I have never seen David Cronenberg’s The Fly (1986)
For years, my only real knowledge of The Fly was when Bart Simpson turned into half-boy/half-insect in a Simpson’s “Treehouse of Horrors” Halloween episode where his mom Marge beat him over the head with a broomstick. Needless to say, I was never jumping at the heels to watch the movie that was being joked about. Aaannnddd I’ve never been a big fan of Jeff Goldblum (I’m allowed to have an opinion!). Aaaaaaaannnnnnnnddddddddd I’ve never fully bought into a horror movie based upon something that is so small and insignificant; my dog doesn’t even always feel a fly when it lands on his nose.
But here we are, after years and years of having next to no interest, one day I caved into my Netflix suggestions and decided I’d turn on the 1986 David Cronenberg remake of the early classic – just have it on for some background noise as I cleaned the basement.
No cleaning was done. This movie, which I thought was going to come off as a campy, dated and lame venture, turned into one of my new favorites. I’m not sure exactly how the movie would like to be categorized. Whether it is a Sci-Fi or a Drama, I’m sticking with calling it a horror movie. This movie itself is 31 years old and has some of the most unsettling, skin crawling scenes that I have ever seen.
Keep reading after the trailer
Seeing as how the premise was what made me keep my distance, it didn’t take me long to completely buy into the scenario at all. Brief rundown: Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) tries getting into the pants of journalist Veronica Quaife (Geena Davis) the only way a nerd knows how and that’s by showing her his newest science experiment. Brundle gets Veronica into his dimly lit and ultra rapey science lab/apartment. Brundle shows off his two giant honeycomb looking teleportation devices. These devices, he claims, can transfer a living being from one pod to the next. After multiple test runs, Brundle (now banging Veronica on the reg) decides he has so much faith in his creation, that it’s time for he, himself, to be the first human to experience teleportation. That is until a pesky little fly secretly enters the pod with the unknowing Brundle. Once the transfer of bodies is finished, Brundle’s DNA is now mixed with fly DNA; slowly exposing itself within the confines of the greater part of the 1 hour, 36 minute runtime.
As silly as that may all sound, the players take it so serious and the movie is played in such a tone, that it isn’t hard for you to invest into it – maybe that’s credit to Cronenberg. 80s movies always had such great scores, and the great acting only bettered this movie, but the make-up, THE MAKE-UP and effects were unreal.
Birth of The Fly
Seeing Seth Brundle slowly turn into a gross looking insect/hunchback was crazy fun to watch; each evolved stage into ugliness becoming more and more uncomfortable to witness. The greasiness and oozing of the puss and the hair growth could be a horror movie in itself. McFarlane Toys made this version of the fly immortalized in their ‘Movie Maniacs’ toyline back in the early 2000s. In one “birth” scene, my girlfriend, who watches most horror movies alongside me (to her dismay), had to actually up and leave because it was so gross and uncomfortable – something I’ve NEVER seen her do!
“It’s Jeff Goldblum’s best movie so STFU”
This movie is worth finding if you have not already seen it and if you have, revisit this particular lab because it’s an experiment worth repeating. The Fly, although a remake, is a great throwback to how fantastic movies from that era were. The simple fact that it’s so unsettling and revolting keeps you thinking about it long after the credits roll – to me, that’s always the sign of a good movie. It’s Jeff Goldblum’s best movie (my opinion so STFU), and it’s the best insect-inspired horror movie I’ve ever seen. Bonus credit in that it has a 100% “girlfriend will leave you alone while watching” rating. To a modern generation, I feel that ‘The Fly’ is so underrated and really deserves to be in the discussion of all-time greats. As for ‘The Fly II’, maybe I’ll hold off just a bit to savor the enjoyment of this movie. Parting words: just remember to be afraid. Be very afraid.