75. The Fly (1986)

FlyDirected by David Cronenberg

Screenplay by Charles Edward Pogue and David Cronenberg

Produced by Stuart Cornfield

Starring: Jeff Goldblum, Genna Davis and John Getz

Country: United States

Release Date: August 15, 1986

Why you should see it?

This is a sci-fi horror movie, based on the 1957 short story “The Fly” by George Langelaan. Some critics say this film is a metaphor for the AIDS epidemic. This is the first of what became the 80s body horror movement, The Fly was a man ruined by his own creations and we feel every horror that befalls him.

This film is also a re-make of the 1958 Vicent Price’s film “The Fly”. The re-make have a very dark tone and with a twisted finale and play with an undertone messages of losing the humanity though a careless use of technology.

The fly is considered by many, Cronenberg’s flagship film because fusing some of the themes present in his work, gore with an intimate portrayal of a man doomed by his own work.


Seth Brundle, a brilliant but eccentric scientist, meets Veronica Quaife , a journalist for Particle magazine, at a meet-the-press event held by Bartok Science Industries, the company that provides funding for Brundle’s work. Seth takes Veronica back to the warehouse that serves as both his home and laboratory, and shows her a project that will change the world: a set of “Telepods” that allows instantaneous teleportation of an object from one pod to another. Veronica eventually agrees to document Seth’s work. Although the Telepods can transport inanimate objects, they do not work properly on living things, as is demonstrated when a live baboon is turned inside-out during an experiment. Seth and Veronica begin a romantic relationship. Their first sexual encounter provides inspiration for Seth, who successfully reprograms the Telepod computer to cope with living creatures, and teleports a second baboon with no apparent harm.

Flushed with this success, Brundle wants to spend a romantic evening with Veronica, but she suddenly departs before they can celebrate. Brundle’s judgment soon becomes impaired by alcohol and his fear that Veronica is secretly rekindling her relationship with her editor and former lover, Stathis Borans. In reality, Veronica has left to confront Borans about a veiled threat of his to publish the Telepod story without her consent. Upset, Brundle teleports himself in Veronica’s absence, unaware that a common housefly is in the pod with him. Brundle emerges from the receiving pod, seemingly normal. Seth and Veronica reconcile, and, shortly after his teleportation, Seth begins to exhibit what at first appear to be beneficial effects of the process—such as increased strength, stamina and sexual potency. He believes this to be a result of the teleporting process “purifying” his body as it was being rebuilt. However, he soon becomes violent, and eventually realizes that something went horribly wrong when his fingernails begin falling off. Brundle checks his computer’s records, and discovers that the Telepod computer, confused by the presence of two separate life-forms in the sending pod, merged him with the fly at the molecular-genetic level.

Over the next few weeks, Brundle continues to deteriorate, losing various body parts and becoming progressively less human in appearance. He theorizes that he is slowly becoming a hybrid creature that is neither human nor insect (which Seth begins referring to as “Brundlefly”). He starts to exhibit fly-like characteristics, such as vomiting digestive enzymes onto his food in order to dissolve it, and the ability to cling to walls and ceilings. Brundle realizes that he is losing his human reason and compassion, and that he is now being driven by primitive impulses he cannot control. Attempting to find a cure for his condition, Brundle installs a fusion program into the Telepod computer in order to dilute the fly genes in his body with pure human DNA. To her horror, Veronica learns that she is pregnant by Seth, and she cannot be sure if the child was conceived before or after his fateful teleportation. Veronica and Borans persuade a reluctant doctor to perform an abortionin the middle of the night, but Brundle abducts Veronica before the abortion can be carried out, and begs her to carry the child to term, since it could potentially be the last remnant of his untainted humanity. Veronica refuses, afraid that the child will be a hideous mutant. Meanwhile, Borans breaks into Brundle’s lab with a shotgun and comes to Veronica’s rescue, but is seriously injured and nearly killed by the almost fully transformed Brundle, who dissolves Borans’ left hand and right foot with his corrosive vomit-drop enzyme.

Brundle then reveals his desperate, last-ditch plan to Veronica — he will use the three Telepods to fuse himself, Veronica, and their unborn child together into one entity, so they can be the “ultimate family”. Veronica frantically resists Brundle’s efforts to drag her into Telepod 1 and then accidentally tears off his jaw, triggering his final transformation into a monstrous combination of man and insect. The “Brundlefly” traps Veronica inside Telepod 1, then steps into Telepod 2. However, the wounded Borans manages to sever the power cables connected to Veronica’s Telepod with his shotgun, allowing Veronica to escape unharmed. Breaking out of its own pod as the fusion process is activated, Brundlefly is gruesomely fused with chunks of metal and other components from Telepod 2. As the mortally wounded Brundlefly-Telepod fusion creature crawls out of the receiving pod, it silently begs Veronica to end its suffering with Borans’ shotgun. Veronica hesitates for a moment, then pulls the trigger, killing Brundle.



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