John Carpenter Prefers This Classic Sci-Fi Film to the Remake

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John Carpenter, on the set of BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA, 1986. TM and Copyright © 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved. Courtesy: Everett Collection.

John Carpenter is an undisputed master of horror. So, it’s always a pleasure to see him weigh in with a take that goes against popular opinion. A few years back, the famed director sat down with Fader to discuss some of his favorite horror films. During that exchange, Carpenter revealed that he prefers Kurt Neumann’s The Fly (1958) to the more celebrated David Cronenberg incarnation from 1986.

“The original The Fly — that was a movie where the popcorn went flying,” Carpenter told Fader. “I jumped up. I was so scared! It’s pretty creepy! I know everyone loves the remake, but I love the old one. When his wife rips the hood off him and there’s a big fly head there, I just — the popcorn went flyin’! That just scared the hell outta me. I was 10. I should have known better! I should’ve been more mature and cooler, but I wasn’t. I was a wimp then. I admit it.

That’s quite the endorsement. If you’re curious to check the film out, you can find it available as a digital rental. However, it appears the picture is currently out of print on physical media.

The setup is as follows: When scientist Andre Delambre (Al Hedison) tests his matter transporter on himself, an errant housefly makes its way into the transportation chamber, and things go horribly wrong. As a result, Delambre’s head and arm are now that of the insect. Slowly losing himself to the fly, Delambre turns to his wife, Helene (Patricia Owens), for help. But when tragedy strikes, Delambre’s brother (Vincent Price) and Inspector Charas (Herbert Marshall) are forced to pick up the investigation.

That’s all we’ve got for you for the time being. Stay tuned to the site for more recommendations from the masters as we learn them. And be sure to follow @DreadCentral on Twitter so you never miss an update.

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