The Fly Collection – DVD Review

Available at Amazon.com

Directors

Kurt Neumann………The Fly
Edward L. Bernos………Return Of The Fly
Don Sharp………The Curse Of The Fly

DVD Release Date: September 11, 2007
Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 260 Minutes on 3 discs plus bonus disc

The Movies

The Fly

Al Hedison………Andre Delambre
Patricia Owens………Helene Delambre
Vincent Price………Francoise Delambre
Herbert Marshall………Inspector Charas

Andre Delambre has been found dead with the top part of his body being crushed in a pressing machine. His loving wife Helene is incredibly distraught by the situation even though she is the one that has caused the problem as she admitted to killing him. Her original story doesn’t seem so believable so Andre’s brother Francoise forces the truth out of Helene and he soon wishes he hadn’t.

Andre was a scientist that had gotten very involved in his work like most geniuses often do. His latest and greatest invention was one that could transport matter from one location to another could lead to world fame for him, but it just didn’t seem to work properly. After many unsuccessful tests, things seemed to be going better for him with a random success here and there, but that wasn’t enough for Andre. He wanted more.

Helene started getting a bit curious as to what was happening because for days Andre would lock himself in his lab without her being allowed in. And when he would talk to her, he’d do so only by written notes and covering his face. Soon she learns that his newest device worked, but not as he expected. Andre tested the transporter on himself but a fly was in the tube with him that he did not know about. Things ended up with Andre having the fly’s head and one arm attached to his body while the fly had Andre’s head and arm on his turning him into a monster.

This is a classic film that has already spawned one remake (1986 with Jeff Goldblum) and is rumored to have another on the way. While it doesn’t necessarily instill great feelings of fear in those who watch it; it still does a great job of creeping you out. It’s cheesy beyond the shadow of a doubt because it just tried to have more special effects then the filmmakers had the capability of pulling off back then, but you really can’t help but still enjoy it. The Fly will always be remembered for classic scenes and the brilliance that is Vincent Price even though it isn’t the best film to ever come to print.

Return Of The Fly

Vincent Price………Francoise Delambre
Brett Halsey………Philippe Delambre
David Frankham………Ronald Holmes/Alan Hinds
John Sutton………Inspector Beecham
Dan Seymour………Max Berthold

It has been fifteen years since Andre Delambre’s experiments that eventually lead to his tragic death at the hands of his wife Helene. Their son Philippe has just attended his mother’s funeral and wants to know more about what happened so he turns to his uncle Francoise. Francoise is hesitant at first but soon tells the story of Philippe’s father and the experiments that lead to his demise. Despite warnings, Philippe decides to head into the lab and continues his father’s dream work.

Philippe picks up where Andre left off trying to get the matter transmitter working properly, but things take a bad turn when his friend and partner Alan Hinds shows up. Hinds is really a fugitive on the run and steals the plans to the matter transmitter for his own benefit. When Philippe finds out, he threatens to turn Hinds in but gets overpowered and thrown into the transmitter himself with a fly which causes him to suffer the same fate as his late father.

Return Of The Fly is a basic sequel that tried to build off of the success of the first film. While it isn’t bad by any means of the word, it really isn’t good either. It’s essentially the exact same story that happened in the first one, but set fifteen years into the future. Without the funeral at the beginning and the addition of David Frankham (Hinds), then this is exactly the same film as The Fly. Not sure if that can be considered a lack of creativity because it would have worked back in 1959 when it was released but fails to hold much strength over time.

The Curse Of The Fly

Brian Donlevy………Henri Delambre
George Baker………Martin Delambre
Carole Gray………Patricia Stanley

It has been some time since Philippe was continuing his father’s research but the Delambre family is still into the transporting business. Henri and his son Martin work now with the matter transmitter that is seemingly a bit more successful then the versions of their relatives. A transmitter in London receives people who wish to transport from Montreal where their labs are stationed, but not everything is working as it should. The police are onto things that don’t seem quite right at the Delambre estate and vow to find out the truth.

In the meantime though, young Martin has found the woman of his dreams, Patricia Staley and takes her as his wife. When he brings her to the lab, the police are even more on the Delambre’s case because Patricia is actually an escape mental patient on the run. As Henri and Martin try to keep things under control, Patricia not only finds the transmission work but also mutated remains of failed transmissions that scare her beyond belief. They try to convince her that it is only her imagination, but it’s too real for that.

Now things have simply gotten quite silly. This is another sequel which kind of picks up where Curse Of The Fly left off, but it just goes to pieces from there. While it’s nice to see that filmmakers kept it in the family with the Delambres still being the main focus; the film itself is just full of nonsense and takes away from what made The Fly what it is. No longer is it about the mutations or failed experiments, but merely running from the police and keeping them in the dark about things. It just isn’t enjoyable anymore.

The Video

The films are each shown in 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen and look pretty good for their age. The Fly is in color while the two sequels are in black & white. To be honest with you, I would have rather it the other way around. The color looks good and is not the gaudy bright you might come to expect from older films just colorized. The black & white is also impressive looking.

The Audio

The films are each heard in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and are quite impressive. One of the greatest sounds to hear during this collection is the buzzing of flies and it comes through crystal clear all around your head and the room. A nice soundtrack keeps the eerie feeling in the first two films rolling along nicely while even though it is present in Curse, there just isn’t much that can save it.

Special Features

Vincent Price Biography – This is an excellent biography on one of the greatest actors of all time that comes in at right under forty-five minutes. It’s a journey through the life of Price with numerous clips from tons of his films while family members and peers talk about him. They discuss what he was like on screen and off which seemed to be a drastic change from the surly and evil demeanor in films to a playful and happy man off the set.

Fly Trap: Catching A Classic – This eleven and a half minute feature is virtually a learning experience. It describes what the films in the collection were trying to accomplish and what sort of message was to be delivered. Nothing too exciting but worth checking out at least once.

Trailers – Each film has its own.

TV Spots

Pressbook Gallery – Images of newspaper clippings and magazine ads for the films.

Behind The Scenes Gallery – Still frames from on the set.

Lobby Cards And Poster Gallery – Some really cool pictures of the film posters and cards that were created in sets at the times the films were released.

Production Photo Gallery – Still frames from the films.

Fox Movietone News – Old news footage showcasing the world premiere of The Fly. It’s a fun feature to check out showing tons of people try to get into the theatre as Dracula, the Mummy, King Kong, and other movie monsters greet them. Shame it is so short though running less then a minute.

The Inside Pulse

The Fly Collection is something I’m really on the fence about. There is the masterfulness that is The Fly with the semi-decent follow-up in Return which is followed by the pretty awful Curse. Then there are the special features that consist of mostly still frames, a lackluster feature, and an awesome biography on Vincent Price. It’s almost as if they wanted you to hate half of this set and love the other. Any of the special features associated with The Fly are pretty cool while the rest are so-so. Same goes with the films, but it comes down to whether you’d wind up wanting to watch these DVDs repeatedly. And sadly, you probably wouldn’t. It’s a shame too because the first film is just awesome and released on its own; I would have recommended it right off the bat. But throwing in the rest of the collection makes it more annoying then the buzzing around your head at a picnic.

The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for The Fly Collection
CATEGORY
RATING
(OUT OF 10)
THE MOVIES

5.5
THE VIDEO

8.5
THE AUDIO

8
THE EXTRAS

5
REPLAY VALUE

4
OVERALL
5
(NOT AN AVERAGE)

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