Genocide (a.k.a. War of the Insects and Konchű daisens˘)

Year 1968

Keisuke Sonoi as   Yoshito Nagumo
Kathy Horan as Annabelle
Yűsuke Kawazu   as Jozi Akiyama
Director - Kazui Nihonmatsu  
Screenwriter - Susumu Takaku
Story   - Kingen Amada

Actually, Genocide, a Japanese movie with English subtitles, is so packed with inane plot devices that it's a good movie to watch if you like making fun of movies. Maybe you already got that by the title. It's a little over the top, to say the least.

The basic plot is that a Japanese island is the home to an atomic bomb mutated group of bees. They aren't the oversized monsters of some movies. In Genocide the bees have acquired sentience and they feel that mankind needs to be stopped... especially Americans... for their own good... even though what they're trying to stop is the reason the bees got their thinking caps in the first place.

There's a lot of hatred in this movie for non-Japanese people. Annabelle (Horan) is French. She's a lunatic. Americans, with the exception of one or two, are either crazy or warmongers. Sometimes they're crazy warmongers. Japanese peasants? They're misunderstood and horny. Japanese scholars? They're unbelievably bright and insightful.

This anti-American and anti-European bigotry isn't the reason this movie is bad. In fact, there's such vitriole that it becomes a parody and funny.

Take Annabelle. She's French so that means she's a seducer. She seduces a poor local boy and makes him do bad things including betray his new wife. She's also a survivor from a German concentration camp. Yep. She's twisted because of Nazis. This movie manages to grab every loose end of World War II hated by the Japanese and put it all on one island.

I mentioned that Anabelle was crazy. It was those darned Nazis! She hates them because they tried to kill all of the Jews. Her plan? To train bees to kill everybody. So because she hates the Nazis for their extermination tactics, she plans on doing the same thing on an even larger scale. If this makes sense to you, check yourself into a mental ward.

Americans? Those warmongers? We first meet them as they're flying a jet above the island. I'm not sure what type of jet it is. It looks like a Toilet Paper Tube 2000 with protrusions that could be wings. This jet, at 35,000 feet (or 11,000 meters if you're into that sort of distance), runs into a swarm of bees. At seven miles, even if bees could fly that high in rarefied air, the bees would be frozen solid. It's about 65 degrees below zero Fahrenheit (or 55 degrees below zero Celsius if you're into that sort of temperature) outside the plane that is traveling at least five hundred miles an hour. (I won't do the kilometer conversion.)

But wait! It gets crazier. A bee manages to buzz against a side window of the plane. On the outside. I don't know of any bee tough enough to hang onto my car past 40 mph. This bee is walking around at close to the speed of sound as if it's a calm day.

But wait! It gets even crazier! An American on the plane sees the bee and freaks out because he's afraid of insects. "Freaks out" is an odd choice of expression for me, but that's what this person does. His response to the sight of the bee is the same as someone on a really bad, ants crawling on the skin, acid trip. He's so out of control with fear that he has to be sedated. Why would a character act like this? Because he's a typical American, that's why. And Americans are psychotic or killers. This man is the psychotic, his superior officers are the killers.

This movie gives you all sorts of goofy stuff to use as targets for humorous derision. You get a scientist who deliberately gets stung so that he can commune with the hive mind. (How he came up with this plan is unexplained. He's allowed to do it though because he's a superior Japanese scientist.) You also get a recalcitrant husband who redeems himself by blocking a cellar trap door with his body. The bees attack him but he's immovable in order to save his wife who has taken refuge in the cellar. He's successful even though there are holes in the floorboards wide enough for armadillos to crawl through. For some reason, the genteel, etiquette driven bees would rather chew their way through a person in order to use the main cellar door than be gauche and partake of a side entrance. There's even stock footage of wasps (okay, a wasp) pulling at something that could be human skin (isn't this movie about bees?) that you can see over and over and over again. Don't forget that pesky American who wants to use an H-Bomb because it's no big deal to use an H-Bomb. If you hate America, there are plenty of dead Americans (because they're all bad) to satisfy your fetish. And all of the toys masquerading as real jet planes, paratroopers, and a hydrogen bomb (that is also a pseudo-paratrooper) provide a clinic in how not to use miniatures.

Finally, you also get the bonus of an H-Bomb going off with a blast radius of about a mile. Not even the nearby ocean displays any ripples from the shockwave.

The film has no English dubbing. although I did learn that the word "genocide" is the same in Japanese and English. At least it sounded like the bees were vibrating their wings in such way as to "say" genocide.

It's too bad about the lack of dubbing. This could have been an entertaining movie for prepubescent boys. The nonsensical scenarios could appeal to a young man. The acting is hokey to the point where the Raymond Burr version of Godzilla contains understated performances. All of the silliness in Genocide is praiseworthy...if you're a ten year old male.

No nudity, blasphemy, and profanity. It is often accidentally humorous which is the only reason you might be able to last through a showing.

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