Bug (2006 film)
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Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||William Friedkin|
|Produced by||John J. Anderson
Kimberly C. Anderson
|Screenplay by||Tracy Letts|
by Tracy Letts
Brian F. O'Byrne
Harry Connick, Jr.
|Music by||Brian Tyler|
|Editing by||Darin Navarro|
|Studio||DMK Mediafilms International
|Running time||102 minutes|
Agnes White is a waitress living in a run-down motel in rural Oklahoma. Unable to move on from the disappearance of her son some years previously, she engages in drug and alcohol binges with her lesbian friend, R.C. Lately, she has been plagued by silent telephone calls that she believes are being made by her abusive ex-husband, Jerry Goss, who has recently been released from prison.
One night, R.C. introduces Agnes to Peter Evans, a drifter who says he is a recently discharged soldier. Agnes and Peter reach out to each other out of loneliness, and start a relationship. It soon becomes apparent to the viewer (but not Agnes) that Peter is mentally ill: He convinces her that he was the subject of biological testing by the U.S. government while he was in the military, and that the anonymous phone calls she has been receiving were made by government agents in anticipation of his arrival. Soon, Peter tells Agnes that their room has become infested by bugs sent there by the government as part of their experiments. Agnes is quickly pulled into Peter's delusions, accepting his explanations that R.C. and Jerry Goss are also part of a government conspiracy to capture him.
Over time Peter and Agnes isolate themselves from the outside world, sealing themselves in their room and covering it with flypaper and aluminum foil and lighting it with the glow from bug zappers. Peter, believing that a colony of microscopic bugs have infested one of his teeth, tears it out of his head. Peter's movements and behavior become more erratic as he "fights" invisible bugs that he claims are infesting his body, causing Agnes to mimic his behavior.
A Dr. Sweet arrives, saying that Peter has escaped while under treatment at a mental institution. Peter kills Sweet, telling Agnes that he was a robot sent by the government. Together, Peter and Agnes elaborate upon Peter's initial delusion, creating a complex conspiracy plot involving Agnes' son being kidnapped by the government to lead her and Peter to meeting; and that each of them is infected with bugs that are meant to mate with one another and take over the world. In order to prevent this, Agnes and Peter douse each other in gasoline and set themselves on fire.
As the film ends, the audience sees Agnes and Peter's room completely intact, with no sign of a fire or any bodies other than that of Dr. Sweet.
- Ashley Judd as Agnes White
- Michael Shannon as Peter Evans
- Lynn Collins as R. C.
- Brian F. O'Byrne as Dr. Sweet
- Harry Connick, Jr. as Jerry Goss
Most of the film's action occurs in a seedy motel room. The scenario has three interconnected rooms — a bathroom, a kitchenette and a living room. At one point in the film, the room has several dozen fly strips hanging from the ceiling. At another point the entire room is covered from floor to ceiling in tinfoil. Friedkin has said the tinfoil was a nightmare to work with, because it had to be repaired constantly, and because it reflected everybody who was there, including the crew.
Filming locations 
Exteriors of the motel were filmed near Mammoth, California, and at Grace King High School while studio interiors of the motel room were filmed on a soundstage in Metairie, Louisiana, near New Orleans. A grocery store scene was shot at Migliore’s Grocery, and the lesbian bar scene was shot at Boomerang’s Bar, both located in New Sarpy, Louisiana.
The film's theme song is performed by Serj Tankian, the lead singer of the rock band System of a Down. The lead track, "Learning to Drive", is performed by Scott Weiland, the lead singer of the rock band Stone Temple Pilots.[clarification needed]
Additional artists are Sean and Sara Watkins (of Nickel Creek), Chainsaw Kittens, The Backsliders, Susan Tedeschi, Jerry Leiber, and The Coasters, Alvin Robinson, Los Tigres del Norte, Leon Russell and Brian Tyler.
The soundtrack was released in stores on May 22, 2007.
The film is distributed by Lionsgate.
The film received its U.S. premiere at Fantastic Fest on September 25, 2006, in Austin, Texas. It opened in the U.S. at 1,661 theaters on May 25, 2007. In its opening weekend it earned $3.24 million, and ranked as number four, of the most-seen films of the weekend, placed behind the threequels Pirates of the Caribbean 3, Shrek 3 and Spider-Man 3.
It was released to theaters in France on February 21, 2007. It drew praise from most critics in France, but did not reach the top in the box office. In its opening week in France, it ranked as number twenty of the most-visited films of the week, and earned $216,244 from sixty-six screens.
Friedkin has said that the film would have been flagged, in the 1960s or 1970s, as a horror film, but he insists it is no such thing. He told ComingSoon.net that "There were all sorts of people who looked at Bug, (including magazine people like Fangoria,) and they called it a horror film," he said. The horror connection "came from a lot of sources." Friedkin claims that Bug is "in many ways, a black comedy love story. He stated in an interview, that "It's not a genre film, but marketing works in mysterious ways. They have to find a genre for it. 'This is a comedy. This is a melodrama. This is a love story. This is a horror film. This is an adventure film.' Bug doesn't fit easily into any of those categories."
Home media 
Bug was released on DVD. It was also available on HD DVD as a German exclusive, and has subsequently been released on Blu-ray Disc in Germany as well. A North American Blu-ray Disc release never materialized.
The film received mixed to positive reviews from film critics; at Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, it has a 61% "Fresh" overall approval out of 129 reviews from critics. The consensus states: "Disappointing resolution aside, Bug uses its claustrophobic setting and cinéma vérité camerawork to tense, impressive effect." Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 62 out of 100, indicating "generally favorable reviews" based on 29 reviews.
On May 22, 2006, film critic Roger Ebert wrote, "The film has caused a stir at Cannes, not least because its stars, Ashley Judd and Michael Shannon, achieve a kind of manic intensity that’s frightening not just in itself but because you fear for the actors." Ashley Judd was praised for her performance as critic Dennis Dermody from Paper says "Ashley Judd gives a raw, shattering Oscar-worthy performance". Stephen Schaeffer from Boston Herald praised the film saying "one of the most disturbing horror movies imaginable". The film received generally positive reviews from the U.K. media, receiving three out of five in The Guardian. It was also critic Mark Kermode's film of the week on BBC Radio 5 Live.
The film received an award at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival from the International Federation of Film Critics in the Director's Fortnight section.
Judd was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Actress.
See also 
- "Bug Box Office Data". The Numbers. Nash Information Services. Retrieved October 8, 2011.
- "Bug (2007)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 5, 2011.
- "It's All Lectrosonics Wireless for William Friedkin's New Thriller "Bug"". Lectrosonics. 2006.
- [dead link]
- Pirates and Paintings | NOLA.com. Blog.nola.com (2007-06-07). Retrieved on 2010-12-17.
- William Friedkin Talks About "Bug"
- Allen Lottinger, Jr. Hollywood South, St. Charles Herald-Guide, August 6, 2005
- SoundtrackNet : Bug (score). Soundtrack (2007-05-21). Retrieved on 2010-12-17.
- SoundtrackNet : Bug Soundtrack. Soundtrack.net (2007-05-22). Retrieved on 2010-12-17.
- "FIPRESCI – Festival Reports – Cannes 2006". Fipresci. 2006.
- Kadison, Dan. (2007-05-28) 'Pirates' Grabs Box-Office Booty To Wreck 'Shrek'. NYPOST.com. Retrieved on 2010-12-17.
- Bug – La revue de presse. Cinemovies.fr (2010-01-22). Retrieved on 2010-12-17.
- Box-office : Box-office France. Allocine.fr (2008-12-19). Retrieved on 2010-12-17.
- Bug, Box Office Mojo, Dec. 5, 2010
- The Eternal Struggle: From The Exorcist to Bug William Freidkin's movies examine people battling real and symbolic forces of evil | Baltimore City Paper. Citypaper.com. Retrieved on 2010-12-17.
- William Friedkin is bugged | Dallas-Fort Worth Entertainment News and Events | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News. Dallasnews.com (2007-05-24). Retrieved on 2010-12-17.
- EXCL: Bug Director William Friedkin. ComingSoon.net. Retrieved on 2010-12-17.
- Bug on DVD. Dvdtown.com (2007-07-11). Retrieved on 2010-12-17.
- Bug at Rotten Tomatoes
- "Bug (2007): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2008-01-05.
- Cannes #4: 'Bug' by Friedkin :: rogerebert.com :: Cannes Film Festival. Rogerebert.suntimes.com. Retrieved on 2010-12-17.
- "Bug". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2011-09-08.
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- Official website
- Bug at the Internet Movie Database
- Bug at AllRovi
- Bug at Box Office Mojo
- Bug at Rotten Tomatoes
- Bug at Metacritic