Movie Reviews 158 – The Curse of the Fly (1965)

The Fly CollectionA while back I got myself The Fly Collection DVD box set and seeing that there are plenty of reviews for the first two movies, ”The Fly” (1958) and “Return of The Fly” (1959),  I want to promulgate the virtues of the third installment in the series which has often been disparaged when compared to the first two. The first movies tell the tales of scientists in the Delambre family who use a teleportation device but then accidentally activate it when a fly is in the apparatus with a human, resulting in human-fly mutants after teleportation. While The Curse of the Fly is undoubtedly the black sheep of the bunch and a true B-grade movie in many respects, it doesn’t deserve the swatting it has garnered.

One reason it gets a lot of flack is due to the fact that it doesn’t even feature any giant human/fly mashup creature on which the series is based, instead only having a fleeting still picture of a bug eyed fly from one of the earlier movies. Yeah, I guess not actually having a Fly creature with a Fly title does seem silly. But the title is actually quite accurate. The movie is all about what happens to the next generations of the Delambre family after the events in the first two movies. The descendants of Andre Delambre are indeed cursed by continuing the research on the teleportation machine he created and while you won’t be seeing any flies creeping in, there are still a bunch of teleportation misfires to be had.

Curse of the FlyMartin Delambre (George Baker), the grandson of Andre, the scientist who created the machine in the first movie, picks up a scantily clad mental institution escapee while driving home one night. He brings Patricia (Carole Grey) to his Quebec mansion where he and his dad Henri (Brian Donlevy of Quatermass fame) continue perfecting the device, the other portal being in London, England and under the control Martin’s brother Michael.

While to two boys are reluctant to continue the research, their father continues to drive them despite having near misses being transported through the device himself. But his minor wounds aren’t the only casualties of continued research, with other subjects faring much worse and who are now locked up in closet stables on the mansion grounds.

When a police investigator finds Patricia at the mansion, he starts asking a lot of questions regarding the Delambre family and other missing personel. And Patricia herself is finding out that perhaps some of the mansion residents should be the ones locked up in the mental institution.

The movie does play out like a classic SF or horror movie with a slower pace but there is also a lot going on here with a weird Asian servant couple (Burt Kwouk, Cato from Pink Panther series of movies) taking care of the closeted creatures and the reluctance of the boys to continue the research with their father.

The ending is pretty cool and very fitting to what would be last movie in the series until Cronenberg resurrected the franchise with even greater buzz some twenty years later. So don’t confuse the Curse of the Fly with some of the turd other ‘third’ movies fall into.

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