The Fly

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Tuesday September 17, 2013

The 20th Centruy Fox horror classic comes to Blu-ray with a high quality transfer and a clutch of special features that will amuse and inform.

After 55 years, the original 1958 "The Fly" remains a charged, effective film, combining elements of mystery, horror, and a good dose of good old science fiction. Vincent Price co-stars, but in this case it's David Hedison (working under the name Al Hedison for this early role) who dons the clawlike arm and terrifying fly's head mask upon being transformed from a man into a half-insect monster.

As in the David Cronenberg remake, the technical reason for the transformation is an invention capable of teleporting goods and even living beings from place to place. When inventor Andre Delambre (Hedison) puts himself through the machine, he fails to realize he's taking a fly along with him on the journey. Man and fly merge into one horrific creature, but Delambre still retains his brilliant human intellect... for a while, that is. With time running out and his mentality fading, the scientist may have only one hope for redemption: A grisly suicide with the help of his overwhelmed wife.

This restored version is the same that came out on DVD a few years ago, but it looks great in Blu-ray hi-def. The extras include a commentary track with Hedison and film hostorian David del Valle, a 1997 episode of Biography focusing on Price, a featurette on the "The Fly" and its two sequels ("The Return of the Fly from 1959 and "The Curse of the Fly" from 1965 -- both black and white followups to the original color film), a "Fox Movietone NEws" reel about the Hollywood premiere of "The Fly" (attended by an array of movie monsters), and the original theatrical trailer.

Though this is a great single-disc addition to any film library, "Fly" enthusiasts may want invest in the regular DVD four-disc release from 2007, "The Fly Collection," which brings together the original trilogy along with a disc dedicated to a treasure trove of extras. Those who need to get their hi-def on, though, will find this film irresistible even without the added incentive of the other films.

"The Fly" (1958)

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.