The best description for "The Swarm" probably would be "disaster movie meets bee horror to form deluxe trash with an excellent cast (e.g. Michael Caine, Katharine Ross, Richard Chamberlain and Henry Fonda)". The story is a bit odd (bees are the forerunners of the apocalypse), the actors do not exactly give their best and some of the dialogs are really horrible.
An extended version of the movie, which features about 38:47 min. new material, was released in the US. The US DVD features the correct aspect ratio (2.35:1), good video and audio quality and useful goodies. Most interesting is the original making-of.
The downside of the Extended Version is, in my opinion, that there are only a few meaningful new scenes and the movie is being prolonged a lot. Most of the new scenes just emphasize the trashy character of the movie. Some of the new dialog lines are really stupid and the extended death scene of Henry Fonda makes the Extended Version really enjoyable.
US DVD: 152:08 min (w/o ending credtis; NTSC)
Free TV: Kabel 1 (31/01/2004): 107:51 min (w/o ending credits; PAL)
Total running time difference: approx 38:47 min
US DVD; 2.35:1
Kabel 1; 1,85:1
The men walk down the corridor longer.
The leader (=Major Baker) does the same.
The men can be seen earlier.
Major Baker looks around longer.
Two dead soldiers can be seen.
The men explore the room longer.
Major Baker takes a longer look around and sees a dead soldier.
The door opens.
The helicopter can be seen a bit earlier.
The explosion of the helicopter is a bit longer.
The second helicopterís explosion can be seen longer too. Additionally, a soldier says something to General Slater:
Soldat: "He`s down, Sir."
The dialog between Dr. Anderson and General Slater is longer.
Dr. Anderson: "Our man above ground were literally covered with bees"
The Theatrical Version shows the bees in a close/up again.
The US DVD shows Mr. Durant talking to his wife instead.
Mr. Durant: "I think that`s enough, you`re gonna wreck the food. I`m hungry."
No difference in time
The boy (=Paul) can be seen again, then the attack oft he bees on his parents is shown.
Paul gets the key from the glove compartment.
Paul can be seen in the car longer.
Paul drives longer through the town.
The congress is shown. General Thompson makes a call:
General Thompson: "Yes, sir. Yes, sir. We`ll do the best we can, sir, and thank you, sir."
He hangs up.
Dr. Crane and Dr. Anderson enter the hospital and ask for Paulís room.
Dr. Crane and Major Baker drive back to the base.
Crane: "Contact the complex, please. Two things: General Slater must assigne helicopters to start a search pattern, radiating from the site, the Durants family were attacket. But the helicopters must take no aggressiv action if they spot any swarm. We`re garthering information at this point, not attacking. Clear?"
Major Baker: "Clear."
Crane: "second item: Have the complex call me the moment Dr. Krim is about to land."
Scene change: Policemen and members oft he military explore the area in which the Durants were attacked. Crane and Major Baker arrive.
General Slater: "Here come your choppers, as ordered."
Crane: "Thank you General."
Crane offers the General some sweets.
General Slater: "No thanks."
Crane: "High in potassium, low in sodiom."
General Slater: "Terrific."
Crane looks around and says:
Crane: "Seargeant, start your patterns."
Seargeant: "Start your dispersal pattern in sectors A and B. Report immediately any sighting of swarms."
The corpses of Paulís parents are being carried away. The helicopters fly away while Crane continues to search the area.
General Slater: "If you tell us, what you`re looking for, we try to help."
Crane: "I`m looking for bees. Unfortunately, they washed down the Durant car bevore we got it."
Crane picks up a piece of plastic.
General Slater: "Doesn`t look like a bee to me"
Crane: "Plastic. It`s a piece of a plastic cup. There are pieces all around her. Look. There, there."
General Slater: "What`s so significant about that?"
Crane: "I`m afraid to speculate, but I think the bees did this."
Major Baker: "You saying, these bees eat plastic?"
Crane: No, no, but I`m wondering. You`re american honey bees have a weak mouth. They couldn`t break the skin of a grape. But it looks like this species is tearing up plastic cups possibly to line their hives. Now, if this is true, they didn`t just get here. I mean, the invasion didn`t just now begin. They have been here some time. Breeding. Increasing."
General Slater: "So?"
Crane: "Well, suppose these bees are using plastic to insulate their hives."
General Slater: "No bee is that smart."
Crane: "Suppose these African bees are."
The helicopter can be seen longer.
Dr. Krim is being brought tot he injured. He grabs a medical sheet and takes a look at it.
Dr. Krim: "The hallucinations are disappearing."
Crane: "None of the patients have had a recurrence in the past few hours."
Dr. Krim: "Well, you`re doing everything you can. Keep these IVs going.
Dr. Anderson: "Yes, sir. Is there any other antitoxin we could`ve used?"
Dr. Krim: " If the bees that stung them were African the answer`s probably no. Got nothing in our bag fro them. Cardiopep may have eased their palpitations, but it`s no finale antidote. Call me if there`s any change in these men."
Dr. Anderson: "Yes."
Dr. Krim: "They don`t look very good, do they?"
Crane: "I`m afraid not."
A soldier opens the door and exits.
There is a conference in the bunker.
Crane: "Good morning, ladies, gentlemen. Please forgive the haste and secrecy with which you`ve been summoned here. We`ve been ivaded by a mutant species of the African killer bee."
Dr. Hubbard: "Crane, if I may."
Crane: "Yes, Dr. Hubbard?"
Dr. Hubbard: "I was sent by the president to help, but I think you`re dead wrong. I was one of the first people sent to Brazil when the killer bee began proliferating. We prefer to call this bee Brazilian, nor African."
Crane: "I`m well aware of that, Dr. Hubbard."
Dr. Hubbard: "I`ve been tracking their progress north and there is no evidence whatsoever that they`ve even crossed Central America."
Crane: "Apparently, they crossed the Caribbean from Venezuela. There were three hurricanes in that ocean tract this season. Any one of them could have swept the bees in. Much of this land is used to cultivate flowers. A perfect breeding ground."
Dr. Hubbard: "With all due respect to the men who died here there`s no proof that the bees that killed them were Brazilian. Or, if you insist, African."
Crane: "What`s important is what they are. And what they are is a mutant species of the original African killer bee. Dr. Krim will explain. The autopsies confirm that the venom is deadlier than anything we`ve encountered. It appears there`s enough poison in just four stings to kill the average person."
Dr. Hubbard: "I won`t dispute my learned colleague but it takes 26 tests to identify the African. How many tests have you made so far?"
The light in the room is dimmed and Major Baker turns a projector on.
Crane: "You`re looking at the final test I made this morning from the one dead bee that we found. Notice the 18-vein intersection on the forewing and the 17 separate angles of the hamuli. Only one bee has that configuration and that is the African killer bee. Major."
The projector is being turned off and the lights go on again.
Crane: "Dr. Hubbard, I would appreciate it if you would head up our environmental team. Dr. Newman will be in charge of the genetic couterattack. Dr. Krim will try to develop a mass antidote to save the lives of future victims. Because of the danger to nearby Marysvill, if the bees attack I`ve invited Mayor Tuttle and School Superintendent Ms. Schuster to attend this briefing. Any comment? Mayor Tuttle."
Mr. Tuttle: "In view of what you`ve told us, I`ll set up a town council meeting. I`ll see that our air-raid warning system is repaired. It hasn`t worked in some time. If the bees come back, at least we can war people to take shelter."
Crane: "A very practical approach. Ms. Schuster."
Ms. Schuster: "The idea of those killer bees coming back is petrifying. I`ll alert all my teachers to be prepared for the worst. I appreciate your thoughtfulness in asking us to this briefing. Thank you, Dr. Crane."
Crane: "You`re welcome, Ms. Schuster. Any further comment?"
Wissenschaftlerin: "What`s our timetable?"
Crane: "Eight-hou shifts, round the clock."
Wissenschaftlerin: "I meant, what`s the length of our program? How long can we expect to be here?"
Crane: "Until we have destroyed the African bee or it has destroyed us."
Paul can be seen earlier.
The Theatrical Version shows the two friends of Paul in a close-up. This scene is missing in the Extended Version.
The two boys throw stones at the window.
Mr. Austin comes out of the shop earlier.
The boys go on a field and watch the bees.
Paul: "We`ll come back later. We have to plan this just right. These aren`t just any old bees."
The boys leave.
Scene change: Military HQ
The journalist can be seen in a window.
Journalist: "This is Anne MacGregor. We`re heading for Marysvill to investigare a report of a savage bee arrack. A mother and father are dead, and their son is injured. My next report..."
Major Baker: "Kill it."
Soldat: "Yes, sir."
The soldier switches the TV off.
Longer scene+Alternative scene+New scene
Another shot of Crane can be seen in the Theatrical Version.
In the Extended Version the dialog continues.
Crane: "General, please."
The two go into another room.
Crane: "These bees are of joint concern. They kill Americans without regard for whether or not they should salute you. There will be no airdrops until I give the okay."
General Slater: "Your okay, huh? Then perhaps I can persuade you to attack this particular swarm. Now we konw where it is. Attack and eliminate it!"
Crane: "Possibly, if you can explain to me how you airdrop chemicals without killing natice insects. If you kill the Afircan bee you`ll also kill the American."
General Slater: "Better a few American bees than a lot of American people."
Crane: "That is the point, general! The honey bee is vital to the environment! In America, they pollinate six billion dollars` worth of crops! Killing the bee kills the crop! Killing the plant kills the people! No! No, general! There will be no airdrop until we know what we`re dropping and where and how! Excuse me."
Crane geht. Major Baker kommt.
Major Baker: "What about the airdrop, sir? Sir?"
General Slater leaves without an answer.
Scene change: Crane listens tot he tapes oft he bee attack.
Tape: "The 0430 mark. -Okay. Stand by, activating."
Crane takes a look at his watch and walks through the room.
Tape: "Jerry, do you hear what I`m hearing? - Yeah. -What is it? Sounds like a couple million chain saws! *scream* That came from the corridor. -I`ll go look. -Jerry! Behind you! My god *screams* Oh, God, no! No!"
Two more bee swarms can be seen in the Theatrical Version version.
The dead boz can be seen earlier.
The headmaster, Ms. Schuster, looks out oft he window longer (Theatrical Version).
In the Extended Version she turns around and one can see her horrified face.
The TV teams films what it happening.
The TV team is being attacked by the bees.
The dialog between General Slater and Dr. Crane is longer.
General Slater: "Dr. Hubbard was out collecting live Africans. He brought them to the complex. Thousands."
General Slater: "They were on the surface of the lake."
Crane: "Thirsty and exhausted. We need specimens."
General Slater: "Wait! I don`t see it that way. The rest of the swarm could be in the area. Major, get the final body count."
Major Baker: "Yes, sir."
Major Baker leaves.
Crane: "General, you haven`t answered my question."
General Slater: "What question?"
Crane: "Why evacuate?"
Dialog between Dr. Crane and the journalist.
Journalist: "Dr. Crane."
Journalist: "Can you give us 90 seconds?"
Crane: "What can I tell you in 90 seconds?"
Journalist: "Everything you can. Give me a second for my lead-in. This is Anne MacGregor in Marysville, Texas. With me is Dr. Crane, field director for Dr. Connors. How can you prevent this tragedy from happening elsewhere? Do you have any answers?"
Crane: "At the moment, none."
Journalist: "Can the death toll from bee attacks spread?"
Crane: "That`s a possibility."
Journalist: "What are you science teams working on?"
Crane: "Ways to isolate and eliminate invading swarms."
Journalist: "Can you be specific?"
Crane: "That`s though to do in 90 seconds."
Journalist: "Take your time."
Crane: "I`m afraid we don`t have any to spare. Excuse me, please."
Journalist: "Thank you."
The Theatrical Version shows Dr. Crane walking towards the van a bit earlier.
Longer scene+New scene
Major Baker leaves the room.
New scene in the hospital. A pregnant woman can be seen.
Woman: "Thank you."
Nurse: "The doctor wants to say goodbye."
The woman goes tot he doctor in another room.
Doctor: "Oh, yes, Rita. About the baby, you`re both fine."
Woman: "Oh, good."
Doctor: "Real fine."
Woman: "Thank you."
Doctor: "Please sit down."
Die beiden setzten sich.
Doctor: "With everything happening, I haven`t had a chance to say how sorry I am about Jerry."
Woman: "Thank you, doctor. I`ll write to you. Let you know about the baby."
Doctor: "Do you have a place to go?"
Woman: "Not really. They just gave everyone orders to leave. Of course, there isn`t much to stay for, is there?"
Woman: "Goodbye. I have to go. The bus is waiting"
Doctor: "Letme walk you."
Woman: "I`ll see myself out. Goodbye."
Doctor: "Good luck."
Woman: "Thank you."
The Woman leaves.
Mr. Austin and Mr. Tuttle are standing at the trainstation and wait fort he headmaster. Thez talk to the people around them.
Mr. Austin: "Have you seen Ms. Schuster?"
Passer-by: "No, sir."
Soldier: "Continue up to the stairs."
Mr. Tuttle: "Hal, have you seen Ms. Schuster?"
Passer-by: "No, sir, I haven`t."
Ms. Schuster appears behind them.
Ms. Schuster: "You lose something?"
Mr. Tuttle: "You never had a good concept of time. On our first date we didn`t see the whole double feature."
Mr. Austin: "I worried you wouldn`t get here."
Ms. Schuster: "I`m here. Shall we go?"
Mr. Tuttle: "Yeah"
Mr. Austin: "Let go. I had it first."
Mr. Tuttle: "I carried her books before you showed up in Marysville. Let go!
Ms. Schuster: "Clarence, Felix! You promised there would be no more fussing. And this is surely isn`t the time for it. Let go!"
The three get on the train.
Soldier: "All right. Follow the line. Follow the line."
Longer scene+New scene
The dialog between General Slater and Major Baker is longer.
General Slater: "Where is Crane?"
Major Baker: "Don`t worry, sir. He`ll be here in time to take credit for the evacuation."
General Slater: "Let me tell you something, major. I don`t tolerate my staff saying things behind a man`s back. If you think Crane`s a glory jockey, tell him, not me. If you`re trying to butter me up by slurring a man I consider misguided I don`t need that from you, or anybody else."
Major Baker: "Yes, sir."
Scene change: Crane and Dr. Anderson walk through the empty city at night.
They look into the destroyed cafŤ.
Crane: "Am I walking too fast?"
Dr. Anderson: "No, I`m fine. Just fine."
Crane: "Don`t overdo it. Dr. Martinez said you had a close call."
Dr. Anderson: "How sad. How very, very sad. You know, Marysvill was such a happy little town.
They pass a bookstore.
Dr. Anderson: "Ritz`s Bookstore. I used to work there when I was in high school. Everything was happy then. But that was so long ago."
Crane: "It`s all right."
He holds her in his arms.
Scene change: The train can be seen.
Ms. Schuster, Mr. Tuttle and Mr. Austin sit in a full compartment.
Mr. Austin shuffles some cards.
Mr. Tuttle: "YOu can tell a lot about a man by the way he shuffles cards."
Mr. Austin: "Thank you, Clarence."
Mr. Tuttle: "Wasn`t meant as a compliment."
Mr. Austin: "Would you cut the cards?"
Mr. Austin looks at Ms. Schuster.
Mr. Austin: "Something bothering you?"
Mr. Tuttle: "What`s wrong, Maureen?"
Ms. Schuster: "I got a sudden feeling I`ll never see Marysville again. Or any of my children. It`s frightening."
Mr. Tuttle: "Maureen, that`s not you. You`re an optimist. Always looking at the bright side."
Mr. Austin: "We`ll be home soon and this will be like a bad dream."
Mr. Tuttle: "That`s right."
Ms. Schuster: "I Suppose that`s so. But i can`t shake this felling that something`s closing in on us."
Mr. Tuttle: "Now, now, Maureen. Come on, deal, Felix."
Mr. Tuttle: "No, thanks."
Mr. Austin: "No, thank you."
Another shot of the train rolling down the hill. A man is falling out of a window.
Another shot of the explosion.
More shots of the burning train.
The dropping of the poison can be seen longer.
The bees can be seen longer, then the helicopters.
New scene in the hospital. Dr- Anderson sits on the boy's bed.
Paul (thoughts): "It`s all my fault. I threw firebombs at the swarm."
The Theatrical Version shows the hospital from the outside longer.
Dr. Anderson sits at the boy's bedside.
The screen shows a flat line.
Dr. Anderson: "Paul!"
They go out of the room to fetch a doctor.
Dr. Anderson: "Tomas! Tomas!"
They go back. The doctor declares Paul dead and covers him.
The doctor leaves and Dr. Anderson sits down again. Cane appears.
Dr. Anderson: "Why this one? In the whole damn world, why this boy? My God, Brad. What good is all that science? All that equipment at the base? All those doctors? What good are you?"
Crane holds her in her arms.
Dr. Anderson: "I didn`t mean that. You know I didn`t.
Scene change: Crane and Dr. Anderson sit in the van.
Dr. Anderson: "Paul was my first case when I was the town doctor. He wanted to be an archaeologist. He would`ve been a terrific one."
Crane: "I`m sure of it."
Dr. Anderson: "You didn`t tell me three of the four survivors at the base had dies."
Crane: "Well, you had other problems."
Dr. Anderson: "And, you didn`t tell me there`s a syndrom of relapse among survivors shortly after they`ve been stung. A fatal relapse."
Crane: "Some do recover. A small percentage. But some do."
Dr. Anderson: "Some. Well, the odds are better than none."
New scene in the HQ: A nurse walks down a corridor. Crane appears.
She shows him her tray and leaves.
Dr. Krim can be seen longer.
The Theatrical Version shows the cassette recorder again.
Dr. Krim is startled when she sees a giant bee.
The Theatrical Version shows an ECG.
What a scene. It takes two doctors and the General to declare Dr. Krim dead and then Michael Caine appears to kneel down next to Henry Fonda and starts crying. A must-see.
Dr. Anderson enters to room and tries to reanimate Dr. Krim.
She takes his glasses off and puts on a respiratory mask. No reaction.
General Slater enters the room, shortly after him another doctor.
The doctor checks the pulse and declares him dead.
General Slater turns the ECG off.
Crane enters the room and kneels besides Dr. Krim.
Crane: "Walter. Oh, Walter."
The drive is longer and the car's radio is on.
Radio: "Between their prayers they watched the weather. There was good news for most of the country other than Texas temperatures continued plunging and cold air coming down an Alaskan front kept the African confined to Texas. This is Frank Blair."
Crane: "Who would`ve thought bees would be the first alien force to invade America?"
Dialog between Crane and Dr. Anderson during their walk on the way to the general.
Dr. Anderson: "Now, without the president`s authority, how can you possibly help?"
Crane: "Well, the least I can do is try."
The camera pans up at the building.
The general can be seen earlier in the next scene.
The dialog between General Slater and Crane is longer.
General Slater: "You got any of that birdseed left?"
Crane: "As I said before, they`re high in potassium, low in sodium."
General Slater: "And as I said before, terrific."
Crane gives the General some candy.
Dr. Anderson: "How long can they live in the city?"
Crane: "If they get food and water, they might just decide to stay here forever."
The Theatrical Version cuts to Crane and the General.
The Extended Version shows the speaker instead.
No difference in time
The announcement on the screen is a bit longer.
Speaker: "This decision was reached in accord with all opinions from the armed forces and scientists involved in the fruitless countermeasures being attempted to destroy the killer bee which has brought the west to a standstill."
The screen can be seen longer. A car is being burned.
Crane and Dr. Anderson are sitting in a room. Crane is thinking about the bees again.
Crane: "Listen. They`re still out there. Billions of them. It`s as if it were their city. Even though Slater`s been at it for 24 hours with every soldier he can get."
Dr. Anderson: "You talk about the bees as if you admired them."
Crane: "I do. They never fail to astonish me. It`s as though a broad range of contingecies has been planned for by the creator and programmed into them for an endless future. Making them the true inheritors of the Earth. A world without people."
Dr. Anderson: "Maybe the creator was equally obliging toward us and programmed into us the ability to beat them."
Crane: "Well, I wish he`d give us a clue."
Crane scratches his back.
Dr. Anderson: "Here, let me."
Dr. Anderson massages his back.
Crane. "Right there, that`s lovely. This is better than 8 hours sleep."
Dr. Anderson: "How would you know?"
Crane: "Listen. Listen.",
Dr. Anderson: "What is it?"
Crane: "The bees."
Dr. Anderson: "Why are they making that sound?
Crane: "That`s the hunger tone. It causes them to mass together as if by community they can destroy their enemy. Cold, hunger, anything. I wonder if there is another sound that`s part of their ritual."
Dr. Anderson is feeling dizzy.
Crane: "Helena? Helena, are you all right, love? Helena, what`s the matter? Darling?"
She is unconscious.
Scene change: More flame throwers.
The shot of the ambulance crashing into the house is a bit longer.
Dr. Anderson is lying in the bed. Crane and a doctor are with her.
Doctor: "I don`t know what else we can do. I`m very sorry."
The doctor leaves, General Slater and Major Baker enter the room.
General Slater: "Please God, let her live."
Major Baker: "Sir, can we rally count on a scientist who prays?"
General Slater: "I wouldn`t count on one who doesn`t. You can forget the dossier."
Major Baker: "Yes, sir."
General Slater and Major Baker go.
Dr. Anderson is lying in the bed. She is feverish and rolls from one side to the other.
She gets up, walks to the door, opens it and sees a giant bee.
She screams, closes the door and collapses.
After that we can see some flame throwing again.
Dead flame thrower guy.
THe truck is burning longer.
The skyscraper can be seen.
The man is burning longer. Close-up.
He falls down longer.
A burning guy and another shot of a man holding a flame thrower.
He fights his way forwards.
A burning man walks down the corridor.
The burning man can be seen earlier.
Crane stumbles over a corpse
THe two helicopters can be seen earlier.
Alternative scene+New scene
In the Theatrical Version, Crane hugs Dr. Anderson and the two look into the fire.
More shots of Crane and Dr. Anderson in front of the burning oil stain and a short dialog.
Dr. Anderson: "Did we finally beat them? Or is this just a temporary victory?"
Crane: "I don`t know. But we did gain time. If we use it wisely and if we`re lucky the world might just survive."
The two look into each other's eyes and then hug each other.