Review of “Curse of the Fly” (1965)

trailer from YouTube

This is the second sequel to the 1958 classic The Fly. No original cast members appear, but the movie carries over concepts and the family name.

Plot:

The first thing the viewer sees is window glass breaking. A dark-haired woman (Carole Gray) crawls out the window wearing nothing more than her underwear. While the credits resolve from white globs (annoying), she runs behind trees on the grounds of what appears to be a large estate or… something. Once she gets through the gates, the camera focuses on a sign reading “Fournier Mental Hospital.”

Driving along in his car is Martin Delambre (George Baker). The woman appears ahead of him, running down the road…in her underwear. He stops to do the gentlemanly thing. He gives her a sweater.
 
After learning Delambre is headed for Montreal, the woman says Montreal is exactly where she wants to go. She introduces herself as Patricia Stanley. Her parents are deceased, and she has no family, friends, or money. She tells Delambre she worked for a writer. Because her boss’s husband—well—started paying her unwanted attention, she had to leave quickly. (Again, in her underwear?) He offers to help her go back for her things, but she quickly declines.

Has Martin picked up an ax murderer? Some psycho who will kill him in his sleep? Yeah, so you might think. While Pat is contemplating looking for a job, Martin calls home and and asks his butler, Tai (Burt Kwouk), to tell his father the new equipment will be ready in a week.

Delambre senior (Brian Donlevy) is not in the next room but in London with Martin’s brother, Albert (Michael Graham). Tai contacts them by shortwave radio. Albert scolds his father for not telling Martin the truth—he’s suffering from radiation burns after teleporting there from home. He also reminds his father about the accidents: “Judith, Samuels, and Dill.”

Meanwhile, back in Montreal, romance blossoms between Pat and Martin. It’s been a week, and she hasn’t started looking for a job. He has to cut one date short, though, when he is suddenly seized with belly pains. He assures her he’s not ill and refuses to go to a doctor. Later, the viewer sees him badly scarred, a syringe lying next to his bed.

So, they’re both hiding important secrets. What to do? Why—get married and bring the girl home to Papa, of course. Those crazy kids.

Thoughts:

In addition to The Fly, this movie borrows a little from Jane Eyre, Rebecca, Gaslight, and a handful of horror movies and books.

The Delambre clan, still living down the horror and scandal that occurred in Montreal some unspecified time earlier, have staked themselves out an estate in the wilds of Quebec that resembles a tropical mad scientist lair, including rattan chairs and birds in cages.

Before the nervous breakdown that sent her to the mental hospital, Pat was a concert pianist. She’s delighted to see a grand piano at her new home. Interestingly enough, Martin’s first wife also played piano…and she still does, if not as well as she used to. Oh, did Martin forget to mention her? Yeah, um…

It is fun to watch a steely Mrs. Danvers sort of housemaid in Wan (Yvette Rees–who is as Asian her name sounds) freeze out the poor new Mrs. Delambre. Pat seems confused at first. But she’s not an idiot. Even drugged, she understands someone is playing with her head. It takes her a while to figure out why.

On a side note, the call signs used when parties communicate between Quebec and London via shortwave are in the proper form for Canada and Great Britain. My dearly beloved looked them up; the one used for Great Britain has never been assigned. People accused someone using the Canadian sign used in the movie of selling bad ham gear, something that isn’t done.

Despite the exploitation (Really. Running away in your chonis? Couldn’t you have signed yourself out?) and the lack of ethics on the part of the Dealmbres, this was an entertaining film. Citizen Kane, it isn’t, but I enjoyed it.

I couldn’t find an English-language version of this as a free download,  pero esta es la versión en español gratis with English subtitles:

Curse of the Fly (1965) – Español Latino – Película Completa – YouTube

Title: The Curse of the Fly (1965)

Directed by
Don Sharp

Writing Credits
Harry Spalding…(written by)
George Langelaan…(concept and characters) (uncredited)

Cast (in credits order)
Brian Donlevy…Henri Delambre
George Baker…Martin Delambre
Carole Gray…Patricia Stanley
Yvette Rees…Wan
Burt Kwouk…Tai

Released: 1965
Length: 1 hour, 26 minutes

Published by 9siduri

I have written book and movie reviews for the late and lamented sites Epinions and Examiner. I have book of reviews of speculative fiction from before 1900, and short works in publications such Mobius, Protea Poetry Journal, and, most recently, Wisconsin Review and Drunken Pen Writing. I'm busily working away on a book of reviews pulp science fiction stories from the 1930s-1960s. It's a lot of fun. I am the author of the short story "Always Coming Home," a chapbook of poetry titled "Sotto Voce," and a collection of reviews of pre-1900 speculative fiction, "By Firelight."

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