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Blood, Breasts and Beasts: THE FLY/THE FLY 2 (Collector Series)

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Blood, Breasts and Beasts: THE FLY/THE FLY 2 (Collector Series)

Old 09-05-00, 01:55 AM
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Attention Drive-In Mutants ...



There are classics and then, on very rare occasions, there are classics born of classics. The original version of The Fly (1958) featured the great Vincent Price as the brother-in-law of the first hapless scientist who accidently becomes all-to-acquainted with a common housefly. Nearly 30 years later, the fiendishly perverted David Cronenberg put a completely different spin on George Langelaan's original short story. Dave injects into his screenplay healthy doses of pseudo-science, eroticism and good old fashion gore. And at long last, Fox presents The Fly (1986, 95 minutes) and its under-appreciated sequel, The Fly 2 (1989, 105 minutes), on a single two-sided disc.

The movie: Seth Brundle (the ever-twitchy Jeff Goldblum) is a geekazoid inventor who manages to pick up Geena Davis, er, Veronica "Ronnie" Quaife at a party. Ronnie is a journalist looking for a story, and Seth, well he's hoping to impress her with his enormous pods. Before she can split, he zaps one of her silk stockings from one telepod to another, and her eyes get big as Pulitzer medals. She high-tails it to the slimeball editor of Particle magazine, who also happens to be her ex, and who also happens to think she's been con'd. Seth scoops her up and the two begin a tawdry romance amid his slightly-mad-scientist goingsons. It seems he can't teleport living objects without them coming out on the other end looking like road pizza. After roasting its brother, Seth successfully beams a baboon across the room, and he and Ronnie giddily dance around. But she abruptly weirds out about her ex-boyfriend -- that editor guy -- and runs off. Brundle gets drunk and talks to the monkey a bunch. Then strips nekkid and decides to teleport himself before having the ape checked out. And as anyone knows, a fly zips into the pod with him and BINGO! Ya got yourself a helluva creature feature. There's stuff in this thing that'll make your skin crawl. My Vomit Meter just swirls around in circles during a couple of scenes. And what's REAL shocking is that YOU CARE about the disgusting beast Seth becomes. Goldblum's metamorphosis is so powerful that it earned Chris Walas and Stephan Dupuis an Oscar for best makeup. It's one of the few remakes that rivals its original, and arguably David Cronenberg's best work.

Notables: No breasts. One dead body. 15 gallons blood. 21 gallons goo. One beast. Barfly diddling. Arm snapping. Inside-out baboon. Gratuitous "high-tech" computer graphics. Wall crawling. One giant maggot. Teeth roll. Jaw rolls. Ear rolls. Much-o digestive-acid fu.

Quotables: Snotty, but sexy wanna-be journalist Ronnie (Davis), doesn't think much of Brundle's work, "Designer phone booths? Very cute." But she winds up sleeping with him anyway, "How can you keep going? You can't have any fluid left in your body!" And later regrets it, warning his next squeeze to "Be afraid. Be very afraid." Seth asks Ronnie out, "I've come here to say one magic word to you -- CHEESEBURGER!" But later, something doesn't agree with him and he wants her to bug off, "I'm saying I'm an insect who dreamt he was a man, and loved it. But now, the dream is over, and the insect is awake. I'm saying I'll hurt you if you stay." One of my favorite film sleazeballs, John Getz as Stathis Borans, can't take Ronnie's "NO!" for an answer, "What about sex? I'm not saying love or affection. Just stress relieving sex. You and me."

Time codes: Seth's serenade (4:30). The first big gross-out effect (18:15). Brundle's fashion sense (21:00). The critical mistake (34:05). Marathon nookie (45:20). Arm rasslin' (50:20). Seth starts falling apart (57:30). "Mmmmm! Yummie donuts!" (1:05:10). Brundle Museum of Natural History (1:15:14). The final transformation of Brundlefly (1:28:00).

Audio/Video: Both are presented in their original widescreen (1.85:1) ratios. The Fly features a BEAUTIFUL, clean transfer, while Son O' Fly is a bit grainier, especially in darker scenes. Both get nifty new Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks and Howard Shore's intense score soars in The Fly.

Extras: Not much. Static menus with no audio. Fullframe trailers for the original The Fly, Return of the Fly, The Fly remake, The Fly 2, Fantastic Voyage and a widescreen trailer for Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.

Final thought: Grossly lacking in extras and presentation, yet the flicks themselves are a certain addition to any Drive-In Mutant's library. Cronenberg's Fly is an undeniable classic, and its sequel is a slimy treat for gore fans. Collector Series.

For a look at The Fly 2 and DVD Talk star rankings and purchasing info, click here.




Also reviewed: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (Highly Recommended), Pumpkinhead (Recommended) and Swamp Thing (Recommended)


COLLECTOR SERIES
Blood Feast: Special Edition, The Fly/The Fly2, Night of the Living Dead: Special Collector's Edition

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
The 4th Floor: Special Edition, Communion: Special Collector's Edition, Dance With The Devil, Divine Trash, From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman's Daughter, The Gore Gore Girls: Special Edition, Piranha: Special Edition, Razor Blade Smile: Special Edition, Shaft in Africa, Showgirls, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, They Live

RECOMMENDED
The Blood Spattered Bride, Caracara, The Crush, Deep Red, Eaten Alive (Elite Version), Four Sided Triangle, Freejack, The Hidden: Special Edition, Hide and Seek, Inferno, I Was A Teenage Zombie, Mercy, Oxygen: Special Edition, Pumpkinhead, Shaft's Big Score!, Shakes the Clown, Shock, Stealth Fighter, Swamp Thing, Torso, Two Moon Junction, The Vampire Happening, Where the Buffalo Roam, The Wizard of Gore: Special Edition

RENT IT
Autopsy, Blood, Guts, Bullets & Octane, The Highwayman: Special Edition, The Hitcher, The Killing Hour: Special Edition, Lucinda's Spell, Lured Innocence: Special Edition, Possession: Special Edition, The Wrecking Crew: Special Edition


G. Noel Gross is a Dallas graphic designer and avowed Drive-In Mutant who specializes in scribbling B-movie reviews. Noel is inspired by Joe Bob Briggs and his gospel of blood, breasts and beasts.

[This message has been edited by noelgross (edited September 04, 2000).]
Old 09-05-00, 06:31 AM
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As usual, sterling work noelgross. Glad to see that someone else besides me thinks that The Fly 2 is a worthy sequel to the Cronenberg remake. The Stoltz movie is more trashy and predictable but is nonetheless a great ride where, unless Iím in the right mood, The Fly is difficult to watch as itís made to seem all too real and very tragic.

[This message has been edited by jonathan.e (edited September 05, 2000).]
Old 09-06-00, 08:13 AM
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I enjoyed your review style! Keep them coming!
Old 09-06-00, 12:21 PM
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jonathan.e: Yes, I'm afraid you and I are in the minority on The Fly 2. For some reason Cronenberg fans feel like they're disrespecting the man by indulging in the slime-o-rama of the Stolz flick. Oh well. Their loss.

Vaz: Thanks for the kind words! The "style" is completely because I've read and listened to WAY too many movie reviews by the great Joe Bob Briggs. But he's actually a gifted writer ... and I'm a hack. Check out Joe Bob's fine work at his new website: The Joe Bob Report. Or have a look at my day on the set of his old MonsterVision show on TNT: I Met Joe Bob Briggs

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Old 09-08-00, 07:17 PM
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Pretty good review, been waiting on this one. Nice to hear the disc looks good and has no problems. But, the Joe Bob thing is seriously holding you back. Its fine to like his style, but even Joe Bob will tell you to get your own act. Particularly, lose the Notables and ripping his own wordings like "heads roll" and "digestive acid fu". i think your reviews would be better if you found your own phrasings, because other than that youre fairly entertaining on your own.
Old 09-10-00, 05:43 PM
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Why is Two Moon Junction in your Recommended area at 2 1/2 stars and The Hitcher in the Rent It area with 3 stars?

Just Curious
Old 09-11-00, 02:18 AM
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Bigsierra: My rating of The Hitcher catches me the most flack ... despite the fact I raved about it, and gave it 3 of 5 stars. The reason it's a "Rent It" is because of the ghastly quality of the transfer, not the flick. Two Moon Junction is a 2 1/2 star flick, well produced. I generally don't tell people to "Skip It." And 4 and especially 5 star ratings don't arrive that often. Thanks for the input. I share your enthusiasm for The Hitcher, we just got stuck with a crummy disc.

iaido: Thanks for the constructive criticism. Always appreciated. Read some of my earlier reviews, and you'll see I've weened myself away from a lot of that. By tradition, Joe Bob fans have made up their own "drive-in totals" for flicks -- I've done the same. It's sort of a lingo we all understand.

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MY DVD LIBRARY: A study in addiction
MY DVD TALK REVIEWS: Blood, Breasts and Beasts

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