The Fly II (1989) – Review

2 Stars

Hollywood has always suffered from acute sequelitus, but never was that more apparent than in 1989. During that year, a then record 15 sequels were released, ranging from the heights of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, to the mediocre Karate Kid 3, and onto the lows of The Fly II. To be sure this wouldn’t be the worst horror film follow-up of the year, that dishonor goes to the forgettable Nightmare on Elm St. 5, but it is surly a great come-down from the artistic heights of the original. Handing the directing reigns over to OSCAR winning make-up effects guru Chris Walas belies the producers intent for this second entry. This is a quickly produced creature feature that lacks the strong horror/tragedy tonal fusion of the 1986 classic.

Martin Brundle (Eric Stoltz) is the genetically altered offspring of Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) and journalist Veronica Quaife (Geena Davis) You’ll remember from the first movie that the elder Brundle was a brilliant scientist, who used his teleportation device on himself in an experiment gone awry. This lead to his eventual evolution from human to insect, but not before gaining superhuman agility, sense, and strength. During his transitional state Seth impregnated his girlfriend Ronnie, the child is the launching point for the sequel. Martin seems like a normal, healthy young boy. But beneath his wholesome exterior is a series of genetic mutations evolving.

At age 5, Martin is a fully matured adult. He posses a genius level I.Q. a shared fascination with the same project that ruined his late father. Monitored since birth by the Bartok Company, and its evil corporate figure-head Anton Bartok (Lee Richardson), a man who acts like a father to young Martin. As the boy’s intellect and curiosity grows he meets a lovely computer technician, Beth. She becomes the love interest and only support for Martin when Bartok’s true intentions are exposed.

The Fly II can’t match the original in terms of suspense or imagination, but the make-up effects are equally disgusting. No surprise that the thought and effort went into the effects and not the story. As much as I liked Christopher Young’s score for Hellraiser, his work here is too similar. In fact it becomes distracting, I was waiting for Pinheaad to pop-up and drag this insecet-spawn to hell. Now, you have a starting point for The Fly III, you’re welcome.

Director: Chris Walas
Stars: Eric Stoltz, Daphne Zuniga, John Getz

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