Head of security Agent Reagan (John Anderson) knows something ain’t just right, he can feel it in his bones. He’s suspicious by nature, the perfect man for the job. Giving everyone who enters the compound the lazy eye, like a wise old Eaglehawk searching down his prey. He can almost sense there’s been a security breach, then again it could be he’s imagining things…..
Besides this place doesn’t even exist, well not in the traditional sense. The fact that the secret base is in the middle of the desert with 24 hour onsite security, razor edged double fence with trusty Fido the doberman happily patrolling the inner perimeter. Surely the place is safe, he might be paranoid but that’s his nature, the security of this facility is of the utmost importance. For within these walls, scientists work on creating biological viruses to use as weapons and antidotes to counteract biohazard risks. Weapons of mass destruction, with the notion that they are so dangerous, that like the threat of nuclear bombs, they hope they are more a deterrent and will never be used. The last thing you need is some devious mad man getting his evil fingers on that kind of destructive power!
Tagline – The price for uncovering the secret of the satan bug comes high – YOUR LIFE!
Yep you guessed it, some shit goes down and now the world is in peril as two types of lethal bioweapons are stolen from the laboratory. One a potent strain of botulinus with a life of 8 hours but capable of killing thousands, the other, the one with the cute name, is nicknamed THE SATAN BUG! A newly invented super death virus which has the potential of killing all life on Earth. What can humanity do? There really is only one man for the job.
Enter the dashing Lee Barrett (George Maharis) a former intelligence agent and all round good guy, a man who won’t take no BS, the perfect man to help investigate this deadly crime. He has help in the form of General Williams (Dana Andrews) who enlists the help of his daughter Anne Williams (Anne Francis) whom just happens to be an old flame of our Lee’s. Joining up with some secret service agents they all frantically try and discover the real horrors and fears connected to this death defining race to save humanity. Will they be able to unravel who could possibly be this evil and most importantly stop the attack before it happens?
A few observations
- There’s a lot of famous faces popping up throughout the picture. Admiral Harriman Nelson (Richard Basehart) from Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. The innocent and saucy Altaira Morbius (Anne Francis) from Forbidden Planet. Man of a million noir dramas Dana Andrews and even Santa (Edward Asner) from Elf turns up.
- This film will make a brilliant double bill with the superb 1971 The Andromeda Strain by director Robert Wise. One of my favourites for sure.
- I didn’t know George Maharis before this but read he had a big career as a singer around the time he became a household name starring in a series called Route 66. Sounds like his career took a bit of a nose dive after getting caught ala George Michael style in public toilets. Shame as no one would even bat an eyelid nowadays.
- Based on a 1962 novel by Alistair MacLean who went under the pseudonym of Ian Stuart. The film version was directed by John Sturges (The Magnificent Seven)
I was really impressed with this film, it’s a slow burner but it kept my attention, with the movie flying by. It’s features a few excellent set pieces which I enjoyed immensely. The wide angle shots of the Nevada desert dusty roads and the cool looking apartments on the outskirts look stunning on the screen. It’s worth tracking down if you haven’t seen it I think, I’m glad I did.
Let me what you thought of this one if want be good to hear your views. Till the next time, keep checking those movies screens. Mikey Wolfensteiner