The film was directed by former special effects designer Chris Walas from a screenplay by Frank Darabont (A Nightmare on Elm Street 3; The Blob) and Jim and Ken Wheat (Pitch Black) as a sequel to David Cronenberg’s 1986 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 (Killer Bees; Zodiac) was the only actor to reprise his role.
On the DVD commentary track, Chris Walas, states his belief that screenwriter Frank Darabont wrote Bartok to represent the worst aspects of corporate America.
The Fly II fared well financially, taking $20,021,322 at the US box office and a further $18,881,857 worldwide, but reviews were largely negative. Many believe that Walas set out to repeat the success of the original by relying more on heavy gore and violence than on plot and atmosphere.
However, it is appreciated by many horror fans for its great visual impact. Walas has stated that the film was designed to be much more of a traditional (albeit gory) monster movie than Cronenberg’s horror/tragic love film.
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…
” … while clearly respecting what Cronenberg did before (a loving tribute to the Canadian auteur can even be spotted in one scene, where a security guard reads a book called The Shape of Rage), Walas appears to understand that what he’s making isn’t high art, but a fun horror flick.” Den of Geek!
“It’s bad enough when a botched experiment leaves a dog mangled and deformed, but how about when Eric Stoltz later discovers his old pet is still alive, living in a dungeon, barely able to lick food out of its bowl. It’s heartbreaking to watch the dog, which looks like living roadkill, start to wag its tail and whimper upon sight of its old human friend. And even more heartbreaking when Stoltz ends its pain.” Into the Dark
“Sadly all the action takes place in these colorless fake looking science labs where you don’t ever get a glimpse of the sun, but you do have to bump into Daphne Zuniga from time to time … There is nothing resembling a pace or even a pulse here, and you just sort of wait and wait for special effects artist turned director Chris Walas to get to the underwhelming finale.” Kindertrauma
Cast and characters:
Eric Stoltz … Martin Brundle
Daphne Zuniga … Beth Logan
Lee Richardson … Anton Bartok
John Getz … Stathis Borans
Frank C. Turner … Shepard
Ann Marie Lee … Jainway
Garry Chalk … Scorby
Jerry Wasserman … Simms
Lorena Gale … Woman
Saffron Henderson … Veronica Quaife
Jeff Goldblum … Seth Brundle [uncredited archive footage]