Retro Review: The Fly Double Feature Friday

When it comes to the Fly, my mind generally goes to the 1986 David Cronenberg film.  But we all know it is a remake from a late 1950s film with the same title.  I hadn’t seen the original film since I was a younger, probably as a teenager.  When watching the Fly (1958) when I was younger, I did not apperciate what the film actually did and the story that was told.  Of course, I had seen the 1986 film first and sometimes that can ruin your perception of the original.  This happened to me with Night of the Living Dead, as I saw the 1990 Tom Savini remake before the original.

The Fly (1958)

fly01The Fly was released in 1958, some think it is some older version of a cool 1980s Sci-Fi horror film with Jeff Goldblum.  But I am here to tell you the Fly is no joke.  It is a serious movie that really works and to me it stands up to this day.  The original is smart, I love the way it is set up.  It is told in flashback scenes and starts with the demise of the scientist.  From there it goes on to show everything to lead up to that point and beyond.  The scientist  is Andre Delambre and it shows that he is very passionate about his work and his family.  He seems to work long hours in the basement.  Eventually he shows his wife that his work is actually, working.  He is building a teleportation device.

Later, he is not heard from for a couple of days and when his wife finds him, he is wearing a rag over his head and hiding his hand.  The best part about the movie to me, he is mostly of sound mind.  He knows something went wrong and has his wife try and track down the fly to try and reverse.  But as things progress and the cannot get the fly he knows it is time to go.  I also love Vincent Price’s role, he kind of plays the good guy in this, he is always known for a villainous character, he is great in the Fly.  For me it is strange seeing his range as an actor.

This movie is 100% ahead of its time and it is a classic.  I am not sure if this is for sure a horror film or a Sci-Fi creature feature from the 1950s and it does come from the Atomic age of horror, so yeah it is horror for sure.  Like Jaws, it is a very good movie overall and to this day it works and plays well.  I highly recommend the original, the Fly.

IMDB.com has the Fly at a 7.1, I give it a 7.8 overall score.

The Fly (1986)

the-fly-1986I don’t know how comfortable I am calling this one a remake.  It is a remake and it is not, there are similar things between this and the original, but this has a lot of great effects and the story is solid and different.  So if we call this a remake, it is a master piece and possibly second to only John Carpenter’s the Thing as far as the best of the remakes.  Of course it has flaws and it is not the perfect movie.  One of the best things about this film is how slowly Seth Brundle(Jeff Goldblum) transforms into the Fly.

The path is a freaky path, after Brundle teleports himself he begins to change.  He gains super-human powers and becomes overly aggressive.  I love the scene where he puts so many packets of sugar into his coffee.  The one scene that always haunted me, the when he does the video of how “Brundle-Fly” eats, yeesh.  Not to mention when he goes out looking for a girl because Geena Davis cannot go for another round, but he breaks a dudes arm to where the bone pops from the skin.  It did not seem the phase the girl at all.  But for me, yeah that one got me.  Over the course of the film his body mutates and changes to the horrifying Brundle-fly.

This is a great remake, yes I DID call it a remake.  It may be the best of all horror remakes, even after I mention John Carpenter’s the Thing.  I don’t know that is for another discussion.  The story is on point, the effects are amazing and of course Jeff Goldblum, this may be his finest role.   Tonight I will do something I have never done, watch the two original the Fly movies, 1958 and 1986.

IMDB has the the Fly at a rating of 7.3, I rate it at 9.0, yes it is that good!

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About Ray Marek III 216 Articles
I am a lifelong horror fan. I have written for a few web sites, Kung-Fu Comrades, Nightfall Unlimited and Rage of Rayzor. Freddy's Revenge was the first Horror Film I watched, I was 5. When my mom found out I liked horror films, she began challenging me. Soon to follow were the likes of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Dawn of the Dead. Horror is in my blood, I want to share that with you...my blood...horror. I write unpublished comics. Lifelong dream is to write comics for a major comic book publisher or build my own comic book company.