The Fly Collection            review by Bobby Blakey

Shout Factory has been killing it with their varying releases through their multiple brands. My personal favorite is the Scream Factory collection that keeps bringing both old and new films to the fans. This has also opened the door for more complete film collections as well including their recently released Omen Collection. Now they are stepping back further in time to bring the classic series along with its 80s retelling with The Fly Collection.

The Fly (1958) follows Andre Delambre who is crushed to death in a mechanical press and his wife recounting to his brother Francois Delambre and police Inspector Charas the events of the previous few months. Andre was experimenting with teleportation - transporting objects from one point to another by breaking the object down to the atomic level and then reassembling it in a receiver a distance away. The system had some glitches - it seemed to work with inanimate object but his cat disappeared when he tried teleporting it. He thinks he's solved all of the problems with his invention and decides to try and teleport himself. When a fly enters the teleportation device with him, disaster strikes. 

 

It's been quite a while since I revisited this original classic and it still holds up pretty well. The story moves quickly and works to keep the tension building as everything unfolds. I 

love all things Vincent Price and forgot he had a pretty small part here so was kind of bummed but that doesn’t make the film any less great. Obviously for our day and age it comes off a bit cheesy at times, but I watch these with the mindset of when it was released and can imagine peoples shock and awe with the big reveal. I love this film and this new release offers up a great color transfer that makes it look better than ever.

Return of the Fly (1959) follows Philippe Delambre fifteen years after his father's experiments with matter transmission fail, who along with his uncle François attempt to create a matter transmission device on their own. However, their experiments have disastrous results, turning Philippe into a horrible half-man, half-fly creature.  I had never seen the other films in this original series so was glad to see Price return and get a more prominent role this time around. The continuation of the story works well and makes for the perfect sequel.

 

The interesting direction the film takes away from the direct horror kept with the science and bringing in the direction of stealing and criminals makes it at least feel like something new and fresh. The down size to this though is that it loses the element of suspense and dread that the first film offered up. It takes a while before we get to the creature element but once it is hear it works well. They stepped up the design to make something even better looking and fun to watch. This isn’t as good as the original but is a good follow up to the classic.   

The Curse of the Fly (1965) follows three descendents of the scientist that were trying to perfect a matter transportation machine but got fused with a fly. The son wants to continue and perfect the machine while his two sons want to get out of the scientist business and live "normal" lives. The oldest son, Martin, decides to take a wife and his father is not happy with this intrusion but finally gives in. They all try to be a happy family until humans used in botched experiments are discovered by the new bride.

 

Like Return of the Fly, I had never seen this one at all. Going in I wasn’t sure what to expect and while the film is fine it fails at bringing the fly story forward. Sure they use the names of the family to connect it, but this could have been renamed and not change a thing and still been the same movie. They use the elements of the humn/insect hybrid, but never get a new look at a fly creature. This of course explains the title as it isn’t liekt he previous films using the similar story and instead just tried to take it in a new direction and in turn ended up with a misstep as part of the franchise, but still a decent film.

The Fly (1986) follows Seth Brundle, a brilliant but eccentric scientist attempts to woo investigative journalist Veronica Quaife by offering her a scoop on his latest research in the field of matter transportation, which against all the expectations of the scientific establishment have proved successful. Brundle thinks he has ironed out the last problem when he successfully transports a living creature, but when he attempts to teleport himself a fly enters one of the transmission booths, and Brundle finds he is a changed man. This is one of the rare remakes at this time that I think not only worked, but far surpassed the original.

 

You don’t think of Jeff Goldblum in this kind of role, but he is perfect all around. His quirkiness was perfect for this character and I loved revisiting this film for the first time in quite some time. They waste no time getting to the point and let it keep moving as such right up until the big ending payoff. The story works great and the make-up effects are great. I love they wait for a full transformation at the end of the film so not to take it overly cheesy by over using the creature. This is great horror flick and one that only gets better with every viewing.

The Fly II (1989) follows a few months after the BrundleFly insect met its demise by his lover's, Veronica, shotgun, she dies while giving birth to their son, Martin. Seth's corrupt employer, Bartok, adopts Martin, only so Martin can solve the new problems that the still-functioning TelePods present and to use him as a science project because of the dormant insect genes. Martin is now fully grown, even though he is five, and the fly genes begin to awaken and make him just like dear, dead dad. With the help of his girlfriend, Beth, they go to wherever they can find a possible cure before Bartok finds them and brings them back, but not before Martin finishes his transformation into MartinFly, the deadliest of the BrundleFly species.

 

The first film in this new version of the franchise was so good and well received it came as no surprise a sequel was made. I liked the idea of it and straight continuation from the previous film, but sadly most of it falls pretty flat. Thankfully the second half of the film goes crazy once the transformation is complete and offers up a fun creature feature. We get a lot of time with the fly creature wreaking havoc and it offers up some great visual effects. The story is bland overall, but ends being a decent but forgettable entry into this famed franchise.

 

This collection offers old and new bonus content including trailers, galleries, interviews, commentaries, featurettes and so much more making it a must have for horror fans. Be sure to get this much buzzed about set when The Fly Collection hits Blu-ray December 10th from Shout Factory.

 

For more information or to get your copy head over to www.shoutfactory.com

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