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One great and one not so great "Fly" film!
on October 29, 2013
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.