The Fly

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Horror Science Fiction
96 min     7.365     1986     Canada


When Seth Brundle makes a huge scientific and technological breakthrough in teleportation, he decides to test it on himself. Unbeknownst to him, a common housefly manages to get inside the device and the two become one.


Wuchak wrote:
_**Slowly turning into a monster, aka slowly succumbing to age**_ An eccentric scientist living in a warehouse laboratory in a big city in the Northeast (Jeff Goldblum) discovers how to teleport objects, which draws the attention of a journalist (Geena Davis). Everything is going fine until he foolishly uses his invention on himself and a pesky fly inadvertently teleports with him. John Getz is on hand as the woman’s editor while Joy Boushel has a notable small role as Tawny. "The Fly" (1986) has a lot of devotees presumably because of director/writer David Cronenberg, but I found it less effective compared to the 1958 version with Vincent Price. Despite the gory state-of-the-art effects, it’s just not as compelling or horrifying (especially that final scene in the original). The one-dimensional locations are also a turn-off: Excluding the great bar scene the whole movie takes place in a grungy lab or a swank office building. The cast trilogy is exceptionally tall. While Goldblum (6’4½”) is serviceable and gives it his all, he’s not leading man material, although he’s fine in secondary roles. And I was never big on Davis, but she’s a’right I guess. At least the two absolutely look & act like they were meant for each other. In its favor, the movie is a metaphor for how aging & disease slowly destroys the body. Despite the sickening visuals, it’s heartbreaking and tragic, which you might not expect in a sci-fi flick about a guy who morphs into a fly. It thankfully avoids the rut of camp and melodrama. The film runs 1 hour, 36 minutes, and was shot in Toronto with studio work done in nearby Kleinburg. GRADE: B-/C+
CinemaSerf wrote:
Nobody could ever call Jeff Goldbum a versatile actor, but here he is very much in his element as "Brundle". A madcap scientist, he dreams of being able to teleport things just like Willy Wonka does in 1971. He is almost as keen on journalist "Veronica" (Geena Davis) and so offers her exclusive access to follow and film his research. That all goes remarkably well - first a scarf, then more animated objects before, finally, himself. Snag is - well a fly just happened to sneak into the pod before the transferal and next thing he and his new dipteral cousin start a journey to the symbiotic relationship from Hell. He can crawl on the ceiling; fly and most impressively - dissolve his victims in his own vomit! David Cronenberg is having great fun with this as is Goldblum. The dialogue is entertaining and there is the most bizarre degree of chemistry between him and Davis who turns in one of her career defining performances. The visual and make-up effects - especially towards the end - offer a fitting denouement to this gory and frequently amusing sci-fi horror film that is nearly, but not quite, as good as the version from 1958. Certainly worth watching on a big screen if you can - somehow it just looks so much better there.