Wednesday, January 19, 2011

"...Search for the truth is the most import work in the whole world.."

Tonight's film: "The Fly" (1958), Directed by Kurt Neumann.

This film contains a lot of elements that I usually don't suspect to be a "horror" film. I personally would have put this under the genre of drama/suspense. This just goes to show that I don't know anything about horror. :)

This film took me back to the film "Frankenstein" that I had watched last week. The storyline was a long the same line of a doctor's experiment gone wrong. Though in "Frankenstein" when the experiment went wrong for the doctor it wasn't to himself as was the case in "The Fly". In both cases the "going wrong" in the experiments were brought by both doctors' carelessness. One entrusted a hunch back to bring the right brain and the other didn't vacuum seal the door behind him. Lesson to be learned from these two films: do the work yourself and triple check that you are the only one in the box.  :)

Usually when I think about Horror films, I tend to think of some kind of monster; whether human or not, that has violent ways. And when I think of those monsters they usually want to kill anything that gets in their way. Again, not the case with "The Fly". Andre's experiment went screwy and all he wanted to do was go back to his regular self. He didn't feel the need to destroy anything except for his laboratory, so that no one could copy his work again. Andre worked hard,before and after the accident, to keep his family safe from the creature he had become. 

Also when I think of Horror, what comes to my mind is that the "killer" has some kind of troubled background. Sometimes they are beaten as a child, grow up in poverty, come from another planet and want to control humans, or it's their natural instinct to suck the blood of humans, etc. Once more, not like that in "The Fly". The family the film is centered around seem to be very wealthy, during the time. They had one of those large concrete gates, a servant, and very fancy things. There wasn't any "killer" (besides the spider) that wanted to destroy people and living things. There just was a scientist who was in search of the truth.

This film also reminded me of "District 9" that came out last spring. Or maybe it should be the other way around. Both men were careless in what they were doing and from that they began (one even turned) into some other creature.

This film CREEPED me out! I can't wait to watch it again! Maybe I'll try to buy it.....

Next film: "Phantom of the Opera" (1925) *[tis another silent film..blah]


  1. Why do you think the horror genre changed so much with this film? Why change the monster so dramatically? Essentially, the film softens him, humanizes him, and creates our sympathy for him. Why? Have views of the monster changed by 1958? Is there something about his scientific project or our view of science that has changed since Frankenstein was made? This is your first postwar film and I think the first one that doesn't take place in or as a story come from that the big difference?

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  3. I've always considered The Fly more science fiction than horror, but sometimes it's a fine line that separates the two. The scientist made a mistake that could never be undone, and was finally forced to beg his friend to kill him before he was eaten by a spider; his now natural predator. We can sympathize with him because humans sometimes make mistakes with consequences that last a lifetime. Frankenstein for me was more about how we treat people who are different from ourselves, and the synergy of mob-think. What we don't understand, we fear and seek to destroy, escalating like a hurricane sucking up the Gulf. The creature reacted defensively to the negative approach of the "normal" people, in the only way he knew how, which seemingly justified the people's original fear and made them more determined to destroy the creature. That can happen with any square peg in a round-hole environment. Sooner or later someone has to just shut up, turn the volume down, and rationally separate the real from the perceived - aka "search for the truth..."

    I'm through rambling now. :D

  4. Thanks Aunt Barbara (not Dr. Brickman, Barbara, though it would be cool) for showing me up! :)

  5. I didn't read this one because I couldn't decipher the title