Reviewer's Rating 3 out of 5   User Rating 4 out of 5
The Fly (1958)

To have Prince of the Macabre Vincent Price visit, only to tell him that you've crushed his brother in a giant press might seem to be asking for trouble. Yet as we soon learn from wife (Patricia Owens) of compacted Al Hedison, even Price might well have struggled to come to terms with his recently mutated brother.

With such a dramatic opening "The Fly" has a lot to live up to and what emerges is a sad story of considerable pathos despite the ridiculous plot.

Hedison invents a machine that can disintegrate atoms and transport them to another that will then re-assemble the atoms. This he believes will allow humans to travel around the world within seconds.

His belief needs hard evidence though and Hedison decides to give his device a quick spin on himself. Unfortunately he doesn't realise that a fly has joined him for the ride and he emerges with the fly's head and one of its legs replacing one of his arms. This leaves the fly with his head and a rather useless human arm.

Silly it may be but the tension is quickly cranked up as Hedison realises he has to find the fly so that he can try to reverse the damage. Any humour in the situation quickly drains away as Hedison battles to stop his personality being consumed with his new found predatory instincts. Meanwhile his 'other half' is trapped in a spider's web. This desperate 'double' struggle cleverly detracts from the cheap-looking monster effects and allows a dramatic and quite poignant film to form.

End Credits

Director: Kurt Neumann

Writer: James Clavell, George Langelaan

Stars: Al Hedison, Patricia Owens, Herbert Marshall, Vincent Price, Kathleen Freeman, Betty Lou Gerson, Charles Herbert

Genre: Horror

Length: 89 minutes

Original: 1958

VHS: 1987

Country: USA