2020 was a horror movie all its own. Whatever insanity you could dream up, 2020 could almost without any effort meet your hand and raise you a murder hornet. Murder Hornets went viral last year after they showed up on several news broadcasts these news reports were running parallel to the deadly pandemic we were already in the midst of. And yet somehow – already we were experiencing another horror. The murder hornet could reportedly kill a grown man and was a bit of a Ted Bundy when it came to killing innocent honey bees. It wouldn’t just kill these poor friendly little guys, it would pull their heads off and could do so with the speed of a murderous assembly line. Director, Michael Paul Stephenson explored the insane phenomena of Murder Hornets in a documentary on Discovery+ titled, Attack of the Murder Hornets.
The title is a great fit for the atomic age of horror with films like Godzilla, Attack of the Giant Leeches, The Amazing Mr. X and Earth Vs. The Spider among a ton of others that made up sci-fi throughout the 50’s and most of the 60’s. The films were cautionary tales that revolved around the fallout of mans dealings with the Atomic bomb and foray into science. And, Murder Hornets are a great fit for that era, they do look quite a bit like the monsters in some of these films.
Part of the synopsis for Attack of the Murder Hornets goes like this:
‘The international phenomenon of the hornet first struck the nation with ferocity and destructive force last year, as scientists quickly discovered detrimental impacts on other species, such as honeybees. “Murder Hornets” use their enormous mandibles to behead every honeybee they catch; a single hornet can behead 20 bees a minute, and a small group of hornets can destroy a hive of 30,000 bees in just 90 minutes. The danger of the hornet in the U.S. threatens our fragile food supply, putting the livelihood of honeybees — the world’s most important pollinator of food crops — at risk. A threat to a honeybee is a threat to all of us. How does one take down an apex-predator whose sting is strong enough to kill a human? As the largest species of wasps on the planet, the goal is to eradicate the “Murder Hornet” while the population is presumably small in the U.S. Harmful to agriculture and the pollination that honeybees do for our food supply, the small-town crew faces difficult odds in their hunt for the hornet by setting traps, tracking the hornets, and following any tips that may lead them to the queen.’
Michael Paul Stephenson is one of our favorite documentary filmmakers here at iHorror. He was the guy who explored Troll II in the documentary Best Worst Movie. Stephenson also worked on another documentary titled The American Scream which explored Massachusetts communities whose spooky passions turned their neighborhood into a bit of haunt central during Halloween. Both film are great and explore very specific and fascinating subcultures. Attack of the Murder Hornets once again explores a subset of subcultures this time ones that make up the world of bees and hornets.
Stephenson achieves this by way of his usual methods, it combines the bizarre, the terrifying and the hilarious. I mean, the initial thought for this guy when he discovers all of his honey bees beheaded is that it might have been the work of “a satanic cult.” It’s definitely a fun documentary that is very inline with Stephenson.
You can watch Attack of the Murder Hornets now on Discovery+ and even join the conversation online via #MurderHornets.