Bug (1975)

bug poster 1975 movie
5.0 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 5/10
Visuals: 5/10


Weird twists of the story

Movie Info

Movie Name: Bug

Studio: William Castle Productions

Genre(s): Horror/Sci-Fi/B-Movie

Release Date(s): March 23, 1975 (USA Film Festival)/June 6, 1975 (US)

MPAA Rating: PG

bug brady bunch house joanna miles hair on fire

Hair catching on fire in the Brady Bunch house? Somehow this is Jan’s fault

An earthquake has unleashed something in a desert community.  An underground bug that has the power to start fires.  When Professor James Parmiter (Bradford Dillman) begins to study the bug, he hopes to find out what makes the bug tick…but toying with nature could have deadly consequences.  The bugs by themselves are a threat to mankind, but Parmiter’s experiment could make them something more!

Directed by Jeannot Szwarc, Bug is a low-budget science-fiction horror thriller.  The movie adapts Thomas Page’s 1973 novel The Hephaestus Plague and the script was adapted by famed director-producer William Castle in his final film.  The film received negative reviews but has gained a cult following over the years.

I had a book of horror films with pictures up until the mid-’70s.  Bug was one of the last movies in the book.  I’ve always loved environmental horror movies, but even the idea of Bug was kind of cheesy and not scary whatsoever…so I had to see it.  The glorious part about the world of streaming is movies like Bug are readily available…and thankfully you don’t have to pay for them.

bug patty mccormick cockroach

Give me those shoes, LeRoy!

The story for Bug doesn’t go as you’d expect.  It starts out rather typical.  The earthquake releases the fire cockroaches and mayhem happens, but then it takes a twist and almost becomes another movie.  The distraught scientist decides to create a super fire cockroach after a tragedy and it goes as far as having talking super (flying) talking fire cockroaches…I did not really expect that, nor did I really want that.  I wanted an eco-disaster film with characters trying to science their way out of the problem…I give them points for originality, but it doesn’t play out well.

Bradford Dillman is a very generic lead.  In acting terms, he has a juicy role in that he gets to play straight forward as a scientist and crazy by the end.  His wife is played by Joanna Miles, but largely all the other characters aren’t developed or explored.  The Bad Seed star Patty McCormack plays another bug victim…it will teach the people to stay off the phone since largely it seems like that is when they attack.

bug fire cockroaches spelling we live

It’s kind of like Joe’s Apartment…but the cockroaches don’t sing

The bug are bugs.  They are pretty nondescript (but large) cockroaches combined with model cockroaches.  The end of the film has the flying version that look pretty poor in comparison.  One of the most notable aspect of the movie is that the film reused the Brady Bunch set for a sequence…and if you grew up watching The Brady Bunch, you can tell (I actually thought it looked like the set before I knew it was the set).

Bug is a rather meh horror movie.  It isn’t scary, it drags, and the bugs are rather “anti” horror in that they literally just sit around most of the movie with no one really caring to investigate them beside the scientists who know about them.  It feels like there is potentially a fun horror movie within the story of Bug, but this movie just doesn’t flesh it out.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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