“Are you a bodybuilder or something?”
“Yeah I build bodies, i take them apart and put them back together again.”
Jeff Goldblum stars in Director David Cronenberg’s 1986 classic horror film, The Fly. Goldblum stars as Seth Brundle, a brilliant but socially awkward scientist who has unlocked the ability to teleport items from one pod to another. When he attempts the process on himself, he unwittingly allows a fly in the pod with him and the device combines the DNA of a common fly with that of a human, creating a monster.
We begin with Brundle and Geena Davis’ character Veronica at a scientists meeting. Brundle is there with an invention that will change the world and Veronica is there seeking the latest news for her magazine. He quickly charms her and brings her back to his apartment. In the apartment/lab we see his invention. He shows her how it works and the two begin a relationship. Along the way there are stumbles including a baboon that’s turned inside out because of a miscalculation. He successfully teleports a different baboon and deems the experiment safe. After Victoria leaves to confront her editor/ex-boyfriend, Seth becomes jealous and after getting drunk, decides to test the teleportation device on himself.
At first the experiment seems to go smoothly. Brundle feels better, looks better, is stronger, smarter and deems the experiment a method of reaching one’s potential. He does show a quick temper and lack of thought before action. Eventually Veronica realizes something is wrong. Brundle is beginning to devolve into a half man, half fly. He begins to lose his humanity along with his teeth, fingernails, ears, and flesh. In the end, Veronica must decide to save herself or the man she loves.
This is a masterclass in disgusting. While I sort of expected more gross-out scenes, the ones that we do get from Cronenberg, are revolting. The eventual fly creature did win an Oscar for best make-up and it’s rightly deserved. In a time where cgi is expected to do everything, a film like this would lose so much of it’s charm if the fly was more realistic or polished looking. I’m not sure how I’ve never seen this film as it’s a classic science fiction/horror movie, which is I genre I quite like. Jeff Goldblum is his marvelous bumbling/charming self and Geena Davis proves why she was one of the most popular actresses in the 1980’s. It’s really a classic piece of cinema that only falls short in the dated acting by bit characters and costume design.