Fluke Movie Poster
|Directed by||Carlo Carlei|
|Produced by||Paul Maslansky
|Written by||James Herbert (novel)
|Narrated by||Matthew Modine|
|Music by||Carlo Siliotto|
|Edited by||Mark Conte|
Fluke is a 1995 drama film directed by Carlo Carlei and starring Matthew Modine as the voice of the title character with supporting roles featuring Eric Stoltz, Nancy Travis, Max Pomeranc, Bill Cobbs, Ron Perlman, Jon Polito and Samuel L. Jackson as the voice of Rumbo. The film was based on the novel of the same name by James Herbert.
Fluke is a mutt puppy (an Irish setter, played by dog actor Buddy, voiced by Sam Gifaldi), who has flashing memories and dreams of having lived a human life. After being taken to a pound and eventually escaping, he is raised by an elderly homeless woman named Bella (Collin Wilcox Paxton), who gives him the name Fluke, stating that he is "a fluke by nature, and by name."
After Bella dies of an illness due to poor conditions, Fluke meets a street-wise dog named Rumbo (voiced by Samuel L. Jackson) who takes him to see a man named Bert (Bill Cobbs) who feeds Fluke and Rumbo. Fluke matures into an adult dog (now voiced by Matthew Modine) and eventually realizes that he was once a man named Thomas P. Johnson (also portrayed by Matthew Modine), who died in a car crash.
Fluke is then abducted by a man named Sylvester (Ron Perlman) to be used in makeup experiments at a cosmetics company. During his captivity, Rumbo comes to the rescue, and Rumbo is shot by Sylvester, as he and Fluke escape. A dying Rumbo tells Fluke that the black-and-white snapshot of a man in a sailor suit on Bert's wall was him and Bert was his brother and that he wishes to smell the sea again, suggesting that he died in the line of duty.
He suspects that his human death was caused by his former business partner Jeff Newman (Eric Stoltz) and viciously attacks him when he visits the house, and ends up getting put outside. During his life as a dog, he gets to know his family better and regrets his decisions as a workaholic.
Fluke comes close to killing Jeff by causing him to get into a car accident that ends up with him being injured, but has a flashback and realizes that Jeff wasn't responsible for his death. Instead, his death was caused by his own anger and recklessness.
Fluke eventually manages to show his wife who he really is by digging away the snow covering the word "forever" at the bottom of his tombstone, something that in his human life, he would often say to his wife. She is shocked, but understanding, and with a heavy heart, he decides to leave and never return. He realized that life is simply meant to be cherished, regardless of how one lives it.
Far away and sometime later, Fluke is resting under a tree by himself. To his surprise, he encounters Rumbo, now reincarnated as a squirrel. Rumbo tells Fluke about life as a squirrel and about reincarnation.
- Matthew Modine as Thomas P. Johnson, a workaholic, Jeff's best friend, Carol's husband and Brian's father
- Nancy Travis as Carol Johnson, Thomas's wife, Brian's mother
- Max Pomeranc as Brian Johnson, Thomas and Carol's son
- Eric Stoltz as Jeff Newman, Thomas's best friend
- Bill Cobbs as Bert
- Ron Perlman as Sylvester
- Jon Polito as Boss
- Collin Wilcox Paxton as Bella
- Buddy as Fluke
Reviews of Fluke were negative with film review website Rotten Tomatoes tallying only 27% of its collected reviews as positive, giving the film a label of "Rotten". Despite these poor reviews both Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel gave it thumbs up , and the film also received a rating of 6.6/10 from the movie website Internet Movie Database. In addition to IMDb, Allmovie's reviewer Mark Deming gave the film 3/5 stars. Fluke underperformed at the box office, generating just under $4 million in the American box office. Fluke was nominated in 1996 by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films for Best Fantasy Film and Best Performance by a Younger Actor for Max Pomeranc.