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FOX

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Don Sharp
Cast:
Brian Donlevy, George Baker, Carole Gray, Yvette Rees, Burt Kwouk, Mary Manson, Michael Graham
Writing Credits:
George Langelaan (concept), Harry Spalding

Synopsis:
This collection pays tribute the Fly in all the character's classic incarnations with 1958's The Fly, 1959's The Return Of The Fly, 1965's The Curse Of The Fly, as well as bonus material.

MPAA:
Rated NR

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Widescreen 2.35:1/16x9
Audio:
English Stereo
English Monaural
Spanish Monaural
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
None

Runtime: 86 min.

Price: $39.98
Release Date: 9/11/2007

Bonus:
• None

Available Only as Part of “The Fly Collection”

PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Sony 36" WEGA KV-36FS12 Monitor; Sony DA333ES Processor/Receiver; Panasonic CV-50 DVD Player using component outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Sony SA-WM40 Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


The Curse Of The Fly: The Fly Collection (1965)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (December 6, 2007)

After two films in two years, The Fly series took a break. The first flick became a hit in 1958, and its initial sequel zipped onto screens only a year later. That might’ve been the end of things, but the series got a revival in 1965 with The Curse of the Fly.

Curse starts with a sequence that shows an underwear clad woman named Pat (Carole Gray) as she escapes from a mental hospital. Martin Delambre (George Baker) picks her up and gives her an assist as she tries to go to Montreal. He helps her get on her feet as he pursues the family business: teleportation experiments.

The first flick’s Andre was the first Delambre to work on this topic – with tragic results. We’re told that Martin is part of the third generation to pursue this line of technology, but lots of problems remain. Despite all the work to be done, Martin finds time for love, so he and Pat decide to get married.

That’s when we learn about Pat’s mental problems and the breakdown that landed her in the mental hospital. We also discover Martin’s own secrets, as he deals with some debilitating physical issues he doesn’t share with Pat. The movie follows their relationship, his experiments, and the whole screwy Delambre clan.

Here’s what you won’t find in Curse: a dude who turns into a fly-like monster. The film takes the “curse” in its title seriously, as it concentrates on the negative ramifications of the Delambre family’s teleportation obsession. It looks at the flaws in the experiments and related complications.

Because of his, Curse feels more like a Gothic horror flick than another Fly effort. It focuses on the creepy family of freaks and doesn’t really connect all that much to the original movies. It uses those as a loose framework and little else.

The premise had potential, but Curse fails to make much of the possibilities. That’s a shame, especially because it starts well. The title sequence in which Pat escapes possesses an intriguing dreamlike quality that makes it captivating. This manages to draw us into the flick with its promise of something different.

Promise that it squanders very quickly. The Martin/Pat relationship stretches credulity, partly because Martin doesn’t seem all that taken aback to find a hot chick in her undies running around the streets. Hey, I dream of such an encounter, but I still think I’d be a little more surprised if it happened. Martin doesn’t question it, probably because it fits the necessary plot developments.

Indeed, Pat exists solely to give the audience a representative. We can’t identify with the nutty Delambres, so we need a proxy to witness the weirdness at the Delambre home. Does her mental illness ever make a difference in the story? Not that I can discern; it’s a twist to bring the authorities to the Delambre manse, but otherwise it’s irrelevant to the story.

Even for an 86-minute movie, Curse feels padded. Take the scene in which Tai walks to the lab. This goes on forever and serves little purpose. Perhaps the filmmakers felt a need to establish the house’s size and its geography, but I don’t think this was necessary. Instead, this and other scenes just fill space to pad out the flick to feature length.

I must admit the movie’s continuity goofs bug me. Inspector Charas worked on the death of Andre back in the first film, an event that would’ve been a good 40 or 50 years before this flick’s action. While Curse does age Charas – unlike the Vincent Price character in Return - but it’s not enough. He was no spring chicken in the first movie, so he should’ve died well before this tale.

As with Return, the absolute failure of the filmmakers to attempt a futuristic society distracts. Return should take place in the 1970s or 1980s, which puts Curse somewhere in the 1990s or maybe even the 21st century. Funny how they both look just like the eras in which they were shot!

Curse isn’t a terrible movie, and it’s probably more interesting than a third chapter in a series like this should be. That said, it offers only minor pleasures at most. I don’t think that calling a film “not terrible” is much praise, and that’s the best I can do for Curse.


The DVD Grades: Picture B/ Audio C-/ Bonus F

The Curse of the Fly appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this single-sided, single-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Despite some flaws, the transfer usually satisfied.

Source flaws created some of the distractions. While reasonably clean, I did notice occasional specks and marks. These never became heavy and weren’t much of a problem.

Sharpness also could be a little erratic. Though much of the movie displayed good clarity and delineation, some shots tended to be a bit soft, a problem light edge enhancement exacerbated. No issues with jagged edges emerged, but I did notice a smidgen of shimmering.

The black and white imagery looked nice. Contrast seemed pleasing, as the movie exhibited a fine silvery tone. Blacks were dark and dense, while shadows looked clear and smooth. The source flaws and minor softness knocked my grade down to a “B“, but the transfer still pleased.

As for the stereo sound of Curse of the Fly, it provided less obvious pleasures. The soundscape was decidedly lackluster. In truth, the audio usually remained monaural. The track broadened in a modest way that gave things a vague scope, but don’t expect a distinctive soundfield. We got blobby localization that didn’t harm the track but it didn’t help it either.

Audio quality seemed passable. Speech tended to be rather sibilant, and the echo from the “expanded” soundscape created minor distractions. Lines were intelligible but not natural. Music sounded a bit shrill and thin, while effects fell into the same lines. Those elements lacked much range or clarity. Though I didn’t think the audio was poor, it was too flawed to merit a grade above a “C-“.

As was the case with Return of the Fly, no extras appear here. However, the “Fly Collection” set includes a fourth DVD devoted to supplements, so look for some material there.

While I don’t think The Curse of the Fly is a truly bad movie, I can’t claim to find much to like about it. The premise boasts some potential but the filmmakers don’t do much with it. Instead, the flick becomes a semi-cheesy tale about freaks. The DVD offers pretty good picture but the remixed stereo sound is mediocre at best, and the set includes no extras. This isn’t a memorable movie.

Note that this version of The Curse of the Fly comes only as part of the four-disc “The Fly Collection”. That set also includes The Fly, Return of the Fly, and a fourth disc with supplements. The “bonus” grade provided here only reflects the content of this particular platter; the review of the fourth disc will give an extras grade for the set as a whole.

Viewer Film Ratings: 5 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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