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27 October 2011

The Fly (1986) [Horror Marathon] 26#

Director: David Cronenberg
Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi, Drama
Runtime: 96 Minutes
Let’s start with the idea that this is a remake (well a very loose remake). As far as remakes come, this one definitely surpasses the original 50’s classic. “The Fly” is horrifically traumatic and has far more depth. With an eccentric performance from Jeff Goldblum, the film is terrific right up to the outstanding finale. With many Cronenbergian effects coming from director David Cronenberg, you can expect some amazement and appreciation of the make-up work. In no way, a disappointment and an excellent Sci-Fi film with brutal irony.

Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum), a nerdy self-working science resercher invites the journalist Veronica Geena Davis) to his lab at a science convention (great pick up line huh?). Seth prepares to demonstrate his "telepod," which can theoretically transfer matter through space. As they grow closer over the next few weeks, she inadvertently goads Seth into experimenting with human beings rather than inanimate objects. Seth himself enters the telepod, preparing to transmit himself through the ether -- but he does not know that he is sharing the telepod with a tiny housefly.

As soon as the film begins, we dive in to the action. Unlike the original where we have to wait about 30 minutes before seeing the experimentation happening, the device is ready for use and really takes off.  We dive in to Seth’s life and we see how he begins to lose his humanity. The film scares you smart and definitely has a horrifying theme in its own way.

The original 1958 version of “The Fly” looks like a common kid’s movie compared to this one. Therefore, this is a great improvement. It dives deeper in to the idea of the teleportation machine and includes better character development, better plot and everything for that matter. Not to say the original still isn’t a classic. The story is firm and gripping and in addition, it is filled with all different diseases packed in to one. This gives the film a great versatility that can be interpreted in many ways. For me, I consider this a consequence and tragedy of science experimentation.

During Seth’s transformation, several things happen. His nails fall off, he begins vomiting to dissolve and digest his food, spurts some disgusting fluid out of his fingertips and even one of his ears fall off. It looks at many different illnesses and packs them in to one making the film, as I said, very versatile. The conditions take after at AIDS, aging, Poliomyelitis and I am sure a whole lot of others in some way.  The great thing about it is you don’t have to be a science nerd to simply see how serious the conditions he is having are. 


The character developments blow you away with this film and you could not ask for much more from the whimsically eccentric performance from Jeff Goldblum. Alas, Geena Davis, a terrific actress indeed, who supported Goldblum so well. Goldblum and Davis contrast so well, which makes this, film a great drama. Even John Getz added to the film, (Getz, being the ex-boyfriend of Davis’s character), made the film more exciting. The film has few proper main characters so every character had to extra special, which due to the strong character developments they are. 

The special effects were overwhelming and same with the make-up achievement. As with many of Cronenberg’s films, we are confronted with some gory and quite grotesque effects that are so disgusting you appreciate achievement being made. The several stages we see of ‘Brundle Fly’ were extremely well done and as it goes on, it progressively gets more yucky, gritty and grotesque. The effects were amazing for their time, and would not suit today’s CGI format, so the film is in the right place at the right time. By the end of the film, we end up with an inhuman result that will have your eyes open wide on first sight. I know mine sure were the first time I saw it around this time last year.

I also feel that this film is a very solid drama. It involves you so much with the characters; you grow great concern or them in some way. Why? Due to the characters being so strong, there is a heap of sympathy, empathy and pity for Brundle’s fatal transformation. The film is emotionally hard hitting in the sense of tragedy while being equally horrific. In addition, not only do we get plenty of fiction, science plays a fair amount in here. The overall ideology of the inhumane idea of teleportation is amazingly smart and has an ironic kind of tragedy. It is something Sci-Fi fans will love about the film for sure.

Best quotes:
“I knew an old lady who swallowed a fly, I wonder if she’ll die”
“Veronica. I’m scared. *hugs Veronica* Help me.”- such a melodramatic scene it really gets to you.
“Be Afraid. Be Very afraid.”

Among Cronenberg’s other films this is his best to date. Such great direction, and control with this versatile Sci-Fi/Horror classic. “The Fly” has great power to thrill, shock and emotionally involve you and it’s perception will change as time progresses with evolved perspective on moviemaking, modern culture and mankind itself, the fear is now that we don't learn from such experiences.

My Rating: 9/10

4 comments:

  1. It definitely has some shocking scenes. The maggot scene and the ankle scene both stayed with me for quite a while afterwards.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Agreed on everything said here; love this film. I think it's an honest improvement on the original, which is still a good film, but nowhere near what this one was.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Glad you enjoy it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. amazing review, Thomas. This is a horror film I really want to watch, nice to know you recommend it

    ReplyDelete

 

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