The concept of Poetic Justice in literature is rooted in irony. We like it when the virtuous get rewarded in narrative, but we love it when the wicked get a dose of what they try and dish out. Through an ironic twist of fate usually connected in some personal way to the character, the bad guy/gal gets what they deserve. That’s the case in The Deadly Bees.
With a screenplay penned by Robert Bloch (best known for Psycho), expectations were high; however, once he delivered his version of the script which according to his autobiography was a close interpretation of the original novel A Taste of Honey by H.W. Herd, the film’s director brought in another writer and together they ‘improved’ it. What they did was managed to ‘improve’ it right into a great big flop.
There are so many holes in the plot that it is laughable. For example, it begins with two police detectives dismissing a letter from a man on Seagull Island who is claiming to have developed a strain of killer bees that he will soon begin using to kill people. Oddly enough later in the film when the policemen hear about people on Seagull Island being killed by bees, they dismiss it as a coincidence. Yeah, I know.
There’s lots to enjoy for a B movie…sorry, I couldn’t resist. But the twist ending where we find the man who is helping the distressed ingénue is actually trying to kill her with bees, and he ends up getting killed by his own bees…well, THAT’S Poetic justice in a nutshell. The film is not without humor, though as at the very end as the credits roll there’s a man walking up, tipping his hat for what apparently seems to be no reason until you realize it’s one of the policemen from the beginning come to investigate.