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The downside of using a transporter (later employed as casual transportation on Star Trek TOS) - a scientist (David Hedison, credited as Al Hedison) invents this mechanism for transporting matter instantaneously, but encounters a horrific mishap when he transports himself with, unknowingly, a common house fly. When he comes out the other end, he has the head and claw of a fly. The fly, meanwhile, flies off with his head and arm (greatly miniaturized).
Most of the film is told in flashback: the scientist is found dead at the beginning, but his head & arm are crushed in a hydraulic press, so the audience and the police are unaware of his recent transformation. The wife (Patricia Owens) confesses to the murder, but it's a mystery as to why she did this. She relates what happened to the scientist's brother (Vincent Price).
A problem I've had with this story's concept since seeing it as a kid is the question of why the fly's brain wasn't transferred to the scientist along with the head, but that would have been another type of story. The horror of the story is that the scientist is fully aware of what has happened to him. He can no longer communicate verbally, resorting to written notes, but he has full comprehension of the horror that has encompassed him, as does, later, the wife. Also tense is the scenario of capturing the errant fly so that the two can once again transport together and possibly reintegrate correctly; they come close to getting that fly but it just is not to be. Would it have worked? We'll never know. It's a gripping combination of science fiction concepts and pure horror.
The sequel was Return of the Fly in the next year, involving the scientist's son. Then, years later, a 2nd sequel which diverged from the stories in the first two, Curse of the Fly. A famous remake by Cronenberg was in 1986; that one also had a sequel. BoG's Score for original: 7.5 out of 10
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