View Full Version : I just watched two movies I want to talk about

01-05-2011, 05:42 PM
First I'll mention is The Rocky Horror Picture Show. This was my first time seeing this film, after hearing so much about it, and I'll say that for the most part, I enjoyed it. It certainly lives up to its reputation as a very strange movies, but it's like the film is hypnotizing you, you're not sure what's going on and it's giving you all these mixed emotions, but you can't look away. While I can't say everything hit, it gave me quite a few good laughs, and I'm glad I took the time to watch it.

The one i really want to get into is The Fly. The original. I have not seen the remake yet, as I have a personal rule of trying to watch the original film before watching the remake.

Now, when I was watching this, it had me convinced I had stumbled upon one of the all-time underrated science fiction classics. For the first hour and twenty minutes. Fans of the film, don't fret, just let me explain.

The opening thirty minutes are incredible. If you didn't know this was a science fiction film, there would be no way to figure it out. It plays out like a murder mystery. A woman is seen by the control panel of a hydraulic press with her husband's headless body laying by the side. She calls her brother in law to tell him that she's just killed her husband and both the brother and the police go to her to investigate. From here, it looks like she's just insane. She continually denies to offer any sort of motive, rationale, or even backstory. She also demonstrates a bizarre fixation on flies, or at least, one particular fly with "a white head and limb." It's only when she finally starts to tell her story that we realize the sci-fi nature of the film.

From here, the film doesn't degrade at all in quality. The pacing is dead-on, the writing is shockingly good for a 50's sci-fi movie, and the acting is great. Even when "the reveal" (those familiar with the film should know what scene I'm talking about) happens, it stays surprisingly understated and emotional.

Then, another "reveal" scene occurs. For this portion, I'm turning on spoilers, as I need to bring up details.
Beyond the jarringly dated effects of the relatively famous "help me, help me" scene, the contrivance that follows to give us a happy ending is just plain cheap. No, let's throw away all sense of ambiguity, let's not go for a touchingly tragic ending, let's just have everything work out for everybody. Never mind that Andre is still dead and Helene may have severe trauma from having to watch the man she loved die a horrible death as he slowly devolved into a monster, she's got Vincent Price now! Vincent Price saves the day by... not really doing anything! Honestly, if they had left out the "help me, help me" scene and gone with an ending that not only left the viewer with a sense of tragedy, but also gave some ambiguity as to the true nature of what was going on. Show the bit where Price is sitting on the bench and we hear the faint cry of "help me" from the right, just make it so that when he runs back out after Phillipe tells him, the spider has already eaten the fly. At least, that's how I would have done it.

Now, the ending they went with executed well enough, so it's forgivable in that respect, but in the respect to how absolutely freaking perfect the film was beforehand, it just drives me nuts. This movie is seriously a breath away from being one of the greatest sci-fi films of all time, and then they had to go and do THAT.

Still, the rest of the film is so good, I highly recommend anyone here track it down. The effects (well, most of them) are amazing for the time and are still fairly impressive, the actors all do a fine job (Vincent Price is awesome before that point I discussed earlier), and there are a lot of great emotional moments. not to mention the fact that for the better part of the movie, the main character is a woman! In a 1950's science fiction film!