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A bonafide must-have for classic science fiction fans, The Fly Collection brings together the original 1958 chiller with Return of the Fly and Curse of the Fly, its 1959 and 1965 sequels, respectively, and treats fans to a wealth of terrific supplemental features and improved image quality. Kurt Neumann's The Fly has lost little of its punch in the 50 years since its release; though it lacks the visceral shock of David Cronenberg's 1986 remake, James Clavell's script expands upon the original source material by author George Langelaan with a maturity and depth that was rarely seen in movie science fiction from the period, and the performances by Vincent Price, Herbert Marshall, and David Hedison (billed as Al Hedison) as the ill-fated scientist whose experiments with matter transferal leave him with the human-sized head of a fly (one of the indelible images of '50s sci-fi) are tightly reined and believable. Quickly generated to cash in on The Fly's box office windfall, Return of the Fly is decidedly less solid than its predecessor--it's a basic retread of the original, with Brett Halsey as Hedison's son making the same mistake as his father--but as pure B-movie entertainment, it delivers the goods, and the returning Vincent Price lends his usual air of credibility. The final entry in the Fly franchise, the little-seen Curse of the Fly, makes its U.S. DVD debut with this set; it's pulpy fun at best, but genre veteran Don (Hammer's Kiss of the Vampire) Sharp brings some surprising moments of surrealism to the proceedings, most notably in the hallucinatory opening sequence (Carole Gray flees the grounds of a dark estate clad only in her white undergarments) and its parade of horrific failed genetic experiments.

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The Fly Collection offers all three films in single discs (each featuring reproductions of the films' original poster art), as well as a fourth disc, The Disc of Horrors, which provides a barrage of related extras. Image-wise, the look of the films is top-notch; The Fly is a marked improvement over the 2000 DVD release, with the rich DeLuxe colors and vivid detail of the original CinemaScope presentation receiving a marvelous showcase. Even the lesser quality of Return and Curse's black-and-white lensing looks crisp and largely spot-free. Sound is also superior (Fly is Dolby Digital 4.0, and Return and Curse have Dolby Digital monaural and Dolby Digital Stereo options), and Hedison is featured in a commentary on Fly that's filled with production reminiscences. The Disc of Horrors is the real treat in the set; not only is Price's 1997 profile from A&E's Biography series included, but there's also Fly Trap: Catching a Classic, a solid overview of all three films featuring Hedison and Halsey, as well as film historians David Del Valle and Donald F. Glut, among others (some of the pertinent details are also covered in the set's insert booklet). Theatrical trailers for each film (and TV spots for Return and Curse), reproductions of the original pressbooks (which can be viewed in detail), domestic and international lobby cards, promotional photos (the best of which is a shot of Hedison in full fly makeup listening patiently to co-star Patricia Owens), and a 1958 newsreel that covered the first Fly's premiere in San Francisco.

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FX2246202 Fly Collection DVD (1958-1965/Fly/Return of the Fly/Curse of the Fly) $39.98 $35.99