The Fly (1986)

Seth Brundle has done it. He has mastered the art of teleportation using his two telepods along with his brilliant research. The only problem is, he is unable to transport living matter without horrifying results. Seth enlists the help of a beautiful young journalist to document his discoveries, and the two enter into a steamy romance as he works to unlock the secrets of the flesh. Seth is finally successful, but in a fit of jealousy, he makes the rash decision to enter the machine himself before he can finish testing. What he doesn't realize is that a small intruder has entered the machine with him, turning his teleporter into a gene-splicer as he exits the machine to become a mutant monster!

David Cronenberg's unique vision is every bit as powerful and terrifying as 1958 classic THE FLY, but with an entirely different focus. Cronenberg takes the shock and suspense of the original and adds to them his own twisted body horror fetish in the form of disgusting disfigurements and gooey pus-filled sores. Brundle's transformation not only alters his appearance, but changes his entire genetic structure. This allows him to climb walls while also significantly increasing his strength and agility. Unfortunately for him, his new found powers are met with a debilitating physical transformation as well. Jeff Goldblum similarly exhibits a psychological transformation, taking on the twitchy mannerisms of a fly in both his movements and speech patterns. Goldblum is the ideal choice for Cronenberg's reimagining of the maniacally-obsessed genius who is consumed by his research. Geena Davis also delivers an emotional performance as Seth's torn lover in a role that would shake her to her fundamental core in the years following production. The stunning photography gives the film a timeless quality despite the 80's fashion and technology, and Chris Walas' amazing creature designs are just as effective today as they were upon their release. All of the action and terror hits the screen at breakneck speeds leading up to the thrilling conclusion, where Davis must face off against the fully-mutated Brudlefly. The 1980's produced many of the finest remakes in Horror, and David Cronenberg's THE FLY proves to be top-ranked among them as one of his many masterpieces.

Rating: 10/10.
Gore: 7/10.

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  1. A great way for Jeff Goldblum to be introduced to the world....
    This is a worthy remake, although it still can't top the magic of the original.

  2. This was the first film I watched in a movie theater at the age of 5 [what was my mom thinking? lol]. Every time I see Goldblum, I think he's gonna morph into a giant fly and regurgitate. This film grosses me out to no end, but it's brilliant at the same time. It's probably my second favorite horror remake after THE THING. Great review!

  3. Goldblum truly is fantastic here, still my favorite performance of his and likely his best. THE THING may be the only Horror remake to top THE FLY, they are both so amazing it is hard to choose!

  4. I was a bit worried when I saw that you were reviewing I want to read this. What if he thinks it sucks...but you like it. You really like it.

    It is one of my favorite (and definitely the best thing that Goldblum ever did) - husband and I disagree on this being a fantastic film. I especially love the dialogue in this one. Especially the bit on "fly politics".

    I agree that it is not the same "magic" as the original. But it stands on its own better than most remakes.


  5. As trite and cliched as the expression goes, this film really is a re-imagining of it. It's not like the other films in the series, save for the basic premise.

    Like everyone else, I'm waiting to see Carl's take on the sequel. Of course, I reviewed it over a year ago, but whatever. :-)

  6. My fav bits of dialog involve anything with the Brundle museum when Goldblum is talking to himself. Its so dark and hilarious, great writing brought to life through fantastic acting!

    Alec, working on the review now. No spoilers, but FLY 2 is awesome.

  7. Mmmm, The Fly. This movie makes me so happy. It still manages to gross me out so much but in a way that has me totally loving it at the same time. It's on my top 20.

  8. what a classic: one of Cronenberg's career highlights!

  9. I love Goldblum's sense of self-satisfaction after breaking the dude's arm, then right back to the love making. Manliest fly ever.