June 9, 2012

The Fly

From my 1950s Science Fiction Marathon, part 10 of 12.

The Fly, 1958. A teleportation experiment goes horribly wrong.

Directed by Kurt Neumann. Written by James Clavell, based on a story by George Langelaan. Starring Patricia Owens, David Hedison & Vincent Price.

Concept: 4/4 (Great)
Story: 3/4 (Good)
Characters: 1/4 (Bad). I can't get over the fact that a perfectly sane scientist, who personally acknowledges both (1) the importance of his discovery and (2) that he can't figure it out, insists on working in complete isolation.
Dialog: 1/4 (Bad). Yeah, buddy, teleportation is just like television. Whatever you say.
Pacing: 2/4 (Indifferent). In some places, there's excellent suspense. In other places, such as when flashbacks duplicate stuff we've already been given in exposition, it can get pretty dull.
Cinematography: 2/4 (Indifferent)
Special effects/design: 3/4 (Good)
Acting: 2/4 (Indifferent)
Music: 2/4 (Indifferent)
Subjective Rating: 7/10 (Good, 3/4). Pretty damn awesome. There's plenty of corniness and bad science. But there's also disturbing psychological horror, rooted in empathy. My wife observes that she had her "heart strings tugged by a man wearing a rubber fly mask." And there's actually a good ending - very rare for this type of movie.
Objective Rating (Average): 2.3/4 (Okay)

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