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DVD Review: Curse of the Fly

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The third and final entry of the original Fly eliminates the fly itself. What it does is continue the Delambre family saga, a line of people determined to create a teleportation device that would, undoubtedly, change the world.

This is obviously a cheapie from Fox, with rather sparse sets, and a distinct lack of Vincent Price. At the very least, writer Harry Spalding avoided turning the grandson of the original fly into yet another man/insect mixture. It is hard to believe that could happen to the same family line twice, let alone three times.

Still, the Delambre’s are continuing their experiments, turning multiple humans into freaks, and causing Henri (Brian Donlevy) and Martin (George Baker) Delambre to age rapidly. Their teleportation device needs work, and their minds continue to focus on their goal, not on the effects of their work.

Curse of the Fly opens with a bizarre moment, that of a window blowing out into the camera (as if the film was supposed to be in 3-D), and a woman jumping out in her underwear and walking around a forest. There is no dialogue or explanation. A woman simply runs around the forest as the opening credits play.

As it turns out, she is Patricia Stanley (Carole Gray) fresh out of a mental hospital for an unspecified condition, and soon to be picked up by Martin. They romance for a week until Martin decides to marry her. It doesn’t make much sense, and Patricia exists in the script purely to cause contrived problems for the insane scientists.

Still, Curse is creepy. While the make-up is sub-par, there are mild scenes of tension, and the moral issues with the increasing failure of the experiments are by no means hidden. Then again, it is hard to take a movie seriously when two Chinese servants are named “Tai” and “Wan,” and it sounds exactly like you think.

Curse served as the “lost” movie of the series for many years, unavailable on any home video format. Typically, that’s due to a lost source and any found prints will be battered. Surprisingly, Curse looks solid on DVD, which must mean Fox has been sitting on the film for some time as an expensive restoration was not likely.

Scratches and dirt are problems on this black and white film, although rarely to a level where they distract significantly. Contrast is bright, and black levels are excellent. A slight edge enhancement problem is notable throughout, although sporadic. A fine layer of grain sits over the image with no ill effects on the encode.

The opening Fox fanfare sounds troublesome, whether in the original mono or remastered stereo mix. Things immediately pick up once into the film for a clean presentation, relatively free of distortion. Dialogue is crisp and clear, and the high end is delivered well. A few audio drop-outs cut a second or two of dialogue, although it is nothing major.

Curse of the Fly contains no extras, although it is available in a box set titled The Fly Collection which boasts a disc of features. That includes some trailers and press materials related to this second sequel.

Vincent Price may have starred in Curse of the Fly if history had played out differently. In the six-year gap between sequels, Price signed with American International Pictures, leaving Fox behind.

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About Matt Paprocki

Matt Paprocki has critiqued home media and video games for 13 years and is the reviews editor for Pulp365.com. His current passion project is the technically minded DoBlu.com. You can read Matt's body of work via his personal WordPress blog, and follow him on Twitter @Matt_Paprocki.