The Fly II: Wikis

  

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The Fly II

Poster for The Fly II
Directed by Chris Walas
Produced by Steven-Charles Jaffe
Written by Characters:
George Langelaan
Screenplay:
Mick Garris
Jim Wheat
Ken Wheat
Frank Darabont
Starring Eric Stoltz
Daphne Zuniga
John Getz
Lee Richardson
Music by Christopher Young
Cinematography Robin Vidgeon
Editing by Sean Barton
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s) February 10, 1989
Running time 105 min.
Country USA
Language English
Preceded by The Fly (1986 film)

The Fly II is a sci-fi film produced in 1989 starring Eric Stoltz and Daphne Zuniga. It was directed by Chris Walas as a sequel to the 1986 movie The Fly. Stoltz's character in this sequel is the adult son of Seth Brundle, the scientist-turned-'Brundlefly', played by Jeff Goldblum in the 1986 remake. John Getz was the only actor from the first film to reprise his role.

Tag line: "Like father, Like son".

Contents

Plot

The story begins several months after the first film, with the birth of Martin Brundle. Martin is unique, as he is the offspring of Veronica Quaife and Seth Brundle, the man who became a mutated housefly hybrid (known as Brundlefly) from the first film. The birth is under the control of Brundle's employer, Anton Bartok, owner of Bartok Industries (which financed Brundle's teleportation experiments in the first film). Veronica dies during childbirth, leaving Martin in the custody of Bartok, who plans to exploit his unique condition.

Martin's lifespan is quickly accelerated as a result of his mutant genes. He knows that he is aging faster than a normal human, but he doesn't know of his insect heritage. As Martin grows, Bartok befriends him, amusing him with simple magic tricks, and tells him that a "magic word" needs to be a secret word that can never be confided to anyone or else it would spoil the magical effect. When Martin is three years old, he's already physically aged to a child of around ten. He frequently sneaks out of his quarters, and finds a room full of specimen animals awaiting testing. Martin befriends a Golden Retriever. The next night, he sneaks out again to bring him some of his dinner, but he's gone. Martin finds the telepod Golden Retriever, and they're about to teleport his dog as a testing subject. The dog ends up being horribly deformed, but still alive and attacks one of the scientists. Horrified, Martin screams and cries as Bartok consoles him.

Two years later, Martin is physically twenty years old, and is a fully mature adult. Bartok then offers Martin a position working on Seth Brundle's telepods. In the past five years, Bartok and his scientists have not made any progress in getting them to work again after they were damaged on the night Brundle died. Bartok hopes Martin will be able to finish what his father started. He also apologizes for the dog, stating that he didn't suffer long.

As he begins work on the telepods, Martin befriends Bartok employee Beth Logan. They grow closer together over time as Martin tries to get the telepods to function correctly, and Beth invites him to a party over at the genetic research section. Once there, Martin discovers Bartok lied to him; they've kept the mutated dog alive for the past two years. He runs out of the party and sneaks down to the animal's holding pen. The deformed dog, in terrible pain, still remembers Martin. Martin ends its misery by euthanizing it with chloroform. The next day, Bartok asks if Martin is aware of the break-in at the specimen pit. Martin coldly says "No," and Bartok smiles (realizing Martin is lying) as he states that Martin is finally growing up.

Eventually, Martin gets the telepods to function properly, and he and Beth Logan become lovers. However, he also learns the truth of his father's fate, his own biology, Bartok's motives, and of a possible cure to his condition. Unfortunately, the cure, which involves swapping out Martin's insect genes for healthy human genes, requires the sacrifice of another healthy human being, who will in turn suffer a grotesque genetic fate as a result. Things begin to culminate when Martin's dormant insect genes awaken and the signs of his transformation begin. Martin escapes from Bartok Industries when he's told by Bartok of his "fate." Even though Martin successfully repaired the telepods, Bartok is unable to use them as Martin has installed a password along with a computer virus attached (the computer asks for the "magic word") to erase the computer's memory if the wrong word is entered. Bartok knows Martin had indeed been listening to him when Martin was a child, and they'll never figure out the "magic word" without him.

Martin and Beth flee and go on the run. They go to visit Stathis Borans (who's become a recluse and a drunk since Veronica died in childbirth), who tells them he's not their hope, but confirms to Martin that the telepods are the only things that hold any chance of a "cure". They take Stathis Borans' truck and check into a motel, but Martin's physical and emotional changes become too much for Beth to handle, and she surrenders them both to Bartok in desperation. Once they find him, Martin is already in the process of cocooning himself. Bartok asks Martin for the "magic word," to which Martin says "It's a secret word," and doesn't reveal it. Bartok playfully scolds Martin for running away from him, then says, "Welcome home, son."

Once back at Bartok Industries, Martin has become completely encased in his cocoon, and Beth is brought to Bay 17 (where the Telepods are located), where Bartok interrogates her about the "magic word." "Martinfly" emerges from his cocoon and ruthlessly stalks and kills those trying to subdue him, as well as taking revenge on his betrayers. Despite the brutal methods he uses to eliminate the security team dispatched to recapture him, a trace of Martin's former humanity remains, demonstrated by his refusal to harm a dog that was sent to sniff him out. After arriving in Bay 17, Martinfly grabs Bartok, types in the password "DAD," forces Bartok into Telepod 1, and gestures for Beth to activate the gene-swapping sequence. When the two are reintegrated in the receiving telepod, Martin is restored to his fully human form, his fly genes now removed from his body, and in the end, Bartok suffers the ironic fate of becoming a freakish monster himself.

Characters

Martin Brundle/Martinfly (Eric Stoltz) is the film's titular protagonist. He is the son of Seth Brundle, the original "Brundlefly". Martin was raised by his father's sponsor, the villainous Bartok, and due to his fly genes, ages five times faster than a normal human. When he has reached physical maturity at only five years of age, his dormant fly genes begin to assert themselves, and Martin begins transforming into a human/fly hybrid creature. Prior to his transformation, Martin is very shy, intelligent, and compassionate. After he transforms, "Martinfly" goes on a brutal killing spree, but still retains enough of his former humanity to spare Beth Logan and a bloodhound, as well as managing to cure himself.

Beth Logan (Daphne Zuniga) works the night shift at Bartok Industries as a data clerk. She meets Martin, and soon helps him perfect the functioning of the Telepods. After the two fall in love, Beth goes on the run with Martin as he attempts to find a cure for his condition.

Anton Bartok (Lee Richardson) is the story's primary antagonist. Though initially presenting himself as the kindly head of a corporataion, Bartok reveals himself to be a greedy and self-serving individual who is far more concerned with profit and power than with the preservation of human life. On the DVD commentary track, the film's director, Chris Walas, states his belief that screenwriter Frank Darabont wrote Bartok to represent the worst aspects of corporate America.

Makeup/Creature Effects

As with the first film, special makeup and creature effects were provided by Chris Walas, Inc. As opposed to Seth Brundle's diseased deterioration into "Brundlefly", in The Fly II, Martin's metamorphosis is much more of a natural evolution (as a result of the fact that Martin was already born with human-insect hybrid genes instead of being accidentally fused with a fly the way his father was).

Here is a breakdown of Martin Brundle's transformation into the creature dubbed "Martinfly" by the CWI crew (behind-the-scenes information is in italics).

  • STAGE 1 (on view in the scenes where Martin confronts Dr. Shepard and then attempts to telephone Beth Logan): Martin's face is slightly discolored, and he's looking haggard. Worse, a bizarre cavity in his left arm has appeared, and sticky, web-like threads are being excreted from it. Eric Stoltz's face was subtly discolored with makeup, and a gelatin makeup appliance was affixed to his left arm. The webbing coming out of Martin's arm was made from Halloween-style decorative spider-webbing.
  • STAGE 1-A (on view when Martin views the various Bartok surveillance tapes, and when he subsequently escapes from the Bartok complex): Martin is looking even more haggard, and the skin beneath his eyes is puffy. This is an accentuated version of the Stage 1 makeup, with gelatin eyebags added under Stoltz's eyes.
  • STAGE 2 (on view when Martin talks to Beth inside her houseboat, as well as in the deleted "Stopping for Food" scene which can be seen on the 2005 The Fly II: Collector's Edition DVD): Martin's bone structure has started to shift, and his face is rapidly becoming deformed. Gelatin appliances were added to Stoltz's face to give the impression that Martin's brow and cheekbones were becoming distorted.
  • STAGE 3 (on view when Martin and Beth visit Stathis Borans, as well as when they arrive at the motel): Martin's entire head is deformed, his hairline is receding, and his voice is deepening. Also, the stringy white webbing is being excreted from his face now. Gelatin makeup appliances were added to Stoltz's entire head, and his voice was artificially lowered in post-production.
  • STAGE 4 (on view inside the motel, and when Bartok arrives to retrieve Martin): Martin (his voice now even deeper) has begun to instinctively pull the webbing out of his own body and wrap it around himself. As it hardens, the webbing begins to form a cocoon. At this point, Martin's legs have been enveloped by said cocoon. Now that Martin is no longer wearing clothes, a hideous assortment of lumps and bumps can be seen on his discolored body, his face and head are even more distorted, and his teeth and ears are receding. Some of his fingers are webbed together with flaps of skin, and claws are growing on his knuckles. Martin removes his human right eye in this stage to reveal an orange insect eye behind it. The most complex makeup, this stage took some 12 hours to apply to Eric Stoltz, and he was required to remain immobile on the motel couch (with his legs inside the partial cocoon) all that time, as well as during the additional hours of filming that immediately followed. Body makeup and gelatin bumps were added to Stoltz's arms and torso, in addition to the makeup appliances covering his face and head.

Soon, Martin is fully enveloped by the cocoon (which begins as slightly transparent, with the next stage becoming opaque and iridescent). The scene featuring Bartok talking to the cocooned Martin involved a Martin rod puppet—transformed from the waist-down—being operated inside a transparent cocoon that was filled with water.

After a brief gestation period, the final "Martinfly" creature is revealed when it bursts out of the cocoon and goes on a rampage around the Bartok complex. The iridescent creature has four arms (each of which features two large, clawed digits), two reverse-jointed legs, and its body is covered with insect hairs. Martinfly is also tall and slender, with a segmented torso. Its head has piercing, orange insect eyes (with pupils), distorted nostrils, and two flexible mandibles with sharp teeth covering a mouth full of still more teeth. The interior of the creature's mouth contains a pseudo-proboscis, which can spray corrosive enzymes at high velocity. Whereas the Brundlefly creature in the first film was deformed and sickly, Martinfly is very strong, very fast, and very deadly. The final Martinfly creature was created as a series of cable-controlled and rod-operated puppets.

Reception

The Fly II fared well in the box office making $20,021,322 at the US Box Office and a further $18,881,857 worldwide, but reviews were mixed. Many believe that Walas (who was the special effects engineer for the Oscar-winning make-up and creature effects in the first film) set out to repeat the success of the original by relying more on heavy gore and violence than on plot and atmosphere. However, it is appreciated by many fans of the horror genre for its great visual impact. Walas has stated that the film was designed to be much more of a traditional (albeit gory) monster movie than Cronenberg's horror/tragic love film.

The scene of a character's head being crushed by an elevator aroused some controversy with the MPAA: they originally gave the film an "X" rating due to its graphic nature. Ultimately Chris Walas was able to gain a more audience friendly "R" rating after reediting the sequence. The VHS and DVD versions retain the full scene.

The film received a certain amount of backlash regarding the 'mutant' dog, in particular, the scene where Martin mercifully euthanizes the dog, which is hideously deformed and kept in a large observation room. Many viewers were disturbed by the dog's appearance and sad fate as mentioned by Chris Walas in the documentary for the Special Edition DVD. He said the audience would feel more sympathy for a mutated animal than a human.

Production notes

The following are events related to film production:

  • An early treatment for a sequel to The Fly, written by Tim Lucas, involved Veronica Quaife dealing with the evils of the Bartok company. Seth Brundle's consciousness had somehow survived within the Telepod computer, and the Bartok scientists had enslaved him and were using him to develop the system for cloning purposes. Brundle becomes able to communicate with Veronica through the computer, and he eventually takes control of the Bartok complex's security systems to gruesomely attack the villains. Eventually, Veronica frees Brundle by conspiring with him to reintegrate a non-contaminated version of his original body. David Cronenberg endorsed this concept at the time. Geena Davis was open to doing a sequel (and only pulled out of Fly II because her character was to be killed in the opening scene), while Goldblum was not (although he was okay with a cameo), and this treatment reflects that. However, a later treatment written by Jim and Ken Wheat was used as the basis for the final script, written by Frank Darabont. Mick Garris also wrote a treatment, with elements incorporated into the final film.
  • The first videotape of Seth Brundle is actually part of a deleted scene from the first film (with Geena Davis' dialogue redubbed by Saffron Henderson, who played Veronica Quaife at the beginning of the sequel).
  • The movie contains a subtle reference to David Cronenberg, writer-director of the previous movie. In an early scene where Martin sneaks out of his room to explore the Bartok Industries facility, a guard is seen asleep at his post, and resting on the desk in front of him is a copy of The Shape of Rage, a book which discusses the films of David Cronenberg (and the book's cover features a photo of Cronenberg himself).
  • The script for The Fly II explained that Stathis Borans lived in such a fancy home because he'd taken hush money from Bartok (and had been told that Brundle's baby died in childbirth along with Veronica), but this was never mentioned on-screen. In an early treatment for The Fly II, it was revealed that the Telepods were not working because Stathis had taken the computer's information storage discs (which contained the Telepods' programming) before Bartok took possession of the pods. However, this detail was dropped from the final film, and it is left unclear as to why the Telepods suddenly aren't working at the beginning of the sequel.
  • Chris Walas mentioned on the DVD documentary that he was very displeased with the marketing of the film as he warned them not to use the "Like Father, Like Son" tagline as it sounded too "corny." The marketing executives still went ahead with the tagline. Producer Steven Charles-Jaffe says that he hates the marketing process as it could kill a movie with too much hype.

Deleted scenes

While Martin and Beth are on their way to visit Stathis Borans, they stop to get some fast food. While Beth is inside getting refreshments, a car full of young baseball players pulls up next to him. Seeing the deformed Martin, they begin to taunt him. Martin proceeds to violently vomit digestive fluid towards the car, dissolving one of the windows.

Beth quickly gets in the car and drives away. The coach in charge of the children, returning from the establishment to find his car window partly digested, shouts, "What the hell have you idiots done now?" before throwing down a tray of food and soda and hurling his hat at the children.

The other deleted scene available on DVD is an unused epilogue (which director Walas strongly lobbied against), which features Beth and Martin sitting by Beth's houseboat. Beth asks Martin how he feels. He stares back at her, revealing that he has one blue eye from before his transformation and one brown eye inherited from his Bartok genes, and replies, "Better. Much better."

Another scene that appears in the script--and was apparently filmed--featured Martin watching a videotape of Seth Brundle (right after the second videotape in which Seth explains his accident), nearing the end of his mutation and mentioning his "cure". In the DVD commentary, Walas mentions that this scene was filmed with a surviving Brundle puppet head from the first film. Presumably, Jeff Goldblum would have reprised the role of Brundle by recording dialogue for the scene.

Merchandise

A 14-inch polystone statue of "Martinfly" was made by Sideshow Collectibles in 2008.

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

The Fly II is a 1989 film directed by Chris Walas as a sequel to the 1986 movie The Fly. Eric Stoltz's character in The Fly II was the son of Seth Brundle, the scientist-turned-Brundlefly, played by Jeff Goldblum in the 1986 remake.

After the events of The Fly, Seth Brundle's son, Martin Brundle, is adopted by his father's place of employment while he simply waits for his mutant chromosones to come out of their dormant state - and thus The Fly is reborn.

Spoiler warning: Plot, ending, or solution details follow.

Contents

Dialogue

[Martin watches his father's videotaped notes.]
Seth Brundle: It's possible that the teleporter somehow... improved me. Theoretically, it might have seen where things could be improved, and it did it. I told it to be creative, and...I dunno, maybe it has been...

[Martin and Beth plead with the maimed and unforgiving Stathis Borans for help.]
Beth Logan: You bastard! Where's your compassion?
Stathis Borans: I had to give it up — it cost me an arm and a leg!
Martin Brundle: It cost you more than that.

[Martin grabs some of the sticky substance that is growing over his skin with his fingertips.]
Martin Brundle: Beth, if you stay with me, I'll show you a magic trick you'll never forget.

Taglines

  • Like father, like son.
  • A new generation of terror!

Cast

External links

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