The Fly Cover
Aren't insects bloody weird? You know what I mean by this, right? Just in the way that they stick to walls and fly all over the place, as if they have no place to go or any purpose in life. Funny enough, you can say the same thing about this film Directed by David Cronenberg; and Starring: Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, and John Getz. It was made in 1986, and lasts for 95-minutes.

The Fly

Bug-eyed scientist, Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum), has done a very miraculous thing. He has cobbled together a computerised contraption, which is able to transport non-biological matter across space by using two booths of his own devising.

Great news, right? Well, that is what frizzy haired journalist, Veronica Quaife (Geena Davis), thinks, anyway. Although her bearded editor / ex-boyfriend, Stathis Borans (John Getz), doesn't.

Moreover, Seth also manages to persuade Veronica to charter his next innovative step with this invention - to transport biological matter too.

You see, so far, whenever Seth has transported hired monkeys using his apparatus, unfortunately, these primates turn out like hamburger meat in the process. So what does Seth do to rectify this situation? Correct - being the sweet-swat that he is, he manages to program his computer to recognise the difference between non-biological matter and biological matter.


And does it work? This re-jig thing? Yes - for the monkey. However, sometime later, when Seth is pissed and Veronica is out having an argument Stathis at his office, Seth decides to use this 'transporter' on himself.


Errm - I'm afraid to say that this 'procedure' does not really pan out in the way that Seth hoped it would, the second time around. On the good side, he starts off looking the same, whilst exhibiting hyperactive tendencies and above par stamina. On the bad side though, he begins to act like a nut, smashing and thrashing at whoever crosses his path, whist his skin moults. 


Bad news, right? But to make it even worse, is that both he and Veronica discover the reason why this is so - Seth is turning into a fly because when he transported himself initially, a fly got into the booth he was in and the computer gene spiced them both together.

Ouch! I suppose that is why what next transpires is a right pain in the dermatitis? As ploys turn insidious - fly's become fastidious - hidden pregnancies are discovered - and scientists are buggered.

When I first watched 'The Fly' many a year ago, I had two problems with it.

My first problem was a silly one really, as Jeff Goldblum looked like my Uncle Chris, and Geena Davis looked like my Religious Education teacher, Ms Rimmer. So when I saw the sight of Jeff and Geena get 'jiggy with it' in this film, you can safely say that this horror flick turned my stomach for the completely wrong reasons.

However, my second problem with this movie is one of contention in retrospect. You see, half of me wanted to hate this film because I liked the original 1958 'The Fly' so much, that I did not want this 'remake' to be better than the first. Granted, I know that this does sound like a silly excuse also. But hey - I was a kid - and I did not know any better than to appreciate a really classy movie when I saw it.

The Fly makes Sick

Here, just look at the facts. (1) It took five hours to apply the beefed-up bug-makeup to Jeff Goldblum's body. (2) Director, David Cronenberg, plays the obstetrician in this film, due to a meeting he had with Martin Scorsese, where Marty said that David looked like a plastic surgeon. (3) This was a project that Tim Burton was originally going to direct, and Michael Keaton was going to star in. They both declined this offer. (4) Comedian, Mel Brooks, did not want people to know that he was a producer for this film, because he thought people wouldn't take it seriously if they knew he was involved. (5) This film has been made into an opera by David Cronenberg in 2008. (6) There were several sequences cut out from the final release of this movie. The first one was a sequence where Brundle sends a cat and the surviving baboon through the booths, resulting in a mutated creature he has to beat to death with a pipe. Another scene is where Brundle climbs up the outside of his building as an insect, with legs emerging from his side. Plus there was an alternate ending in which Veronica has another dream of her unborn child, this time as a baby with beautiful butterfly wings. (7) The casting for this film was a somewhat strained affair. The executives did not want Jeff Goldblum, because he was not a bankable star. And David Cronenberg did not want Geena Davis, because she was going out with Jeff at the time, and he did not want to 'direct couples'. Thankfully, the actors proved them wrong. And (8) The screenwriter, Charles Edward Pogue, was the person who first came up with the idea of remaking The Fly, and he wrote the script for it too. But when David Cronenberg was hired as director, he changed a lot of things, but kept Charles principle concept of metamorphosis intact.

The Fly of The Fly

Now taking into account all of what I have said about 'The Fly' so far, do you think that I like it or not? Go on, take a guess?

No - I do not want to make it into a T-shirt, and then wear it like the Turin shroud. Rather, all I can really say about this film, is that when it is scary it is scary, when it is funny it is funny, plus it tells a tragic tale about mans failure to understand the harsh realities of science, whist giving Geena David the platform to cry and pout a lot. Heck, the only bad thing that I can say about this movie is that it does look a bit dated from a more modern perspective. Still, this is just a silly problem to have, right?

Classic movie - and a remake which would make for an interesting re-remake.  


THE FLY THE FLY Reviewed by David Andrews on April 16, 2012 Rating: 5
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