Nov 5, 2014

Review: Curse of the Fly (1965)

I wasn't particularly looking forward to seeing Curse of the Fly. For one thing, Vincent Price is long gone and I think everyone can agree that like Return of the Fly, there's a probable drop off in quality. I mean for the most part Return of the Fly felt like a simple cash grab that was just made to capitalize on the success of The Fly. I don't think that the goal has changed very much with this release.

No way could I leave the final sequel to the original The Fly unwatched though. This was even a tough movie to see at one point since it never got a video release until 2007. Imagine, 42 years without being able to buy this one. The poor box office probably had a part in this, but all the more reason for me to see it. I can't resist little-seen films.

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Genre: horror, sci-fi, drama
Directed by: Don Sharp
Produced by: Robert L. Lippert, Jack Parsons
Written by: Harry Spalding
Music by: Bert Shefter
Running time: 86 minutes
Production company: Lippert Films
Distributed by: Twentieth Century Fox Film Company, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, American Broadcasting Company, etc.
Country: United Kingdom
Language: English
Budget: N/A
Box office: N/A

IMDb entry
Rotten Tomatoes entry

Starring: Brian Donlevy, George Baker, Carole Gray, Yvette Rees, Burt Kwouk, Michael Graham, Jeremy Wilkins, Charles Carson, Mary Manson, Rachel Kempson, Warren Stanhope, Mia Anderson
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Synopsis


While driving to Montreal, Martin Delambre (George Baker) sees Patricia Stanley (Carole Gray) running on the road in nothing but her underwear and bra. The truth of it is, she had just escaped from a mental facility. He's able to coax her into accepting his help and before long the two end up married. Martin takes Patricia to meet his father Henri (Brian Donlevy) and continue his research in teleportation which was the work his father and grandfather started before him.

Review


The story of The Curse of the Fly doesn't follow suit with its predecessors for some inexplicable reason. There's no mention of Philippe Delambre from Return of the Fly and the gruesome hydraulic press assisted suicide for Andre Delambre in The Fly doesn't seem to have ever happened. Instead, both stories of Return of the Fly and The Fly are mashed together Frankenstein-like. I'm not really sure why though. Did the makers think that people have forgotten the stories during the six years between Return and Curse? I guess so.

What we have to start off in Curse of the Fly is really not too bad though if you ignore what really happened in the last movies. (Spoilers) Turns out that the experiment that Andre Delambre did with the teleportation machine that mixed his genes with a fly never was really cured. His children have regressive fly genes that must be controlled with a serum to prevent a fast aging side effect. As a result, Henri and Martin have to try and finish their work as quickly as they can for the betterment of mankind. This also means that some of their experiments could definitely be labelled as unethical. (End Spoilers)

While the story isn't too bad when it comes to establishing the origins of Henri and Martin, the romantic subplot is pure cringe. It's very possible for people to fall in love and marry quickly, but the relationship between Martin and Patricia seems to literally appear out of thin air. There's no development whatsoever before they both start interacting with each other in what is an annoyingly loving way. "Do you really have to leave tomorrow?" Patricia asks Martin. You know what mean, they're like that couple no one can stand to be around.

In addition to that, the acting is pretty weak but I'll single out George Baker as well as the household servants played by Yvette Rees and Burt Kwouk as being the prime suspects. They're given some pretty bad lines to work with though, like really really bad. There's also pretty much no effort at trying to conserve a "Montreal/Quebec" feel to the production which made me sad. I loved that about the other two Fly movies.

It's also pretty easy to tell that the budget has been pretty squeezed. (Spoilers) I mean for one thing, never is there anyone who actually turns into a fly. I mean, what is that? As stupid as it would be for someone to make the same mistake again, either that should happen or one of Andre's children should show signs of being fly-like. More than just premature aging because that's not really enough. (End Spoilers

The teleportation machine isn't very cool to watch as it operates anymore and the makeup suffers quite a bit too. There's maybe one good example of some pretty creepy makeup in Curse of the Fly, but that's really it. (Spoilers) That would be one of the mutated students hired by Henri and Martin. That face is pretty creepy honestly. (End Spoilers

Many more cracks in the script start appearing almost all at the same time near the end. (Spoilers) The main one I suppose is the fact that Martin and his father are "disposing" of all evidence of wrongdoing before the police investigate. Martin for whatever reasons decides that it's fine to leave his old wife Patricia in her pen which eventually leads to big problems. Could of all been avoided really if he got rid of her with the other two mutants. (End Spoilers) That's not even to mention the unbelievably disappointing ending. It ends on such a sour note and left me pretty angry truth be told. 

Curse of the Fly is a pretty big drop off in quality compared to Return of the Fly. In fact, it's the worst Fly movie of them all, even worse than The Fly II. It just doesn't give many reasons to be liked and it's completely baffling as to why the backstory from its predecessors was thrown out the window. Watch it if you want some laughs and enjoy scratching your head in confusion because those are the only things Curse of the Fly is good for. 

Rating


3.5/10