The Fly (1958 franchise)

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The Fly (1958), and its sequels Return of the Fly (1959) and Curse of the Fly (1965); remake The Fly (1986) and its sequel The Fly II (1989)

Summary

Three incarnations of The Fly...

"Once it was human... even as you and I! If she looked upon the horror her husband had become... she would scream for the rest of her life!"

THE FLY (1958): A scientist has a horrific accident when he tries to use his newly-invented teleportation device. RETURN OF THE FLY: The now-adult son of "The Fly" does some transportation experimentation of his own. CURSE OF THE FLY: Motorist Martin Delambre attempts to keep evidence of his family's bizarre experiments in teleportation hidden from his wife, who is hiding secrets of her own.

THE FLY (1986): A brilliant but eccentric scientist begins to transform into a giant man/fly hybrid after one of his experiments goes horribly wrong. THE FLY II (1989): The almost-human son of "Brundlefly" searches for a cure to his mutated genes while being monitored by a nefarious corporation that wishes to continue his father's experiments.


Details

  • Release Date: 1958 (original), 1959 (sequel), 1965 (sequel); 1986 (reboot), 1989 (sequel)
  • Country/Language: Canada, UK, USA; English
  • Genres/Technical: Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
  • Setting: 1950s; 1980s
  • Runtime: full-length
  • Starring: David Hedison, Patricia Owens, Vincent Price; Vincent Price, Brett Halsey, David Frankham; Brian Donlevy, George Baker, Carole Gray; Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, John Getz; Eric Stoltz, Daphne Zuniga, Lee Richardson
  • Director: Kurt Neumann; Edward L. Bernds; Don Sharp; David Cronenberg; Chris Walas
  • Writer, Story: George Langelaan "The Fly (fiction)"
  • Writer, Screenplay: James Clavell; Edward L. Bernds; Harry Spalding; Charles Edward Pogue; Mick Garris & Jim Wheat
  • Producer/Production Co: Twentieth Century Fox; Associated Producers (API); Lippert Films; SLM Production Group, Brooksfilms; Brooksfilms, Saul Zaentz Film Center
  • View Trailer: (1958), (1959), (1965), (1986), (1989)
  • TVTropes: (1958), (1959), (1965), (1986), (1989), (story)
  • Wikipedia: (1958), (1959), (1965), (1986), (1989), (story)
  • IMDB Page: (1958), (1959), (1965), (1986), (1989)


Ratings

MPAA Ratings

  • Rated: PG - R (mild Violence and Adult Content (1950s); graphic Violence and some Profanity, Adult Content, Nudity, etc.)

The original films were relatively kid-friendly, playing to general audiences with few significant changes on 1970s and 1980s television. The remakes, in contrast, really dialed up the body horror and gore to become one of the most infamous body-horror films of the 1980s.

Tentacle Ratings

A rough measure of how "Lovecraftian" the work is:

  • s____ (One-Half Tentacle: Only the remotest connection to Lovecraftian themes and ideas.)

This might almost rate a remotely-Lovecraftian "half-tentacle" for the great teleporter-based body horror and other wonderful weird horror possibilities, but none of the films were especially Lovecraftian on their own, aside from the grim endings, body horror, the corrupt ancestries, and the hints at all the ways that gates to other dimensions might go wrong. It's more "Lovecraftian" in the potential ways the concept might be used to develop more overtly Lovecraftian scenarios than in its original content.

Note: This rating is not intended as a measure of quality, merely of how closely related to Lovecraftian "Weird" fiction the work is.

Reviews

Review Links:

  • Review by Jeffrey M. Anderson at Combustible Celluloid (link) (4/4 Stars)
  • Review by Greg McCabe at Addicted to Horror Movies (link) (4/5)
  • Review by Richard Schieb at The Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Film Review (link) (4/5 Stars)
  • Review by Curtis Sturrock at 40oz. of Horror (link)


Synopsis (SPOILERS)

 Spoiler Section (Highlight to Read)

THE FLY (1958): A scientist has a horrific accident when he tries to use his newly-invented teleportation device. RETURN OF THE FLY: The now-adult son of "The Fly" does some transportation experimentation of his own. CURSE OF THE FLY: Motorist Martin Delambre attempts to keep evidence of his family's bizarre experiments in teleportation hidden from his wife, who is hiding secrets of her own.

THE FLY (1986): A brilliant but eccentric scientist begins to transform into a giant man/fly hybrid after one of his experiments goes horribly wrong. THE FLY II (1989): The almost-human son of "Brundlefly" searches for a cure to his mutated genes while being monitored by a nefarious corporation that wishes to continue his father's experiments.

Neither version of the original story has a happy ending: the scientist dies in a miserable state of body horror in both cases; few of the sequels end on a much happier note.


Notes

Comments, Trivia, Dedication

Associated Mythos Elements

  • (TO_DO)


Keeper Notes

  • The investigators become entangled in a case in which an experimental teleporter technology merges a scientist with a Lovecraftian horror, the latest in a long series of diverse and horrific features of a technology that sends matter through a populated and mind-shattering alternate dimension and mostly re-assembles it with varying degrees of success, except for when it doesn't, sometimes in the target area, and sometimes in places very distant from "right" - in some cases, the subject never rematerializes, other times the subject rematerializes temporarily in other worlds; in other cases, the things that rematerialize are unrecognizably alien and different from the subject that was dematerialized. Even when the technology seems to work right, it can have horrific side-effects, including rapid aging and insanity.