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The Fly II
The Fly II
Directed by Chris Walas
Produced by Steven-Charles Jaffe
Mel Brooks (uncredited)
Screenplay by Mick Garris
Jim Wheat
Ken Wheat
Frank Darabont
Starring Eric Stoltz
Daphne Zuniga
Lee Richardson
Harley Cross
John Getz
Music by Christopher Young
Cinematography Robin Vidgeon
Editing by Sean Barton
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release February 10, 1989
Running time 105 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Gross revenue $38.9 million
Preceded by The Fly
Followed by

The Fly II is a 1989 science fiction horror film starring Eric Stoltz and Daphne Zuniga. It was directed by Chris Walas as a sequel to the 1986 Academy Award-winning film The Fly, itself a remake of the 1958 film of the same name. 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. With the exception of stock footage of Goldblum from the first film, John Getz was the only actor to reprise his role.

Plot

Several months after the events of The Fly, Veronica Quaife is about to deliver the child she had conceived with scientist Seth Brundle. Anton Bartok, owner of Bartok Industries (the company which financed Brundle's teleportation experiments), oversees the labor. Veronica dies from shock after giving birth to a squirming larval sac, which splits open to reveal a seemingly normal baby boy. The orphaned child, named Martin Brundle, is taken into Bartok's care. Bartok is fully aware of the teleportation accident which genetically merged Seth Brundle with a housefly (a condition that Martin has inherited), and he secretly plans to exploit Martin's unique condition.

Martin grows up in a clinical environment, and is constantly subjected to studies and tests by compassionless scientists. His development is highly accelerated as a result of his mutant genes, but he also possesses a genius-level intellect, incredible reflexes, and no need for sleep. He knows that he is aging faster than a normal human, but he is unaware of his insect heritage, having been told that his father suffered from the same rapid aging disease that Martin himself is afflicted with. As Martin grows, Bartok befriends him, amusing him with 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 has physically aged into a child of around ten, and frequently sneaks out of his quarters to explore the limited confines of the Bartok complex. One night, he finds a room full of laboratory animals, where he befriends a Golden Retriever. The next night, he sneaks out again to bring the dog some of his dinner, only to find that the animal is missing. Searching for the dog, Martin makes his way into an observation booth overlooking Bay 17, which contains Seth Brundle's two surviving Telepods. Bartok's scientists are attempting to replicate Brundle's experiments, and are using the Golden Retriever as a test subject. The teleportation fails, leaving the dog alive but horribly deformed. The mutated animal attacks and maims one of the scientists, and young Martin is horrified by the spectacle.

Two years later, Martin's body has physically matured to that of a twenty-five-year-old adult. On his fifth birthday, Bartok presents Martin with a bungalow on the Bartok facility's property, so as to give Martin the sense of privacy that he's lacked for his entire life. Bartok also offers Martin a job: Over the past five years, Bartok and his scientists have not made any progress in getting the Telepods to work successfully again after they were damaged on the night Seth Brundle died. Bartok expresses his hope that Martin will be able to finish what his father started, since the Telepods could be a great boon to humanity. Bartok also apologizes for the failed dog experiment, and reassures Martin that the animal's suffering was brief. Martin is uneasy about the proposition of working on the Telepods until Bartok presents him with Veronica Quaife's videotapes, which documented Seth Brundle's own progress with the Telepods. Seeing his late father describe how the Telepods had ostensibly improved and energized his body inspires Martin to agree to Bartok's proposal.

As he begins work on the Telepods, Martin befriends Bartok employee Beth Logan. They grow closer as Martin tries to get the Telepods to function correctly. Eventually, Beth invites Martin to a party at Bartok's specimens division. Overhearing some scientists at the party, Martin realizes that they are studying the mutated dog from two years prior. He argues with Beth (thinking that she was aware of the dog's imprisonment), breaks away from the party, and goes down to the animal's holding pen. The deformed dog, in terrible pain, still remembers Martin, who tearfully ends its misery by euthanizing it with chloroform. The next day, Bartok knowingly questions Martin about the dog's death, and Martin denies his involvement. Martin then reconciles with Beth, and shows her his recent success with the Telepods by teleporting a kitten without harm. Martin and Beth become lovers, but Martin also begins showing signs of his eventual mutation into a human-fly hybrid (a fate that is still unknown to him). However, Martin does devise a potential cure for his rapid-aging condition, which involves swapping out Martin's mutant genes for healthy human genes. Unfortunately, the Gene-swapping process would require the sacrifice of another human being, who will in turn suffer a grotesque genetic fate. Eventually, Martin learns that Bartok has hidden cameras in Martin's bungalow, and has been lying to him for his entire life. Angrily, Martin breaks into Bartok's records room, where he learns of his father's true fate, and is confronted by Bartok. Bartok explains that he's been waiting for Martin's inevitable mutation, and that he intends to use Martin's unique condition and the Telepods' talent for genetic manipulation to amass considerable power for himself.

By this time, Martin's dormant insect genes have awakened, and his transformation into a human-insect hybrid has begun. Martin escapes from Bartok Industries, but Bartok is unable to make any use of the repaired Telepods, as Martin has installed a password and a booby-trap computer virus, which will erase the Telepods' programming if the wrong "magic word" is entered. Bartok knows that they will never figure out the password without Martin, and so orders an extensive search for him. Martin goes to Beth and explains the situation, and the two flee. While evading Bartok's search, Martin and Beth visit Veronica Quaife's old confidant, Stathis Borans, who is now a reclusive, embittered drunk as a result of Veronica's death. Borans confirms for Martin that the Telepods are his only chance for a cure. Martin and Beth borrow Borans' Jeep 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. Before Martin becomes fully enveloped within a cocoon, Bartok tries to get him to reveal the Telepods' password, but Martin refuses. As Martin enters the final stages of his transformation, Beth is brought to Bay 17, where Bartok interrogates her about the "magic word." Meanwhile, the fully transformed "Martinfly" emerges from his cocoon and ruthlessly stalks and kills the scientists who manipulated him and the security guards who try to subdue him. Despite the brutal methods he uses to eliminate the security team, a trace of Martin's former humanity remains, as demonstrated by his refusal to harm a rottweiler that is sent to sniff him out.

Bartok orders Bay 17 sealed, but Martin enters there through the ventilation system. After killing security chief Scorby and two guards, Martin grabs Bartok's hand and forces him to type in the password (revealed to be "DAD"), before dragging himself and Bartok into Telepod 1. Martin gestures for Beth to activate the gene-swapping sequence, and, despite Bartok's protests, Beth complies. The gene-swapping sequence is initiated just as a large number of security force the doors open and storm Bay 17. Martin is restored to a fully human form, the fly genes now removed from his body, while Bartok suffers the fate of becoming a freakish monster himself. Ironically, the Bartok-creature is later placed in the same specimen pit in which he had previously kept the mutated dog, and is forced to live as a subject of scientific curiosity. In the final shot of the film, as the Bartok-creature leans down to feed from a bowl, it notices a housefly close by.

Cast

  • Eric Stoltz as Martin Brundle
  • Daphne Zuniga as Beth Logan
  • Lee Richardson as Anton Bartok
  • John Getz as Stathis Borans
  • Frank C. Turner as Shepard
  • Ann Marie Lee as Jainway
  • Garry Chalk as Scorby
  • Jerry Wasserman as Simms
  • Lorena Gale as Woman
  • Saffron Henderson as Veronica Quaife
  • Jeff Goldblum (uncredited archive footage) as Seth Brundle

External links

The Fly

The FlyThe Fly II

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