Archive for Curse of the Fly

The Curse of the Fly (1965)

Posted in Cult Movies, Sci-Fi with tags , , on January 3, 2020 by MONSTERMINIONS

I’m reviewing this film as packaged in the new 5-film The Fly Collection blu-ray box set. This is the third film sequel and the second re-working of George Langelaan’s short story The Fly. The film gets a bad rap, but I enjoyed it and thought it to be an improvement over the inept, but entertaining Return of the Fly (1959), and a notch or two below the original Vincent Price-David Hedison vehicle. Curse of the Fly (1965) holds its own in having nothing to do with a human-fly hybrid —or Langelaan’s story for that matter, and being a character study of three doomed people: Henri Delambré (Brian Donlevy), Martin Delambré (George Baker), and Patricia Stanley (Carol Gray). Here, the Delambré curse is passed on to Martin in the form of a cancerous autoimmune disorder requiring periodic serum injections by father Henri. Sound familiar? Yeah, some of that storyline was heisted for the Cronenberg remake (1986). Patricia is along for the ride as the love interest, but she also has a story to tell. The film is well-acted by several familiar faces —and voices. Thunderbirds and Jerry Andersen fans will immediately recognize Inspector Ronet (Jeremy Wilkins) as Virgil Stacey and disguised as Cary Grant as Captain Scarlet. Burt Kwouk is also present in a minor lab tech role.

The black and white cinematography by Basil Emmott is striking. Thematically the film looks like a Val Lewton picture, but contains several notable grotesqueries that make this worthwhile for monster fans. Some of the imagery is really weird and surreal. Check out how many body contortion sculptures and paintings are present in the Delambré trappings.

The film was well-helmed by Tasmanian-born director Don Sharp, that genre fans probably know best for Kiss of the Vampire (1963), Rasputin: The Mad Monk (1966), and various 1960’s Fu Manchu films.

This is a well-crafted horror film with gothic elements. I don’t know of too many films quite like it in terms of horror-pathos —the ending is quite startling and I decided to run the whole thing back and rewatched it with an informative audio commentary.

This box-set is loaded with features and the prints look sublime.