The Fly(released Aug/58) and the Return of the Fly(released July/59)both come to light on this two sided disc from Fox.The original Fly is a classic.This is one Sci-Fi classic that simply got away from me,and I had never ever seen the film other than on a full framed B&W TV set,until just the other day! They present the film is in its original w/s a/r of 2:35:1 and in colour! It doesn't sound like alot,but when you see it for the first time in colour and in such good condition as presented here,it is quite a revelation.The Return of the Fly is in the same w/s a/r and is in B&W,but it is still a great print.
The story of The Fly is well known.The setting is in Montreal(I did not know that until I recently re-watched it)and it concerns a company run by two brothers played by Vincent Price and David Hedison(future star of TV's Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea).It seems Vincent's brother is somewhat of a techno wiz and he has been dabbling in trying to disintegrate and re-integrate matter.The story itself starts out after the main circumstances and tragedy has happened.When the back story comes around we find that Hedison started carefully using inanimate objects then progressed slowly to living matter.When the kinks are worked out he puts himself in the chamber,but unfortunately a fly entered also.He re-integrates with a head and left arm like a fly.He and his wife try in vain to capture the fly who got its molecules mixed up with his,but time runs out and Hedison finally,with the help of his wife,commits suicide.The end of the film has the terrifying moment where the recalcitrant fly with Hedison's head and arm,is stuck on a spider web pleading for help.A police inspector finishes off the gruesome moment with a well flung rock to both creatures.
The Fly to this day STILL packs a tremendous punch,in moments such as when we first see Hedison with the Fly head,to his demise later.This is a classic of its kind and I give it 4 1/2-5 stars.
The Return of the Fly is good,but not up to the level of its predecessor.The story finds us back in Montreal and Vincent is burying his sister in law,years after the first incident occurred.He has raised his nephew best he can and now that his nephew is old enough he wants to know the exact causes of his fathers death.Vincent takes him to the old company lab where it all began and relates the story.Instead of settling on this,the nephew wants to follow in his fathers footsteps.Vincent at first refuses to help,but eventually comes around.Mixed into this is an ex assistant of Vincent's that is a crook,who is working with the nephew now,and wants to steal the plans for the machines and make a buck.The nephew makes impressive headway but when he discovers what his assistant is up to a fight breaks out.The nephew is knocked unconscious and is thrown into an integration chamber.He also deliberately throws a fly into it.When he re-integrates he has been hideously transformed into a mutant like his father.He seeks out the crook and his assistant and kills them both.When he finally returns they are able to locate the fly that was in the chamber with him and they successfully bring the nephew back to normal.
TROF just doesn't pack the same punch as the first,as we have already seen the results before,not to mention this film relies more on scare for scare sake(more typical of the 50s type films).It also has a quickie and unsatisfying ending.I would give it a 3 1/2 star rating.There was another sequel,The Curse of the Fly in /65,but it was not a good film at all,and didn't have any of the same folks in it from the original two.
All in all a great pairing of the original Fly movies with Vincent Price.The first is the best of the two.The DVD itself is on a dreaded double-sided disc,so watch out for possible scratching and scuffing.Recommended.
on July 18, 2003
"The Fly" is a well made / known sci-fi classic. Andre (David Hedison) is a scientist, working on a contraption that disintegrates solid matter, sending it to another location to be re-integrated. Andre wants to develop it for the good of mankind, but that would make for one dull movie! Instead, he accidentally enters the disintegration chamber with an undetected fly. The two become fused into one being. Andre ends up with a fly head and claw. The fly gets Andre's head and upper body. Andre's wife is tested to the depths of her love for her now hideous husband. A frantic search for the tiny fly ensues (maybe they could de-fuse them??) with tragic results. Vincent Price is excellent as Andre's brother. Yes, it's true that "Return Of The Fly" is nowhere near as good as it's predocessor. However, I like having them both together anyway. Andre's son Phillipe is all grown up and decides to continue his father's work. He enlists the help of a guy who turns out to be a sociopathic criminal, bent on stealing the invention and selling it to an accomplice. After killing a nosey cop (by turning him into a guinea pig man), he knocks Phillipe out and puts him in the disintegration cabinet with a suspiciously handy fly. The rest of the film is a revenge story. I like the crooks and the way Phillipe avenges their treachery. A great double feature! Pop some corn, pour the beverages, and check the house for those pesky insects...
on April 18, 2003
I enjoyed 'The Fly' a lot. A good sci-fi story with a dash of 'don't mess with mother nature' thrown in...and after all these years, it still retains a lot of it's creepiness. The plot is pretty out there, but I think the actors did a really good job with their performances. The special effects seemed a little understated, but, for me, that worked to the movies' advantage. I always thought it was interesting that while Vincent Price was in this movie, he really didn't play a main character or have much to do with the more macabre features of the movie. He more or less played it straight, but I liked that, seeing him playing role where he isn't exuding that sinister aura that he does in a lot of his movies. I also think this is a beautiful looking transfer with vibrant colors. And the end still always gives me a shiver up my spine. A solid movie overall.
'The Return of the Fly' suffers from an obvious lack of originality and financial support. It is in black and white, while the original was in color. I don't have an issue with this as I think some movies look better in black and white, but I was a little disappointed in how closely story in this sequel matched that of the original. And the fly head and fly arm used in this movie seemed more comical, played up for visual effect while the fly head and fly arm in the first movie were more understated, and, to me, worked more effectively. Basically, this seems more of a remake than a sequel, with a few new things.
If you like sci-fi, then I think this DVD is a really good addition to your collection, and having both movies on one disc is certainly a decent value. The four stars I gave are for the original, while I would only give the sequel about 2 1/2 stars.
on March 29, 2003
This double disc presents two horror movies from the 1950s: the classic Fly and the not-so-classic sequel, The Return of the Fly. Although neither movie is close to perfect, they are good enough for some fun, old-fashioned entertainment.
In The Fly, a scientist experiments in his basement lab on a matter transmission device that he is certain will solve all of humanity's problems. An experiment on himself, however, goes awry when a fly gets into the works. Although often cheesy, this is a generally solid work that avoids a lot of the standard mad scientist cliches and also has at least two real classic scenes: a "fly's-eye-view" of the scientist's screaming wife and one of the concluding scenes, with a fly with a human head caught in a spider web.
The sequel, however, is a step or two below in quality, little more than a standard monster movie. In it, the son of the original character continues his father's experiments and through the malicious act of a partner, winds up similarly transformed. As a follow-up to the original, it is barely okay, but as a standalone, it offers little worthwhile.
As a twosome, this pair rates a low four stars. If you like 1950's style monster movies, this should be a pleasure, but if you are looking for any sort of truly great movies, you might want to look elsewhere.
on March 26, 2003
This review refers to the Fox Double Feature DVD of "The Fly/Return of the Fly"......
You think you got problems?....Poor Helene Delambre, or "Mrs Fly" as I like to call her, is really bugged by her husband Andre. He is a brillant scientist and has been experimenting with disintergration and reintergration experiments and oops has accidently intergrated himself with a fly. So now we have a man with a gigantic fly head and claw and a fly with a human head and arm. The problem is getting these two back together. Not only is he just grotesque but is now developing the killer instinct of a fly, and the little fly has a very short life span. Will Mrs. Fly be able to locate the little fly and save her husband or will she need a giant can of raid to rid the world of this pest?
Well..from the opening scene we know what the outcome will be, but in this classic and fun horror story, will still watch with enthusiasm waiting to see! It has great special effects(for the 50's) and make up, some terrific acting and is beautifully transfered to DVD. It's in anamorphic widescreen, with great color and the Sound has been newly created in 4.0 Surround. It looks like a new movie!. It stars Vincent Price, Al Hedison(as The Fly), Patricia Owens(a great screamer), Herbert Marshall and be sure to look for Kathleen Freeman as Emma.
"The Return of The Fly"...
Okay so this film doesn't quite live up to the original, but fun none the less. In this one we find Phillipe, the son of Andre, returning home from his education and wanting to follow in his father's footsteps. His Uncle Francois(Price returns as well as The Fly), is dead set against these experiments and tells his nephew why. But to no avail, Phillipe picks up where his father left off with the help of a very shadey assistant. He not only falls prey to his assistants greedy aspirations but uh-oh guess what, he really does follow in his father's footsteps. Can he be saved?
This one in Black and White is also beautifully remastered in crisp and sharp images. It too is in anamorpic widescreen and this one has the sound in stereo, but very good. It also stars Brett Halsey, David Frankham and John Sutton.
I was really impressed with the quality of these old films(1958/1959). There are DVD's of movies made in the 60's and 70's that don't look this good. If you are a fan of the old horror films you should be happy with this DVD. There are no special features except some wonderful original theatrical trailers. The trailers are for these two films, introduced by Vincent Price at his creepiest. There are also original trailers for the remake(The Fly/The Fly2) and some great old trailers for "Fantastick Voyage" and "Voyage To The Bottom of the Sea".
Get the popcorn ready(and maybe a no-pest strip), kick back and enjoy.......Laurie
on February 26, 2002
I got into the remake and its sequel because I heard, in other movies I watched, references to the first. Then when I was old enough to watch horror movies, and got into the old black-and-white classics, like "DRACULA", "FRANKENSTEIN", "THE WOLF MAN", and "THE INVISIBLE MAN", I decided to give them a try. So I rented them. It took me a while to get used to them, but now, I'm into them and I own them. They're both awesome, but kinda gross. Then after getting into those two, I ended up liking and wanting to own the oringinal two from the 1950's with Vincent Price that started this whole thing about THE FLY. While both of these look kinda fake and boring and may no longer shock or horrorify like they did at the time of their release, they haven't lost the power to fascinate. And I don't find them boring at all.
In the first one, a man named Andre Delambre ( Al "David" Hedison ) is a scientist who's just made a remarkable discovery: Two devices. One of them can transport an object to the next. When he finally gets it right, he sucessfully transports himself. Then he tries to do it again, but doesn't know that a pesky housefly gets in there with him. Now, he's got the enlarged head and arm of a fly and the fly has his shrunken head and arm. Now, his wife, Helene ( Patricia Owens ) is his only hope to get back to normal.
In the second one, it's 20 to 30 years later and Andre's son, Phillipe ( Brett Halsey ) is a grown man and wants to continue his late father's work. Although his uncle Francois ( Andre's brother from the first, played by Vincent Price ) warns him about the dangers of it, he goes ahead and does it anyway, with the help of his assistant, Alan Hinds ( David Frankham ). Everything seems to be safe and doing well, but Alan is a criminal who plans to steal the secret and sell it to the highest bidder. And when Phillipe finds out, he and Alan get into a fight and Alan traps Phillipe in the device, along with another pesky housefly, and now, Phillipe is just like what his father was. Now, Phillipe goes out to, not just find a way to get back to normal, but to give Alan his come-uppance.
For the first one, I will give 3 stars. And for the second one, 4 stars. And for this DVD, 4 stars. Just like the one with the remake and its sequel, this double-feature DVD works beautifully, although it doesn't have a special or a commentary by a film historian on both movies.
The reasons I think the second one is a bit better than the first are: The music score, the storyline, and the villians of the second one. Those are the differences between the first and the second. The villians of the second are an example of how the second one is different than the first. The first one didn't have any villians. Most of it was just romance and drama.
If you're a big movie buff like I am, I'm sure you'll like these two. I recommend both these movies. They're just as much fun as the remake and its sequel are. See my review of them ( THE FLY / THE FLY 2. ) It's titlied: AVERAGE REMAKE, ABOVE AVERAGE SEQUEL, LIKE THE ORIGINALS.
on November 15, 2001
THE FLY is one of those rare 1950s-era flicks that successfully combines the science fiction and horror genres into a genuinely literate and, yes, scary piece of entertainment. The pseudo-scientific babble may seem less plausible in light of the advancements in genetics that have occurred since 1958, but the script is tight and the story gripping, the acting is top-notch, and the creepy spider-web scene still manages to haunt viewers long after the movie has ended.
By now, of course, the basic plot of this film is well known. When a scientist experimenting with the electronic teleportation of matter uses himself as a guinea pig, some of his atoms are inadvertently mixed with those of a housefly that has managed to sneak into the machinery with him, and the result is quite a pesky problem for the scientist, his loving wife, and his milquetoast brother.
Vincent Price delivers one of his best performances ever in THE FLY. More restrained and earnest than in his later wonderful but over-the-top performances of the '60s and 70's, Price is very affecting as Francois Delambre, a meek businessman who, in coping with his brother's hideous accident, must comfort his sister-in-law while staving off the overzealous police. The beautiful Patricia Owens gives a strong performance as Helene Delambre, a woman who finds the inner strength she needs to protect her husband, even though protecting him might also mean destroying him. And David Hedison, as scientist Andre Delambre, and Herbert Marshall, as Inspector Charas, also do quite adequately.
Even after almost 45 years, the special effects in THE FLY hold up quite well. Although the depiction of computers is a bit outdated, the teleporation effects are very convincing. They are just flashy enough to give a sense of technological wonder, but restrained enough to avoid that garish visual hyperbole common to a lot of '50s sci-fi. So, too, with the make-up effect for the human-fly hybrid. It is quite realistic and eerie, and it still manages to shock modern viewers in spite of all the amazing advancements in cinema make-up that have taken place since.
There are, of course, the inevitable comparisons with David Cronenberg's 1986 remake of the film. Cronenberg's version is admittedly more in-tune with modern scientific knowledge. Also, his special effects are more modern and very realistic, and his actors are superb working with a script that is quite literate. But in many ways the original 1958 version is much more engaging, and it has a climax that is, psychologically speaking, much creepier. Cronenberg's film may be a masterpiece of modern sci-fi horror, but the 1958 version of THE FLY is undoubtedly a classic.
This DVD version of THE FLY comes paired with 1959's THE RETURN OF THE FLY. In spite the presence of Price in a reprise of his role in the original film, this sequel is far inferior to the first. The story is weak, the special effects are cheesy, and, with the exception of Price, the acting is sub-par. However, the DVD is very modestly priced, making it worth purchasing just to get original THE FLY.
on September 27, 2001
The Fly is the movie I want to introduce my nephew to the great world of atomic age horror films. When I was twelve I watched the Late Show with my best buddy Sam Byars' house in my pajamas. The film was really great but we positively freaked at the end. The image of the fly with the human head screaming Help me! HEELP me! never gets out of your head. What is so marvelous about The Fly and other sci fi movies in that era is they weren't played with a knowing tongue in cheek as is the case with so many horror films of the '90s. They give the film star treatment and play it as a serious drama. The Fly is a complex well written movie. We are introduced to the story in the still shocking opening sequence, then we rewind the story to uncover what led to the murder. Then just when you think the film has unraveled everything, "The Fly" rolls forward to the shocking finale. Rather than be just a monster movie, The Fly is a human tragedy about teleportation experiment gone terribly wrong. Its a cautionary tale to warn scientific progress pushed beyond our ability to understand can produce unimaginable terrors. Next its a crime story as we try to unravel the events that lead to a gruesome murder. Lastly it is about a family in a life or death crisis. Mom and dad dealing with a serious crisis while trying to protect their little boy from the terrible truth. The little boy Phillipe's naivety is cleverly used as an irritation to heighten the tension and add dark humor in a frustrating situation. The stakes are very high in this film and it keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Personally I am only interested in the original classic and haven't seen Return of the Fly. However the modern David Cronenberg version of the fly is more gorey but also very good. I can scarcely wait one more year to permanently scar my nephew's mind. : )
on January 22, 2001
This DVD is a good example of 1950s classic science at its best. You get the original "The Fly" and its sequel. In 1958's "The Fly" man through his science takes experimentation of his environment one step too far. Man's attempts to disrupt nature's harmony leads to destruction and horror to him and his loved ones. This is a well intentioned, poignantly directed and produced film. The horror resulting from Al (David) Hedison's experiments gone awry are devastating and disturbingly represented in the film's images. Once seen, the viewer can never forget them. This is a powerful film even to this day. Vincent Price as François and Charles Herbert as the young Philippe are good. However, David Hedison and Patricia Owens' performances are brilliant and elevate this film a notch higher. This CinemaScope print by cinematographer Karl Struss on this DVD is beautiful. The colors are rich and the Stereo Sound is excellent. Paul Sawtell's lush score is eerily touching. On the flip side, 1959's "The Return of the Fly" is an interesting and imaginative sequel. Brydon Baker's black & white CinemaScope photography gives it a feel of film noir with a twist of science fiction. It looks great on this DVD. Both Vincent Price as François and Bret Halsey as the grown Philippe turn in believable performances. This can be attributed to Director Edward Bernds' choice to concentrate on characterization over the science fiction elements, which had also been effectively accomplished in the original. John Sutton as Inspector Charas (played by Herbert Marshall in the original) turned in his best performance since 1952's "Five Fingers." The score by Paul Sawtell and Bert Shefter was very effective to the mood of the piece. This is an excellent and highly underrated film. This is a handsome DVD and highly recommended.
on December 5, 2000
Two spine tingling horror thrillers from the late 50's starring the American prince of horror, Vincent Price, on one DVD !!
Fans of the original (and less bloody) "THE FLY" will be wrapped to see this classic film presented in glorious crystal clear color and dolby digital sound that really gets the hairs up on the back of your neck. For those who don't know the story...scientist Andre Delambre (David Hedison....later to star in "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea") develops a matter transfer device. However, on trialling the machine himself, a fly is caught inside, and Hedison emerges with fly's head and arm...and the fly now posesses Hedison's head and arm !! Film boasts plenty of classic shock moments...including the first time we see the fly in full view !! "Return of the Fly" isn't quite up to the original, but still has plenty of enjoyable moments that make it a nice companion to the original....and it still has Vincent Price on board !
Interesting anecdote from "THE FLY"...according to Vincent Price in his book "I Like what I Know", in the final sequence of "THE FLY" where Price and fellow actor Herbert Marshall are peering into a spiders web containing the fly (with human head and arm)..the two actors could not complete the supposedly sombre scene without bursting into fits of paralysing laughter. The only way they could finish the scene was by ensuring no eye contact was made with each other....otherwise the laughter just continued !!
For any cult sci-fi fan....a great addition to your DVD collection !!