Bug (1975)


Bug (1975)
: Bradford Dillman, Joanna Miles, Richard Gilliland
Director: Jeanot Szwarc
Synopsis: Bizarre, apocalyptic vision of hell where roaches bite back!


Another gem from the William Castle collection – this time featuring flesh eating, flame throwing killer cockroaches from hell.

Actually, well written with some decent performances if a touch slow at times.  Contains some fun killer cockroach sequences as they cause havoc in a variety of ways; setting cars on fire, starting bushfires, causing explosions, burning holes into unsuspecting victims necks and worse.  There have been a number of roach movies over the years but this one stands out for being a little more cerebral if slightly underwhelming in the special effects department.  Bug appears more than a little dated and has the feel of a 70s TV movie and would stretch the patience of the modern viewer used to a far more rapid tempo as this is definitely a touch on the languid side.  None the less, it manages to meander along without losing the viewer completely and there are some interesting interludes and roach attack sequences that manage to retain the viewer’s interest.

Bradford Dillman plays the role of an obsessive with ease and the rest of the cast are adequate as well.  The roach sequences are fun to watch without being too threatening and the basic idea of a cockroach triggered inferno is an intriguing apocalyptic vision and then add the Biblical undertones; all this going on in the guise of a cockroach creature feature!  Heavy stuff indeed with some top notch death scenes even if the effects are a tad hokey by modern standards.

It’s a horror film with a heady message, imaginative, even if slightly confused and with an unmistakable touch of geniuses handiwork; That genius being that of the master of showmanship and gimmickry, the king of tackiness, William Castle himself. This, sadly, was the great man’s last production, and though it is certainly a fair effort, it certainly doesn’t rank with his greatest triumphs.  Bug is healthy, hokey fun for a rainy Sunday afternoon matinee.