Sunday, July 30, 2017

Return of the Fly (1959)

After his mother’s funeral, Philippe, son of the scientist Andre from the first film, learns what really happened to father. Spoiler alert: he accidentally turned himself into a bug then killed himself. Despite his debilitating fear of flies, he decides to complete dad’s work. Guess what happens? Vincent Price plays the disapproving uncle.

Written specifically to reuse the sets and props of the previous film, the filmmakers cut just about every corner they could. While The Fly was in color, Return Of was in black and white. The only corner they chose to keep was Price, who saw a few things in the script he liked. Unfortunately for him (and us) the filmmakers chose to cut that as well. What we end up with is essentially the same film, done worse, with slight modifications.

I don’t automatically discredit cash-grab sequels. I understand the forces at play, and sometimes poverty sparks creativity. Return of the Fly, however, brings nothing new to the table (except, maybe, Bunny-Man). Much of the first act is exposition to explain the events of the first film, as if there could be a single audience member that hadn’t see it the year prior. Same sets, same props, and for the most part same story. Even the same giant bug prosthetics. Bug-Man runs away while police shoot at him (insert your own reason here) while he holds his bug head on with his free hand! Price is all but wasted, putting in his most forgettable performance so far.

Return of the Fly isn’t hard to watch but even if you don’t try to compare it to the original, it is uninteresting. Poor script, mediocre acting, predictable story. Please skip. AMRU 2.

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