A germ warfare lab has had an accident. The first theory is that one of the nasty germs has gotten free and killed several scientists. The big fear is that a more virulent strain, named The Satan Bug because all life can be killed off by it should it escape, may have been stolen.
From the same director
George Maharis (Lee Barrett), Richard Basehart (Dr. Gregor Hoffman), Anne Francis (Ann Williams), Dana Andrews (Gen. Williams), John Larkin (Dr. Leonard Michaelson), Richard Bull (Eric Cavanaugh), Frank Sutton (Donald), Edward Asner (Veretti (as Ed Asner)), Simon Oakland (Tasserly), John Anderson (Agent Reagan), John Clarke (Lt. Raskin), Hari Rhodes (Lt. Johnson), Martin Blaine (Martin), Henry Beckman (Dr. Baxter), Harry Lauter (Fake SDI Agent), James Hong (Dr. Yang), Tol Avery (Police Captain at Dodger Stadium (uncredited)), Michael Barrier (Helicopter Pilot (uncredited)), Russ Bender (Mason (uncredited)), William Bryant (SDI Agent at Gas Station (uncredited)), James Doohan (SDI Agent at Gas Station (uncredited)), James W. Gavin (First Helicopter Pilot (uncredited)), Harold Gould (Dr. Ostrer (uncredited)), Steve Gravers (2nd Fake SDI Agent (uncredited)), John Hubbard (Guard (uncredited)), Carey Loftin (First Agent at Truck Crash (uncredited)), Lawrence Montaigne (Officer at Radar Tracking Station (uncredited)), John Newton (Olson - Explosives Expert at Dodger Stadium (uncredited)), Noam Pitlik (Motel Clerk (uncredited)), Lee Remick (Cocktail Waitress (uncredited)), Paul Sorensen (SDI Agent Posing as Motorist at Accident (uncredited))
John Sturges (producer)
I have watched this film several times, and never find it boring. That this film was not a hit at the time of release, and was not able to make a movie star out of George Maharis, shows that either the studio did not know how to market it at the time, or that a movie, even with all the right ingredients, will not become a hit movie, if people don't go and see it.
I do see some problems with the screenplay however, in that things see to happen in the film, that just pop up from nowhere. A mans car getting stuck that we the audience are not entirely clued in on, two agents just coming on the screen at a particular time, what where the motivations for this to happen is not explained, and a dead body, that without the use of a DVD player or DVR that we can view the movie on Turner Classic Movies, and look back on, might make us wonder who this dead body is.
The Maharis character is the most interesting of the lot, he is a man who is at odds with his government throughout his life, and he is a character in films ahead of his time. We didn't get to see people like this in movies before. He is a man who it is emphasized at the beginning of the film to be a rebel, but knows the difference between wrong and right. When his country needs him as he shows in this film he will be there for the correct cause. His last line in this film, is a telling one, I'm paraphrasing it here, but it goes something like this "Will start over again." This film, makes one ask the question, how could any country sanction a sight that could create something so deadly, and which might, as we learn towards the end, might destroy life on earth? At the same time, while the film I think questions this, it does at least give us some comfort that our government agencies fighting terror might be able to stop it as shown by agents, beside Maharis, as being capable of stopping mad men through their hard work.
A great supporting cast helps the film as well, Richard Basehart is outstanding, and I just realized that Frank Sutton, (Sargent Carter) of GOMER PYLE fame, is one of the villains, and what a different role it is.
John Sturges in his direction, shows a man who knew how to direct an action film, and an entertaining one to boot. The film was also ahead of its time, in warning us that we had more to fear than just a hydrogen bomb, as that fear of the bomb I believe was coming to an end at the time. A flawed, but entertaining film, that still holds up some forty years latter.
Geheimagent Barrett greift ein (Austria; West Germany) • O Mundo Marcha para o Fim (Brazil) • The Satan Bug (Canada (English title)) • Alarm fra center 3 (Denmark) • Estación 3 ultrasecreto (Spain) • Kalmankoura (Finland) • Station 3 ultra secret (France) • I megali katadioxis (Greece (transliterated ISO-LATIN-1 title)) • A sátán férge (Hungary (alternative title)) • Pokoli találmány (Hungary) • Stazione 3: top secret (Italy) • Estación 3, secreto supremo (Mexico) • Alarm i stasjon 3 (Norway) • Szatanski wirus (Poland) • O Veneno do Diabo (Portugal) • Virusul satanic (Romania) • Bas 3 Top Secret (Sweden) • Дьявольский микроб (Soviet Union (Russian title))
Finland:K-16 / Norway:16 / Spain:18 / United Kingdom:PG / United States:Approved / West Germany:12
The Mirisch Corporation (presents)
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