RETURN OF THE FLY
(director/writer: Edward L. Bernds; screenwriter: from the short story “The Fly” by George Langelaan; cinematographer: Brydon Baker; editor: Richard C. Meyer; music: Paul Sawtell & Bert Shefter; cast: Vincent Price (Francoise Delambre), David Frankham (Alan Hinds), Brett Halsey (Philippe Delambre), Danielle De Metz (Cecile Bonnard), John Sutton (Inspector Beauchamp), Dan Seymour (Max Berthold), Jack Daly (reporter); Runtime: 80; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Bernard Glasser; 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment; 1959)
“Makes for passable ‘killing time’ entertainment.“
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
B-film director Edward L. Bernds (“Alaska Passage”/”World Without End”/”Quantrill’s Raiders“)writes and directs this cheapie sequel to Kurt Neumann’sThe Fly (1958), which follows the original shocker as another shocker and makes for passable ‘killing time’ entertainment. It’s based on the short story “The Fly” by George Langelaan.
It picks up at the Montreal funeral of Philippe Delambre’s (Brett Halsey) mother Helene. Some fifteen years ago Philippe’s scientist fatherAndré died under a cloud of mystery after his matter transmission experiment failed when a fly accidentally entered the machine’s chamber while he was reintegrating the molecules with him as guinea pig and that turned him into a half-man and half-fly monster. Unable to face the world as a freak show, the inventor destroyed in a rage the lab and got his wife to crush him to dead. This murder was covered-up by Inspector Beauchamp (John Sutton), and at her trial Helene was acquitted. After an intrusive reporter at the funeral brings the cover-up to the attention of Philippe’s uncle Francoise (Vincent Price), uncle is forced under duress from his nephew to tell him the truth. Against Francoise’s advice, Philippe decides to resume his father’s daring groundbreaking work as a memorial to him and coerces Francoise to fund him in his research with the foundry factory business money they are partners in to build a new lab at his late grandfather’s mansion he inherited outside Montreal.Philippe hires his friend Alan Hinds (David Frankham), an escaped British fugitive, to be his lab assistant. Which turns out to be a bad move, as Alan has larceny in mind more than science when he partners with the fence Max (Dan Seymour) to steal the machine.
Anyway, work begins when Phil reads over his father’s experiment notes. There’s also a pretty French gal, Cecile (Danielle De Metz), living with Phil at the mansion, but he’s too caught up in his work to pay her enough attention.
It all leads to the son following in his father’s footsteps and the belief that he will come to the same fate by repeating dad’s mistake, but this time the accident happens through a criminal act and there’s a twisty ending. It’s a chip off the old block sci-fi thriller that’s cheerless and uninspiring, but that didn’t completely throw me off since I found it so insane that I felt peculiarly drawn to its fly story.
REVIEWED ON 5/3/2010 GRADE: B-