Figure 1. The Fly poster
In This Classic 1950's American sci-fi horror directed by Kurt Nuemann an over obsessive Professor Andre Delambre (David Hedison) is manipulating the very laws of physics with his teleportation devices. His revolutionary idea requires the disintegration of matter into single atoms which are then projected through the air and are reassembled in the correct order in the corresponding teleportation unit. The Professor appears to be on the edge of a breakthrough, after successfully teleporting a guinea pig he decides to test his invention on himself when, due to a single moment of carelessness, an ordinary housefly enters the teleporter and the two are inadvertently spliced together.
Figure 2. Andre-fly
The fly headed and armed creature, previously professor Andre, is very suggestive of the religious beliefs of the ancient Egyptians where theriocephalic (Theriocephaly - the condition or quality of having the head of an animal- see figure 2) depictions of humans with animal heads were worshipped as deities. The most famous of which being Horus, always pictured with the head of a falcon and Anubis, depicted with the head of a jackal. Although what seems to stand out in this instance is that the hybridized Andre-fly is more of a creature and relates back to Greek Mythology where humans were subjected to horrific metamorphosis as punishment for their pride.
Figure 3. Andre and Dandelo
This film touches on the ethics of playing God and introduces a state of karmic retribution where one man is punished for seeking to elevate mankind above and beyond godlike stature. It is noticeable that this film warns of the dangers of the rapid advance of science and the amount of power one man can possess, “Stripped of a voice, this Fly channels fears about what science...specifically nuclear energy...might yield during the Cold War.” (Hedison,1958) here Hedison reflects on his portrayal of the fly and relates to us the fears 1950’s America had of exposure to atomic radiation and the threat of a nuclear war with the Russians. As we see in figure 3 Andre attempts to teleport Dandelo, the family cat, with unsuccessful results and also in figure 2 it is clear that his experiment has gone disastrously wrong thus feeding the public’s fear of the super advancement of radioactive technology.
Figure 4. THE END
List of Illustrations:
(Figure 1) http://www.speedyshare.com/search/The_Fly_1958_-_Mikey_s_Movies_Horror_and_Exploitation.1381939.html
(Figure 2) http://mutantville.com/blog/3444/the-fly/
(Figure 3) http://www.hollywoodgothique.com/2006/03/friday-cat-blogging-the-fly-1958/
(Figure 4) http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?q=the+fly+1958&um=1&hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-GB:official&biw=1086&bih=528&tbm=isch&tbnid=yBW7JGO5x6rWIM:&imgrefurl=http://skygecko-nat.blogspot.com/2010/10/fly-dir-kurt-neumann-1958.html&docid=ohNWkgyJDKf1rM&w=1337&h=578&ei=1ieKTv8Rw6nwA7ub0FU&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=714&vpy=146&dur=255&hovh=74&hovw=172&tx=174&ty=69&page=5&tbnh=74&tbnw=172&start=41&ndsp=10&ved=1t:429,r:9,s:41
(Hedison,1958) The Fly, David Hedison, 1958. © 20th Century Fox Film Corp./ Courtesy of the Everett Collection. http://blogs.amctv.com/photo-galleries/the-complete-fly/the-fly-1958.php