Edward Bernds (as Edward L. Bernds)
Return of the Fly is the first sequel to the 1958 horror film The Fly. It was released in 1959 on a double bill with The Alligator People. It was directed by Edward Bernds. Unlike the preceding film, Return of the Fly was shot in black and white. Vincent Price was the only returning cast member from the previous film. It was intended that Herbert Marshall reprise his role as the police inspector, but due to illness he was replaced by John Sutton.
My words for this film are going to be less harsh than others for the simple fact that this film, in no way superior or even comparable to the original, is entertaining. The story has the little boy from the first Fly film, Phillipe, coming back to carry out the work of his father, against the express wishes of Vincent Price, his uncle. The plot is very predictable and the acting is nothing more than adequate(Vinnie notwithstanding). The film is in black and white, and in general very cheaply made. What then does it have going for it? Well, for one it has a nice performance by Vincent Price. Another thing is it has some bizarre scenes and murders, things lacking from the original. The guinea pig scene is reason enough to see the film.
Enjoyable sequel, not on par with the original
Author: squeezebox from United States
31 December 2003
THE FLY was a fairly classy, atmospheric sci-fi movie with some horror overtones. It was fun and campy, but also somewhat disturbing in its depiction of a man losing his humanity, a theme which was explored more deeply in David Cronenberg’s astonishing remake.
RETURN OF THE FLY is basically a cheap follow-up which is better than it should be. This is mostly due to the always reliable Vincent Price, who returns as the brother of the scientist who became the fly-monster in the original. Here, he desperately tries to sway his nephew from following in his father’s footsteps.
The movie concentrates on the son’s attempts to recreate his father’s teleportation equipment with a hesitant Price helping out, then shifts gears as his other partner, a British ex-con, is discovered to be attempting to steal the research.
This leads to a few misadventures with the teleportation machine resulting in a man becoming a human guinea pig (literally), and ultimately the son becoming a fly-monster himself.
Shot in stark black and white (as opposed to the original’s lush Technicolor), RETURN OF THE FLY has a sleazy, grindhouse quality to it. Whereas the original explored the horror of losing one’s mind and physical being, this time it’s basically just a “monster roaming the countryside” scenario, with any psychological or philisophical aspects thrown out the window in favor of cheap thrills. And while the make-up effects are somewhat improved upon, the ridiculous optical effect of the son’s head on a fly’s body is unintentionally funny.
Overall, however, it’s entertaining enough, and above average for the B-horror movies of the era, though it may be disappointing for fans of the original.
A quickie capitalizes on the popularity of the original…
Author: Neil Doyle from U.S.A.
14 May 2005
BRETT HALSEY is one of those handsome young actors from the ’50s who never quite made it to stardom, and following the trend of other such actors, he fled to Europe where he found a niche for a decade or so in adventure films. He was certainly a competent enough actor and it’s a shame Fox never groomed him for major stardom.
Nor did Fox have enough faith in this one to use technicolor (as they did for the original). As sequels go, it’s just a fair job on an obviously shoestring budget–and basically, without giving any of the storyline away, it’s a story of revenge.
It’s all suitably photographed in low key B&W lighting that gives it the proper atmosphere. The performers are capable enough–including Halsey, Vincent Price, John Sutton and Dan Seymour–but their material is scarcely worthy of their combined talents. Fans of this sort of science fiction will no doubt find it has a certain amount of interest.
Anyone who enjoyed “The Fly” will want to see this and probably not be too critical of the shortcomings–although the special effects are not quite as harrowing as they could be.
Summing up: Okay for a viewing, but not likely to be the kind of horror flick anyone will want to revisit.
Following in father’s footsteps.
Author: lost-in-limbo from the Mad Hatter’s tea party.
25 February 2006
Phillippe the son of the infamous Dr. Delambre, who still has an air of mystery around his death, is now a young man who has taken over his father’s work, which his uncle Francois wants him to forget about. Though he gets conned into backing the experiment and that’s only if he can supervise the project, so it doesn’t happen again. The experiment is going quite well, up until later on when Phillippe finds out his mischievous assistant has betrayed him, as he’s secretly selling the idea of the teleportation device to another backer. So, to stop the word getting out, his assistant provides him with the same fate that his father had fought.
Now, it’s a race against time for Francois and Inspector Beecham to save Phillippe from the same aftermath of his father.
Right of the back of the original film, comes a rather quickie of a sequel that doesn’t push any limits. Firstly, no way does it come close to the superior original, but as an automatic b-grade monster feature, it’s provides enough rollicking fun. Well, when you got Price on show, how can you go wrong? What we get is a bland story structure that lacks an ounce of life and astuteness, though it does have a few inspired moments, but these are far and in between many inferior sequences that come off just plain ordinary with some confusing plot details.
The original managed to work around the silly context, but here it tends accept it by working in laughable story turns and monster effects. Even the dialog seems more like schlock, without the savvy and witty dialog that made the first film naturally engaging. The performances are all but cold and lifeless, but with the obvious exception of Vincent Price. He just has a spellbinding presence that when the words roll of his tongue, it has a Shakespearean vibe, no matter how bad the lines were. Price’s performance is definitely this film’s anchor. The rest of the characters I didn’t care for, as they are rather unsympathetic and foolish.
There was just more attention to fabricating unpleasant and cheap thrills, which are more out of control with a monster out for revenge hook-line. It’s more violent than its predecessor too. I give it credit that it’s more exciting in its basic dementia of its creation, but hell the treatment of the story and effects were laughable. That’s unintentionally, though. This one seems more serious, but it’s outlandishly executed in a drab fashion. But ironically everything works out in the long run with a happy ending for all… well for the good guys.
Now the effects are decent, but when it came to the fly’s head on the human body. Why was it that huge!? It looks stupid! Sure, it looks even more hideous, but you got to be kidding, it was funny watching the guy running along while holding onto it, so it doesn’t fall off. You could easily tell the guy was having trouble with it, even so when walking! They really out did themselves on that one.
Another note was that the pacing is rather brisk, gladly. Also it does provide slight dose of suspense and atmosphere, but more so it’s preoccupied in its second-rate chills and mayhem instead. The flick is shot in black and white, and it does look rather sharp and crisp in detail.
Plus there’s some showy photography and framework that adds a bit more creative eye to the wailing production. The story’s actions on this occasion were just too ridiculous to take seriously with it getting more risible the further it goes, but it seems pretty unaware to all of that.
It’s not all that bad, but the quality is replaced by big chunks of camp that’s more interested in wowing us with ludicrous action, rather then the strain it has on the characters and their relationships. Still, there’s b-grade fun to be had here.