dick Maas' 1983 film THE ELEVATOR. Other than that, the last ten minutes of the 1959 Hammer production of JACK THE RIPPER might fill the bill.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Becky, loved your humorous post about your fear of wasps.. I have 3 fears. 1. Small spiders. 2. Med. spiders. 3. Large spiders. :O

    ReplyDelete
  5. Becky while watching Doris Day, in the film "By The Light Of The Silvery Moon" (1953). This song came up: BE MY LITTLE BABY BUMBLE BEE.

    Queenie Bee lived o'er the lee
    And she was a bunny little honey bee
    Billy Bumble used to mumble 'round the rosemary
    Where she would meet him, greet him
    And then treat him to some honey sprees
    Then start a-buzzin' in a dozen diff'rent lovin' keys

    Be my little baby bumble bee
    (Buzz around, buzz around, keep a-buzzin' 'round)
    Bring home all the honey, love, to me
    (Little bee, little bee, little bee)
    Let me spend the happy hours
    Roving with you 'mongst the flow'rs
    And when we get where no one else can see
    (Cuddle up, cuddle up, cuddle up)
    Be my little baby bumble bee
    (Buzz around, buzz around, keep a-buzzin' 'round)
    We'll be just has happy as can be
    (You and me, you and me, you and me)
    Honey, keep a-buzzin', please
    I've got a dozen cousin bees
    But I want you to be my baby bumble bee

    Willie, he flew o'er the lee
    To call on her mama and her papa bee
    Papa bee said, "Goodness me!" and mama said, "We'll see
    If you can pay your way
    For ev'ry day the price of honey grows dear"
    But little Queenie said, "That for Sweeney," and whispered in his ear

    Be my little baby bumble bee
    (Buzz around, buzz around, keep a-buzzin' 'round)
    Bring home all the honey, love, to me
    (Little bee, little bee, little bee)
    Let me spend the happy hours
    Roving with you 'mongst the flow'rs
    And when we get where no one else can see
    (Cuddle up, cuddle up, cuddle up)
    Be my little baby bumble bee
    (Buzz around, buzz around, keep a-buzzin' 'round)
    We'll be just has happy as can be
    (You and me, you and me, you and me)
    Honey, keep a-buzzin', please
    I've got a dozen cousin bees
    But I want you to be my baby bumble bee

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is a great post, Becky! You made me laugh postulating on why all these great actors ending up in "bee" movies (pardon the pun). I had a crippling fear of bees and wasps as a child, but it's a bit better now. I've still never been stung and don't ever plan to be!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh Doc, how can you say that about The Wasp Woman", one of the great movies of our time -- oh hell, it's terrible, but I just LOVE it...must be childhood thing!

    FlickChick, a fellow bee hater! I see you got 2 good suggestions for elevator movies (I have relative who would rather climb the stairs to the top of the Empire State Building than take an elevator). Did you see a recent really scary movie called "Devil"? It is about a group of people trapped in an elevator, with definite supernatural fright. I think it's very good!

    Michael, good suggestions for FlickChick.

    Dawn, LOL! Love the way you describe your phobia. You know, I've seen Silvery Moon, and I don't remember that song! Maybe I blocked it out. Good heavens, it says bee and buzz so many times you may have cured me with shock therapy!

    Thanks so much, Caroline. It always makes me laugh to when you see a really great actor in a real stinko. Even Michael Caine was in Jaws 3, an incredibly bad movie (he said he did the part because he wanted to buy his mother a house), thought The Swarm was the worst movie he was ever in. Hope my fear goes away like yours!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh Becky, I'm not afraid of bees, but I hope I'm sympathetic enough to feel your pain. :)

    I like nothing more than seeing a big fat honey bee buzzing around my flowers on the porch. Not crazy about wasps though. A few usually show up to drink water from the bird bath out back. I always warn them that if they sting me, NO MORE WATER!

    So far, they've left me alone. :)

    I don't like movies where people turn into bugs. Ugh. The one that originally grossed me out: THE FLY.

    Still enjoyed reading your post, though. As usual, it made me smile.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Yvette, I like seeing regular little bees around the flowers, as long as I'm inside with a screen between them and me! I know what you mean about bug movies, although I loved The Fly. You reminded me of a bug movie that is really hysterical. Nobody turns into anything, but it's about worms, called Squirm. The worms aren't even giant worms, just lots of them that got very active because of electricity or something. Anyway, what can even a lot of worms do to you? Just a brisk walking pace will get you away from them! The funniest scene was a girl taking a shower. She looks up and instead of water, worms are coming out of the shower head. She screams and the next scene is a tub full of worms apparently with her under them For God's sake -- just step out and dry off, do your hair and makeup -- they still would't get the tub filled! LOL!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I already know of your phobias regarding bees and wasps since I have been your sister for _ _ "many" years. What will happen if they quit manufacturing Aqua Net though? I swear though,you have seen more movies than I ever would consider giving a chance to watching. Your funny articles inspire me to lighten up and give these great pieces of art a try though.

    Aging nurse

    ReplyDelete
  11. First, a great Team Bartilucci "Howdy!" to our buddy Michael Wolff, who chimes in over at TALES OF THE EASILY DISTRACTED periodically! I agree with Michael's recommendation of THE LIFT, which has long been a favorite of mine.

    Now then, on to you, dear Miz Becky! Your remarks about bug movies, especially SQUIRM, cracked me up, and your pictures and captions were a hoot! Bugs in general freak me out, but especially bees and wasps, because allergies to their venom run in our family. I usually keep a spray bottle of inexpensive perfume or cologne around in case buzzing winged insects get inside our happy home, if only because it smells nicer than bug spray. However, thanks to you, I think I just might keep hair spray at the ready instead! :-) Awesome post, Becky, as always!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hey Aging Nurse -- I know who you are! I love that name! Unfortunately just perfect for you. Yes, I've watched many bad movies in the name of education -- nah, just for fun! You should see Wasp Woman, it's really a hoot.

    Dorian, what on earth could perfume or cologne do to a giant angry wasp? Maybe it will smell better while it lands on you and buzzes ands stings! Aqua Net baby -- it's the industrial killer, guaranteed! LOL!

    ReplyDelete
  13. It takes a lot of guts to sit thru the entire length of THE SWARM so my hat is off to you Becky. Have not seen THE WASP WOMAN but it sounds like a lot of laughs. My favorite bug movie though is the Vincent Price movie THE FLY.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks for the tip about hair spray even though the panic that sets in when confronted by a buzzing b*****d may erase the weapon from my mind when needed.

    Ah, "The Swarm". One of the great stinkers of all time. Poor thing doesn't even make the "so bad it's good" list.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Becky, your ode against all thing bees and wasps made me laugh since I found a wasp in my house over the weekend, how it found a way in is a mystery. I’m not a big fan of “creepy critters,” either face to face or in a film, but I can’t think of anything amounting to a phobia (unless you include alligators and sharks, but that’s only common sense). I vaguely remember the Astrodome some how figures into THE SWARM, which falls in the same category as FROGS for Ray Milland: an obligatory curse for actors late in life.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Gypsy! You have hit on it! The Swarm doesn't end in the Astrodome, but there is a TV movie that does! I could not for the life of me think of the name of that movie, and couldn't find it, and I KNEW I had seen something like that! I finally googled "bees in the Houston Astrodome" after reading your comment, and there it was. The Savage Bees" in the 70's. Ben Johnson is in it, and Horst Buchholz. They finally managed to get the bees because they are attracted to red and die in the cold. Some poor girl in a red car attracted the swarm of bees, and turned her air conditioner on high. Then they had her drive into the Astrodome and turned its air on until it was so cold it killed the bees. Oh, I feel so much better! Unlike the bees!

    You are quite right -- alligators and sharks make logical sense to be afraid of. Phobias are not logical at all, and I have no idea where mine came from. I had to laugh at your comment about "an obligatory curse for actors late in life." So true!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Actually the film you watched, The Swarm, was in a book about dreadful films called The Golden Turkey Awards.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Given the cast, Becky, I'm surprised THE SWARM was a "B" movie! Very amusing post. The screenplay for THE DEAD BEES was written by Robert Bloch of PSYCHO fame. It's not bad, certainly better than THE SWARM. But I agree with you that the best of the pics you described was the original WASP WOMAN. Its remake was directed by Jim Wynorski, an infamous B-movie (no pun) director who churns 4-5 movies a year!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Becky,
    How do you feel about killer tomato's? I don't like insects that sting but if this had been a post on rats or snakes I would have had to pass. I have a strange fear of birds!

    When I think of weird insect films I think of "The Fly" of course but the ones you discussed her are hilarious and it's too funny that anyone would shoot a film around killer wasps or bees. Even the posters you provided, it just looks silly.

    I love your theme posts and this one did not disappoint! You could have left out the pic of the guy covered in bees though because now I have a fear of going outside without dipping myself in a can of OFF!
    Page

    ReplyDelete
  20. I was puttering around among the flowers today and, while making an effort not to disturb a bee in the Trumpetvine, I thought of this post. It's funny, even though I have an extreme reaction to bee and wasp stingers, I'm not overly afraid of the little buzzers. I do give them their space, though. My problem is spiders...and I'm amazed I was able to watch "Arachnophobia" from start to finish (only once!). Creeped me out and gave me nightmares, but I did it...I haven't seen "The Swarm" or "Wasp Woman"...

    ReplyDelete
  21. 24FRAMES -- I love "The Fly". Actually, I love just about anything with Vincent Price. And you are right, Sitting through "The Swarm" was like watching a train wreck...horrible, but you keep looking!
    CAFTANWOMAN -- At first, I forget about the Aqua Net too, then I get made and want my house back! So I grab it and spray, spray, spray!
    TOM -- The Swarm certainly rates that! I think it's worse than Ed Wood's Plan 9 From Outer Space. At least Ed did the best he could with no budget and no talent!
    RICK -- "B" movies....groan! You know, I like Robert Bloch a lot -- if he wrote a "B" movie I will try it. By the way, it's "DeadLY", not "DEAD". Who would be afraid of DEAD bees? LOL!
    PAGE -- I'm only afraid of the tomatos you buy at the grocery store, the ones that have the texture of apples! It's funny you mention birds -- I love them, their beautiful songs, but I could never bring myself to put my hand in a bird cage, afraid they will peck me. That guy covered with bees -- I know what you mean. He belongs in an institution.
    EVE -- Wow, you do need to be careful of bees and wasps, but how strange...you have a reason to be, but you're really not afraid. I have no logical reason, and I'm scared to death. I have a friend who almost fainted when I described the movie Arachnophobia -- I did't realize she had a phobia about spiders. Don't bother with The Swarm, but Wasp Woman is like one of the best of the "B" movies, as Rick would say!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Spiders don't bother me, bugs don't bother me, and I'm perfectly find around bees, hornets and wasps. But when you start talking about mice, or rats or rodents of any kind, its like sticking me with a paralyzing needle. I hate them, actually hate them. My stomach does flip flops at the sight of any rodent. Watching "Willard", both versions, is a major challenge for me.

    Ya know, I kinda like "The Wasp Woman" too, but I think I have to give the edge to the similar "The Leech Woman." That's a sentence I don't get to write every day.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I've never seen The Leech Woman -- ugh, but I'd love to see it. I'm a big fan of the 50's sci-fi and big bug movies!

    If rodents are your phobia, I wonder if you've ever read Orwell's 1984? If you have, you wil know what I mean. There is a chapter near the end which would horrify you! Willard was disgusting even if you don't have a particular phobia. Yick!

    ReplyDelete
  24. HUZZAH!!! I'm not the only one who has both!!!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I'm exactly the same, except I don't have sticky hair spray so I just run for dear life.

    ReplyDelete