Bugs (2003)

Bugs (2003)

When Giant Insects Swarm In The City’s Subways, Humanity Lands On The Fast Track To Extinction!

A new subway tunnel is being built which goes deeper underground than any other in the world and will provide the fastest way possible to travel. However the construction work has awoken a nest of giant prehistoric insects which proceed to break free and begin to kill anyone who goes down there. An FBI officer and a SWAT unit is sent down there to stop the bugs from escaping into the city.


Talk about taking one for the team. Bugs is one of those films where you can see where it is heading without even slapping it into your DVD player – no plot, little concern for characters and eager to splash out on some very cheap CGI creatures just for the hell of it. So derivative and devoid of originality yet you have to watch simply because it’s a film about killer insects! Just like driving past a car accident, you can’t help but stop to see what’s going on even though you know you shouldn’t because what awaits you won’t be pretty at all. Watching these films is like an unhealthy addiction. I’m not the only one who does it. Why the hell do you think studios keep making these films? Because schmucks like me keep watching them. No matter how awful, identical or cheap, I know that I can’t avoid the temptation. Sometimes you may stumble upon a hidden gem – a film which does everything by the book but has that little extra in it to make it stand out from the crowd. Does Bugs have this extra to make it stand out? You bet it doesn’t!

The film opens in the usual manner: the first victim unknowingly walking to their deaths after hearing strange noises in a dark place. Usually it’s a hobo but sometimes it’s someone more important, in this case a cop. Cue a few minutes of the film giving us some background to the setting. Here it’s a subway tunnel which goes deeper underground than any other in the world. Why is it the deepest? Well they wouldn’t uncover secret nests of 65 million year old insects if they built a normal tunnel would they? Cue another few minutes of the film giving us the most basic character development for the main characters which pretty much involves their names being introduced (characters include the detective hunting a serial killer and, my favourite, the slimy corporate type who tries to cover up the attack because it will harm his business!) and you’re set.

At a slim running time of eighty-two minutes including credits, the film has to get down to business quickly and dispenses with most of the usual banter. We’re thrown into the fire-fights and mass-slaying of characters pretty early on until we get down to the small bunch of survivors trying to make it out alive. Think Aliens without pretty much any of the decent stuff in it and you’re almost there with Bugs. Compare the two: a squad of armed people being taken out by the creatures of the title, the creatures showing their intelligence by hunting the survivors down and probing for weaknesses and a finale in which one of the main characters fights the queen with a big piece of machinery. Bugs is pretty much that film without all of the non-action bits in it.

Antonio Sabato Jr. was once a promising TV star in one of those cheesy American soaps but has since been relegated to scores of really crap low budget films, usually action films. Here he has branched out into more sci-fi territory but with similarly dire consequences. He’s not exactly a big draw so I don’t see the need for the cover boxes to include his name on the front. He has about as much screen presence as a rotten cabbage. His co-stars do no better, perhaps a little exception being the clichéd corporate slime ball who chews the scenery up just like any suit who wants to protect his business in these monster flicks. That is such a clichéd character that I actually raise a little cheer every time it pops up in a film. Jaws has a lot to be thankful for.

Oh, I guess you want to know what the bugs are like. Well you should know by now that these low rent films employ low rent CGI to produce their monsters. Bugs is no exception to that rule and gives us plenty of bugs which look totally out of place with their surroundings. Some scenes including the train massacre seem to have forgotten to include the bugs when characters are falling down dead as if they ran out of money to put them in there. There are a few minor make-up effects for the bugs but they are few and far between.


Dire. Simply dire. I can’t really sum up the film any other way. Get out the Raid because these Bugs are going to suck the life out of you in more ways than one.





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