The Fly Review
Written by: jamhorner
A romantic drama gone horribly wrong. David Cronenberg, who is most notably known for accumulating horror, directed this masterful reworking of the Vincent Price classic. I scientist (Jeff Goldblum) creates a teleporter but accidentally gets his molecules rearranged when he AND a fly get teleported together. What took this film beyond the cheesy and funny film of the 50's was the visual of Goldblum's skin decaying and falling off., the transformation of the fly, the chemistry between the fly and Geena Davis's character and the internal conflict in each one of them. It was truly a love story gone horribly, horribly wrong. I would first like to make note of the excellent performances by Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis and John Getz. They made this story come alive; they gave The Fly and the characters life and never let up.
To see the transformation of Professor Brundle made the horror come true in this movie. There are 6 transformations and each has its own thematic element of "your body failing you." You are no longer in control of your body and it just displays all the horrors of bodily hygiene. The make up effects of each stage was, simply put, a gander. Cronenberg imagined each stage beautifully, for example when state 2 hits, you know that it's going to get worse but you don't know how worse and by stage 6, it becomes mind-blowing. Rather than keeping your human body and having a fly head in the old version, this version actually seems like a mutation of man and insect. I think the best example of hygiene gone wrong would be the Prof. Brundle documenting and saving each piece of his body that falls off.
One of the greater aspects of this movie would be the romanticism of this movie. This element alone made the movie hard to watch for a number of reasons. Veronica (Davis) had a love affair with Brundle but when it seems like she is falling for another guy Brundle kind of goes crazy. She loves Brundle but not what he has become and at the end when he completely transforms into a fly-thing with a huge piece of machinery fused to his back, Brundles looses all humanity and Veronica knows that deep down, he is human. That relationship was so hard to watch unravel and it made me cry. It builds per stage and to watch Veronica caught between two men is heart wrenching.
As for the gore effect in this movie, there wasn't that much blood and guts, in fact, there was no guts just puke and blood. This movie doesn't need that much blood because it would steer away from the elements, listed above, that made this movie terrific. Granted, when you see Brundlefly eat, it's pretty disgusting, when Davis gives birth to a maggot, that's pretty bloody, but there are no guts. I like that in this kind of movie, there doesn't need to be gore to make this movie scary, all you need is creature effects, some blood and a tear jerking understory.
Overall, I probably milked the excellence out of this movie and gave away more than enough spoilers but I was just astounded by the impact that this movie had. It was Terms of Endernment meets a Troma film. It's probably one of the best horror movies made and one of the better Cronenberg film next to Scanners and Shivers. There were scares, cries, humor, blood, not guts and just a great underpaying story of true compassion in the most extreme situations. If you have not seen this movie, I strongly recommend you put this on your Netflix. All in all, it was a masterpiece.