The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum

BUG (1975) * ½

An earthquake in a small town awakens a species of prehistoric cockroaches that crawl to the surface looking for sustenance.  But these are no ordinary cockroaches.  Uh-uh; no sir.  These bad boys can shoot fire out of their ass and blow up cars, set bushes on fire, and even cook a kitty cat’s head.  70’s movie staple Bradford (Moon of the Wolf) Dillman stars as the professor who studies the bugs and doesn’t even blink when they start to turn the town’s population (all six of them) into Baked Alaskas.  It doesn’t even faze him when the bugs crawl into his wife’s wig and sets her head on fire because dammit, HE’S GOT WORK TO DO!  (He doesn’t even realize it her birthday when the bugs turn her into a walking Molotov cocktail.)  


In fact, Dillman is so out of whack in this movie that he tries to SAVE THE BUGS FROM EXTINCTION after they blow up his wife!  What a fucking idiot!  Of course, Bradford crossbreeds the bugs with some other kind of insect, which turns them into super strong highly intelligent cockroaches that can arrange their bodies around as if they were part of a Busby Berkeley musical to spell out words like “WE LIVE”.  In the end the firebugs mutate even further and turn giant sized (yes you can see the strings) and eventually turn on poor Bradford.


Bug was the last film from famed producer and gimmickmeister William (House on Haunted Hill) Castle and it’s certainly not the best send-off he could’ve asked for.  No matter how promising the prospect of exploding bugs seems, I assure you that this dreck is just about as sucky as your average Sci-Fi Channel Original.  Director Jeannot (Supergirl) Szwarc stages the bug attack scenes fairly well (like the bug-in-the-earlobe gag), but they are ultimately too few and far between for Bug to be any good.  You can at least get a kick out of seeing the familiar looking Brady Bunch set being used as Dillman’s house during the bug-out sequences.


Although Dillman gives a pretty intense performance here, his character is just way too unlikable to be called a “hero”.  I mean its one thing to forget your wife’s birthday, but when the bugs that you are studying escape and cause her to EXPLODE INTO FLAMES, well… that’s just cold!  Patty (The Bad Seed) McCormack also turns up as a victim of the combustible cockroaches.


Special Note:  I think everybody needs to congratulate me for not saying the obvious “This movie BUGGED me!” pun, which I was super-tempted to use.

Tags: b, horror
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