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The Fly (1958) - Blu-ray Review

{2jtab: Movie Review}

The Fly - Blu-ray Review

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4 stars

Containing one of the most sickening and shocking unveiling scenes in horror history, Kurt Nuemann’s The Fly finally lands on Blu-ray this week.  Fify -years later and still this giant-sized insect can’t be squashed.  Its impact has been too great on the film community and audiences alike.

The Fly might be based on a short story by George Langelaan that was originally published by Playboy Magazine and immediately snatched up by 20th Century Fox but it’s the science fiction message – about man messing with the unknown – that lives on, regardless if it is caught inside the fly traps of other lesser films.

With a screenplay by James Clavell (his first), The Fly begins with the discovery of the flattened body of scientist Andre Delambre (David Hedison).  His wife, Helene (Patricia Owens), confesses to the crime but police inspector (Herbert Marshall) and Andre’s brother, Francois (Vincent Price), suspect there is more to the story.  They just didn’t expect it to involve a white-headed fly found by Andre and Helene’s son, Philippe (Charles Herbert).

It all begins in Andre’s basement laboratory.  But it ends with a most shocking discovery…and, for those who have yet to see this classic, it won’t be spoiled here.  Just know that it is a certified classic of cinematic monstrosities.

This is not a campy film.  No, it is played straight and, effectively chilling to the final seconds, the actors never stray to play for a casual wink to the audience.  Even as Price chews the scenery with comments about not hurting a fly and such, The Fly plays it straight and terrifies with its old school charm.

It’s refreshing to see unpretentious science fiction from the latter end of the 1950’s.  The quiet neighborhood charm of the era is balanced nicely with the absolute terror of the situation as a scientist accidentally switches body parts with a fly caught inside his experimental machine that disintegrates objects and then materializes them elsewhere in the room.

You can call the situation Andre finds himself in a curious accident, but not the majesty of the film.  This is a beautifully haunting experience.  And, yes, it still holds up in 2013, regardless of its era-appropriate special effects.  The good old Cinema-Scope captures every freaky little moment and spits it out nicely.

There’s no escaping The Fly!

{2jtab: Film Details}

The Fly - Blu-ray ReviewMPAA Rating: This title has not yet been rated by the MPAA.
Runtime: 94 mins.
Director
: Kurt Neumann
Writer: James Clavell
Cast: David Hedison, Patricia Owens, Vincent Price
Genre: Horror
Tagline:
Once it was human... even as you and I!
Memorable Movie Quote: "It'd be funny if life wasn't so sacred."
Distributor:
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Official Site:
Release Date: August 29, 1958
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
September 10, 2013

Synopsis: A scientist has a horrific accident when he tries to use his newly invented teleportation device.

{2jtab: Blu-ray Review}

The Fly - Blu-ray Review

Component Grades
Movie

Blu-ray Disc
4 stars

5 Stars



Blu-ray Experience
4.5 stars

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - September 10, 2013
Screen Formats: 2.35:1
Subtitles
: English SDH, Spanish, German
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 4.0 (48kHz, 24-bit); Spanish: Dolby Digital Mono; French: Dolby Digital Mono; German: DTS 4.0
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD)
Region Encoding: A

The Fly is presented on Blu-ray courtesy of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment with an AVC encoded 1080p transfer.  The result is an impeccable presentation of a Cinema-Scope classic.  The color in the transfer is deliciously saturated to a nice and bold level.  Black levels are both strong and consistent throughout this presentation.  If there’s a complaint, it would be that some of the effects shots are a bit dirty and too soft for HD.  I suppose that is to be expected, though.  Regardless, this is a stellar transfer that should easily delight the film's many fans.  The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 4.0 mix is also excellent and features some unexpected nice touches of immersion.

Supplements:

Commentary:

Special Features:

Composed primarily of fun little vignettes, the special features suggest larger things for the series that this release spun.    First and foremost is a great Biography overview of the actor's life and career from 1997.  Next is a short focusing on the three original “Fly” movies.  A Fox Movietone News reel follows that records the film’s premiere.  And rounding out the release is a trailer for the film.

{2jtab: Trailer}

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