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The Fly Collection Blu-ray Review

Fly.jpg

“The Fly Collection” is another gem from Scream Factory.

Before 2019 closes out, Scream Factory has released an impressive set that collects all 5 “The Fly” films with the 1958 original “The Fly,” “Return of The Fly,” “The Curse of The Fly,” 1986’s “The Fly” and “The Fly 2.” What can one expect from each film? Let me break it down for you.

1958’s original “The Fly” finds a scientist (Andre) experimenting with transporting objects through space. He tests the transporter himself, but it backfires when a fly is in the transporter with him. Now, Andre finds himself transforming into a human-fly hybrid.

This is a 50’s horror classic. Sure it’s not exactly subtle and can be a bit goofy, but between the classic ending and winning performances by Vincent Price and Al Hedison (who does a great job of showing Andre losing his humanity), it’s hard not to get wrapped up in this sci-fi-horror tale of science gone wrong.

“Return of the Fly” is set years after the first and revolves around Andre’s son Philippe who is following in his father’s footsteps. The first half hour is involving as the son falls to the sins of the father, but the subplot about Philippe’s assistant/criminal causes the sequel to falter. On the plus side, Vincent Price does return to reprise his role from the first film.

“The Curse of the Fly” has no flies and no Vincent Price. The third entry focuses on the grandson of Andre named Martin who is experimenting on humans (this family never seems to learn). The secretive mad scientist Martin is married to a woman who is a former mental patient and that dynamic is quite interesting. While the story does conclude the Delambre family saga, this is largely a forgettable sequel, that is poorly paced and uneventful.

1986’s “The Fly” is the rare remake that is better than the original. Under the eye of director David Cronenberg, he has managed to make the story both a body horror nightmare and a tragic romance. Like the original, the plot revolves around a scientist (Seth) who is working on teleportation machines. He begins to work and fall for a journalist (Veronica), but their love is interrupted after Seth tries the machines himself. Unfortunately, a fly gets inside the machine as he transports and soon Seth Brundle becomes Brundlefly.

Despite a few odd scenes that I find unnecessary (the arm wrestling and attack on Veronica’s ex in particular), this is a fantastic sci-fi-horror film that digs into the horror of Seth’s physical and mental transformation with award worthy practical effects and make-up work. The introduction of a potentially ghastly pregnancy also adds to the body horror as well. “The Fly” is strengthened by the two leads with Jeff Goldblum (in one of his career best roles) and Geena Davis as Veronica. The two have great chemistry together and it’s no surprise they soon became married (albeit shortly) hereafter.

“The Fly 2” begins with Veronica dying as she gives birth to her and Seth’s son (Martin). Martin is conceived in a cocoon, but he appears to be a human child. However, he is far from ordinary as he has an accelerated growth and intellect and is confined to a lab by Bartok Industries that is testing him and working on teleportation as well. Predictably, Martin begins to follow in his footsteps, but his human form begins to change as he ages. Martin also finds love via a Bartok employee named Beth.

“The Fly 2” starts off promising enough as the concept of Martin being an abnormal lab rat was unique (although the age factor of it all is VERY baffling). Unfortunately, the sequel soon devolves into another “sins of the father” story before ultimately being a slasher of sorts as the fly begins picking people off. Like its predecessor, the creature and makeup effects are top notch (although not as impressive).

John Getz is the only returning cast member although Jeff Goldblum does appear in videos. The main cast this time around is Eric Stoltz and Daphne Zuniga. Both give decent performances although they are a far cry from Goldblum and Davis.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.35:1 1080 for “The Fly,” “Return of The Fly” and “The Curse of The Fly” and 1.85:1 1080p for “The Fly” and The Fly 2.” How do they look? The original Fly has a solid transfer while “The Fly” and “The Fly 2” are nice upgrades. The B&W ‘Return’ and ‘Curse’ have the best transfers by far though.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA for “The Fly” and “The Fly 2,” 4.0 DTS-HD MA for the original Fly, and DTS-HD MA Mono for ‘Return’ and ‘Curse.’ How do they sound? All the tracks are satisfactory but don’t expect them to blow you away.

The Fly Extras:

* A Biography episode on Vincent Price
* “Fly Trap: Catching A Classic”- A featurette about the history of the original trilogy.
* Fox Movietone News clip about the premiere of “The Fly.”
* “The Fly” theatrical trailer.
* 2 commentary tracks- one by David Hedison and film historian David Del Valle and the other by Steve Haberman and Constantine Nasr

Return Of The Fly Extras:
* TV spot and theatrical trailer
* Still gallery
* 3 commentaries- one by actor David Frankham, one by film historian Tom Weaver and the other by actor Brett Halsey and film historian David Del Valle

The Curse Of The Fly Extras:

* Theatrical trailer and TV spot
* Still gallery
* 2 separate interviews with Mary Manson (actress) and continuity (Renee Glynne)
* Commentary by film historians Steve Haberman and Constantine Nasr.

The Fly (1986) Extras:

* 4 deleted scenes (including an alternate ending) and 2 extended scenes

* Trivia track and 2 separate commentaries (one by David Cronenberg and the other by author William Beard

* 3 TV spots, a teaser and a trailer for “The Fly” and trailers for the original “The Fly.” “Return of The Fly,” and a teaser and trailer for “The Fly 2.”

* 1986 electronic press kit featurette

* David Cronenberg profile

* Still galleries for one sheet and lobby cards, publicity, behind the scenes, concept art and 4 effects.

* 6 written works including George Langelaan’s original short story, Charles Edward Pogue’s original screenplay, the David Cronenberg rewrite, a Cinefex article, and 2 articles from American Cinematographer.

* 5 separate interviews with Stuart Cornfeld, Deirdre Bowen, Mark Irwin, Howard Shore and Mel Brooks (he was an executive producer if you didn’t know!)

* Original title treatments, pod lighting and effects, Brundlefly makeup, exploding space bug, and Cronenfly film tests

* “The Brundle Museum Of Natural History”- Chris Walas gives viewers a tour of “The Fly” props and material in Bob Burns collection

* “Fear Of The Flesh: The Making Of The Fly”- A 3 part extra with additional making of interviews.

The Fly 2 Extras:

* Commentary by Chris Walas and Bob Burns
* 8 separate interviews with Stuart Cornfeld, Mick Garris, Ken Wheat, Robin Vidgeon, Christopher Young, Tom Sullivan, Chris Walas and Steven-Charles Jaffe.
* “Transformations: Looking Back At The Fly 2”- A 48 minute retrospective featurette with film clips, behind-the-scenes stills, interviews, and production stories.
* “The Fly Papers: The Buzz On Hollywood’s Scariest Insect”- An hour special about The Fly saga.
* “Film Production Journal”- 18 minutes of film production videos.
* 3 extended EPK interviews with Chris Walas, Eric Stoltz, and Daphne Zuniga.
* Deleted scene and alternate ending
* Teaser and theatrical trailers
* Still and storyboard galleries
* Original electronic press kit
* Storyboard to film comparisons.
* “Composer’s Master Class”- An interview with composer Christopher Young.

December 29, 2019 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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