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An earthquake releases a strain of mutant cockroaches with the ability to start fires, which proceed to cause destructive chaos in a small town. The studies carried out by scientist James Parmiter, however, reveal an intent with much more far-reaching consequences. Written by
Ross Horsley <email@example.com>
Loosely based on the novel "The Hephaestus Plague" about a strain of self igniting cockroach that is unleashed on a rural town following an earthquake. Local professor (Bradford Dillman) must learn more about the bugs in an attempt to stop the path of destruction, but finds himself aiding their evolution into unassailable marauders.
Interestingly handled thriller, produced by horror royalty in William Castle focuses on the mental disintegration of the lead character, following the death of his spouse. His obsessive determination to destroy the bugs leads him to the brink of insanity, while the bugs conversely enhance their intelligence through the reinforcement gained in his experiments. Where most of the cast (Gilliland, Vint, Jackson, Miles) fade out after the first half, Fudge and McCormack come into focus in the second half, as they attempt to coax Dillman out of his self imposed isolation.
The concept that mankind is the subject of the experiment and ultimately the more vulnerable of the two species, is canvassed abundantly in the second half of the film and while engaging, slows the pace considerably. Overall, I found "Bug" an entertaining tale that improved with each subsequent viewing and an ideal swansong for horror maestro Castle.
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