The best laid plans of mice and men, not to mention flies.
This is first rate science fiction, but of a heart-wrenching variety.
This story is a bit in the spirit of Jack London tales, where some spirited individual gets crushed (in this case, literally), by going out too far on his own.
In this case the spirited individual is a family man who happens to be a scientific genius, developing in his basement the first matter teleportation device. It works, but he fails to realize that the wilderness he confronts in it is not as user friendly as his wife and kid. It confuses him with a fly (which was in the disintegrator with him but escaping his notice). In other words he escapes nature's notice, which didn't bother to distinguish him from the fly, treating him with even more indifference than he treated the fly...
Interestingly, the 1986 remake was not a remake at all, but a spinoff. This spinoff being the opposite story, really: There, only the interpersonal relations fail to be user friendly; nature is fine. (In both films there is a love triangle, but in the first the hero is on the inside track and fine; in the second, the hero is on the outside-and it does him in.)
Acting is very good and script is flawless. Effects do what they need to do and makeup is effective (sometimes very).
One of the best acting scenes is when the wife wakes up in bed alone, clothed, and we watch her as she gradually realizes that what she slowly remembers was not a nightmare, but real-a very intense scene and executed without a word.
Another good scene is where the wife finally sees him eye to eye for the first time after the accident, expecting him to be ok by hoping against hope. She is disappointed, to put it mildly. And the audience can't help but feel for and with her. And with him.
The drama in the lab, with the lab-coat and ever-present equations on the blackboard silently in the background, is classic and captivating; in the most dramatic moment the blackboard gets carelessly rubbed out and the husband scribbles, "I love you."
Hedison's performance is unforgettable.
Though tragic, the film has its own charm and fascination. His son in the end decides that he also wants to be a scientist, and many a kid watching the film may well come to the same conclusion.
Blu-ray transfer is very good. Some minor glitches in getting it to run; resolved them by turning off the BD internet access.