The Fly (1986) starring Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, John Getz directed by David Cronenberg Movie Review

The Fly (1986)   4/54/54/54/54/5




96 mins



Jeff Goldblum as Seth Brundle in The Fly (1986)

Goldblum Needs Debugging

I can't believe it has been over 20 years since I last watched "The Fly" the 80s remake and in that time I had somehow forgotten so much about it. I had forgotten the playfulness of the opening as science geek Seth chats up Veronica, I had forgotten the wonderful set design and even more surprising is that I had forgotten how bloody disgusting it is because the horror gore in "The Fly" is still stomach churning in at times a comical sort of way. But whilst I had forgotten so much one thing which I did remember and that was "the Fly" was a fantastic movie and now over 25 years after it was releases, it is still a fantastic movie.

Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum - Silverado) is a bit of a mad scientist working on an invention which he swears will change the world whilst trying to persuade attractive journalist Veronica Quaife (Geena Davis - Fletch) to go back to his lab for a coffee. And Brundle isn't lying as he demonstrates his teleportation pods to Veronica leaving her in shock and desperate for the exclusive on his story. But Brundle has a couple of bugs to sort out before his invention is finished and ready to transport living things. But trouble strikes as whilst he irons out the bugs Brundle doesn't spot the fly which is in the pod when he teleports himself and when he comes out he is more than the man he once was.

Geena Davis as Veronica in The Fly (1986)

I could sum up "The Fly" by saying mad scientist messes up and ends up having his DNA spliced with that of a fly making him Fly-man. But trust me that doesn't do justice to the movie especially the first half which has a playful tone as we enter the quirky world of Seth where he has 5 identical sets of clothes so he doesn't have to waste time deciding what to wear. The playfulness extends to the fact that Seth and Veronica become lovers with her editor and former lover becoming jealous. But all this kicks into gear when Seth accidentally splices himself with a fly and start exhibiting extraordinary powers, from strength to a ravenous sexual appetite and stamina.

But that is just the first half and the second half whilst not entirely focussed on what happens to Seth as we have the comically disturbing storyline surrounding Veronica it is very much about watching Seth turn into a fly. And this is why "The Fly" is bloody disgusting because we watch Seth change, physically with body parts falling off, eating like he was a fly and basically becoming delusional. I can't go into detail because not only is the comical disgust of watch Seth becoming a fly the big part of the movie but I haven't the words to describe some of what you see. In fact whilst what we witness has a comical sense of disbelief about it the sheer gore of it makes modern horror seem quite lame in comparison.

Now this means that "The Fly" owes a lot to the special effects and there is no denying the special effects are first rate even now because whilst modern movies use CGI the actual creativity of the actual effects are what make the movie so special. And it is not just the special effects because the look is also fantastic and the teleportation pods are magnificent.

And I am not done singing the movies praises yet because the casting is spot on especially when it comes to Jeff Goldblum and Seth Brundle. Goldblum has the quirkiness of a scientist down brilliantly in the first half, but he also has that bit of a wannabee ladies man about him as well as he chats up Veronica. But the evolving character behind the makeup is just as good and Goldblum gets across the delusional state of mind of Seth as he changes, first thinking the teleportation has made him better than discovering in fact he is falling to bits and becoming an insect.

What this all boils down to is that "The Fly" whilst over 25 years old is still a brilliant horror movie which is as comically disgusting now as it was back in the 80s. In fact I have a half a mind to say it has got better with age because in an age of CGI effects the work of the special effects and make up guys really stands out as something special which you don't see these days.