Year: 1975

Production: Paramount

Director: Jeannot Szwarc

Starring: Bradford Dillman, Joanna Miles, Richard Gilliland

Screenwriter: William Castle (also producer), Thomas Page

Based on The Hephaestus Plague (1973) by Thomas Page

100 minutes; Color

After an earthquake near a small US town, strange insects appear out of a fissure. Capable of producing fire by rubbing their rear appendages together, they ignite countryside, cars, people and a cat. A scientist whose wife has fallen victim to their incendiary activities becomes bug-obsessed. Mating them with roaches, he produces a new carnivorous species which can communicate, spelling out words by grouping themselves in patterns. Finally, in the traditional Faustian manner, he falls in flames into the fissure which conveniently closes behind him and the bugs. Bug, like its source novel, appears unclear about what it is trying to be - a straight monster movie or some kind of allegorical revenge-of-Nature warning to mankind. The insect photography, by Ken Middleham, is good.

The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction

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