Ep. 10: “The Fly” (1958)

Note: if you downloaded the episode 10 podcast before 1am EST Monday, your copy is the wrong one. It had some audio sync issues our sound guy Andy pointed out. It has been fixed.

This week we watched “The Fly” — the original — starring Vincent Price (for about 15 minutes) and directed by Kurt Neumann. All any of us could say was, “Help me.” You’ll get that after you’ve seen the movie.

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The story is about a scientist who has an accident after his teleportation machine fails. In all fairness, it’s a brilliant idea for a horror sci fi movie. He gets his parts mixed up with a fly’s parts when they accidentally teleport together.

Unfortunately, the execution lacks something. Namely, horror. Don’t get me wrong — there’s some gore:

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There’s some practical effects:

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There’s scienc-ey stuff:

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And the scientist does unspeakable things to a cat:

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And there’s reaction shots out the wazoo:

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But none of it has any real punch, because most of the movie is about the woman pictured above, and her irritatingly precocious kid,

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wandering around a posh house fretting and trying to catch a fly. That’s most of the movie.

Anyway, things get a little tense for the scientist. Here he is trying to love on his wife even though he may or may not have fly parts down there (movie is unclear on that):

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He realizes he’s meddled with things man shouldn’t meddle with, and convinces his wife to put him in a giant hydraulic press they happen to have access to for some reason:

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Meanwhile, the fly with his head is buzzing around outside, and hasn’t fared much better:

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In the movie’s defense, that part is genuinely creepy.

Still, there’s a happy ending:

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And there’s a happy ending for you, too! After you’re done listening to the podcast, head on over to our audio commentary tracks page and listen to us watch the movie! After that, go watch the Cronenberg version to see how well this concept can work. Or watch a movie from the same era that is genuinely scary, like Carnival of Souls. After that, go play outside. Catch some flies, which according to the precocious kid in the movie is a thing people do.

Also, this week’s drawing is for Eric or, as I like to call him, dickless. Enjoy, dickless. (Special thanks goes to Margo for all her drawings!)

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