Home
NEW TODAY
SCRIPT CONTESTS
FREE EVENTS
WATCH MOVIES
NEW MOVIES
FESTIVAL VIDEOS
PICTURES
READ POETRY
MOVIE SCENES
SUBMIT your FILM
POETRY CONTEST
DAILY PODCASTS
WATCH FREE FILMS
THE LAST RITE
2010 MOVIES
ACTORS
ACTRESSES
DIRECTORS
MOVIES by YEAR
FILM FRANCHISES
MOVIE GENRES
NOTES and IDEAS
WATCH VIRAL
GET OUR E-ZINE!
CONTACT US
TOP 100 Sex
FAQ
2011 MOVIES

Subscribe To This Site
XML RSS
Add to Google
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My MSN
Subscribe with Bloglines
 

THE FLY, 1986
Movie Review

SCREENPLAY CONTESTSUBMIT your SCREENPLAY
Voted #1 screenplay contest in the world!
NEW MOVIE REVIEWSNEW MOVIE REVIEWS
Read Today's POSTED REVIEWS
TOP 100TOP 100 LISTS WEBSITE
Best of photos, movies, sex and everything else!
movie trailersMOVIE TRAILERS
SEE the UPCOMING films. Plus reviews!
CLICK and WATCH MOVIES ONLINE!

WATCH today's TOP SHORT FILMS
EXPLORE and WATCH the TOP PAGES on THE NET!!
wildcardWATCH the best of WILDCARD PICTURES!
wildcardWATCH - BEAUTIFUL short film!
wildcardWATCH - NOSTALGIA short film!
wildcardWATCH - EMBEDDED short film!
wildcardWATCH - YARDSALE short film!
wildcardWATCH - THE AUDITION short film!
wildcardWATCH - THE ADDICT short film!
wildcardWATCH - 48 short film!
wildcardWATCH - DIM SUM OF ITS PARTS short film!
TOP 100 MOVIESTOP 100 MOVIE PAGES
WATCH and SEE the best of film!
TOP 100 SEXTOP 100 SEX PAGES
WATCH and SEE the best of sex pages online!
TOP 100 SEXTOP 100 FUNNY VIDEOS on the NET!
WATCH the best in HISTORY!
NAKED SCENESWATCH the TOP 100 SEX VIDEOS on the NET!
SEE the best of sex online!!
WATCH MOVIESWATCH TOP 100 MOVIES Today
Best of NEW films on the NET!
TOP 100 MOVIESTOP 100 MOVIES of ALL-TIME
See the best of film!
DIRECTORTOP 100 DIRECTORS of ALL-TIME
SEE THE LIST. Reviews, Photos and Scenes!
SCREENPLAY CONTESTSUBMIT your SCRIPTS
Voted #1 screenplay contest in the world!

THE FLY MOVIE POSTER
THE FLY, 1986
Movie Reviews

Directed by David Cronenberg
Starring: Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis
Review by Jane Hopkins



SYNOPSIS:

A brilliant but eccentric scientist begins to transform into a giant man/fly hybrid after one of his experiments goes horribly wrong.

OSCAR winner for Best Makeup

CLICK HERE and read Classic Movie Reviews from every year and every genre!

What is WILDsound?

REVIEW:

Remakes are notorious for failing to live up to the originals, and when you throw the horror genre into the equation, the results can be disastrous. Awful horror remakes aren’t hard to find, and updates that actually improve on their inspiration are extremely rare.

But they do exist.

Take David Cronenberg’s dramatic and gruesome 1986 remake of The Fly. Kurt Neumann’s 1958 film adaptation of George Langelaan’s short story is a cult classic, and even today, it is still enjoyable and actually quite chilling. However, Cronenberg’s version on The Fly takes the creepiness of the original and elevates it to new and horrific extremes.

Jeff Goldblum stars as Seth Brundle, a young scientist whose social awkwardness is only matched by his brilliance. After escorting worldly-wise journalist Veronica “Ronnie” Quaife (Geena Davis) back to his laboratory, Brundle reveals his self-proclaimed life’s work: teleportation booths, or “telepods,” that will make all other forms of transportation irrelevant. At first cynical, Ronnie quickly sees her opportunity to document a monumental discovery, and the two strike up a partnership.

It isn’t long before Seth and Ronnie become lovers, but things don’t go smoothly. The deeply insecure Seth suspects that Ronnie still has feelings for her editor and ex-boyfriend, the snide Stathis Borans (John Getz). One night, a drunk and jealous Seth irresponsibly transports himself from one telepod to the other. At first he feels incredible, but of course, he didn’t spot the housefly that made its way into the telepod with him. What follows is known even to those who haven’t seen The Fly or its sequel, or the three films in the original series: the scientist and the housefly have been spliced together into a new, terrifying creature, here nicknamed “Brundlefly.”

One of the most inspired differences between Cronenberg’s version and the 1958 original is that the onset of Seth’s transformation is gradual. His metamorphosis starts out with stray hairs and acne until he eventually degenerates into a mass of mutated flesh. Although some viewers – and even Seth himself – liken this decline to cancer, Cronenberg claims he was thinking more along the lines of aging rather than disease. Given that, Seth’s fate is even more universal. We can all identify with the fear that our bodies will one day betray us.

The special effects in The Fly must be seen to be believed. Chris Walas’ team won an Oscar for their work here, and they couldn’t be more deserving. While seamless makeup does the trick for most of the film, the final “Brundlefly” creature is brought to life with the now-overlooked magic of animatronics. It’s remarkable that although this last version of our hero is robotic, it doesn’t lose our sympathy. It’s actually fitting that we sacrifice the humanity of a live actor’s performance, because by this point, Seth himself has been swallowed up by this monster. Yet there is a profound sorrow in the animatronic Brundlefly’s eyes, artificial though they are, that makes this transformation memorably devastating.

Now, while the effects are incredible, they alone do not make The Fly work. What truly elevates this film is its core love triangle. Jeff Goldblum’s performance as Seth Brundle is magnificent throughout, his portrayal ranging from shy loner to brutal monster. It is difficult to be consistently believable in a role based on such extremes, but Goldblum pulls it off beautifully. He doesn’t come across as uninteresting without the makeup, and once he is buried under pounds of latex, he still emotes powerfully. This is so important to the lasting power of the film, since the effects can only do so much. Take for example the scene in which one of Seth’s ears falls off, only an early sign of the impending horror. The effect itself makes the audience wince, but what makes it more disturbing is the character’s distressed reaction. The slime might turn your stomach, but it’s the fear in Goldblum’s eyes and voice that tugs at your heart.

Equally impressive is Geena Davis, who has the unenviable job of still standing out in a movie where her leading man turns into a giant insect. Davis succeeds wonderfully, eliciting our sympathy as strongly as Goldblum does. The two have a rare chemistry, which may have either stemmed from or inspired their real-life romance. Davis also excels where so many horror heroines fail: when reacting to her frightening situation, she really goes for it. The audience can’t get caught up in Seth’s horrendous evolution if Ronnie doesn’t, and her fear and grief are acutely felt. In fact, Seth’s final transformation into the full-blown Brundlefly creature only works so well because Geena Davis makes us believe it. At that point, she isn’t even reacting to another actor anymore, but to a disintegrating puppet. Still, Ronnie’s shrieks of disgust and terror elevate a great effect to a truly nightmarish moment. Without giving too much away, Davis’ ability to see the animatronic Brundlefly as a living, suffering thing – and to make us see it that way – is absolutely essential to the film’s finale.

As Ronnie’s sneering ex-boyfriend Stathis Borans, John Getz portrays a decidedly subtler kind of metamorphosis. He starts out as an unlikeable jerk so utterly convinced of his own wit and sexual magnetism that he can’t understand why Ronnie rejects him. Not only that, as Seth’s condition gets more and more desperate, Stathis is the one urging Ronnie to leave her lover to his fate. But as the film builds to its final showdown, Stathis emerges as a truly courageous figure. He puts his life on the line to protect Ronnie, and his determination to save her is unexpectedly touching.

Apart from our three leads, there are some memorable bit parts. George Chuvalo plays a tough-talking bruiser who unwisely goes up against Seth in an arm-wrestling match. As Chuvalo’s grimy arm-candy, Joy Boushel manages to convey sex appeal while still somehow looking nearly as diseased as Seth himself. Also, keep an eye out for David Cronenberg himself during a particularly cringe-inducing scene, paying tribute to his admitted fascination with gynecology.

It is also important to mention the gorgeous musical score of Howard Shore, who also lent his talent to Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films. Instead of a simple score full of “stings” to emphasize the shocks, Shore’s treatment of The Fly is unashamedly operatic. When the strings aren’t sweeping grandly, they’re shuddering in apprehension of the horror to come. In fact, Shore recently completed an opera based on The Fly, and given his work in the film version, that idea doesn’t sound quite as far-fetched as one might think.

The Fly is a must-see for horror fans, of course, but it should also appeal to those who just like a compelling story. It helps to have a high tolerance for gore, but if you can go beyond that, you will find a haunting, heart-rending drama about the torment of losing a loved one.

Note: For the best viewing experience, try to get your hands on the two-disc collector’s edition DVD. This baby’s got more extra features than Brundlefly’s loft has stale donuts! There’s a feature-length documentary that covers just about everything you could possibly want to know about The Fly, from the film’s pre-production to its legacy. Especially interesting are the deleted scenes, which include the disturbing “monkey-cat” sequence and four versions of the moving “butterfly baby” alternate ending. While the theatrical version of The Fly is brilliant just as it is, it is exciting to finally see this material.

SCREENPLAY CONTESTSUBMIT your SCREENPLAY
Voted #1 screenplay contest in the world!
NEW MOVIE REVIEWSNEW MOVIE REVIEWS
Read Today's POSTED REVIEWS
MOVIE KILLSEE 1000s of PICTURES
Best of photos, images and pics
MOVIE YEARMOVIES YEAR BY YEAR
Pages from 1900 to present


The Fly


footer for The Fly page