There’s an embarrassment of riches in the new set from Shout! Factory that manages to combine all of “The Fly” films in to a rich anthology. It’s a great opportunity to expose new fans to the classic monster movies and contemporary versions of George Langelaam’s original short story. This series and “The Thing” share a lot in common, as both are short stories adapted in to two vastly different versions by genius artists. Meanwhile the contemporary versions’ drastic re-imaginings are still considered iconic cinematic horror and science fiction that set a high bar.
The Fly (1958) is a classic (albeit a tad dated) horror romance about Andre Delambre, who becomes a twisted man fly when a random house fly enters his matter transporter during a crucial test. As his wife Helene (Patricia Owens), his brother (Vincent Price) and Inspector Charas (Herbert Marshall) take up the investigation. It is there that they learn of the fate of Andre Delambre in one of the most iconic reveals in horror history. The Curse Of The Fly (1965) is an okay follow up that explores more the legacy of the Delambre family and their twisted experiment that led to the Fly horrors.
Return Of The Fly (1959) further delves in to the Delambre family as w follow Phillipe, the son of the original scientist who wants to complete his twisted work with his dad. When he seeks to research his new experiments, he’s confronted with a spy who wants his work. The Fly (1986) is a brilliant re-imagining by David Cronenberg which mixes romance, horror, science fiction and body horror in to a pretty excellent masterpiece that hasn’t lost any of its luster. Finally, The Fly II (1989) is no masterpiece, but it’s a solid (occasionally silly) follow up to Cronenberg’s original which finds Martin Brundle, son of Seth Brundle, coming to terms with his changing biology which finds him gradually becoming an anthropomorphic fly just like his dad. It’s a neat, if cheesy closer to an interesting cinematic anthology.
The Fly Collection from Shout! Factory is an impressive collection that brings together the legacy of the series in a great 5-disc set. Each film comes in its own standard Blu-ray case. The cases are then housed in a hard shell container. The Fly (1958) comes with an Audio Commentary With actor David Hedison and film historian David Del Valle, and with author Steve Haberman and film historian Constantine Nasr. There’s the forty four minutes A&E Biography: Vincent Price from 1997, there’s the eleven minutes Fly Trap: Catching A Classic, the minute long Fox Movietone News, and the original theatrical trailer. For Return of The Fly (1959), there is a trio of audio commentaries. There’s an Audio Commentary with actor David Frankham, one with author/film historian Tom Weaver, and one with actor Brett Halsey and film historian David Del Valle.
There’s also the theatrical trailer, the TV Spot, and finally a Still Gallery. The Curse of The Fly (1965) includes an Audio Commentary with author/film historian Steve Haberman and filmmaker/film historian Constantine Nasr, and a seven minute interview with Actress Mary Manson who discusses being offered the part at a dinner party and goes into the process of her face prosthetic which took “ages and ages” to do. There’s a fun emphases on her process for her facial prosthetics. There’s a five minute interview With Continuity Renee Glynne who discusses the film and expresses regrets for leaving Hammer Productions prematurely. Finally there’s the theatrical trailer, a TV Spot, and a Still Gallery. The Fly (1986) includes a pair of commentaries, one with director David Cronenberg, and another with author William Beard.
There are a series of in depth interviews including The Meshuggener Scientist, a thirteen minute interview with executive producer Mel Brooks, who discusses his thoughts on horror, and Jeff Goldblum. Beauty and the Beast is a twenty two minute interview with producer Stuart Cornfeld, who discusses his love for famous beauty and beast love stories, how they influenced “The Fly,” and his thoughts on Cronenberg’s masterpiece. There’s the fourteen minute interview with Casting Director Deirdre Bowen On The Fly, who discusses how she got the script out of the blue, and goes over her process and the aspects and qualities of the actors she looked at and chose for Cronenberg’s film. David’s Eyes is a twenty five minute interview with cinematographer Mark Irwin, who discusses “The Fly” and some of “The Blob.”
There’s also A Tragic Opera, a nine minute interview with composer Howard Shore, who discusses his favorite aspects of working on film is his research he does in preparations, his perspective on Cronenberg’s work and how he crafted the score for The Fly. There’s the exhaustive two and a half hour documentary Fear of the Flesh: The Making Of The Fly, which includes Additional Making Of Interviews. There’s the eleven minute The Brundle Museum of Natural History, Deleted/Extended Scenes, the eight minute Film Tests, Written Works, promotional materials including Trailers and TV Spots, a 1986 Electronic Press Kit Featurette, and a David Cronenberg Interview. Finally there are still galleries including a One Sheet and Lobby Cards, Publicity, Behind the Scenes, Concept Art, and Effects. Finally there’s a Trivia Track. For The Fly (1989) there’s an audio commentary with director Chris Walas and film historian Bob Burns, and an eight minute interview With Stuart Cornfeld, who discusses his quick process engineering the sequel.
There’s a fourteen minute interview with screenwriter Mick Garris, who talks his first job on Amazing Stories working for Steven Spielberg, and how he was also offered “Hocus Pocus” at the same time. There’s a twenty two minute Interview With Screenwriter Ken Wheat, the writer of Silent Scream, Battle For Endor and film called Lies prior. There’s a fifteen minutes Interview With Cinematographer Robin Vidgeon, who was recruited based on his work on Hellraiser by a special effects guy on Fly II. There’s an eighteen minutes Interview With Composer Christopher Young, a Scream Factory original, who discusses working with Roger Corman, and on the sequel. There’s an interview with Special Effects Artist Tom Sullivan, who discusses coming out of depression from losing his wife to work on “The Fly II.”
There’s an interview with Director Chris Walas, an interview with Producer Steven-Charles Jaffe, there’s Transformations: Looking Back At The Fly II, The Fly Papers: The Buzz On Hollywood’s Scariest Insect, as Narrated by Leonard Nimoy, Film Production Journals, Composer’s Master Class, an interview with Christopher Young, Storyboard to Film Comparison with optional Commentary, an Original Electronic Press Kit, an Extended EPK Interview with Actor Eric Stoltz, an Extended EPK Interview with Actress/co-star Daphne Zuniga, a Deleted Scene, an Alternate Ending, the original Teaser Trailer, the original Theatrical Trailer, a Still Gallery, and finally a Storyboard Gallery.