Return of the Fly (1959)




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This sequel to Kurt Neumann's The Fly (1958) is peculiar, to say the least. Producer/director Neumann had passed away during the summer of 1958, and the studio needed a sequel. The resulting film, Return of the Fly, was directed by Edward L. Bernds, a filmmaker (and former sound man at Columbia Pictures) most closely associated with the Three Stooges, but who had lately moved successfully into popular science fiction, with movies such as World Without End, Space Master X-7, and Queen of Outer Space to his credit -- not that this last, in particular, seemed to qualify him for anything but tongue-in-cheek satire. Curse of the Fly was shot in CinemaScope but in black-and-white, an unusual combination that is usually associated with artier movies, as a compromise for discriminating directors who can't avoid the widescreen format but want to present something serious; in this particular case, however, it was purely a budgetary decision. Vincent Price is the nominal star as Francois Delambre, the brother of Andre Delambre, who died as a result of his experiments with a matter transmitting device in The Fly. It is now a dozen years later, and Andre's son, Philippe (Brett Halsey), has just laid his mother to rest, having witnessed the final years of her life blighted by the memory of the horror of Andre's death. He convinces Francois to tell him what happened and of the device that destroyed his parents' happy life together. Philippe vows to perfect the matter transmitter, so that all of the heartache and sacrifice by his parents will not have been in vain. He employs as his assistant a scientist friend, Alan Hinds (David Frankham), who, unbeknownst to him, has shady business connections and a dark secret in his own past. Alan conspires to steal the secret of the matter transmitter, but first he must dispose of a detective who has come to arrest him for an earlier crime, and then eliminate Philippe, who doesn't know what Alan has done, only that he's hiding something. Thus, the same disaster that befell Philippe's father now occurs again, to him -- his body parts are transposed with those of a house-fly. The human-sized fly, even nastier looking than the monster in the original film, goes on a rampage, trying to catch Alan and get revenge for what has happened to him, using what faculties he has. Meanwhile, Francois gets help from the surviving detective on his brother's case, who knows the truth, and the two try to trap the monster alive and also find the fly-sized creature with Philippe's head and features, so they can try and unscramble the atoms of both. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi
Classics , Drama , Horror , Science Fiction & Fantasy
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Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

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Vincent Price
as Francois Delambre
Brett Halsey
as Philippe Delambre
David Frankham
as Ronald Holmes
John Sutton
as Inspector Beecham
Dan Seymour
as Max Berthold Underworld Fixer
Danielle De Metz
as Cecile Bonnard
Janine Graudel
as Mme. Bonnard
Janine Grandel
as Mme. Bonnard
Richard Flato
as Sgt. Dubois
Pat O'Hara
as Detective Evans
Barry Bernard
as Lt. Maclish
Jack Daly
as Granville
Michael Mark
as Gaston
Joan Cotton
as Nurse
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Critic Reviews for Return of the Fly

All Critics (13)

Disappointing sequel to the classic horror film, "The Fly."

Full Review… | November 1, 2014
Movie Chambers

Makes for passable 'killing time' entertainment.

Full Review… | May 3, 2010
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Continuação pouco imaginativa que reutiliza a base do original sem alcançar os mesmos ótimos resultados.

September 11, 2006
Cinema em Cena

removes most of the romantic melodrama that characterized the first film and replaces it with a plot involving criminal intrigue and revenge-inspired murder

February 27, 2001
Q Network Film Desk

Quote not available.

September 23, 2005
International Press Academy

Quote not available.

September 4, 2005

Audience Reviews for Return of the Fly

The return!! even though there is no real reason for why or how the humanoid fly hybrid could return, unless done deliberately. Why? because the original fly hybrid was a horrible accident, human error, and the chances of another fly just happening to zip into a teleportation cabinet again are surely very slim. None the less here we are again with good old Vincent Price in the same role from the previous movie as Francois Delambre, the brother of the late Andre Delambre, and uncle of our new protagonist, Philippe Delambre, Andre's son (seen as a young boy in the original movie). The story follows on from the first movie with Andre's son, Philippe, deciding to take up his fathers old work and carry on developing the teleportation device from where it was last left off. Francois is not happy about this decision but eventually, after some wrangling, agrees to help Philippe in funding the work. All is trundling along fine, but alas all is not rosy behind the scenes. Philippe's best mate and work associate actually turns out to be an industrial spy after the teleportation secrets which he can then sell off. At first his snooping around goes unnoticed, but in time he is found out resulting in fisticuffs, equipment damage and of course...the fly hybrid monster. Yep there appears to be lots of fly's in this particular area of Montreal. Naturally the humanoid fly hybrid goes off on a rampage after the man that messed with his atoms, whilst Francois must go after the fly with a human head so that the process can be reversed. Will they manage it this time? The basic story outline is the same, the only real main advancement in this film is the fact that the Delambre's have developed the teleporter to be able to store objects within subspace in atom/molecule form, until they are ready to bring them back (generally small animals). Its amusing how this movie seems to have given many future horror thrillers the same general theme. The old plot line of the father character working on something sinister, getting killed by said sinister project, and then having the son carry on that work in the sequel whilst having an abject fear of the projects contents. In the original movie Andre is partly transformed into a fly and eventually killed, his work almost tainted by a curse of...the common housefly. Now in this sequel his son carries on his work, but he also has a tremendous fear of flies, even thought in the first movie he didn't really see what happened to his father, and having a fear of flies is pretty stupid. So the plot is pretty thin and in need of a hot action injection, this is brought in by the caddish Ronald Holmes (David Frankham), a very dapper British industrial spy who is not afraid to kill to get his hands on the teleportation plans. Now this guy is a real rotter of epic proportions plus a real joy to watch as he charms and slimes his way into the Delambre's home. He's trying to sell the device plans to a stereotypical, fat Al Capone-esque type chap (Max), who will then in turn sell it on to outside interests. Both of these two are totally cheesy cliches in every way possible but are there purely to move the plot along, its just fun to watch these guys and how bloody obvious they are, its like watching a children's panto and wanting to shout out...he's behind you! Once again Price kinda plays second fiddle to the proceedings although having more of a main role than in the first movie. This time he is more involved with the experiments and the finale, yet the main focus is solely on the young Philippe played by Brett Halsey. I was actually impressed with Halsey as he does convey a good range of emotions without hamming it up, I admit I fully expected a second rate actor with no real skills, merely hired because of his looks (it being a lesser, cheaper sequel to a much bigger movie). But lets be honest here, its was all about Frankham and his dastardly spy, yes that's right, he even outdid Price with his debonair scoundrel. The fact that Holmes is the one who purposely sends Philippe through the teleporter, purposely putting a fly inside with him, makes him even more of a dirty, rotten (sadistic?) recreant, but that's why he is so gloriously fun to watch. Again I wasn't expecting much in the form of continuity but again I was pleasantly surprised. The basement lab set is actually the same set used from the original movie which is a real plus point allowing the viewer to slip back into the story with ease. On the effects side of things its another mixed bag really, with the sets being the same, that meant everything was visually spot on such as props, gadgets, lighting, camera angles etc...but for some unknown reason they utterly fudged up the fly head. Sure it looks good, it looks like a giant fly head with big emotionless eyes, coarse black hairs and antennae, but it was huge! Now when I say huge I mean ridiculously over-sized, to the point that it almost looked like a mistake or outright joke. Its comical to watch Halsey (or whoever) walk and run around with this big fat fly head on his shoulders, clearly way too big for his body, the movie completely loses any suspense or thrills. On the other hand (no pun intended), when Holmes thwarts an enemy agent (a goodie Brit agent trying to apprehend Holmes for previous crimes) and sticks him into the teleporter, when the guy is brought back he has the hands and feet of a guinea pig that had been previously stored in subspace by Philippe as a test run. Even though these guinea pig paws are clearly rubber gloves, it is a well created, eerie bit of makeup, especially with the petrified expression left on the dead agents face. In turn we also see a goofy yet acceptable guinea pig with human hands, and later on a fly with Philippe's human head (both superimposed I think). As I've already said, the plot is generally the same as before, but it unfortunately degenerates into a generic monster movie towards the finale. Somehow Philippe the fly mutant manages to find Max and kill him despite the fact that Philippe didn't even know anything of Max, what he looked like, where to find him etc...Also Max never actually did anything to Philippe, he was just buying information off this Holmes guy, it was Holmes that betrayed him so badly, but Philippe kills Holmes too naturally so its all good. Price is clearly having fun with the project judging by his facial expressions throughout, naturally nothing in the film is even remotely scary and the plot is stretched to the limit. Yet its still a relatively enjoyable B-movie mainly for the odd performances and (in my opinion) the continuity. Its also filmed in black and white (unlike the first movie) which I also think looks much better and adds to the atmosphere, whilst hiding dodgy effects, which is always handy.

Phil Hubbs
Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

The fly shouldn't have returned, the story is horrible and so are the special effects, this movie is nothing like the original, and I don't recommend seeing it, unless you're a big fan of Price and just want to see him in another movie.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer


Obviously, this sequel is nowhere near as good as the original 1958 film 'The Fly', but despite obviously being a cheap follow-up and working from a story that basically just rips off the first film, there are some good ideas here and the film is definitely worth watching. The only actor to return from the original movie is Vincent Price, but the story does lead directly on as in true horror sequel style, in this film we follow the fortunes of the original scientist's son, who naturally decides to follow on his father's experiments. Price isn't the only thing that was recycled for this film, however, as the film was apparently written to incorporate sets from the original, although this does make sense considering how the story follows on. The hapless scientist this time is Philippe Delambre, son of Andre Delambre, and a man who has decided to rebuild the transportation device. Along with his friend Alan Hinds and uncle Francois Delambre, they conduct a series of experiments in the hope of succeeding where Andre failed...but naturally, as nothing runs smoothly in a horror film, events take a turn for the macabre... I'm guessing that black and white film was cheap around 1959 as despite the fact that the original film was shot in colour, this one is in black and white. However, I actually prefer films like this in black and white, so this wasn't a problem for me. Vincent Price took a backseat in the original film, but as his star was rising by the release of this follow-up; he gets a more central role, although he still doesn't appear enough if you ask me. His role here isn't one of his strongest, but anything that features a performance from the great Mr Price is well worth seeing if you ask me. It has to be said that most of the performances (and dialogue) in this film are pretty ridiculous, but among the rest of the cast Brett Halsey, an actor who would go on to make Italian films along with this likes of Mario Bava and Lucio Fulci, stands out as the unlucky scientist. The film obviously isn't very graphic; although it's slightly more violent than the first film, and the transporter machine is put to much better use here. The special effects are inventive too, and work well despite obviously not costing much. Overall, this is at least a worthy follow-up, which while not as great as the original; has its moments and is worth seeing.

Cassandra Maples
Cassandra Maples

Super Reviewer

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