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Return of the Fly (1959)

 
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 7:34 pm    Post subject: Return of the Fly (1959) Reply with quote

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This is the disappointing sequel to "The Fly", especially when that fabulous poster promises the moon to sci-fi lovers. It was filmed in black-and-white even though the original was in color, and "The Return of the Fly" makes no attempt to tell an interesting and imaginative science fiction story. It just pretends to be a horror film, and it does a damn poor job.

Brett Halsey ("Atomic Submarine") plays the grown-up son of the scientist who invented the matter transmitter, and he repairs his father's long-neglected equipment so he can continue his father's work. Vincent Price again plays the concerned Uncle, a noble man who fears that the son will suffer the same horrible fate as his father.

He's got good reason to be concerned, too, because the screen writers were determined to imitate the popular aspects of the original, even though they didn't have the wit to do it in an intelligent manner.

The thin plot device the writers employed to achieve this ignoble task was a suave, dishonest lab assistant who plots to steal the machine — even though Halsey promises to share the billions he'll make when he sells the rights to his miraculous invention.

There's no crook dumber than one who tries to steal what is partially his already. Shocked

Halsey figures out what's going on with this bonehead and confronts him about it. Brett and Mr. Bonehead slam around the lab for a minute (because everybody loves a good fight), and then he puts Brett into the transporter booth . . . with a fly . . . on purpose . . . just because he's a mean SOB. And also because the writers couldn't think of a better way to create a new fly-man for the story.

The assistant had previously placed an unconscious police detective into the device and integrated him with a Guinea pig, so he knew exactly what would happen. When Halsey is re-materialized, he doesn't bear as much resemblance to his famous father as we might expect.

The fly-head worn by poor Brett Halsey is so large that Halsey has trouble getting through doorways with it!




You have to wonder whose bright idea that was.

The fly-with-the-human-head is also a joke this time. It's just a photograph of a fly with with Brett's head poorly superimposed, while the actor roles his eyes like he's passing a kidney stone, and he squeaks "Help me!" like one of the Chipmunks.



And if that ain't bad enough, the fly body clearly has all six of its legs, while Brett stumbles around dragging one fly leg like the mummy (another example of this movie's attempt to copy the Universal horror films) and waving one fly arm at his victims.

But that's not the only unfortunate difference between this movie and is predecessor. "The Fly" did a masterful job of presenting the story of a brilliant scientist (David Hedison) who was passionate about giving the world a miraculous device that would revolutionize civilization. Not only would his invention make transportation safe and instantaneous, it would solve the world's problem of distributing food and other materials around the globe.

Perpetual global abundance, zero waste. Hedison even had dreams of his machine being used for space travel.

All these dreams are ripped from mankind's grasp when Hedison's accident with the insect brings about his death. It's the perfect science fiction story.

However, this sad excuse for a sequel is just the opposite. It's just a Universal horror wannabe, with Bret Halsey stumbling around in his Mardi Gras headgear, busting through windows to murder screaming victims — one of whom (the sleazy funeral home owner) hadn't wronged him in any way. The writers just needed a victim, so they sent Fly-Brett out to kill him.

Hell, the two men had never even met.

Halsey shouldn't even have known where the guy lived!

In short, this movie does everything wrong that the first movie did right.

Director Edward Bernds was most famous for his work with the Three Stooges, but he also directed "Queen of Outer Space", "Space Master X-7", and "World Without End" — all of which are better than this poor effort in one way or another

Watch the trailer from Youtube and enjoy the wildly dramatic voice talents of the great Paul Frees.




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Last edited by Bud Brewster on Fri Mar 02, 2018 1:03 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 12:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Good old Vidzi has a gorgeous print of this one, in CinemaScope. And streaming from them is easy. Click play and enjoy it.




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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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IMDB has several interesting trivia items about this movie.
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Vincent Price signed on after reading the first draft of the script. However, the studio demanded re-writes in order to reduce production costs. The re-writes reportedly removed much of what Price liked about the first draft.

The producers decided that Vincent Price was all they needed, so they hired no other actors from the first movie. Filming was completed in March 1959 for July release.

The movie double billed with The Alligator People (1959).

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Bogmeister
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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_______________ The Return Of The Fly Trailer


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This sequel to The Fly (5Cool is in b&w, unlike the color of the 1st one, but it is in widescreen.

It starts off at the funeral of the wife/widow of the ill-fated scientist of the previous film. She was more the main character in the first film. It's suggested by her brother-in-law Francoise (Vincent Price) that death was a merciful thing for her by this point, as she lived with the nightmare of the first film's events.

The son (Brett Halsey) demands to know the details of his father's mysterious death, and Francoise relents, taking him to the father's old lab, long in disuse.

It doesn't take a great intellect to figure out that the son intends to continue his father's work — the ol' matter disintegration-reintegration device. The son has a phobia about flies, but that's not his main problem. His problem is that his assistant (David Frankham) is an unscrupulous criminal. Before lon, there are detectives being reintegrated with guinea pigs and it's a foregone conclusion that the son will suffer a similar fate to his father's.

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This sequel has less of the eerie scares and more simple shock effect and cumbersome (if typical) fifties monsters, notably another Fly/Man hybrid.

The script is also cumbersome and clumsy. During their experiments, the scientists decide to try a delayed reintegration for a guinea pig. Why this was important to them is unclear, but it facilitates most of the remaining plot.

As happens in such low budget fare, the criminal is always confronted by others in some secluded place, so he can gain the upper hand with no one else seeing or intruding. In addition, the villain (Frankham) turns out to be some kind of freaky sadist, not simply a criminal, and purposely causes the son to transport with a fly — I guess he really didn't like him.

Finally, the head of the Fly-man is larger than the one in the first film. This may have something to do with a gigantism problem which the scientists encountered in this version (the first porting attempt with a guinea pig resulted in a very large guinea pig).

The film has many of these throwaway scenes, most evident with its version of the little fly yelling "Help me! Help me!" But, even more, the Fly-man kills a couple of men. Sure, the victims are bad guys, but it's still murder, and he gets away with it because this time, the errant little fly with a man's head is found.

BoG's Score: 6 out of 10



BoG
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Last edited by Bogmeister on Sun May 19, 2019 3:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2019 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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BoG is far too generous with this movie. It's vastly inferior to the original and really not very interesting to watch. A bad movie is one thing, but a bad sequel to a GOOD movie is much worse.

I certainly wouldn't rate this one as a 6 out of 10. More like a 2. Rolling Eyes

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Eadie
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The mask was re-used in Lost In Space (CBS 1965 - 1968) 2nd season final episode The Galaxy Gift.


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johnnybear
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PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2019 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Return of The Fly ends happily and everyone could go back to their old lives and...but wait, not so happily if you watch The Curse of The Fly which may be a sequel or a retelling of the original story! In this one the descendants of the first Fly are suffering from a premature ageing disease caused by DNA from the creature still being in their bodies! Now it can't be the David Hedison version as he died in his monster form so it must be his son, who appeared to be cured at the end of this film!!! So is their a Fly out there that can live to the ripe old age of say forty years now as well?
JB
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2019 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Apparently there have been tremendous advances in medical science which now permit flies to live longer and more productive lives. The sad days when flies lived only 28 days are at an end, and they can now survive to the ripe old age of 55 days, in addition to having more career opportunities, thanks to Affirmative Action programs.

This of course assumes that each individual fly is careful to eat healthy foods, avoid processed sugar, watch their weight, and refrain from smoking.

Unfortunately most flies still tend to eat garbage and rotten food, and they're predisposed to have a serious sugar addiction. Furthermore, even if they tried to watch their weight by landing on a bathroom scale, it simply wouldn't be sensitive enough to move the dial.

And then somebody steps on them . . . Sad

On a more positive note, very few flies smoke . . . for obvious reasons.



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johnnybear
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2019 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The original movie has to be one of the most thought provoking films of all time!!!

What was the fly headed man thinking when he was waiting for news of the tiny creature's capture?

What was the fly getting up to with the rest of the species when we couldn't see him? Was he an outcast amongst them for instance? I gather the thing retained more fly thoughts than human until we see it at the scary finale! How much sugar was he eating and what horrors were going through his mind when he saw the fangs of the giant spider slavelling towards him? That spider, even as a puppet, scared the living daylights out of me!
JB
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2019 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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As usual, JB, your comment stimulated some new thinking on the subject. Very Happy

It occurred to me that the way the Man Fly was slowly loosing his intelligence and his conscious control of the fly arm is somewhat similar to the way Jeff Goldblum was slowly being converted into a hideous hybrid of human and insect.

However, I guess this movie was not suggesting that David was undergoing addition physical transformations, the Goldblum was. His mental deterioration was probably just the result of oxygen-starved blood because his screwed up physiology.

It is intriguing, however, that the fly-man in the web had the power of speech, despite the tiny human brain (or partial brain) in it's head.

It occurs to me that what the machine did was use a scrambled "computerized template" of the two organisms in the booth (human and fly) and rebuilt both organisms "from scratch" when it converted the energy back into matter.

In doing so, it created a near-complete human brain for the fly, but somehow miniaturized it so that the brain could be part of the new "fly", with it's equally miniaturized head and arm. All the cells were literally reduced in size, but they still functioned the same as normal-sized cells!

At the same time, the computer built a scrambled version of the human, mixing his physiology with the insect's. But in his case the computer enlarged the parts which were based on the fly's design, so that they matched the overall size and mass of the man prior to the teleportation.

In other words, the whole process was much more complicated than what we thought when we saw this as kids; it wasn't just a matter of mixing body parts. The computer redesigned and recreated the two organisms!

You're right, JB. This is an awesome movie. Very Happy

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