Sunday, February 17, 2013

"The Fly" DVD (director: David Cronenberg)

Cronenberg's 1986 re-imagining of this horror classic deserves a look back, thus this review. Taking only cues from the 50's short story and campy original, Cronenberg drags "The Fly" into some gruesome and intelligent directions, and this 27-year old film holds up quite nicely today. 

Starring Jeff Goldblum as the brilliant and nerdy scientist who gets too careless in his research and Geena Davis as his love interest/foil, "The Fly" can be seen as a modern-day Frankenstein tale to some degree. Goldblum's character, Seth Brundle, has spent years working on "telepods", transferring molecular particles across distances by dissolving the matter, than re-distributing it (preferably in the correct place) in his other "telepod". When he tries the telepods on living tissue (himself after a moment of drunken weakness), he makes a terrible mistake, not realizing a common housefly has also landed with him in the pod. When the telepod mixes up his matter and the fly's, then re-arranges it as one being, he is unwittingly made, in his own words, into "Brundlefly". His metamorphosis from man to "man-fly" is not for the faint of stomach.

The human element is omnipresent, and Goldblum and Davis are superb in their roles. The splattery special effects are stunning and fittingly goopy, and the finale is both explosive and tragic. Fans of Cronenberg's other early work will find many similar elements -- namely a fusion of man and technology into a "new flesh" -- psychological horror paired with vile gore effects. I quite liked this one. 

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