The Fly Collection Blu-ray Review
Written by Robert Gold
Blu-ray released by Scream Factory
The Fly (1958)
Directed by Kurt Neumann
Written by James Clavell (story by George Langelaan)
1958, 94 minutes, Not Rated
Released on December 10th, 2019
David Hedison as Andre Delambre
Patricia Owens as Helene Delambre
Vincent Price as François Delambre
Herbert Marshall as Inspector Charas
Kathleen Freeman as Emma
Charles Herbert as Philippe Delambre
Andre Delambre is on the verge of a scientific breakthrough that could change the world. He is conducting a series of teleportation experiments on inanimate objects in his lab. He quickly moves on to using small animals as test subjects with mixed results. Once he irons out the kinks, he recklessly decides to transport himself with devastating results. His wife Helene does her best to be supportive, but his behavior is becoming increasingly erratic, demanding that she capture a unique-looking housefly. Helene employs the help of her young son Philippe and their housekeeper in the search. Following a terrible event, Helene reluctantly shares a dark secret with her brother-in-law François and the police inspector who suspect her of murder and madness.
On the surface, The Fly is a schlocky monster movie about a man turning into an insect, but there is much more going on than you might expect. Based on the short story by George Langelaan, and adapted for the screen by James Clavell (The Great Escape), this is a tragic love story with science fiction and horror elements – framed as a murder mystery. Director Kurt Neumann (Rocketship X-M) opens the picture with the crime in question and gradually reveals the events that built up to the act. The story gets pretty far out there, but Neumann keeps things grounded with his deliberately paced chiller.
David Hedison (Live and Let Die) stars as doomed scientist Andre Delambre, the man who gets extra cozy with a housefly. He is dedicated to his family, but his work leaves him distant. After he survives the accident, his performance is strictly non-verbal and his facial features obscured. Hedison does a great job at keeping the character sympathetic even during his violent outbursts. Patricia Owens (Sayonara) plays Helene, the desperate wife charged with capturing an elusive fly to save her husband’s life. Owens and Hedison work well together, especially in the scenes following Andre’s change. Stepping into a prominent supporting role is genre legend Vincent Price (Theater of Blood) as dedicated brother François. He dominates the first half-hour before stepping aside for much of the second act. He returns in time for the most famous scene at the end of the picture. It is nice seeing Price playing a good guy again after a long run of villains and this performance is another knockout.
The Fly still manages to pack a punch despite its biggest twists becoming part of the pop culture lexicon. The film was an instant hit and within a year a sequel was in production with Price returning as François. Creature features were all the rage in the 1950s, with a vast array of giant radioactive critters set out to destroy society. This movie tells a much more intimate story that brings the terror home in the form of a tragic love story in the vein of Beauty and the Beast. Strong performances and an excellent script make this one a highlight of the era.
Return of the Fly (1959)
Written and directed by Edward L. Bernds
1959, 80 minutes, Not Rated
Vincent Price as François Delambre
Brett Halsey as Philippe Delambre
David Frankham as Ronald Holmes
John Sutton as Inspector Beecham
Dan Seymour as Max Barthold
Danielle De Metz as Cecile Bonnard
Andre Delambre suffered a cruel fate when a botched science experiment left him horribly disfigured with the head and arm of a fly. Years after his death, his son Philippe is determined to continue his late father’s research involving teleportation. Working closely with his friend Alan, who assists him in the lab, Philippe quickly makes progress with the old equipment. Philippe’s uncle François reluctantly agrees to back him financially and keep an eye on his safety. Neither knows that Alan is actually a wanted criminal named Ronald Holmes who plans to steal their findings and sell them to the highest bidder. When Philippe grows suspicious, Ronald knocks him unconscious and drags him into a teleportation booth. Knowing what happened to Philippe’s father Ronnie deliberately places a fly inside the booth and sends him through, creating a whole new nightmare.
Return of the Fly is an interesting sequel that changes the tone from one of pathos to a tale of sabotage and revenge. By making the transformation a malicious act we are introduced to our first villain in the franchise. Ronnie is the most interesting character in the film, as he is cold-blooded and calculating in his efforts. David Frankham (Tales of Terror) plays the role as a ruthless sociopath. Brett Halsey (Demonia) stars as Philippe, the unfortunate scientist looking for answers. He is your typical 1950s protagonist who only wants to do the right thing. Once he becomes a human-fly however, his motivations darken as he pursues those who wronged him. Vincent Price returns as François and receives top billing despite once again being more of a supporting player. Price is the only cast member carried over from the first picture and his presence elevates the material.
Written and directed by Edward L. Bernds (World without End) and based once again on George Langelaan’s short story, the script makes a dedicated effort to honor what came before while advancing the idea into new territory. Bernds does his best to give the audience what they want and provides the fly creature more screen time, but budget restrictions and some truly awful special effects make this monster look rather dopey with his oversized head and formal attire. This picture features some of the worst day-for-night photography of its time, which once noticed becomes horribly distracting. Return of the Fly lacks the original film’s heart, but makes for an entertaining experience worth checking out if only to spend more time with Vincent Price.
Curse of the Fly (1965)
Directed by Don Sharp
Written by Harry Spalding
1965, 86 minutes, Not Rated
Brian Donlevy as Henri Delambre
George Baker as Martin Delambre
Carole Gray as Patricia Stanley
Yvette Rees as Wan
Burt Kwouk as Tai
Jeremy Wilkins as Inspector Ronet
One night while driving home, Martin Delambre crosses paths with a beautiful woman clad only in her underwear. He gives her a ride and puts her up in a hotel and the two immediately make a connection. Her name is Patricia Stanley and she has just escaped from a mental hospital. Martin has a few secrets of his own, as he works closely with his father Henri pursuing the family’s long history of teleportation experiments. Martin marries Patricia within the week and brings her home to meet Henri, but everyone seems to disapprove of the union. When a police inspector, joined by the woman who runs the hospital, arrives at Martin’s gate with questions, Patricia hides on the grounds. She happens upon a series of locked rooms with disfigured creatures inside. Martin tells her they are failed test subjects and later admits one is his former wife, Judith. What follows is a haunting tale of lost love and science run amok.
Curse of the Fly is not a direct sequel in the series and does not feature any flies, part human or otherwise. The story jumps ahead several years to follow the next generation of the Delambre family, with Martin serving as Andre’s grandson, but that would make his father Philippe, not the newly introduced Henri. There are advances in teleportation practices, but not without some hideous mutations on early participants. Henri doesn’t care about the human casualties now that the system works and he is rather casual when it comes to destroying evidence. Patricia meanwhile is an interesting addition to the plot, as she has nothing to do with the science; instead she is wrapped in a thriller concerning the mysterious Judith.
Director Don Sharp (Rasputin: The Mad Monk) takes the story in a new direction, dispensing with the giant fly concept in favor of a less flashy approach. Working from a script by Harry Spalding (Witchery), the picture follows three non-traditional characters caught at a time of great transition. Patricia is recovering from a nervous breakdown and questioning her sanity, while Martin and his father are at a moral crossroads with their science experiments. Brian Donlevy (Quatermass II) tops the marquee as Henri Delambre, the man who puts his work first no matter the cost. In a way he is a mad scientist character, but one who is neither raving nor sinister, only callous. George Baker (ffolkes) plays Martin, a man dedicated to the family legacy but caught up by the promise of new love. The real star of the picture is Carole Gray (Island of Terror) as Patricia, the only decent character in the film. She has a great screen presence and audiences will remain on her side as the situation grows increasingly horrific.
Curse of the Fly is a much better movie than you might expect and would benefit from a different title. The teleportation element is central to the story, but forcing a family connection to the previous films is unnecessary. There are some decent moments of suspense and even a good scare or two that keeps viewers engaged as the story moves at a decent pace to its downbeat ending.
The Fly (1986)
Directed by David Cronenberg
Written by Charles Edward Pogue and David Cronenberg (story by George Langalaan)
1986, 96 minutes, Rated R
Jeff Goldblum as Seth Brundle
Geena Davis as Veronica Quaife
John Getz as Stathis Borans
Joy Boushel as Tawny
Les Carlson as Dr. Cheevers
Veronica Quaife is a reporter for Particle magazine looking for her next story at a science convention where she meets physicist Seth Brundle. He takes her back to his loft/laboratory and shows her his work involving teleportation. He is making progress but is having difficulty teleporting live subjects. The two become lovers and she teaches him to be more in touch with his feelings. When she pays a late night visit to her editor/former boyfriend Stathis Borans, Brundle becomes despondent and makes the impulsive decision to teleport himself.
The experiment works, but there is a problem: A housefly ended up in the machine with him and the computer genetically fused them on a molecular level. Brundle displays new levels of energy, strength and balance along with insatiable appetites for sex and sugar. He realizes only too late that these changes are not a blessing but rather an attack on his body causing physical degradations that leave him unrecognizable. Brundle knows the clock is ticking to save his humanity and is growing desperate. Veronica is unable to help beyond documenting the progression of the illness, but learns something about her own physical condition that leaves her terrified.
The Fly (1958) is a classic genre movie catering to the fears of science and technology. Based on the short story by George Langalaan, the tale is simple and effective, building to a haunting finale. Nearly thirty years later, the material was revisited by acclaimed filmmaker David Cronenberg (Scanners), who created something truly special. The script was originally penned by Charles Edward Pogue (Psycho III), but Cronenberg did a complete rewrite that takes audiences on the long, painful journey of losing your identity as your body slowly betrays you. In the original picture the effect is immediate, but Cronenberg draws out the emotional pain to operatic levels.
Jeff Goldblum (Invasion of the Body Snatchers, 1978) delivers a career-defining performance as Seth Brundle, the mild-mannered scientist introduced to a world filled with possibilities before suffering the cruelest fate. When we first meet him he is awkward and reserved, but with the arrival of a new love interest, he begins to evolve. Geena Davis (Beetlejuice) co-stars as Veronica, who holds her own opposite Goldblum with an emotionally wrenching depiction of someone forced to watch her loved one suffer a ravaging disease. Davis and Goldblum are amazing together and in reality were a couple off-screen during filming. Filling the role of benign antagonist Stathis Borans is John Getz (Blood Simple), who brings just the right level of professional bastard to the part. Borans is the third part of the love triangle at the heart of this story and he makes it easy to root for Brundle.
David Cronenberg surrounds himself with longtime collaborators, including production designer Carol Spier (Dead Ringers), cinematographer Mark Irwin (The Dead Zone) and editor Ronald Sanders (Videodrome) and everyone is in top form. Special make-up effects artist Chris Walas (Gremlins) won an Oscar for his elaborate work on the picture and ended up in the director’s chair for the inevitable sequel a few years later. Acclaimed composer Howard Shore (The Lord of the Rings trilogy) knocks it out of the park with his operatic score. The Fly (1986) marks the pinnacle of the franchise with its deep emotional core and richly drawn characters. The film serves as a sterling example of what a remake can be in the hands of a true master.
The Fly II (1989)
Directed by Chris Walas
Written by Mick Garris, Jim Wheat, Ken Wheat and Frank Darabont
1989, 105 minutes, Rated R
Eric Stoltz as Martin Brundle
Daphne Zuniga as Beth Logan
Lee Richardson as Anton Bartok
John Getz as Stathis Borans
Frank Turner as Dr. Shepard
Martin Brundle is not your typical five-year-old. He is highly intelligent, was raised by doctors and lives in a controlled environment under constant supervision. Martin has a rare disorder resulting in accelerated growth giving him the appearance of a man in his early twenties. His father was Seth Brundle, a scientist who suffered a tragic teleportation accident that left him genetically spliced with a housefly, triggering a terrifying metamorphosis and death. The company he was working for, Bartok Industries, has taken a keen interest in the boy and expect great things. Mr. Bartok paints himself as a father figure to Martin and grants him lodging in a private apartment and a job opportunity at the company. Martin is encouraged to continue his father’s experiments.
Beth Logan also works at Bartok Industries and catches Martin’s eye. The two strike up a friendship that quickly evolves into a romance and everything seems to be going just so. Unfortunately, not everything is as it seems and Martin is about to suffer a rude awakening. Something dormant in his DNA becomes active and begins taking over his body. He is doomed to carry his father’s tainted genes and looks to be turning into a bug himself. Martin knows of a way to reverse the process but it would require sacrificing an innocent person in doing so. How far will he go to survive as a normal human?
In 1986, writer/director David Cronenberg reimagined the classic 1950s chiller The Fly as a tragic love story for adults. The script is intelligent, the characters are sympathetic and the special effects won an Academy Award. The film received high marks from critics and was a hit at the box office, which naturally led to talk of a sequel. The picture was to be directed by Chris Walas, the guy responsible for the make-up effects of the previous film. Coming up with a fitting story proved challenging and the project went through several writers, including Mick Garris (Psycho IV) and Frank Darabont (The Blob, 1988). Ultimately, brothers Jim and Ken Wheat (Pitch Black) landed the assignment and the decision was made to tell a story similar to that of the last film, only now geared towards a teen audience.
Eric Stoltz (The New Kids) stars as Martin Brundle, the boy genius whose body is about to undergo a cruel variation on puberty. Martin lives a life of isolation; his only friend was a test animal that met a cruel fate following a failed teleportation experiment. It is the introduction of Beth Logan that brings happiness to Martin. Daphne Zuniga (The Initiation) shines in the role of the girl next door, lending Beth an innocence that will serve her well once things begin to unravel. Stoltz and Zuniga make for an interesting couple, but the romance never fully clicks as they race through the relationship to get to the monster stuff. Filling the role of antagonist is Lee Richardson (The Believers) as Mr. Bartok, a calculating business man who doesn’t care about the repercussions of his work if it leads to exciting new possibilities. John Getz returns briefly as Stathis Borans, who happily is still a prick when Martin approaches him for help.
Chris Walas does a fine job of directing but appears more comfortable working with puppets than people. The effects take over the third act and are given plenty of time in the light to leave an impression. Once the fly creature is unleashed, the picture takes on a mean-spirited tone that undercuts the good faith audiences have invested to this point. The monster is intelligent and vengeful as it attacks the doctors who raised Martin and spits corrosive fluids on the heavily armed security team responding to the emergency. The gore content level is relatively low, but jarring and over the top. The Fly II is an uneven movie that is a weak follow up lacking the humanity of the previous film.
Video and Audio:
The first three films in the series are presented in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio while the 1986 remake and its sequel appear in the original 1.85:1. The Fly (1958), The Fly (1986) and The Fly II all feature bold well-saturated colors and rich detail while the black-and-white photography of Return of the Fly and Curse of the Fly provide sharp contrast levels. The picture on all five films is rather nice and apparently sourced from the same great HD transfers used for the Australian Via Vision Entertainment Blu-ray collection in 2017.
Audio options include a DTS-HD MA 4.0 track on the 1958 film, a DTS-HD MA 2.0 mix on Return and Curse of the Fly and both a DTS-HD MA 5.1 and DTS-HD MA 2.0 presentation for the remake and its sequel. Sound quality is clear and free from hiss, pops or other distortions, with the latter two films receiving the added benefits of a surround mix.
Optional English subtitles are included for anyone in need.
Disc One: The Fly (1958)
There are two audio commentaries on this disc, starting with a newly-recorded track with film historians Steve Haberman and Constantine Nasr, who share their thoughts on the short story by George Langalaan and the changes made for the movie. They continue with background information on director Kurt Neumann and discuss the benefits of casting Vincent Price. There is discussion on the themes and philosophy of the picture as well as praise for the powerful ending.
Actor David “Al” Hedison is joined by film historian David Del Valle for the second commentary recorded in 2007 and the two have plenty of nice things to say about the film. Hedison tells many great production stories and reflects on everyone’s commitment to the material. Best of all, the conversation is loaded with anecdotes about Vincent Price.
Biography: Vincent Price – The Versatile Villain (1997, 44 minutes) looks back at the star’s life starting with his childhood and formative year before moving on to his love of acting and art. The documentary is filled with photographs and film clips and a great number of interviews with friends and family, including daughter Victoria Price, biographer Lucy Chase Williams and Hollywood personalities Roddy McDowell, Dennis Hopper and Jane Russell among others. Other topics of discussion include Price’s many television appearances and lectures, his life as a horror icon and a family man.
In the video retrospective Fly Trap: Catching a Classic (2007, 12 minutes), film historians David Del Valle and Steve Haberman are joined by actor Brett Halsey (Return of the Fly), Fangoria’s Tony Timpone and filmmaker Donald Glut to reflect on the legacy of the original classic.
A vintage newsreel from Fox Movietone News (1 minute) shows footage from the 1958 premiere.
The theatrical trailer is included and is a great bit of movie marketing.
Disc Two: Return of the Fly
There are three audio commentaries for this film, the first with actor David Frankham recorded in 2019, who at age 93 remains sharp and full of energy. He enthusiastically shares his memories from the shoot, starting with the audition process and reflections on his villainous character. He has kind words for his co-stars, especially Vincent Price, and is a great storyteller.
The second commentary is a more analytical look back with film historian Tom Weaver in 2019. He shares notes from the production and defends the decision to shoot in black and white. He provides an overview of Vincent Price’s career and has many lively stories about franchise producer Robert Lippert.
The third commentary, from 2007, finds David Del Valle catching up with actor Brett Halsey and the two share some wonderful stories of Vincent Price throughout the discussion. There are tales of Old Hollywood and the different tone of this picture from its predecessor. Halsey’s memory is occasionally vague, but he looks back on the production fondly.
The original theatrical trailer is paired with a TV spot.
A photo gallery is also included.
Disc Three: Curse of the Fly
Film historians Constantine Nasr and Steve Haberman return for a newly-recorded audio commentary and discuss the film’s dreamlike qualities and mature approach to the material. They reflect on the intelligent script and its writer, the cast, the absence of Price, the director and the make-up effects.
Actress Mary Manson, who played Judith, is the star of a new untitled interview (2019, 8 minutes) in which she shares her memories of the picture. Topics include the casting process, thoughts on her character, undergoing the make-up process and shooting fight scenes.
Renee Glynne served as continuity supervisor on this film and in another untitled interview (2019, 5 minutes), reflects on the British film industry in the early 1960s, and her experience working with director Don Sharp and the various make-up effects.
The theatrical trailer is included.
A TV spot for this picture double billed with Devils of Darkness also appears here.
A still gallery featuring publicity shots and poster art completes the supplements.
Disc Four: The Fly (1986)
Director David Cronenberg shares his thoughts on the production in a vintage audio commentary that is forthright and highly informative. His stories are entertaining and insightful as he discusses the nuts and bolts process of filmmaking.
In a second audio commentary, film historian William Beard takes a look back at the recurring themes in Cronenberg’s filmography, including the fear of technology, loss of control and the subgenre of body horror. He makes observations on how all of these elements come together in The Fly and discusses the director’s shooting style.
In The Meshuggener Scientist (2019, 13 minutes), executive producer (and living legend) Mel Brooks shares his love of classic horror films and the appeal of the concept of this picture. Brooks credits producer Stuart Cornfeld for bringing the project to his attention and suggesting Cronenberg as director. He heaps praise on the filmmaker, the special effects and Jeff Goldblum’s performance. Brooks doesn’t do a lot of interviews these days, so his presence here is a real treat.
Stuart Cornfeld is the focus of the segment Beauty and the Beast (2019, 23 minutes) in which the producer reveals what attracted him to the material. He talks about the original version of the script and how Cronenberg improved it. Other topics include assembling the cast, the elaborate make-up effects and praise for the director’s vision. He shares an interesting story connecting musician Frank Zappa to the movie and concludes with thoughts on the marketing campaign and audience response.
Composer Howard Shore appears in the interview A Tragic Opera (2019, 9 minutes) and he looks back on his history of working with Cronenberg and the push to always create something new. He explains how his love of opera and its emotional power influenced the score for this movie – which he also later developed into an opera in 2002. He offers insight into classic tragic themes in horror films and how he approaches the material while writing.
David’s Eyes (2019, 25 minutes) features cinematographer Mark Irwin, who also shares a lengthy history of working on Cronenberg films. He shares his thoughts on shooting in Canada and details his lighting designs for this picture and reveals how some of the trick shots were accomplished.
In an untitled interview (2019, 15 minutes), casting director Deidre Bowen remembers assembling the cast, including the leads of Goldblum, Davis and Getz. She points out the joy of bringing in legendary Canadian boxer George Chuvalo as an arm wrestler and offers her thoughts on the finished film.
Fear of the Flesh: The Making of The Fly (2005, 137 minutes) is a remarkable three-part documentary covering all stages of the production, featuring numerous interviews and a treasure trove of behind-the-scenes footage. Stuart Cornfeld, Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis and John Getz are joined by make-up artist Chris Walas, production designer Carol Spier, editor Ronald Sanders and Mark Irwin, who do a thorough job discussing the film and the work that went into making it a success. Despite Cronenberg’s noticeable absence, this is a highly informative and briskly-paced documentary you won’t want to miss.
A selection of additional interviews (27 minutes) trimmed from the above documentary are also provided.
Chris Walas and film historian/curator Bob Burns take a tour of props and make-up effects in The Brundle Museum of Natural History (2005, 12 minutes). Highlights include a collection of early design sculptures of the fly creature, Goldblum’s face cast, the melting hand gag (with raw behind-the-scenes footage from the set) and pieces of the giant fly puppet.
A collection of four deleted and extended scenes with optional storyboard and script versions provide a look at the infamous monkey/cat sequence, some incidental dialogue exchanges and an alternate ending that was wisely abandoned.
Test footage for the main titles sequence, lighting designs and make-up effects is provided.
Profile on David Cronenberg (1986, 4 minutes) is a short promo piece featuring interviews with the director and actors Goldblum and Davis.
The original EPK (1986, 7 minutes) features behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with Cronenberg, Cornfeld, Goldblum, Davis and Walas.
There are several targeted still galleries: posters and lobby cards (17 images), publicity stills (44 images), behind-the-scenes photos (129 images), concept art (113 images), and special effects sequences: monkey/cat (40 images), space bug (30 images), arm wrestling (21 images) and make-up (59 images).
A trailer gallery offers two previews for The Fly (1986), plus trailers for The Fly (1958), Return of the Fly (1959) and The Fly II (1989).
Three TV spots are also included.
A collection of print-based supplements are on hand, starting with George Langlaan’s short story (79 images). Charles Edward Pouge’s original screenplay (350 images) and David Cronenberg’s rewrite (250 images) are also here to compare versions. There are also three magazine articles from Cinefex and American Cinematographer with text and photos included. This material is great for collectors, but may be better viewed on a laptop.
A trivia track provides further insight during the movie.
Disc Five: The Fly II
Director Chris Walas and film historian Bob Burns enjoy a lively discussion in an audio commentary recorded in 2005, filled with entertaining production stories. Topics include their long love of horror history, casting this picture and a detailed explanation of how some of the special effects were accomplished.
In Fly in the Ointment (2019, 8 minutes), producer Stuart Cornfeld expresses his unhappiness with the sequel’s script and studio interference that ultimately led to him leaving the project before filming began.
Screenwriter Mick Garris sits for the interview Original Visions (2019, 14 minutes) in which he details his proposed storyline for the sequel and the studio’s negative response. He talks about other experiences writing for the studio system and becoming a director in his own right. Garris has disowned the finished film but concedes that the final script retained a number of his early scenes, thus keeping his name attached to the project.
Screenwriter Ken Wheat appears in Version 2.0 (2019, 22 minutes) and acknowledges retaining the broad strokes of Garris’ draft but details the differences applied to character relationships and the revised ending. He goes on to discuss the story additions provided by Frank Darabont, primarily in the third act. Wheat takes a swipe at Walas’ directing style and reflects on the critics’ negative response to the gore content of the picture.
Big and Gothic (2019, 19 minutes) catches up with composer Christopher Young who is eager to discuss his work on this movie. He remembers working with Walas as a positive experience and the challenges of writing both tragic themes balanced with some of a lighter tone. Young tells a very entertaining story about Mel Brooks that will make you smile.
Special effects artist Tom Sullivan is interviewed in Pretty Fly for a Fly Guy (2019, 18 minutes) and he begins with praise for Cronenberg’s film. He was hired for the sequel to help design the look of the fly creature and also worked on the mutant dog and cocoon gags. He shares some fun production stories and has a lot of respect for the talented crew.
In an untitled interview (2019, 15 minutes), cinematographer Robin Vidgeon (Nightbreed) remembers Fly II as a happy shoot with a great crew. He details his approach to lighting designs and making the director’s vision a reality. He has kind words for Walas and relays some fun tales from the set.
Director Chris Walas sits down for a lengthy untitled interview (2005, 80 minutes) in which he reflects on transitioning from make-up effects artist to director. He points to the early troubles with the script and continues on to assembling the cast and crew and shooting in Canada. Walas is brimming with memorable stories from the production that you should definitely hear.
Producer Steven-Charles Jaffe is the subject of an untitled interview (2005, 35 minutes) and he begins with being brought onto the picture by producers Cornfeld and Brooks. He shares his thoughts on Walas as a director and working with the volume of special effects. Other topics include casting, location scouting, stories from the set and the marketing campaign.
Transformations: Looking Back at The Fly II (2005, 49 minutes) is a retrospective documentary featuring several interviews including Walas and Jaffe. Walas talks about directing actors and working with special effects. Also discussed are the creation of specific gags like the mutant dog and the design of the fly creature as well as the lengthy post production phase of the shoot.
The Fly Papers: The Buzz on Hollywood’s Scariest Insect (2000, 58 minutes) is a loving tribute to the franchise written by Vincent Price’s daughter Victoria and narrated by Leonard Nimoy. The piece examines the original film’s themes and subtext and how audiences responded in the 1950s. From there we study the two sequels and the direction they took the story. Cronenberg’s remake in the ‘80s receives a lot of attention for its powerful story and award-winning special effects. The Fly II is also covered in depth. Interview participants include original Fly actor David Hedison and a variety of film scholars, producers and make-up artists who offer insights into the appeal of the story and its lasting legacy.
C.W.I. Video Production Journal (1989, 18 minutes) is a collection of behind-the-scenes footage taking a look at the special effects through a series of make-up tests and demonstrations. Specific gags being developed include the pregnancy rig, the dog puppet, the cocoon and various giant fly puppets.
In Composer’s Master Class: Christopher Young (2005, 13 minutes), the musician reflects on his writing process. He discusses the various themes for this picture and how he acquired certain sounds by manipulated acoustic instruments. A collection of isolated music cues plays over film clips.
Storyboard-to-film comparisons (7 minutes) featuring optional commentary by Walas show two sequences from the movie including the opening scene and the finale.
The original EPK (1989, 5 minutes) showcases clips from the film, behind-the-scenes footage and short promotional clips with members of the cast and crew.
Extended press kit interviews with Eric Stoltz (4 minutes), Daphne Zuniga (4 minutes) and Chris Walas (3 minutes) let the participants expand on their answers.
A deleted scene (1 minute) in which Martin gets teased by some kids at a burger joint was cut for pacing.
An alternate ending (1 minute) is a worthless moment featuring Martin and Beth after the tragedy.
A teaser and theatrical trailer are included.
A photo gallery (7 minutes) features a collection of publicity stills, behind-the-scenes images and many detailed make-up design shots.
A storyboard gallery (5 minutes) depicts the concept drawings of the finale.
The Fly (1958):
Return of the Fly:
Curse of the Fly:
The Fly (1986):
The Fly II:
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