There are classics and then, on very rare occasions, there are classics born of classics. The original version of The Fly (1958) featured the great Vincent Price as the brother-in-law of the first hapless scientist who accidently becomes all-to-acquainted with a common housefly. Nearly 30 years later, the fiendishly perverted David Cronenberg put a completely different spin on George Langelaan's original short story. Dave injects into his screenplay healthy doses of pseudo-science, eroticism and good old fashion gore. And at long last, Fox presents The Fly (1986, 95 minutes) and its under-appreciated sequel, The Fly 2 (1989, 105 minutes), on a single two-sided disc.
The Fly Notables: No breasts. One corpse. 21 gallons goo. One beast. Barfly diddling. Arm snapping. Inside-out baboon. Gratuitous "high-tech" computer graphics. Wall crawling. One giant maggot. Teeth tumble. Jaw rolls. Ear tumbles. Much-o digestive-acid fu.
The Fly Quotables: Snotty, but sexy wanna-be journalist Ronnie (Davis), doesn't think much of Brundle's work, "Designer phone booths? Very cute." But she winds up sleeping with him anyway, "How can you keep going? You can't have any fluid left in your body!" And later regrets it, warning his next squeeze to "Be afraid. Be very afraid." Seth asks Ronnie out, "I've come here to say one magic word to you -- CHEESEBURGER!" But later, something doesn't agree with him and he wants her to bug off, "I'm saying I'm an insect who dreamt he was a man, and loved it. But now, the dream is over, and the insect is awake. I'm saying I'll hurt you if you stay." One of my favorite film sleazeballs, John Getz as Stathis Borans, can't take Ronnie's "NO!" for an answer, "What about sex? I'm not saying love or affection. Just stress relieving sex. You and me."
The Fly Time codes: Seth's serenade (4:30). The first big gross-out effect (18:15). Brundle's fashion sense (21:00). The critical mistake (34:05). Marathon nookie (45:20). Arm rasslin' (50:20). Seth starts falling apart (57:30). "Mmmmm! Yummie donuts!" (1:05:10). Brundle Museum of Natural History (1:15:14). The final transformation of Brundlefly (1:28:00).
The Fly 2 Notables: No breasts. Six corpses. Three beasts. 42 gallons goo. Fingers tumble. One mutated cactus. Gratuitous fly casting. Multiple hypodermic closeups. Defibrillation footage. Gratuitous budding-romance montage with dancing to K.D. Lang's "Lock Stock And Teardrops." One dead mutant dog. Ransacking. One foot chase. Gratuitous bug zapper. Forceable showering. Tazer attack. Spine snapping. Cranium squishing (extra messy).
The Fly 2 Quotables: Bartok explains the telepod project to young Martin, "Five years and millions of dollars later, and what we have is the world's most expensive juicer. The greatest invention in the history of mankind, and we can't get the damn thing to work. We're like a bunch of chimpanzees trying to figure out how to operate a car." Martin throws a fit and breaks up with Beth, "Stay out of my sector! You no longer have clearance." And later, after they've made up and he starts to fall apart, he snaps at her, "I'm getting BETTER!" Stathis tells Martin what he thought of dear departed daddy, "He bugged me."
The Fly 2 Time codes: Return of the telepods (15:40). Martin watches an interview of his dad, which is likely an outtake from the first movie (23:45). A love interest enters the picture (27:19). Martin loses his virginity at 5-years-old (45:50). His metamorphosis begins (48:10). Enormous stream of digestive goo to the face (1:27:55). Bartok meets a fitting fate (1:39:50).
Extras: Not much. Static menus with no audio. Fullframe trailers for the original The Fly, Return of the Fly, The Fly remake, The Fly 2, Fantastic Voyage and a widescreen trailer for Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.
Final thought: Grossly lacking in extras and presentation, yet the flicks themselves are a certain addition to any CineSchlocker's library. Cronenberg's Fly is an undeniable classic, and its sequel is a slimy treat for gore fans. Collector Series.
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G. Noel Gross is a Dallas graphic designer and avowed Drive-In Mutant who specializes in scribbling B-movie reviews. Noel is inspired by Joe Bob Briggs and his gospel of blood, breasts and beasts.