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Running Time: 101 minutes
• BUG: An Introduction
• A Discussion with William Friedkin
• Audio Commentary by Director William Friedkin
“It’s like The Parallax View on Crystal Meth.”
Ashley Judd, Michael Shannon, Lynn Collins, Brian F. O’Byrne and Harry Connick, Jr.
Agnes is a waitress at a Lesbian Country bar. Her ex-con ex-husband has just got out of jail and she’s a little nervous about how much time she has left to live. But, when her co-worker R.C. introduces her to Peter, she starts to feel a little different. Peter asks Agnes about her life and truly cares. This is new to Agnes, as she begins to open up about some bad things that happened to her in the past.
How I initially prepared myself to write this review.
Bug is a film about the horrors of paranoia. Agnes works in a dive lesbian bar, as she hides out from her ex-husband Jerry. Jerry is an ex-con who hasn’t been right since his kid went missing. Agnes can’t explain why their child disappeared a decade ago. In between snorts of cocaine, Agnes wants to rationalize the loss by any means necessary.
Then, she meets Peter. Peter is everything that Jerry isn’t and he gives Agnes hope. That is until Jerry pops up in her shower. This sets the stage for Peter, Jerry and Agnes to come to terms with themselves in tight quarters. But, Peter has some problems. He’s been hearing helicopters at night and he can’t shake this pain in his tooth.
Ashley Judd gets to take a look at her life, if her mom and sister hadn’t discovered that they could sing.
Agnes and Peter eventually find solace in each other and then do the deed. The problem with that is Peter might have been an Army experimental subject. That leads to Agnes possibly being infected with the bugs that only Peter can see. Agnes goes along with it, as she’s growing helplessly closer to Peter. So, they decide to take out her missing kid’s microscope and deck the room out in fly zappers.
Peter’s doctor has started to look for him and the couple starts to panic. Agnes’s friend R.C. guides the Doctor to the motel room, as a way to get Agnes and Peter apart. Agnes won’t leave Peter, as she wants to help him get the bugs out of his body. But, it’s starting to get serious as Peter has carved chunks of his flesh open to let the aphids out. Agnes freaks out and lets Dr. Sweet come to talk to Peter. By then, the room is covered in tin foil and stacked with several gallons of gasoline.
Somewhere, somehow…Fabfunk is still thinking about Viggo’s balls.
The inevitable standoff that kicks into the last quarter of the film is powerful. Friedkin translates the tension of the popular play into a setting that thrives under his masterful hand. You understand why Peter and Agnes grow closer together, while their world falls apart. It’s almost beautiful, if you didn’t have one of them believing that the U.S. Army was turning the country into bug-filled zombies. But, every relationship has its problems.
Joel Schumacher’s crack den was always festive.
Bug is another well-designed LionsGate package. The DVD contains no filler, but only special features dedicated to helping to shape and explain the film. We get a serious look at how Friedkin found the play by Letts and helped to take it to the big screen. Then, there’s the commentary. Friedkin is back!
I’m telling you, man. Mr. Zsasz would’ve totally saved the third act of Batman Begins.
It’s been forever since I’ve heard Friedkin talk about film, much less his work in a way that could be Scorsese or Tarantino to shame. As, Friedkin breaks down the connections of the story to the modern need for a conspiracy, you get goose bumps. It’s like seeing an old friend who’s been depressed for years come back to life with a new fervor. I have not been this excited to listen to a commentary since the True Romance 2-disc Special Edition.