Press Release from Caldera:
Caldera Records is proud to present David Shire’s score for the television movie “Killer Bees,” directed by Curtis Harrington and starring Gloria Swanson, Edward Albert and Kate Jackson. A salesman is killed by a violent swarm of bees. Why? Young Edward Van Bohlen and his fiancée Victoria only hear rumors of said incident when they arrive in the sleepy town which is home to Edward’s family. Do they have anything to do with the bees that are responsible for an innocent person’s death? They do seem to harbor secrets, and they are particularly suspicious of Victoria – who feels increasingly uneasy in the family’s villa.
“Killer Bees” fits neatly into the category of eco-thrillers that were especially popular in the 1970s. Directed by Curtis Harrington and shown as ABC’s Movie of the Week in February 1974, the film boasts a stellar cast, including Gloria Swanson as the family matriarch with a special bond with bees. The most thrilling aspect of this family drama though is David Shire’s music, which gives the film the energy it otherwise lacks. It is an often aggressive, suspenseful score for small orchestra that, with its short motifs and ostinatos for strings evocative of those employed in Hitchcock’s “Psycho,” pays tribute to the music of Bernard Herrmann. The references to “Psycho” are particularly evident in “Killer Bees,” as Shire admits: “I was very aware of that. Of course I was inspired by Bernard Herrmann. I love his film scores. He really showed me how to do a score that wasn’t a big Max Steiner score. He showed me that you could do it with motifs.”
The TV movies of the 70s saw Shire do some of his strongest work, of which “Killer Bees” is only one example. As a bonus, we include selections from Shire’s scores for the early-70s television movies “Isn’t It Shocking?” and “Harpy.”
The 50th CD-release of Caldera Records features a detailed booklet text by Stephan Eicke and elegant artwork by Luis Miguel Rojas. The CD was mastered by Richard Moore and produced by Stephan Eicke, David Shire and John Elborg.