The Fly – classic horror film review
“Something went wrong Seth. When you went through, something went wrong.”
The Fly is a 1986 sci-fi / horror starring Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis. It was directed by David Cronenberg (doesn’t that man just have great hair) and to this day remains one of his most popular movies.
The Fly is of course a remake of the 1958 Vincent Price film. But this seems to be one of those remakes we’re actually allowed to enjoy, without ostentatious comments about how the original is so much better and you just don’t understand you philistine. You remake watching bastard. I hate your guts. HOW DARE YOU.
The story centres around Seth Brundle (Goldblum) who is a tall, handsome and eccentric scientist – pretty much my ideal man. To be fair I still fancy 2015 Jeff Goldblum so 1986 Jeff Goldblum is just a dream. Though I do have a real soft spot for 1996 Jeff Goldblum…..and this is supposed to be a film review, I apologise. Anyway, just as he meets journalist Veronica (Davis) who is writing a piece about his work and a promising romance starts to blossom – one drunken night in his teleportation pod unfortunately changes everything.
I’m sure most of us are familiar with the story but for those of you who are not – sadly for Seth, he manages to fuse his DNA with that of a housefly – during his ‘I’m drunk and messing around with science’ episode. So the poor guy basically begins turning into a gross hybrid of man….and fly.
The Fly is easily in my top 10 films but why do I love it so much? Well firstly, it’s a great horror film. I find it truly horrific and scary. Seth’s transformation from man into Brundlefly is gross and unnerving. It’s interesting – I think – because there’s no Bad Guy.
Inevitably Seth grows more and more dangerous to be around but he’s not evil or twisted, something screwed up and unfair just happened to him. Some people say the film is a metaphor for having AIDS but Cronenberg has said he didn’t have that intention exactly. The Fly undoubtedly does make you think of illness – Seth’s teeth falling out, the disintegrating skin and hair….it’s very uncomfortable and undignified.
It’s kind of a mix between most repulsive film ever and a horror with a heart. The love story between Seth and Veronica is another reason I love the film. It’s so brilliant and genuine and despite knowing it all ends rather horribly I can’t help but wish things would work out for them every single time I watch it. Not only is this a horror film, but it’s an extremely tragic love story too. As soon as Seth and Veronica meet each other the attraction is banging, they’re both extremely likable and I can only imagine the ending had this been a Richard Curtis film instead.
The effects are fantastic. Now, I don’t mind CGI when it’s essential and done well – like the machine gun leg in Planet Terror – that is awesome CGI that I can only be grateful for. But generally I prefer ‘real life’ effects. My technical talk is shit at best, so apologies if I can’t explain this well. But I like effects ON camera, which is what The Fly is all about.
Kudos to Goldblum and the make-up team – who must have spent fucking hours creating each terrifying stage of ‘being a fly’. But it worked beautifully – I have never watched The Fly and not felt scared. He is scary. The more the Brundlefly comes out, the more we lose Seth. Though the physical changes are hideous, disgusting and visually scary, his personality changes are more unsettling. It’s only really Veronica who knows what has happened and a lot of the film is set inside Seth’s place, with an isolated feel. And the more Seth changes, the more you start to fear for Veronica’s safety.
“I’ll hurt you if you stay”
Apart from the terror, there are some sickening scenes, a few that are pretty famous – the arm wrestle scene where Seth’s super strength breaks a guy’s wrist bone clean out of his arm. The baboon scene – not very pleasant. And of course the gag-reflex-inducing maggot baby. Always worse for us girls eh?
Generally I can’t speak more highly of this film, which I think is a marvellous and perfect mix of true romance, gross-out visuals and horror in a tragic, gruesome story that repulses and saddens til the end. Brilliantly acted, expertly directed and better than the original (sorry Vince). Plus – it was made in the 80s which mean we have AWESOME 80s effects not the sort of shit I saw in I Am Legend recently. And I can’t write a review on The Fly without mentioning the soundtrack, which I adore. It’s a scored soundtrack with all music written by the wonderful Howard Shore. Very dramatic, it’s just the kind of soundtrack I love. My favourite track is Plasma Pool but it’s one of those that has one main score and variations of it throughout, depending on the scene and atmosphere.
Ahh, the Fly. Cronenberg being his usual creepy self. Great film.
He does have the perfect look for it!
This has proven quite popular I’m so glad!!
Now I need to watch it again 🙂
Be afraid………be very afraid
Totally Cillian! Yeah. Shows where our minds are at huh 🙂 Take your time with the emails ‘k? And little Lacey says “Hi Auntie Emma” 🙂
Hi Miss Lacey! And Miss Kim!
I WILL reply to your lovely messages today, sorry I’ve been so rubbish!!
(thank you for saying take my time though)
Ha ha, we have men on our minds! Lol!
You’re so silly 🙂 We should do a top ten, or twenty, or thirty… Ahem. Where was I? Oh yeah. A top something list on the loveliest actors!
Oh! Lacey’s sending hugs to her Auntie Emma 🙂
I nominate Hugh Jackman then as another thinking woman’s crumpet 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Excellent!!!! I concur! 🙂 🙂
(I swear we always turn these comments sections into a conversation about our crushes! ha ha)
Not that that’s a bad thing 🙂
I know I have emails from you!!! I will reply soon I promise!!
Hello Lacey 🙂 (Mrs Doubtfire today)
I was so surprised to see he had muscles 🙂
The thinking woman’s crumpet ha ha 🙂
That sounds so much better!
Ha ha, it’s just something I’ve heard people say about ‘intelligent’ celebrities that a lot of people fancy! 🙂
The Fly is so gross! and Good! A rare remake that’s fresh on the original and well done.
Exactly why remakes aren’t a bad thing! Look at The Thing as well 🙂
It is seriously gross isn’t it, I love it!!!
Yes and yes and yes! I’m not anti-remake in general, I don’t believe because a movie was “first” it’s better necessarily…there’s are some junkers but lots of good ones too. I love to watch a movie that’s remade, find it’s solid and realize that the filmmaker had to have been a big fan of the original rather than hired to direct without other personal interest in it, if that makes sense!
Makes perfect sense!! I’m not bothered about remakes either, a lot of people get their knickers in a twist but who really cares? You don’t have to watch it!
A movie could definitely be better the second time round and if it was originally a book, well, you could just call it the second adaptation!
Great pick Emma! I actually got a little crush on Jeff until it turned all cringy!
OMG me too! I still do really like him but nothing beats late 80s early 90s Jeff 🙂
He was hot!
Very nice! It’s been SO long since I’ve seen this. Probably before you were even born LOL….
Nope not possible!! ner ner ner. I was born in 1985 🙂 so I was a baby. If that’s any better.
Watch it again! Watch it again!
I will I will!!!
Classic, i was going to watch the second one tomorrow (haven’t seen it yet)
Eek! Were you? That’s great 🙂
You know it’s not the worst sequel, I think it’s well worth a watch or two even. It’s not a classic like The Fly but it’s fine. It’s a little sad in places though! Well see what you think anyway.
Have you reviewed The Fly on your site yet?
no i haven’t it would fit in nicely to a vintage wednesday though
Vintage Wednesday! Love the name 🙂
Yes you must do, I love 80s horror anyway but this really is such a gem.
every wednesday has a film from 2000 or early reviewed hence Vintage Wednesday and top 10/5 thursdays
Makes me feel bloody old thinking of pre-2000 as vintage lol. No that’s a great idea. It’s so easy to forget about loads of movies that aren’t either ‘classics’ or been out in the last 8-10 years.
Oh yes, I will send you a little something for your Thursday posts, if that’s okay still!
yeah it is fine i would like to get enough people to potential look to make it a competition of sorts next year.
Yeah great idea, I can see that happening definitely! Do you have people in mind or will you scout about?
Thanks. I will send my list over 🙂
I have a few friends that will send me lists but only of things they know, i would like to find a few more film fans, always looking for more people interested though
Yeah I know what you mean. Well you can count on me 🙂
As the site grows you’ll find more I’m sure. It’s growing all the time!
Thanks and i will stop clogging up your comments now lol
Aww don’t be silly!! I’ll email you anyway 🙂
Great movie. The arm wrestling scene still sends shivers down the spine 💪
Yeesh that is horrible, I know exactly what you mean! It still makes me look away slightly and pull that stupid face where you know something ‘ouch!’ is about to happen (or is that just me?)
It’s a great movie isn’t it! Thanks for commenting 🙂
It’s not just you. Nice post. Now I’m off to watch it 😃
Ha! Good 🙂
Thank you and enjoy Brundlefly, that’s fantastic news you’ll be watching it. I’m tempted myself now. I’m actually watching another ‘fave film Friday’ movies, Sunshine 🙂
Is that the one with Cillian Murphy saving the world?
Yes…. but it’s not a save the world type movie, I mean it is, but it’s not. If you know what I mean 🙂
It goes from flat out science fiction (BBC Physicist Brian Cox helped develop the script to keep it as ‘real’ as possible) to almost Event Horizon territory!!
So are you at the DVD menu yet? 🙂
I didn’t know Brian Cox was involved. I love that film and I know what you mean. Yes, I’m at the tv now. However, and I’m not ashamed to admit this, my attention has been diverted by ‘ The Blsckist’. I love it and the cheesyness of the whole thing. James Spaders character makes it totally believable. The Fly tomorrow ✅
I watched the commentary one time and it was him and Danny Boyle, he helped developed the ‘science bits’ (said in a Manchester accent).
Never be ashamed to admit anything! Entertainment is entertainment and I’ve heard Blacklist is pretty good. I watch SO much telly myself and am excited to see The Apprentice is back on next week….so… you know! 🙂
Ha ha The Apprentice. I love it. The contestants always “do exactly what it says on the tin” 😩 great TV. Yes the blacklist is good, but only because of JB’s character. Enjoy Sunshine. I must watch it again. I fear I may have misunderstood it.
I meant James Spaders character. Jeez, I’m so pedantic 😁
You know I would never even have noticed 🙂
But YOU would. And that’s the point ha ha 🙂
Yay glad to meet another Apprentice fan!! Every year I say ‘oh this is shit now, I won’t bother next year’ and then next year comes and I see the advert and start shouting and singing the theme song and doing Alan Sugar impressions….the usual 🙂
It IS fun though 🙂 like you said, does what it says on the tin. It’s a bit of weekly entertainment and fairly amusing!
P.S I didn’t like Sunshine the first time I saw it, not wildly anyway. I loved the music though, still do, it made me watch it again and I saw it another light (no pun intended).
LOL 😂 enjoy. I expect an Apprentice review next week😉 cheers
Haha thanks 🙂 you too.
Great idea, I shall definitely do that!