The Fly Film Details
Overview: A scientist has a horrific accident when he tries to use his newly invented teleportation device.
Tagline: If she looked upon the horror her husband had become… she would scream for the rest of her life!
Review: The original version of “The Fly” has apparently been forgotten due to two powerful reasons. First, the bad quality of its two sequels turned the horror of the first into campy silliness; and second and more important, the fact that David Cronenberg’s 1986 remake is a perfect film in every sense sent the movie to oblivion almost instantly. A shame indeed, as “The Fly” is more than a simple creature feature, it is a powerful mix of Gothic horror and science-fiction with something very important that distinguish it from the rest of the movies of its era: a good dose of class. On a dark night, François Delambre (Vincent Price), receives the most tragic news he could had received, his dear brother Andre (David Hedison) has been murdered and the killer is no one else than Andre’s beloved wife, Helene (Patricia Owens). Everything points out to insanity as the cause of the murder, but as Helene tells the tragic story behind the murder, François and his good friend, the Insp. Charas (Herbert Marshall), discover a grotesque tale of science gone wrong, very wrong. Kurt Neumann, a veteran director who spent the 40s making the famous Tarzan series of movies with Johnny Weissmuller, brought the class of the old style of the 30s film-making to George Langelaan’s tale of love and horror. Neumann finds the perfect equilibrium between Gothic atmospheres and the beautiful color technique, in a very good mix between old style and modern (for its time) technology. The suspense is superbly handled and while the slow pacing of the film may turn off modern viewers, it is vital for the shock and power of the two crucial final scenes. Like Cronenberg’s remake, the movie’s main theme is love, but unlike the modern version, here the focus is on Andre’s wife Helene, who must face her fears in order to save her husband of the cruel fate his accident unleashed. Neumann carefully builds up the relationships between characters in a way that makes us care for them, making the fatal accident even more dreadful and frightening as the family’s life will never be the same after it. Patricia Owens is terrific as the main character, and it is her character the one that carries the film. She is perfect as the woman who would do anything to save the man she loves, and her performance transmits the emotions of despair and angst in a very believable way. David Hedison is very good as Andre, and while at first he seems quite average, his performance as the mute monster is outstanding. Vincent Price may be only a supporting actor here, and in a very different role than we are used to see him. However, he delivers his lines with his usual charm and his presence fits perfectly the classy elegance Neumann crafted in the film. Of course, one has to talk about the special effects, as this is where the movie has dated the most. Nowadays, and thanks to the silly make-up used in the following sequels, the Fly’s make-up is seen as clumsy instead of grotesque and its impact has been enormously diminished; however, it is safe to say that contrary to its sequels, here they still work, thanks to Neumann’s choice of showing them only in the crucial moments. Depsite being clumsy and silly for today’s standards, “The Fly”‘s special effects still manage to give the scares. “The Fly” has been definitely overshadowed by its superior remake, however, this film still has a lot of power and despite having two silly films as sequels, this one has a characteristic that makes it stand out among the rest, it has that class and elegance that old Gothic horrors of the 30s had. It is a shame that Neumann didn’t live to see the success of “The Fly”, but at least he finally got the chance to show his talents in this powerful horror movie. 8/10
Country: United States
Language: English, French
Duration: 94 min
Genre: Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi
Also known as: Мухата,La mouche,Die Fliege,Flugan,The Fly,De vlieg,A Mosca da Cabeça Branca,La mosca,I myiga,Musca,Moucha,La Mouche noire,La mosca de la cabeza blanca,Fluen,蝿男の恐怖,Mucha,Magas,La mosca de cabeza blanca,Муха,Muha,L’esperimento del dottor K.,Öldüren arzu,Η μύγα,A légy,Kärpänen,I myga,A Mosca,Muva