Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, July 11, 2013


Philippe Delambre has a bit of a problem
RETURN OF THE FLY (1959). Director: Edward Bernds.

"Help me, I'm Philippe. Help me, I'm Philippe."

The Fly was a huge hit so a quick-buck sequel was rushed out the following year. This was also in CinemaScope, but not technicolor, and Vincent Price reprised his role of Francois Delambre [and seems slightly more enthusiastic this time, probably because of his pay check]. Philippe (Brett Halsey), the son of the scientist in the first film, is now grown, his poor mother dead, and demands to know all about his father's research. Despite Francois' dire warnings -- with good reason! -- Philippe steals away one of his uncle's [although never referred to as such] employees and practically blackmails him into giving him money for his own matter transmitter project. What Philippe doesn't know is that the employee -- now his partner --  Ronald (David Frankham), is actually a murderer using an alias, and that he plans to use a corpulent crumbum named Max (Dan Seymour) to sell off the technology to the highest bidder. No, a fly doesn't accidentally wind up in the disintegrator with Philippe, it is put there by the sadistic David, who knows of Philippe's terror of flies. Phillipe winds up in the same dire situation as his father before him, with his consciousness seemingly divided between his hulking giant fly-head form, and within the tiny, human-headed fly that cries out for help in a tiny voice. [For this effect Brett Halsey's head is simply superimposed over a fly's body, and the results are not very credible.] Return of the Fly  is slow-paced and minor, and not in the league of its predecessor. There is a creepy sequence showing a man with the hands of a guinea pig and vice versa. Brett Halsey of The Atomic Submarine gives a decent performance in this. Bernds also directed Queen of Outer Space and quite a bit of junk.

Verdict: Acceptable, but basically fritters away a lot of good ideas for a quick buck. **.

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