Friday, October 03, 2008

31 Days of Halloween - Day 3 Movie 1

In the first three days of this year's Halloween countdown I've watched three movies none of which rattled the bars of my cage. Today's movie is "Curse of the Fly" (1965) statting Brian Donlevy, George Baker and Carole Gray. This is the second sequel to "The Fly" (1958), coming seven years after "Return of the Fly" (1959). "Return of the Fly" definitely feels like it was made quickly to capitalize on the success of the original, but while not as sofisticated has a b-movie charm of its own and specific connections to the first film.

"Curse of the Fly" is another story altogether. The only real connection to either of the earlier films is that the names of the scientists is Delambre and the are working on teleportation experiments with unhealthy side effects. George Baker plays Martin Delambre, allegedly the grandson of the scientist, Andre Delambre, played by David (Al) Hedison in "The Fly" which would make Brian Donlevy's Henri Delambre the son of Andre, even though his only son was named Philippe.

But why quibble with continuity when this movie has so many more problems. Martin comes to the aid of a woman who has just escaped from a mental institution (though he doesn't know that) marries her after knowing her for about a week, then brings her home where his family is no only conducting their unethical and illegal experiments, but also housing in cells, family members and former assistants turned into disfigured an d unstable mutations. Martin's intention is to keep all of this from her. When she stumbles upon one of the groteque characters everyone conspires to make her feel that it was nothing but a nightmare, making this poor woman think she's going insane. When a police inspector and a caretaker from the mental institution come snooping around things become complicated for teh Delambres and more bad decisions are made leading to the tragic finale.

It's not unwatchable. The performances range from phoned in to rather good. For a monster movie, the disfigured humans barely figure into this, and their make-ups are pretty minimal. One of them looked like a man with a putty covered stocking pulled over his head. There also isn't much in the way of horror, or suspense. The movie does move along at a pretty decent pace, but there are too many similarities in its structure (as well as specific plot points and even scenes) to the far superior The Alligator People which in turn was based on the formula of the original "The Fly." I'd rather watch either of those movies than "Curse of the Fly."

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