My first ever viewing of this film was during the first week of the new CG Arts & Animation course I am now in. Overall, despite the film's age, this would perhaps be one of my favorite films along with other science fiction oldies such as Inner-Space (1987) and the Alien saga.
Notes and pictures for reference to be used in my final review:
Movie starts off at the 'end' so to speak with the main chatacter's sister in law killing her husband/fiance, Andre, via factory press twice.
Takes place in France.
Sister in law says she 'killed' her husband, but suggest she did not murder him. She then goes on to say that he did it himself.
During the beginning the film, she swats a fly as if to imply a personal hatred with them.
Inspectors discover Andre's laboratory. The constant buzzing of a fly can be heard.
Scene switches to the sister in law in bed having breakfast. The maid swats a fly which she thinks was her husband, Andre. Inspectors think the fly is representative of something symbolic in her subconsious.
The inspector has dinner with the sister-in-law's son who tells him about a fly with a white head and that he was told to look for it by his mother. Taking note of this, the inspector goes to her when she asks how long flies live. About a month. She asks for him to destroy it.
Flashback to earlier in the timeline before she killed her husband, we see Andre in his human form in a ;perfect' family. He shows her his new invention--a prototype teleporter.
He places his family heirloom in the teleporter which teleports it to the next room. However, it comes out the other end in reverse, discovered by the words 'made in Japan' written in backwards letters after coming out the other end.
He experiments with the family cat and put the cat and a bowl of milk into the teleporter together. However, Dandelo, the cat, does not appear in the next room , The only thing left is a bowl of milk.
After two weeks of tinkering with the teleporter, he finally celebrates with champaigne which he teleports to the next room. He then uses a guinea pig, which appears in the next teleporter.
Her son catches the fly mentioned near the beginning of the film.
Andre's wife then recieves a letter from him saying that he is in trouble and that he cannot talk. She fetches a bowl of milk and rum for him.
With that, she enters and Andre is wearing a towl to cover his head.
As she mentions that her son caught the fly, Andre leaps up from his seat, exposing a claw for a hand. She runs out crying.
Through a series of yes or no bangs, he communicates with her.
They begin the search for the fly with the white head.
Andre goes through the teleporter by himself in attempt to fix his mutation.
However, the process fails. The sister in law faints at the sight of his fly head. Angered, he destroys the teleporter. and rids himself of all the notes and plans.
He asks her to come with him in order to destroy both himself and the fly, writing the final words 'LOVE YOU' on the chalkboard as a final gesture of his humanity before it slips away. They go to the factory press featured in the beginning of the film. He sets the press himself and crushes himself beneath it. She misses the arm, placing it underneath it to crush him a second time.
Flash-forward to the 'beginning' of the film and the inspectors are debating whether or not the story is fact or fiction. One of them asks what he can do to prove the story is realm. 'Show me the fly' says the other.
After a walk in the park, the inspector ignores the fly with the white head who is trapped in a spider's web saying in a high-pitched voice: "Help me! Help me!"
The sister-in-law in arrested the next morning where the inspector admits that he never had the fly all along.
The little boy mentions that he saw the fly again in the web and he rushes to the other inspector.
They both go to the garden to witness a small Andre being eaten alive by the spider. The inspector picks up a rock and crushes both the spider and the Andre-fly.
Flies and insects in general are often thought of as filthy, verminous creatures. The use of flies in this film generates the 'squeemish factor' in the audience.
Though by today's standards the effects are old and almost comedic in a way, the last scene with the spider still generates a feeling of horror.