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Bug (1975)

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 ... See full summary »


Jeannot Szwarc


Thomas Page (novel), William Castle (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
Bradford Dillman ... James Parmiter
Joanna Miles ... Carrie Parmiter
Richard Gilliland ... Gerald Metbaum
Jamie Smith-Jackson ... Norma Tacker (as Jamie Smith Jackson)
Alan Fudge ... Mark Ross
Jesse Vint ... Tom Tacker
Patty McCormack ... Sylvia Ross
Brendan Dillon ... Charlie
Frederic Downs Frederic Downs ... Henry Tacker (as Fred Downs)
James Greene ... Reverend Kern
Jim Poyner ... Kenny Tacker
Sam Javis Sam Javis ... Taxi Driver
Bard Stevens Bard Stevens ... Security Guard


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 <ics6rh@leeds.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Out of the worst nightmare! See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

6 June 1975 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Hephaestus Plague See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The set used for the Partmiter home, where Joanna Miles's character has her head set ablaze by a "bug", was the same set at Paramount Studios in Hollywood as the one used for the interior of the Brady home in ABC-TV's The Brady Bunch (1969). Due to very poor ratings, the series had been canceled in 1974, a few months before filming on this film began. Since this film's release in 1975, "The Brady Bunch" became a ubiquitous hit in syndication, and the set has become easily recognizable to several generations of classic TV watchers, even though the set was altered for use in this film. See more »


Referenced in 1408 (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

No-Eyed Bug Monsters
19 April 2010 | by ferbs54See all my reviews

Viewers who may be having some insect problems in their own abode may feel a bit better about their domestic situation when they see what the residents of a small California desert town have to contend with, in 1975's "Bug." After a seismic event releases the titular nasties from deep underground, the ugly, beetlelike creatures start making trouble, setting fires wherever they go by rubbing their chitinous rear antennae together. And then things get even more problematic, when a balmy biology teacher (excellently portrayed by Bradford Dillman) decides to cross the "Firebug" with the ordinary domestic roach! OK, first let me say what "bugged" me about this film. It is occasionally slow moving and, other than Dillman's character, there is no other character of any depth or interest to speak of. And since even Dillman's character goes bonkers halfway through, there's really nobody for the viewer to root for or identify with. There is, however, plenty of good news. The film IS creepy as can be (roachaphobes, be forewarned!) and features an eerie electronic score by Charles Fox and interesting directorial touches from Jeannot Szwarc. And those bugs really are something! I could not tell half the time if I was looking at a genuine insect or the result of some special FX wizardry; probably a cunning mixture of the two. And the four bug attack sequences, three of them on women, are gruesomely effective and well done. A tip of the hat to producer and co-writer William Castle, who, in this, his last film, demonstrated that he still knew how to deliver a gripping entertainment. (Come to think of it, the Firebug almost looks like a pint-size Tingler!) My buddy Rob has astutely pointed out to me the picture's skillful use of establishing shots, prolonged silences, "disturbing imagery" and "unnerving stillness," and I must admit that a repeat viewing revealed the film to be not so much slow as deliberately paced. Ending on as bleak a note as can be, the picture will most likely send viewers off to the hardware store to pick up a preventive pack of Combat!

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