The Fly Films
THE FLY (1958)
Notes: 94 minutes.
Directed: Kurt Neumann
Starring: Al Hedison, Patricia Owens, Vincent Price, and HerbertMarshall
Summary: Man or Insect? This is a classic horror taleof science gone wrong through unforeseen circumstances. A brilliantresearch scientist (Hedison) discovers how to transport matterthrough space. But things take a bizarre turn when Hedison’satoms intermingle with those of a common household fly. His desperatebattle to return to normality becomes even more difficult whenhe begins to lose his human will. “Help me!” (Will Wonkavision ever be perfected?)
THE RETURN OF THE FLY (1959)
Notes: 78 minutes.
Directed: Edward L. Bernds
Starring: Vincent Price, Brett Halsey, John Sutton, David Frankham,and Dan Seymour
Summary: The son of the original scientist who discoveredhow to transmit matter electronically attempts to recreate hisfather’s experiments. Unfortunately he meets with the same fateas his father and he is transformed into the hideous fly creatureafter one of the insects gets into the transport machine. (Shouldn’tthe moron have changed that one variable?)
THE FLY (1986)
Notes: Rated R. 96 minutes.
Directed: David Cronenburg
Starring: Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis
Summary: A reincarnation from the 1950s, this new Flyis much more horrific than the first, thanks to the newer specialeffects. Seth Brundle (Goldblum) is the brilliant scientist whodevelops the system that transports matter through space in amatter of seconds. Being an intellectual hermit, Seth’s lifetakes on new meaning when he falls in love with an attractivejournalist (Davis), inspiring himself to correct the system’slast flaw. Yet when he transports himself, his genes and moleculesare accidentally fused with those of a fly. The film turns tohorror when his insect half begins to take over. The Flyis a love story as well as an immensely effective thriller.
THE FLY II (1989)
Notes: Rated R. 105 minutes.
Directed: Chris Walas
Starring: Eric Stoltz, Daphne Zuniga, Lee Richardson, HarleyCross, and John Getz
Summary: Another reincarnation of the famous 1950s films. On the surface, Martin seems to be a normal, healthy young man. But beneath his ordinary exterior, Martin is the most extraordinaryperson alive. For one thing, he’s a genius. For another, he’sa fully matured adult-though he’s only five years old. Martinis the son of a human fly, a scientist whose genes were tragicallyaltered in an experimental mishap. Now it’s only a matter oftime before the mutant genes inside Martin come out of their dormantstate.
“The Fly” is a half human-half insect creature who seemsto be present in the monster world only because of its horrificappearance. However, aside from the special effects of the 1980sfilms and the thrilling aspects of the 1950s films, The Flyseems to be a deeper, more intellectual story. Critics call ita poignant love story or a chilling drama, but other themes arepresent as well. The recurring monster movie theme involvingadmonitions against messing with nature is present, of course. These films also show how frightening scientists and their workcan be at times, although the transmitter seems to be some kindof prehistoric beaming machine from Star Trek. The loveaspect of these films could arise from the way people are typicallywilling to overlook the horrible potentials within others justbecause of love. All in all, the films of both the 1950s andthe 1980s are equally as thrilling and dramatic, and a wonderfulshow of science gone amok.