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The Fly 
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Burning Godzilla
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The Fly

1958 release, directed by Kurt Neumann

Starring David Hedison, Patricia Owens, Vincent Price and a cast of um, houseflies!

PLOT SUMMARY: You all know how this one goes. Andre Delambre (Hedison), intrepid researcher, co-owns a wildly successful Montreal electronics firm with his brother Francois (Price). We discover right at the outset of the story that something is horribly wrong; almost the first thing we see in this movie is Andre's wife, Helene (Owens), skittering nervously out of the family business one night after crushing her husband under a gigantic hydraulic press. She can only have gone insane! She claims not to recognize her own son, and whenever a fly crosses her path, she follows it anxiously, needing to get a good, close look; if anyone tries to kill a fly in her presence, she panics. She readily tells her story to the police, but it's absolutely nuts. Francois, however, is starting to realize there may be something to it after all...

CLIFFIE'S NOTES:

>> This has all the basic elements of a great mad-scientist picture. Wild idea: check. Brilliant scientist who is hard to get out of his lab, even though he has a beautiful and adoring wife: check. Scientist achieves the impossible: check. Scientist experiments on himself, a little too soon: check. Horror ensues: check. There are some things mankind was not meant to know: check.

>> I realize now that this original version is just a little more compressed than Cronenberg's remake. When Andre, his head concealed under a black hood, types to his wife, "BRAIN SAYING STRANGE THINGS," it made me long to know more. No gymnastic sex marathons or barfing on a box of donuts in this clean-living '50s movie -- he tells us in a few syllables that he's thinking the thoughts of a fly and can't even explain to us what they are. In that one conversation the director showed us everything that Cronenberg showed us, so much more crudely, in the remake. It was enough.

>> I loved the fly makeup in this picture. It was perfect! They managed to suggest a lot more, and a lot worse, than they showed, like Andre sending his wife out of the room so she won't see him lapping at his bowl of rum and milk. Very effective. The effect really only fell through for me when they had the fly arm fighting the human arm, like something you'd see in Evil Dead 2.

>> Most of the script was pitch-perfect too. The only time I put my head in my hands was when Andre was discussing cruel animal experiments with his wife, and said "It'd be funny if life weren't so sacred."

>> How nice to see a totally Fifties horror movie, with everyone crisply dressed, braces in their places, speaking politely and meeting at the club for drinks after a night at the ballet. It's easy to forget that you can make a really horrifying movie without a lot of splattery, full-frontal-nudity explosions of gore using a lot of high-priced SFX.

>> Seeing this one after so many years really did me good. It's far better and more effective than I remembered.

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Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:03 pm
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Burning Godzilla
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Have you seen the two sequels?

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Wed Sep 07, 2016 7:02 pm
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Burning Godzilla
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Not recently enough to remember them. They are on my list.

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Guy in bar: "I got 50 dollars in my pocket saying you're coming home with me tonight."
Girl in bar: "They're lying to you."
(from Psychos In Love)

Sample piscatorial love at Cliffie's Notes! Now in blog form for the greater good of the Fish Conspiracy!


Sat Sep 10, 2016 10:05 pm
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Destoroyah
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And that chilling ending with that little voice...

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Tue Sep 13, 2016 6:12 pm
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Burning Godzilla
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Snurt64 wrote:
And that chilling ending with that little voice...


Which took multiple takes to film because Vincent Price and Herbert Marshall kept breaking up with laughter at the little animatronic head and the sound of "help me."

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Tue Sep 13, 2016 6:24 pm
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Burning Godzilla
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Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2001 2:48 am
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Location: Brighton, MI
Just one more example of how much better life was before CGI...

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Guy in bar: "I got 50 dollars in my pocket saying you're coming home with me tonight."
Girl in bar: "They're lying to you."
(from Psychos In Love)

Sample piscatorial love at Cliffie's Notes! Now in blog form for the greater good of the Fish Conspiracy!


Wed Sep 14, 2016 6:19 pm
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