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Fly, The (1958)

A series of successful experiments convince brilliant and obsessive scientist Andre Delambre (David Hedison) that he has finally perfected a machine that can transmit matter. But there are horrifying results when he decides to use the machine on himself.

This is no match for the superior (and far less camp) David Cronenberg remake (1986), but it’s still a slick slice of absurdist 1950s sci-fi in its own right.

Based on a Playboy short story and with a script by Shogun writer James Clavell, the plot here sees matter-transmitter experiments giving Andre the head and arm of a common house fly, while Vincent Price, as Hedison’s brother, François, has histrionics about family curses.

Enjoyable enough if you can ignore the inconsistencies of the premise, this plush flesh-crawler – filmed in only 18 days – includes many marvellous moments to savour, not least of which is the fly’s eye prism view and the tiny half-human/half-fly trapped in a cobweb shrieking “Help me!”.

Andre Delambre
David (Al) Hedison
Helene Delambre
Patricia Owens
François Delambre
Vincent Price
Inspector Charas
Herbert Marshall
Kathleen Freeman
Nurse Andersone
Betty Lou Gerson
Philippe Delambre
Charles Herbert
Dr Ejoute
Eugene Borden
Torben Meyer

Kurt Neumann