The Fly II Preview

“I guess we’re having a little trouble with #4,” Jamie says, hoping to get some Good Movie insight from their new elderly friend. It seems right up his alley since it has to do with friendship: Rule #4 – Animal Friends/Animal Enemies. But the old man isn’t listening, he just keeps staring at a door at the back of the train that has a big money sign painted on it. “Why are you staring at the train’s treasure room?” Patrick asks, once again suspicious of this stereotypical old man. “Oh, I don’t know…” the old man starts before dramatically pulling off his disguise and drawing a gun on them. “Maybe because you’re gonna help me rob this train of its jewels,” he finishes. “He’s got a gun!” a nearby passenger screams. Panic ensues and the passengers flee, leaving the train car empty except for them. The young man explains how he saw them at the train station and knew it was his opportunity to use them to help him get away with his heist. He says something about forcing them to dance in order to distract the train police, but at that point Jamie and Patrick have stopped listening. They half-heartedly twin chop the gun out of his hand and backflip their way between him and the treasure room. “No, we’re not going to help you with this scheme. We’re not even going to get ourselves wrapped up in some complicated quest to stop you and your dastardly deeds. That was the old Movie Twins. The Bad Movie Twins. Now we’re the Good Movie Twins. In fact, we’re not just Good…” Patrick says and Jamie finishes, “We’re fly. And that’s exactly what you’re about to do.” At that they Twin Kick the faux geezer out of the moving train. That’s right! We are picking up a classic… and then we’ll watch that classic’s dumb sequel. It’s The Fly and The Fly II. The first one is a Cronenberg classic. The second is the one directed by the dude who did the creature effects for the first film… I’m not joking… that’s what happened because they probably thought, “whatever, this is just a cash grab anyway.” Let’s go!

The Fly II (1989) – BMeTric: 56.0; Notability: 33 – BMeTric: top 3.2%; Notability: top 14.4%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 19.1%; Higher BMeT: Police Academy 6: City Under Siege, Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child, Wild Orchid, Cyborg, The Karate Kid Part III; Higher Notability: Tango & Cash, Troop Beverly Hills, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child, See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Fletch Lives, Harlem Nights, Leviathan, Listen to Me, Lock Up, Pink Cadillac, Family Business, Millennium, Police Academy 6: City Under Siege, Three Fugitives, Dead Bang, Let It Ride, Renegades, Slaves of New York, The Karate Kid Part III, and 16 more; Lower RT: Kinjite: Forbidden Subjects, Police Academy 6: City Under Siege, Stepfather II: Make Room for Daddy, The Toxic Avenger Part II, The Horror Show, Worth Winning, Night Game, Second Sight, Wired, Dream a Little Dream, No Holds Barred, Wild Orchid, She’s Out of Control, Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, Millennium, Chattahoochee, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland, The Blood of Heroes, The Lemon Sisters, and 25 more; Notes: We are doing okay with 1989 now I think, just look at the Top BMeT list. This will be 7 of the top 8 watched for BMT, with only Karate Kid III outstanding there. I have a subtle goal which is to watch the top 10 BMeT films of every year from 1980 to now. I think the early 80s can be done if we loosen up the restrictions, but I already have ideas about that.

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  A case of “like father, like son”; too bad director Walas isn’t like David Cronenberg. Stoltz, son of deceased Jeff Goldblum, has attained puberty at five with the intellect to match; now he’s being unknowingly exploited by – here’s a novel twist – the scientists in whose care he’s entrusted. Alternatively sull and messy but mostly dull.

(First, double semi-colon. Jesus Christ Leonard, you’d outdone even yourself. Second, like father like son? You talking like Big Momma and his (her?) son? I’m surprised “mostly dull” gets a BOMB. BOMBs are ultra rare.)

Trailer –

(Horrible horrible horrible. I hate it. Annoying and not scary or good. The last bit of the trailer does get you a bit amped and teases the puppet at least.)

DirectorsChris Walas – ( Known For: The Vagrant; BMT: The Fly II; Notes: The Vagrant looks absolutely wild. Anyways, he did the makeup for the original Fly (and was nominated for an Oscar for it). This seemed to be his one and only attempt at a truly major release, although he is a genuinely famous special effects artist working on Return of the Jedi, Enemy Mine, and Gremlins.)

WritersMick Garris – ( Known For: Hocus Pocus 2; *batteries not included; Nightmare Cinema; Riding the Bullet; Future BMT: Hocus Pocus; BMT: Critters 2; The Fly II; Notes: Very notably was a secretary at the Star Wars Corporation in 1977. He’s a pretty big name horror director from the 80s)

Jim Wheat and Ken Wheat– ( Known For: Pitch Black; A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master; The Silent Scream; After Midnight; The Return; Future BMT: The Chronicles of Riddick; BMT: The Fly II; Notes: Under the fold is the incredible revelation that they are the directors of Ewoks: The Battle for Endor. They are brothers and writing partners.)

Frank Darabont – ( Known For: The Shawshank Redemption; The Green Mile; The Mist; The Blob; Frankenstein; A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors; BMT: The Fly II; Notes: I feel like he’s mostly notable for the big issues he’s had with The Walking Dead and getting paid for that … but yeah, also he’s the director for Shawshank. I’m a little stunned all of these credits are for exclusively The Fly II with not credit for the original writers or anything?)

George Langelaan – (Known For: The Fly, Return of the Fly; Curse of the Fly, The Fly; BMT: The Fly II; Notes: They obviously had to credit him for the story and characters. But again, a little crazy that Cronenberg gets nothing on the sequel? It makes no sense.)

ActorsEric Stoltz – ( Known For: Pulp Fiction; Back to the Future; Jerry Maguire; Fast Times at Ridgemont High; Little Women; Some Kind of Wonderful; Mask; Say Anything; The Prophecy; The Rules of Attraction; Singles; Kicking and Screaming; 2 Days in the Valley; Memphis Belle; Rob Roy; Her Smell; 5 to 7; The House of Mirth; The Wild Life; Killing Zoe; Future BMT: The Butterfly Effect; The Honeymooners; Fluke; Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer; BMT: Anaconda; The Fly II; Notes: Famously the original Marty McFly in Back to the Future (still uncredited there presumably because he’s still included in some wide shots?). Mostly does small things and television spots, but was also a star of the Battlestar Galactica spinoff Caprica it looks like.)

Daphne Zuniga – ( Known For: Spaceballs; Vision Quest; The Sure Thing; The Initiation; Modern Girls; The Dorm That Dripped Blood; Staying Together; Last Rites; Heartbeats; Gone Missing; Charlie’s Ghost Story; Mad at the Moon; Who’s Driving Doug; Enemies of Laughter; Summer Forever; Future BMT: Gross Anatomy; BMT: The Fly II; Notes: I obviously know her from Spaceballs. She’s continued to do a lot of stuff, mostly guest spots on television, but she was also on 40 episodes of One Tree Hill.)

Lee Richardson – ( Known For: Network; The Exorcist III; Prizzi’s Honor; Prince of the City; Brubaker; Q&A; Daniel; Middle of the Night; Tiger Warsaw; I Am the Cheese; Future BMT: The Believers; A Stranger Among Us; BMT: The Fly II; Notes: Uncredited as FDR in the Truman television movie. Was nominated for a Tony Award for Vivat! Vivat Rgina! In 1972. Died in 1999.)

Budget/Gross – N/A / Domestic: $20,021,322 (Worldwide: $38,903,179)

(That seems bad considering how much must have went into effects. A little odd that there is no info at all about how much this movie costs seemingly.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 29% (5/17)

(Oh a consensus: Often horribly graphic and … well just horrible, The Fly II exchanges the creepy for the just plain gross.)

Reviewer Highlight: Worthless sequel to a very good film – Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress

Poster – The Fly II: Superfly

(Christ, they just knocked off the first film’s poster. Really was a cash grab. Although then again there is a rich history of just trotting out the same thing for a sequel. Back to the Future comes to mind. I like the tone, wish the font was a little better, and can’t give it much of a score since it is a knockoff. C.)

Tagline(s) – Like father, like son. (F)

(We talking Big Momma’s House 3? I sometimes wonder when we have a tagline this generic whether we could build a trilogy of films with the exact same tagline.)

Keyword(s) – good

Top 10: Good Will Hunting (1997), The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), The Great Gatsby (2013), Hot Fuzz (2007), Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016), The Wizard of Oz (1939), Man on Fire (2004), The Nice Guys (2016)

Future BMT: 67.3 Phat Girlz (2006), 63.2 Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (2015), 60.6 Like a Boss (2020), 51.7 Playing with Fire (2019), 51.6 The Boss (2016), 51.0 Johnny Be Good (1988), 50.6 The Hot Chick (2002), 49.9 Arthur 2: On the Rocks (1988), 48.4 Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007), 47.1 Barney’s Great Adventure (1998), 45.1 Fly Me to the Moon 3D (2007), 44.9 Fantastic Four (2005), 40.4 No Good Deed (2014), 39.4 Good Burger (1997), 37.2 The Great Wall (2016), 37.0 Stroker Ace (1983), 36.3 Milk Money (1994), 34.6 Mad Money (2008), 34.3 Mo’ Money (1992), 32.1 Good Deeds (2012)

BMT: Epic Movie (2007), Fantastic Four (2015), The Ridiculous 6 (2015), Cool as Ice (1991), Cool World (1992), A Good Day to Die Hard (2013), Hot Pursuit (2015), The Fly II (1989), One for the Money (2012), Fire Down Below (1997), Air Bud: Golden Receiver (1998), Fire Birds (1990), Good Luck Chuck (2007), Be Cool (2005), Chill Factor (1999), Money Train (1995), Hot to Trot (1988), The Golden Child (1986), Righteous Kill (2008), Sweet Home Alabama (2002), The Wizard (1989), Hunter Killer (2018)

Best Options (Horror): 56.2 The Fly II (1989), 40.4 No Good Deed (2014)

(Yeah, no very good options here, until you pulled in some Thrillers. At the very least The Good Son would have been an option … but spoilers, we are doing that later.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 16) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Eric Stoltz is No. 1 billed in The Fly II and No. 4 billed in Anaconda, which also stars Jennifer Lopez (No. 1 billed) who is in Gigli (No. 2 billed) which also stars Ben Affleck (No. 1 billed) who is in Pearl Harbor (No. 1 billed) which also stars Josh Hartnett (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 3 billed) => (1 + 4) + (1 + 2) + (1 + 1) + (3 + 3) = 16. If we were to watch Jack, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 16.

Notes – Chris Walas wanted Geena Davis to reprise her role as Veronica Quaife for the birth scene at the beginning of the film. Geena Davis declined, because she had found the maggot-baby dream sequence in the original film emotionally upsetting and was replaced by Saffron Henderson, despite being 10 years younger than Davis.

The first videotape of Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) (where he theorizes that the teleporter improved him) is actually part of a deleted scene from The Fly (1986). The scene was slightly edited for this film, and Veronica’s (Geena Davis) voice was dubbed over by Saffron Henderson (who plays Veronica at the beginning of The Fly II (1989)).

The Telepod props from The Fly (1986) were destroyed after filming was completed and had to be rebuilt.

John Getz (Stathis Borans) is the only actor reprising a role from the The Fly (1986).

The green flashes of light between each credit in the title sequence were actually borrowed from an alternate, unused title sequence for The Fly (1986).

In at least one draft of the script, Martin was going to see yet another videotape of Seth Brundle (this time nearing the end of his transformation), in which Seth talks about his “cure”. This would have required brand-new footage of Jeff Goldblum in makeup from the previous film, and the concept was subsequently dropped from the script.

The movie was originally given an X rating by the MPAA because of the graphic scene where Hargis’ head is crushed underneath an elevator. Director Chris Walas appealed the decision, and the MPAA gave the film an R rating without any edits to the scene.

In some US states, theaters playing The Fly II (1989) had a nurse on hand for the audience’s reactions to its content.

Mel Brooks suggested to Chris Walas that Daphne Zuniga play Beth Logan, after Zuniga starred as Princess Vespa in Brook’s “Star Wars” spoof Spaceballs (1987).

The book next to the sleeping technician in the control room at the beginning of the film is “The Shape of Rage”, an anthology of writings about the films of David Cronenberg, who directed this film’s predecessor.

A scene was taken out of the film which reveals the reason why Bartok and his scientists can’t get the Telepods to work is because Stathis took the operating disc from the Telepods and all the research on it to ensure the Telepods couldn’t cause any more damage than they already had.

Although “The Fly III” never happened, a comic book sequel, “The Fly: Outbreak” by Brandon Seifert, was published in 2015. “Outbreak” takes place years after The Fly II (1989) and it follows Martin Brundle attempting to cure Anton Bartok of his mutant condition.

Originally, writer Mick Garris’s script was about Veronica being convinced not to abort her baby by a religious cult who would keep and raise Martin after he was born. The rapidly aging Martin is joined by a group of kids with their own unique abilities or deformities and Martin could discover he could communicate with insects and would lead the kids to escape the cult and live in the outskirts of L.A.. This premise was abandoned for being too strange and family friendly. Another draft included Bartok scientists using cloning technology to resurrect Seth Brundle, still stuck as BrundleFly at first, and would discover that his son Martin (who was originally meant to be a child/teenager throughout the film) could communicate with him. Chris Walas disliked this version of the story as he thought it was too odd of a premise to the point where it came off like a family-friendly horror film about a boy and his bug monster. He even threatened to walk off the project if the script wasn’t changed, so the Fox executives relented and hired Frank Darabont to overhaul the script.

There had been a change in management at Fox between The Fly (1986) and this sequel, and the new head of Fox hadn’t even seen the previous film. Director Chris Walas claims that they wanted the film to explore themes of defying destiny and what it means to be a son, but the Fox executives ordered them to ditch the existential themes and make the film a standard, gory movie that teens could enjoy on their date. Mel Brooks would later remark that he had never seen so much studio interference on a movie before.


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