The Fly (1958) Review

While I usually tend to think of 1950s monster movies as strictly cheesy, low-budget, pathetic B-movies, this film challenges that notion to some extent.  It fits the formula and has many of the same aesthetic qualities as the usual 1950s B-film, but it actually has quality actors and a budget.  Its writing is smart, and the forced happy ending gives away the fact that the studio execs had a close eye this film, which they never had on their B-films.  This film is shot in Cinemascope and with vivid Technicolor, suggesting it was meant to fit into the same family as War of the Worlds from 1953.  Still, it is, if we’re being honest, just a monster movie with weird effects designed to give some kids a cheap thrill.  As much as I like the screenplay and some of the visuals, the structure of the film sucks out all the drama, and the famous “help me” scene towards the end is so cheesy, bizarre, uncanny, awkward, and outright stupid that it makes the whole film a lot harder for me to swallow.  Thank heavens for the cool lighting and the great performances (who doesn’t love Vincent Price) that make this a fun horror classic.

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