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|“||Of course, I want it to happen. You're the prototype for a whole new age of biological exploration. With you as the model and the telepods as the tool Bartok lndustries will control the form and function of all life on Earth. Calmly, Martin. Accept it. This was planned from the day you were born. We'll do everything we can to make it as painless as possible for you.||„|
|~ Bartok telling Martin his true plans.|
Anton Bartok is the overall main antagonist of the 1986-1989 The Fly horror film duology. Serving as the unseen overarching antagonist of The Fly and the main antagonist of The Fly II. Bartok is also the main antagonist of The Fly II's comic book sequel, The Fly: Outbreak. He is the head of Bartok Industries and the benefactor of Seth Brundle's experiments.
He was portrayed by the late Lee Richardson.
Bartok was the owner and CEO of Bartok Industries, a company which specialized in scientific research and development. One of his most promising employees was a brilliant young scientist named Seth Brundle, a man who nearly won the Nobel Prize for physics at the young age of 20. Brundle had begun work on a project that he was extremely secretive about, but Bartok allowed him his privacy because Brundle's budget for the project was relatively inexpensive, and also because he knew that he would eventually own whatever it was that Brundle developed. Considering Brundle's undeniable genius, it is highly likely that Bartok felt comfortable humoring the quirky scientist's requests to not be disturbed during the completion of the project. Brundle was working on teleportation pods, as he had severe motion sickness and wanted a way to travel without getting sick. However, one of the teleportation experiments went horribly wrong, with him accidentally teleporting with a fly that was in the pod. This fused Brundle and the fly together, and he eventually turned into a fly monster and died, but not before impregnating his girlfriend, Veronica.
The Fly II
After Seth's death, Bartok tried to benefit from his experiments and take in the last two people who saw Seth alive, his pregnant girlfriend Veronica Quaife and her boss, Stathis Borans. Knowing that Veronica is pregnant with a mutant, Bartok lies to her, convincing Veronica that her baby will be normal.
At the time of the birth, which Bartok oversaw, Veronica dies of a cardiac arrest upon seeing that the child is an insect. It is revealed that Martin is a seemingly normal baby boy, having been born in a sac. Bartok learned that Martin had fly genes deep within him, and that, eventually, he would turn into a fly monster just like his father. Naming the child Martin, Bartok and his scientists initially raised him in a clinical environment, with Bartok imitating a father figure. Martin was far smarter than the average child, and aged much quicker than normal due to his genes. Bartok lied to Martin, telling the child that he was being studied due to a rare aging disorder which killed his father prematurely.
At the age of three (physically ten), Martin befriends a dog that was selected to take part in the telepods experiments. Martin witnesses the experiments and sees the dog was become mutated and sickly. This terrifies Martin, but Bartok eventually reassures Martin that the dog was put down.
At the age of five (physically twenty), Martin became an official worker for Bartok Industries and was put in charge of the telepod experiments. Martin has become more social and got his own home on the Industries property. Martin befriends and falls in love with a new employee named Beth Logan. With some help, Martin is able to get the telepods to work properly. While walking around the industry's facilities, he finds a secret room where he discovers that the mutated dog is still alive and in great pain. At first, the animal is aggressive, but then recognizes Martin, who comforts the dog. Upset that the animal is still suffering for all these years and that Bartok had lied to him, Martin puts the dog down using chloroform. After this, Martin learns that Bartok has been spying on him with cameras in his home.
Eventually, Martin learns the truth: that his father did not die from an aging disorder, but rather the fly genetics inside of him. Martin learns about his fly genes and realizes that he does not have much time before he mutates into a fly monster. Martin flees Bartok Industries and meets up with Beth. Bartok calls on a manhunt for them when he learns that Martin has a password to work the telepods. Martin and Beth go on the run and head for the home of the only person Martin thinks can help him: Stathis Borans. Debriefing Borans, Martin learns how to cure himself - by entering a telepod with a healthy body, and transferring his genes to that body and visa versa. When Martin is at an advanced stage of his transformation Beth becomes worried and calls Bartok.
They are taken back to the Industires and held against their will. Bartok plans on keeping Martin in the pit and possibly killing Beth. Martin fully transforms into the "Martin-Fly". Martin breaks free and kills his captors and takes his revenge of the workers of Bartok Industries. Bartok is callous about this and demands Martin be taken alive. Martin shows traits of his former humanity when he doesn't attack a dog sent to sniff him out and Beth. Beth and Bartok briefly fight before Bartok is overpowered and dragged off by Martin. Beth activates the telepods and Bartok begs for his life as Martin types the password (DAD) and enters the telepods with Bartok, switching each other's genes. Martin emerges the healthy human he once was, and Bartok, a bloated, heavily mutated maggot like monster.
In the film ending it is shown that Bartok is still alive and suffering, but being kept in the same pit where he kept the dog and being fed the same slop.
The Fly: Outbreak
In the comic sequel to The Fly II, Bartok is still alive and in his mutated maggot form. Martin feels bad for turning Bartok into a monster, so he attempts to find a way to cure him. Martin uses Bartok for tests in the telepods several times, but with no success. Bartok eventually turns into a fly monster just as Martin had seem to exact revenge for the mutation and attacks Martin. After a struggle, Martin manages to finally kill Bartok-Fly.
|“||The future is right here in this very room. Imagine a new era of surgery without incision. Cutting people open will be primitive; a thing of the past. All the things will become obsolete overnight. That's what these machines represent: A new age.||„|
|~ Bartok detailing his plans to control the future of scientific technology.|
The film's commentary from director Chris Walas describes him as being "the absolute worst corporate America has to offer". Bartok is shown to be relentless in his plans, being greedy and obsessed with expanding his power. Bartok wanted his company to control the future of evolution on planet Earth and was willing to go to any ends to achieve this goal. Bartok is likely a psychopath, and shows no warmth towards anyone. Whatever warmth Bartok shows seems to be a fabrication to get people to trust him (like Martin). Bartok does rarely portray positive traits, such as comforting Martin after he witnessed the dog's mutation, providing Martin with a comfortable home on his fifth birthday and claiming that he wanted to use the telepods to provide painless and quick surgeries. However, these were likely just done to manipulate Martin. At one point, his heavily-armed security team proclaimed that Martin has killed three people and that he should be killed before more lives are taken, however Bartok scoffs at this and sarcastically remarks that it is a "tragedy", but refuses to change his mind that Martin must be captured alive.
Of his entire character, the personality trait that perhaps most defines Bartok is his willingness to lie. When Martin was growing up, he presented himself as being a warm and friendly father figure, but this is one of many lies he told the boy and likely many others. His true nature is shown to be cold and careless as indicated during Martin's deformed birth, Veronica screamed to Bartok that he promised there will be no defects, to which he responds with a cold unsympathetic stare. Bartok also claimed that Martin would live in a new home with privacy, though this was also a lie as he secretly had the home bugged with cameras and microphones. Bartok also lied to Martin claiming that his father died from an aging disorder, and had the child endure painful injections that were simply placebos just so the child had "a sense of hope" that they could exploit for experimentation. Bartok never even attempted to cure Martin and only kept the child around so he could study him once he underwent the inevitable and extremely painful fly transformation.
Bartok shows no pleasure from inflicting pain, however, he seems to be completely indifferent towards the suffering of innocents if it will further his own success. As soon as one of his top scientists died in a gruesome accident, Bartok completely disregarded the implications of this and attempted to study the results of this, stealing the research that Seth gave his life for and using it for personal gain. Bartok also attempted to separate Beth and Martin just so he could have more control over him. Just to further his own ends, Bartok manipulated a young boy for years and posed as a friend and father figure while secretly planning to condemn him to a fate worse than death for the rest of his life. Bartok is also callous and cruel with his other experiments. His scientists were unable to transport inanimate objects like fruit without destroying them, yet they attempted to teleport live animals just to see what would happen, resulting in a mutated dog that was helpless and in constant pain. Bartok lied again to Martin, claiming that the mutated dog had been put out of its misery, when he had really been keeping it alive and studying it for two years, just to see how long it would live like that.