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The Satan Bug (1965)

6.1
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 1,422 users  
Reviews: 39 user | 10 critic

A germ warfare lab has had an accident. The first theory is that one of the nasty germs has gotten free and killed several scientists. The big fear is that a more virulent strain, named The... See full summary »

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Title: The Satan Bug (1965)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Lee Barrett
...
Dr. Gregor Hoffman
...
Ann Williams
...
Gen. Williams
John Larkin ...
Dr. Leonard Michaelson
...
Eric Cavanaugh
...
Donald
...
Veretti
...
Tasserly
...
Agent Reagan
John Clarke ...
Lt. Raskin
Hari Rhodes ...
Lt. Johnson
Martin Blaine ...
Henchman Posing as Henry Martin
Henry Beckman ...
Dr. Baxter
Harry Lauter ...
Fake SDI Agent
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Storyline

A germ warfare lab has had an accident. The first theory is that one of the nasty germs has gotten free and killed several scientists. The big fear is that a more virulent strain, named The Satan Bug because all life can be killed off by it should it escape, may have been stolen. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The price for uncovering the secret of the satan bug comes high - YOUR LIFE!

Genres:

Sci-Fi | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 March 1965 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Geheimagent Barrett greift ein  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In his memoirs, Charlton Heston says he was asked to play the lead. In The Omega Man (1971) he does play a doctor who develops a bug that kills most of the population of earth. See more »

Goofs

At the climax, some long shots of the helicopter show the right side's door missing before the fight between Barrett and the pilot knocks it off. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Agent Reagan: [getting out of helicopter] Thanks.
Helicopter pilot: Yes sir.
Agent Reagan: See you.
See more »

Connections

References The Phantom Creeps (1939) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Satan had a Virus - don't open that flask!
1 April 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

You want Armageddon? An Apocalyptic threat? This gives you the unscientifically-pegged Satan Bug, a virus so lethal, it can kill everyone in California in a few hours, the U.S. in a week, and the world...oh, a couple of months. Towards the end of this movie, the one who makes this pronouncement takes a step back and admits it's unclear if this virus can actually be so effective (life tends to survive, as we all know), but let's not test it, shall we? I wonder if this film influenced Stephen King's "The Stand" (the novel and the mini-series). The chilling scenario first described manages to up the ante from the generally-regarded worst threat of nuclear annihilation. An atomic bomb, destructive as it is, is still limited to a certain area; this bug - you open the flask, it's all over, baby, for the entire planet. The allusions to the 'Pandora's Box' fable are quite obvious (similar to those in "Kiss Me Deadly" from 10 years earlier).

The threat surfaces at one of those government installations for biochemical warfare, in the middle of the desert - a barren, vast, empty landscape. There's no such thing as perfect security, but here they really bumbled it by letting two unpacked crates inside; to make a long story short, with the help of an insider, certain flasks are removed from the property. The government here also seems to have lapsed badly as far as background checks. There's an air of mystery to the story, since we don't know who the master villain is, and tension is ratcheted up on a regular basis when the bug may be released at certain points. I also like the use of the desert locations where much of this takes place; the very sparse layout of an occasional building lends an almost alien-like atmosphere to the terrain.

There are some contrivances to the story which make you shrug afterward. For example, the hero (Maharis) and two government agents (including Star Trek's Jimmy Doohan in a small non-speaking role) are captured at a key point; it's obvious they are to be killed by the villains. Instead of simply shooting them, as would be proper in the isolated location, the villains go through this elaborate method of using a flask of a deadly bug. But it's an exciting sequence and sets it up for the most intense moment of the film, when any or all of the 3 may die in the next few seconds from exposure. The main villain's motivations are also hard to buy into. He seems to be doing this as a protest against biochemical weapons, but is willing to wipe out cities to make his point. He's dismissed as a paranoid delusional, a maniac, at one point, but never comes across that way, as if he has an alternate plan. This storyline is similar to a James Bond adventure and most viewers will strain to keep track of all the character names. Later films with similar threats were "The Andromeda Strain", "Warning Sign" and "Outbreak."


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