Bug (1975) - Rotten Tomatoes

Bug (1975)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

The last gasp of gimmick-horror auteur William Castle (who produced and co-wrote), Bug is an entertaining throwback to the mutant-monsters-amok theme of the 1950s (themselves throwbacks of another kind) that he found so profitable. The film stars Bradford Dillman as a kinder, gentler mad scientist who discovers the presence of a bizarre strain of mutant cockroach emerging from the earth after a severe earthquake. Although larger than the average beetle, the most disturbing aspect of the critters is their innate ability to ignite fires with their bodies -- a talent dramatically revealed after a few of the bugs crawl up a vehicle's tailpipe. When Dillman discovers that the creatures possess a group intelligence, he attempts to train and breed them -- which proves to be less than a good idea. In Castle's heyday, this would have proven an ideal theme for one of his patented gimmicks (perhaps having little rubber bugs drop from the ceiling onto unsuspecting patrons at appropriate moments), but director Jeannot Szwarc (who later helmed Jaws 2 and the hankie-fest Somewhere in Time) plays the story straight, with remarkably chilling results. This is also remarkably violent for a mainstream PG film (particularly in the scene where Bad Seed Patty McCormack's hair is ignited by the six-legged arsonists) with a downbeat ending typical of many horror movies of the '70s.

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Bradford Dillman
as Prof. James Parmiter
Joanna Miles
as Carrie Parmiter
Richard Gilliland
as Gerald Metbaum
Jamie Smith Jackson
as Norma Tacker
Alan Fudge
as Mark Ross
Jesse Vint
as Tom Tacker
Patty McCormack
as Sylvia Ross
Frederic Downs
as Henry Tacker
James Greene
as Rev. Kern
Jim Poyner
as Kenny Tacker
Sam Jarvis
as Taxi Driver
Patricia McCormack
as Sylvia Ross
Fred Downs
as Henry Tacker
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Critic Reviews for Bug

All Critics (7)

Dumb, dumb horror flick on C level starring killer bugs.

October 23, 2008

If you can accept how ridiculous, improbable and stupid it is, you might find it as satisfying as spraying Raid on a roach.

Full Review… | June 5, 2007
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

The sluggish direction by Jeannot Szwarc keeps the events a little too serious, making the hollow dialogue sound even phonier.

Full Review… | May 14, 2007
Combustible Celluloid

Really funny -- not on purpose -- sci-fi thriller.

November 20, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Truth in advertising. It's about bugs ... and it bugged me.

July 25, 2002

Audience Reviews for Bug

I was actually enjoying this one at first but it just grows tedious beyond belief. The dialogues become a snore fest, the plot moves nowhere and it just doesn't go over the top like it could've. It also has a way too serious tone for a movie that is, essentially, about bugs that set shit on fire with their asses.

Francisco  Godinho
Francisco Godinho

Super Reviewer

William Castle was a truly great showman and producer of entertaining old school horror, so it's truly sad that this terrible cinematic vermin was his last effort. An earthquake frees fire-farting, but slow-moving, cockroaches from the San Andreas fault and the worst scientist in history breeds them with common household cockroaches. This somehow results in cockroaches that are not only capable of setting things alight with their flatulence, but that can also read newspapers, spell, and formulate complex plans. This makes them much smarter than the extremely sweaty scientist (apparently nobody in this flick had access to antiperspirants) who just can't remember to keep their cage fastened shut. As a result, the cockroaches set people's heads on fire. If you love William Castle, the man who gave us such fun classics as 13 Ghosts and The Tingler, who brought clever gimmicks into theaters to get his audiences caught up in the glee he provided, do yourself a favor... avoid Bug. Despite the synopsis given here, it's not an entertaining throwback at all; it's about as enjoyable as watching cockroaches scuttle across your kitchen floor.

Brian Seitzman
Brian Seitzman

Ropy animal horror that is rather amusing it how poor the science is and how dumb the people are. Watching people fail to spot the significance of fire setting cockroaches is amusing and more so when they find inventive ways for them to use that power against humans. Whatever you think of the poor quality acting, picture and sound i give huge credit to the cast baring being covered with all manner of insects to bring us this masterpiece. Some bad-movie fun to be had but a slow pace will test even that.

Mark Nash
Mark Nash

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