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Film / The Fly II

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The Fly II is the 1989 sequel to David Cronenberg's remake The Fly.

After the events of the previous film, Veronica Quaife, the lover of the late mutated scientist Seth Brundle, is carrying his child. They've been put into the care of Bartok Industries, the Mega-Corp specializing in genetic research which initially financed Brundle's experiments. Its CEO Anton Bartok allows Veronica to die during delivery to obtain the baby. Naming the boy Martin, the child begins to develop at an accelerated rate. When Martin has physically become a young man, the mutations start to return and he becomes a threat to those around him.

In 2015, IDW Publishing released a five issue comicbook sequel to the film titled "The Fly: Outbreak", which follows Martin as he accidentally causes more genetic mishaps.


This film provides examples of:

  • Actionized Sequel: Features more gun related action scenes than the first and the fact Martinfly is more formidable than his sickly Brundlefly father from the first film.
  • Actor Allusion: Eric Stoltz's character's name is Martin Brundle, and the creature he transforms into is nicknamed "Martinfly." Eric was originally cast as Marty McFly in Back to the Future, until he was replaced by Michael J. Fox. Interestingly enough, Jeff Goldblum, who played Martin's father Seth in the original 1986 film, was considered for the role of Doc Brown in Back to the Future also until he was replaced by his The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension co-star Christopher Lloyd.
  • The Alcoholic: Stathis Borans, as a result of his maiming at Seth's hands in the first movie and Veronica's death.
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  • And I Must Scream: Bartok's karmic end has him reduced to a hideously deformed mutant crawling around in a pit, pitifully squirming around, and barely able to even feed himself.
  • Ascended Extra: Bartok Industries. The company was only mentioned offhand a few times in the original movie, while it serves as the centerpiece of the sequel.
  • Asshole Victim: Pretty much everyone Martin kills after his transformation, especially the two scientists, who despite having raised him since birth never saw him as anything more than a lab rat and treated him like crap.
  • Big Bad: Anton Bartok.
  • Big "NO!": Bartok when Martinfly drags him into the telepod with him.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Anton Bartok acts like a kind father figure to Martin, and is very much the only person there who treats him kindly. But it's all a lie; he only sees Martin as a useful tool for his corporate interests.
  • Body Horror: The dog, though averted with Martin's transformation, as most of it took place in a cocoon. Bartok wasn't so lucky...
  • Cursed with Awesome: Doubly so for Martin compared to his father, since his Martinfly form, while inhuman, turns out to be a coherent, seemingly healthy lifeform instead of a diseased, deformed mishmash of genetic goo (possibly due to being born with the fly genes instead of having them abruptly inserted into him as an adult). He's much more of a werefly / alien lifeform than the diseased corpse like wreck Seth ended up turning into in the first film.
  • Death by Childbirth / Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Veronica at the beginning.
  • Deliberate Injury Gambit: Granted, it's likely that it did legitimate damage, but Bartok is done in by Martinfly after the latter feigns fatal damage from Bartok's gunshot, letting Bartok get close enough so that he could grab and drag him into the telepod.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: In stark contrast to the first movie.
  • Evil Gloating: Scorby is a petty asshole security guard who stops to laugh at Martin and gloat about taping him and Beth in bed. Martin takes the opportunity to grab him, throw him through a window and escape.
  • Eye Scream: At one point, during his transformation, Martin pulls out his right eye to reveal an insect eye behind it.
  • Fate Worse than Death: The Red Shirt security guard Mackenzie has his face and eyes melted by acid and survives by reflexively ripping off the affected portions before it can completely eat through his head. However, given he can't see or speak, he would've been better off dying.
  • The Grotesque: In contrast to his father's mutation, Martin's transformation retains his sanity, intellect, and sense of morals.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: This movie confirms that Seth and Veronica conceived Martin after his mutation.
  • Happy Ending Override: Not that the first film ended happily by any means, but it gets even worse for Veronica and Stathis in this one: Veronica dies in childbirth and Stathis turns into a drunken Jerkass Woobie due to the pain of losing her.
  • It Can Think: Even in his monstrous form, Martinfly still possesses his human intellect, enough to demonstrate his mind has not been affected by the transformation. He understands how Bartok's technology works, he uses trickery to get the jump on his enemies, and even pets a dog that poses no threat to him.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Anton Bartok, the Big Bad, who let Martin undergo his transformation and finish the teleporter for his own greedy ends, is ultimately fused with Martin's insect genes through the teleporter, turning him to a hideously deformed mutant. It becomes even more karmic when the epilogue reveals that he's been placed in the same pit the mutated dog was earlier in the movie. It would have been even more so had the original scripted ending been shot: Mutant!Bartok would have begged the now completely human Martin to kill him, only for Martin to shake his head, say "Sorry, dad" and feed him the slop he eats in the last scene.
  • Like Parent, Like Spouse: Martin's girlfriend Beth bears a rather striking resemblance to his late mother Veronica. Which is especially odd considering that Martin has only met his mother for a few seconds before her Death by Childbirth, though the film does show Martin displaying superhuman memory skills even as a toddler.
  • Lighter and Softer: In comparison to the first one at least. It still features a ton of grotesque imagery including seeing a dog get mutilated by a telepod experiment, and a guy peeling his face off after getting it covered in Martinfly's digestive juice.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Averted, as Martinfly is far less mashed up than his father. Also justified, as Martinfly is at least 75% human.
  • Mohs Scale of Violence Hardness: The first film was a 9 but this takes it up to 10 with an exponentially bigger body count, more maimings, and the fact that the audience is supposed to be on Martinfly's side and cheer on his Roaring Rampage of Revenge. In the original, Seth's growing inhumanity and the cruelty he inflicted on others was treated as a tragic, horrifying fall from grace.
  • Mook Horror Show: The last leg of the film plays out like a typical horror film with a rampaging monster killing everyone, but in this cast the monster is the hero, giving his victims their just desserts.
  • One Password Attempt Ever: Bartok Industries scientists attempt to activate Martin's telepods when he escapes. This is actually a case of Two Password Attempts Ever, because when they give the wrong password at the computer's prompt of WHAT'S THE MAGIC WORD?, it gives them another chance, telling them, WARNING: INCORRECT RESPONSE WILL ACTIVATE TAPEWORM. Bartok understands that only Martin knows or would know the "magic word."
  • Painful Transformation: Averted in the sequel, Martin's transformation is more natural as a deliberate counterpoint to Seth's. His body literally undergoes the life cycle of an insect — his rapidly growing human form is functionally a larvae, his deforming body the instar, he develops a cocoon / pupa, and he emerges a powerful Insect Man hybrid. The Martinfly creature is very strong, very fast, and very deadly... The opposite of his father.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Martinfly literally pets a dog in the middle of his murderous rampage through the facility.
    • Another example, a not so literal one, is Martinfly sparing Beth Logan, his love interest, when he encounters her at one point. All of this suggests that Martin's mind is largely unchanged despite his body's metamorphosis.
    • Even though he transitions to being a straight Jerkass (though understandably a pitiful one), Stathis still have some Jerk with a Heart of Gold qualities left inside him carried from the original film such as his last words of encouragement towards Martin and Beth to find a cure after he makes it clear the Telepods are his only chance for one and offering his jeep to them to prevent them being easily tracked down by Bartok.
  • Rapid Aging: Martin ages at four times the normal human rate. He knows that this is abnormal; he just isn't aware of the actual cause of it. Bartok and his underlings tell him that he inherited a rapid aging disorder from his father, who ultimately succumbed to it, and convince Martin that finishing Seth's work could provide a cure. Only later does Martin what really happened to his father and what this means for him.
  • Research, Inc.: Bartok Industries.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Martinfly goes on an epic one through Bartok Industries.
  • Series Continuity Error: Martin learns what really happened to his father via the latter's explanation to Veronica when he allowed her to see him again after a month's estrangement on his part, recycling some footage from the first film in the process. Trouble is, that wasn't videotaped in-universe.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Dr. Shephard, who didn't have the sense to go somewhere else besides the basement where Martinfly is.
    • Bartok's stubborn refusal to let Martinfly be killed despite having already injured or killed several people.
    • A security guard who didn't have the good sense to wait for backup or simply look up leads to his face and one of his hands getting melted off.
    • Scorby's jerkass tendencies and poor trigger discipline leads to a scientist's death while trying to kill Martinfly.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Martinfly vomits on a security guard, and his face melts off. The guard barely survives by tearing off his own face before the vomit can kill him.
  • Younger Than They Look: Martin Brundle in The Fly II, who ages to Mr. Fanservice level in about six years.


Example of: