Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Vincent-a-Day: ‘Return of the Fly’

Leading up to the 100th anniversary of Vincent Price’s birth I’ll be checking out one of the maestro’s lesser known films every day this week.

Return of the Fly (1959- dir. Edward Bernds)

Vincent Price took a side role in the first Fly as the brother of a scientist who accidentally transforms himself into a giant dung licker. Although he still doesn’t get to play the monster, Price gets more screen time in Return of the Fly. The end of the original left The Fly’s tiny counterpart in the clutches of a hungry spider, so it’s up to his son to continue dad’s wacky experiments. With its black and white cinematography, lightning storms, creepy coffins, and Price’s withered opening narration, Return of the Fly feels a bit more in line with the monster movies of previous decades than the bright and colorful Fly (vigilant viewers will also notice a character clutching a replica of the wolf/pentagram walking stick from The Wolf Man). As was the case with its predecessor, there’s a long, slow build to the transformation. I wanted more creature in this feature! But the introduction of actual villains is a nice touch. Return of the Fly is run-of-the-mill stuff for matinee popcorn tossers with the occasional quirk (oh, those guinea pig hands!). Of course, that means it radiates nostalgia.
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