Hello, Outposters! After The Fly won Film Club I had no choice but to watch it and surprise, surprise, I actually loved it. So much so that I went buzzing off to watch The Fly II, starring Eric Stoltz from way back in 1989. This film doesn’t get much love but I thought it was really good and a worthy sequel.

The Story

I know most of you know this, but here’s my eloquent take on it. The Fly II picks as Veronica (not Genna Davis this time) is about to give birth to her and Seth’s son, several months after she blew Seth’s mutated head to fucking smithereens.

Due to what the hell comes out of her, she dies whether through shock, heart attack (pre-vaccine), or simply because of the fact she’s just had to squeeze a giant maggot cacoon thing out of her lady flaps. This leaves the Brundle baby to be raised by scientists at Bartock Industries headed by some callous bastard called Anton Bartok (Lee Richardson) the CEO.

Anton becomes the self-appointed guardian of now orphan Martin Brundle whose physical and mental maturity is highly accelerated, and he possesses a genius-level intellect, incredible reflexes, and no need for sleep. He knows he is aging faster than a normal human, but is unaware of the true cause, having been told his father died from the same rapid aging disease.

Although Martin is scarcely five, he has the appearance of a 20-year-old (Eric Stoltz) because of mutant insectoid genes in his system. Martin grows up confined to the laboratory, unaware of his true nature, with only pretty scientist Beth Logan (Daphne Zuniga) to call a friend, and who he eventually ends up slipping a length to. However, not long after shooting his beans, Martin’s fly genes within begin to emerge and it’s all downhill for everyone from there.

The Fly 2 Birth


The Start And Middle

This movie was a slower burn than its predecessor, The Fly but I enjoyed the fact they took time for character development. I particularly liked being able to watch Martin grow up (even though it was only five years) which gave you a sense of empathy for him, and a sense of dread knowing it was only a matter of time before his inevitable transformation.

Harley Cross does a great job of playing young Martin who is actually three but has the development of a 10-year-old. The cookie crumb of him befriending the dog which set up the repercussions later was great stuff and ultimately left the film with one of the most sadistic revenge acts I think I’ve seen in a movie.

The Fly 2 Dog


Eric Stoltz plays older Martin and in everything I’ve seen Stoltz in I’ve enjoyed his performance, I’m not sure why he’s not a bigger star? At the beginning of Stoltz’s turn as Martin, he comes across as naive but likable, he subtly brings in some of Goldblum’s characteristics without becoming a caricature. And when he does start to transform into Brundle Fly 2, like Goldblum before him, you get to see him scared and unsure and then briefly in the motel room, excitement and a sense of genuine danger from him.

I also liked the makeup of his early transformation, his features were harsher and insect-like, more like a proper transformation. I felt that in The Fly, Seth looked like he was decomposing rather than becoming something else. So far, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the first two acts of this movie.


The Fly 2 Hotel


The Final Act – The Bad

This is a little bit of a mixed bag for me and I can kind of see why this movie doesn’t score as high as it should. Everything was great up until they captured Martin as then I was getting a sense of time running out for either ideas or meeting their launch window. Let’s start with things I didn’t like.

Firstly, the security around the room where Martin was in a full cacoon and obviously transforming into something horrific and unknown. Doctor Janeway is on her own doing her thing without giving a single fuck about what’s in the room with her. Doctor Shepard just seems to amble around with an arm full of folders, walking in and out of various rooms without any security guards to protect them or their prize. Ultimately, Martin gets his revenge on both without so much as breaking a sweat.

The Fly 2 Doctors


Secondly, I didn’t care for Lee Richardson’s final performance when he was captured by Martin and forced into the pod. Rather than the sheer terror he should have been projecting, it looked more like a minor inconvenience. Throughout the film, he’d been great as the evil git who had been biding his time for Martin’s destiny to kick in so he could exploit it. This final performance felt like something Richardson didn’t care for or approve of. I was kind of expecting him to pop up with “Oh please don’t hurt me, Mr. Brundle Fly, this is a new suit and I’m booked in for a meeting at 2 o’clock with the investors”.


The Fly 2 Pod


And finally, Martin’s Fly was a massive letdown. Where Seth’s final appearance as The Fly was genuinely grotesque, Martin’s looked more like one of our alien reptile overlords from a B-movie. The early promise of Martin’s transformation in the motel room shit the bed in a big way and I think is a big factor in the movie’s below-average scores.

It wasn’t vile to look at, you didn’t get the sense you could smell the Brundle Fly through the screen like you did with the first movie. This one looked like a giant action figure and it moved like one too. Such a shame.

The Fly 2 Fly


The Final Act – The Good

Now what worked in the final stretch worked very well. The gore and shock value was ramped up. When the security guard received a face full of acid vomit and he literally pulled his own face off, great stuff indeed! Then, when Martin Fly treads on him and a vapor of breath escapes and you realize he’s still alive is fucked up nasty. It reminded me of the scene in Silence Of The Lambs when Hannibal escapes, I wonder if this scene influenced that?

The Fly 2 Breath


I also enjoyed the nod to the earlier dog scene when the security dog encounters Martin Fly and you expect the worst but instead, you realize that Martin still seems to be in control of his human mind to a degree and he just pats that vicious little bugger on the head and walks off. If only I knew then how the movie would end! And let’s talk about the final scene that I alluded to earlier.

Martin Brundle, the shy and naive young man turns out to be just as ruthless and sadistic as Richardson. Sacrificing Richardson to mutate himself back into a human and then keeping that fat mutated fucker alive as Anton did to his beloved dog was, as I said before, one of the most ruthless acts of revenge I’ve ever seen in a movie. It was a refreshing change to see the hero (?) of the movie not take the moral high ground for a change but to dish out a worthy punishment for the villain.

The Fly 2 Ending


Easter Eggs

I picked up one easter egg in this movie and also realized that this film was used as an easter egg in a later film. First up is when Martin first meets Beth and as he is leaving, the chief of security, Scorby, calls out to him and refers to him as Marty. Is this is a nod to Stoltz’s ill-fated turn as Mart McFLY (another nod) in Back To The Future? Subtle but brilliant.

The Fly 2 Marty


And the second easter egg wasn’t in this film but was used in a later film starring Jeff Goldblum – you all know what I’m talking about! When the Bartok scientists are trying to access Martin’s computer to activate the Pod, it asks for the “magic word”. This is replicated in 1993’s Jurassic Park when Nedry locks his computer system and escapes the island leaving a certain Mr. Jackson frustrated.

The Fly 2 Magic Word


So, all in all, I really enjoyed The Fly II, not as much as its predecessor but I found it a worthy sequel. I believe the Martin Fly monster at the end was its undoing and who knows, if we got something more in line with Seth’s disgusting design, perhaps audiences would have been more favorable and we would have got a The Fly III?



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