The Fly(1958)

Rating: X

Length:1Hr 34

Release: 31.7.1958

About: When scientist Andre Delambre (Al Hedison) tests his matter transporter on himself, an errant housefly makes its way into the transportation chamber, and things go horribly wrong. As a result, Delambre’s head and arm are now that of the insect. Slowly losing himself to the fly, Delambre turns to his wife, Helene (Patricia Owens), for help. But when tragedy strikes, Delambre’s brother (Vincent Price) and Inspector Charas (Herbert Marshall) are forced to pick up the investigation.


The Good

  • I love the narrative framing that’s used. The anticipation of discovering what happened to her husband then, as time goes on, the wish that you can stop it all from happening.
  • Vincent Price has a presence on the screen. Not one that shines while suppressing others, but a charm and persona that simple commands attention. I look forward to exploring his filmography beyond the few films I’ve seen him in.
  • The effects are brilliant, even for a film made today I’d been happy with what they presented. From the close up flies to the presentation of Andre’s mutation, they all allow you to buy into the situation. The ending, in which we see the mutated fly is an incredible visual.
  • In much the same way The Creature From the Black Lagoon had the historical Science lesson, The Fly contains a commentary about technological progression, playing God and the fear that brings. Science is at the heart of many horrors and it’s the beauty of them. Lack of explanation makes us feel uneasy, so bending or breaking Science to our will is a goal for many. The biggest fear being that it’ll fail. It’s a subconscious fear, but that’s where a horror is better at getting under your skin.

The Bad

  • There’s a scene or two within the flash-back framing that are impossible for the wife to tell, as it contains only Andre or the camera angle presents his view (however amazing that it). Yes, it’s a weak point and not something a viewer would perhaps notice, but I need a bad and I hope this shows the quality of the film if I’m being petty.

The Ugly

  • That poor fucking child! No one tells him his dad is dead, even though the Police are deciding if his mother should be hanged for murder or locked up in the looney bin for her explanation. Actually, he constantly asks when his dad is coming home… maybe he didn’t inherit his father’s genius.

Final Thoughts

An excellent film, but no fear factor due to perhaps knowing the outcome from the start.

Dracula (1958)

Rating: X

Length: 1Hr 22

Release: 22.5.1958

About: On a search for his missing friend Jonathan Harker (John Van Eyssen), vampire hunter Dr. Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) is led to Count Dracula’s (Christopher Lee) castle. Upon arriving, Van Helsing finds an undead Harker in Dracula’s crypt and discovers that the count’s next target is Harker’s ailing fiancée, Lucy Holmwood (Carol Marsh). With the help of her brother, Arthur (Michael Gough), Van Helsing struggles to protect Lucy and put an end to Count Dracula’s parasitic reign of terror.


The good

  • The acting is much better than my past experiences of watching Dracula. Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee provide that familiarity that you’d come to expect of Hammer Horrors. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone else take on Van Helsing in a better way.
  • It took me a while to spot him, but Wayne Manner’s resident butler Michael Gough is an absolute joy to watch as the father of Lucy. It’s at his introduction that the film is a smoother watch and he works very well with Cushing.
  • The defeat of Dracula is quite brilliant, even now. Yes, there was a slight difference in the colouration to the rest of the film, but the physical effects themselves really do stand up. Much better than so CGI counterparts ever could.

The bad

  • I’m unsure as to why Dracula speaks at the start but is reduced to growls and hisses. It does nothing for the narrative and having him speak. It’s not enough to make him disarming and it’s too much to allow him to be fearful.

The ugly

  • I think it might be the Dracula story itself, but I found this rather clunky and slow to gain traction in its lack of protagonist. Or rather, a protagonist who isn’t present from the start. Perhaps framing the film and beginning with Van Helsing receiving Jonathan’s diary. That way we’re with Cushing from the start.

Final Thoughts

A clunky but well acted version of the legendary Dracula that plays a little more like a thriller than a horror.