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The Fly
Die Fliege

USA 1958
produced by
Kurt Neumann for 20th Century Fox
directed by Kurt Neumann
starring Patricia Owens, Al Hedison (= David Hedison), Vincent Price, Herbert Marshall, Kathleen Freeman, Betty Lou Gerson, Charles Herbert, Eugene Borden
screenplay by James Clavell, based on a story by George Langelaan, music by Paul Sawtell, special photographic effects by L.B.Abbott

The Fly

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Hélène (Patricia Owens) has just killed her husband André (Al Hedison) in a particularly gruesonme way, she squashed his head and arm with a hydraulic press - and twice, too. What makes this particularly macabre though is that according to her brother-in-law Francois (Vincent Price) she and André were deeply in love - and when asked about that, she admits it, but still sees nothing wrong in her action, in a way she even seems happy about it. It's only each time she hears a fly buzzing that she totally loses her cool and starts saying irrational things, like going on about a fly with a white head that's supposed to be the key to the whole mystery.

So eventually, Francois tells her he has caught the white headed fly, upon which she tells her whole tale to him and the investigating inspector Charas (Herbert Marshall) ...

... like mad, André, a gifted and rich scientist has worked on a teleporter, and it took him quite some time and effort to not only invent it but also make it teleport live matter. But finally he made it and sent guinea pigs from here to there unharmed (and still alive too). So eventually, he teleported himself ... but somehow a fly got into the teleporter with him, and somehow, his molecules and those of the fly got mixed up, so suddenly out came André with a fly's head and arm, while somewhere out there is a fly with a human head and arm ... the white headed fly.

The real problem is that André (the man with the fly head) still thinks like André, but more and more the fly's brain seems to take over (don't ask how, somehow it makes sense int he film anyways). At first, Hélène desperately tries to catch the fly with the human head, which would be needed to turn André back, but all of her efforts are futile, so André persuades his wife to kill him before he turns into a dangerous beast, and to prevent such things from ever happening again, he destroys his lab, all his documents, and tells his wife he has to be destroyed himself - squashed like a fly in fact - to erase all evidence of his experiments. So Hélène squashes him, using the hydraulic press, and when she in the first go misses to squash his fly arm, she has a second go ...

Hélène has finished her story, but the inspector refuses to believe her, and only now Francois admits he has not caught the white-headed fly at all ... which puts Hélène on the spot, since the fly was her only evidence. And soon enough, she is arrested for murder. It's only when, rather coincidently, Charas and Francois find the white-headed fly caught in a spider's web amd recognize the head to be André's that htey realize there is truth in her story ... but Charas is so shocked by the discovery that he squashes the fly with a stone, before realizing the fly would have been vital evidence. But he agrees to cook up a story to free Hélène from her charges ...


From today's point of view, The Fly might look a tad old-fashioned: the special effects are rather unconvincing, the shocks are few and far between, and the pacing is (deliberately) slow. However, The Fly boasts a despite all its silliness very interesting story that is told in an interesting and largely unsensationalistic way, and the performances are uniformly great.



review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD