FearTASTIC Vault O’FUN #69
The Fly 2
Writer(s):Mick Garris, Jim Wheat, Ken Wheat Frank Darabont
Starring:Eric Stoltz, Daphne Zuniga, Lee Richardson
As the sole founder/keeper/protector/guardian/janitor (at times) of the FearTastic Vault, I always take pride in featuring flicks that may have been tossed to the side and doomed to fade into mediocrity. I’d like to think that I stash these gems away as a collection of misfit treasures that might come in handy someday when an obscurity (and often ridiculousness) is required. It would be far too easy to shoot off some kind words about horror classics that are prominently displayed in the vault but it’s the outscasts that have a special place in my dark heart. Now, having said that, we all know that David Cronenberg is genius; I mean, if you google that man’s name, you find that Cronenbergis referred to a mutilated and grotesque creature that is often featured in his most famous films. Yes, you read that right, his last name is used a damn adjective in the horror/Sci-Fi world! One of his most famous flicks is the horror/Sci-Fi remake (that most folks forget is a remake) of the The Fly. Story is simple enough; a scientist creates a teleportation machine and decides to use it himself, not knowing that a fly snuck its way into the machine and the two begin to merge in a wonderfully monstrous way!
Now comes the hard part; I, your FearTastic Vault Keeper admit that I watched the sequel, The Fly 2 before I saw the Cronenberg original (I also later got into the original Fly series but that’s a WHOLE other story…yeah, it gets really weird). My mom was a busy woman in the height of her career and my sister and my sister and I would stay with family friends from time to time as she went to work. One family friend in particular had an excellent collection of horror and Sci-Fi flicks so I was more than comfortable to sit on a couch and remain quiet and compliant for hours at a time. Summer afternoons were filled with legendary flicks such as The Terminator, Terminator 2, Predator, Predator 2and The Fly 2(yeah, for some reason they didn’t own the Cronenberg fly but it seemed they owned every other original flick with their sequels). Since I was a young FearTastic Vault owner and was still building up my stash, I had no idea that the Cronenberg Fly flick existed so I popped in the flick and crossed my fingers that I didn’t need to know too much about the original.
My faith in horror flicks was well validated since the movie started with a bang…err, I mean with a baby delivery. I was already hooked when the birth resulted in a larval sac of grotesqueness which revealed a human baby. The baby grows up to be Martin, son of the original Cronenberg Fly (which I hadn’t seen but pretty much figured out that the first flick MUST have been about his dad) and he is a genius who grows up at an alarming rate (more on that in a bit). Of course, like father, like son, he decides to pick up where his father left off and decides to take on the teleportation technology that consumed his family. Although, later on in life I understood that the style and tone of the flick was clearly influenced by Cronenberg, I couldn’t help but like the flick purely because it was filled with such fantastically disgusting special effects and creatures that made me cringe/think long after the movie was over. No spoilers, but there was a specifically a scene involving a dog that grossed me out as much as it tugged on my heart strings (you’ll have to watch it to see what I mean). There was also that strange plot point where the main character, Martin grew up at an astonishing rate to the point where he was a genius child with a man’s body and ended up having a love interest…with physical…love scenes. Even as a kid I thought that was a bit disturbing and not in that cool horror way, but rather in that time to call the cops way since we had a grown woman sleeping with a FIVE-YEAR-OLD.
Overall, I rather enjoyed the film and it made me curious to get my hands on the first flick to see how Martin’s parents went so wrong. Of course, I LOVED the Cronenberg Fly but if the sequel made me interested in the first flick, then wouldn’t it be safe to argue that it fulfilled its duty (at the very least)? It’s common in the horror world to look down on TheFly 2since it did not get as nearly as much horror acclaim due to the fact that it was just trying to hold on to the success of the first flick without creating its own identity. Yes, I admit, this is all true but here’s my position; if Cronenberg is so great (and HE IS) and the sequel was able to hold on to the identity enough to make you believe it’s still part of the same story line (which it does), then it’s not terrible, it just is and for this flick, I’m totally fine with that notion. Check it out folks and give all horror flicks a fair shake…or shank (see what I did there?)!
Life is FAR more interesting when we take interest in things that scare us.