The Fly (1986 film): Wikis

Advertisements
  
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Fly

Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Directed by David Cronenberg
Produced by Stuart Cornfield
Written by Short story:
George Langelaan
Screenplay:
Charles Edward Pogue
David Cronenberg
Starring Jeff Goldblum
Geena Davis
John Getz
Music by Howard Shore
Nile Rodgers
Cinematography Mark Irwin
Editing by Ronald Sanders
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s) August 15, 1986
Running time 95 min.
Country United States
Language English
Budget $15,000,000 (est.)
Gross revenue $60,629,159
Followed by The Fly II (1989)

The Fly is a 1986 American science fiction horror film (with some gothic fiction elements), written and directed by David Cronenberg. Produced by Brooksfilms and 20th Century Fox, the film stars Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis and John Getz, and is a big budget remake of the 1958 film of the same name, but with a substantially different plot. The soundtrack was composed by Howard Shore. This movie was shot in Toronto in 1985-1986.

As with many of Cronenberg's films, The Fly deals with themes of bodily disfigurement or metamorphosis and the darker aspects of human emotions and behavior. An underlying aspect of the story is the doomed love affair between Goldblum and Davis and the resulting rivalry between Goldblum and Getz.

The Fly was a box office success upon its release and was critically acclaimed in the press. A sequel, The Fly II was released in 1989.

Contents

Plot

At a meet-the-press party held by Bartok Science Industries, Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum), a brilliant but eccentric scientist, meets Veronica Quaife (Geena Davis), a journalist for Particle magazine. Bartok Science Industries provides the funding for Brundle's work, and he tells Veronica that he's working on a project that will change the world. Intrigued, Veronica accompanies Brundle back to his warehouse laboratory/home so he can show her his invention: a set of "Telepods" that allows instantaneous teleportation of an object from one pod to another. Veronica is impressed and eventually agrees to document Seth's work. Although the telepods can transport inanimate objects perfectly, they do not work correctly on living things. Seth unintentionally experiences this horrific fact when he attempts to teleport a baboon, which is killed when it is reintegrated inside-out. Shortly thereafter, Seth and Veronica begin a romantic relationship, and their first sexual encounter provides inspiration for Seth. He realizes that the machine is not perfectly reassembling living objects, but is rather "interpreting" them, and sets about reprogramming the telepod computer to cope with living flesh.[1]

Seth then succeeds in teleporting a second baboon with no apparent harm. Flush with this success, he wants to spend a romantic evening with Veronica, but she leaves before they can celebrate. Brundle's judgment soon becomes impaired by alcohol and his paranoid fear that Veronica is secretly rekindling her relationship with her editor and former lover Stathis Borans (John Getz). In reality, Veronica has left to confront Stathis about his continuing interference in her life, and his threat to reveal the existence of the telepods to the world prematurely. Unaware of all this, a drunk and jealous Brundle decides to teleport himself, both as a way of getting back at Veronica for her imagined infidelity, and also to provide the teleportation system with its first human subject. Just before the telepod door automatically closes, a common housefly slips into the pod, unseen by the distracted Brundle. After being teleported, Brundle emerges from the receiving pod, seemingly normal.

Shortly after his teleportation, Seth reconciles with Veronica, and eventually begins to exhibit a sense of intoxicating euphoria, as well as heightened strength, endurance, and sexual potency. However, he also becomes arrogant and violent, and when Veronica sees that something has gone wrong and refuses to allow herself to be teleported, Brundle abandons her, claiming that she cannot "keep up" with him. Brundle then meets a voluptuous and sleazy woman named Tawny at a bar, and arm wrestles with a burly man named Marky, with Tawny as the prize. After using his superhuman strength to give Marky's arm a compound fracture, Brundle takes Tawny home for the night.

The next morning, Veronica arrives at the warehouse in time to prevent Brundle from forcibly teleporting Tawny. After Tawny runs away, Veronica tries to warn Brundle that something is happening to him, but he throws her out of his warehouse and tells her never to return. After she leaves, Brundle is horrified to discover that his fingernails are beginning to fall off. Realizing that something went wrong during his first teleportation, 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, has merged him with the fly at the molecular-genetic level. He then realizes that he is slowly becoming a hybrid creature that is neither human nor insect (which the doomed Seth begins referring to as "Brundlefly").

After a month-long period of self-imposed isolation, a desperate Seth again reconciles with Veronica, but he has already begun to deteriorate, becoming progressively less human in appearance. He also begins to exhibit fly-like characteristics, such as vomiting digestive enzymes onto his food in order to dissolve it, and developing the ability to cling to walls and ceilings. He also develops fly-like twitches and tics, and begins leaving his sloughed-off human body parts in his medicine cabinet, dubbing it "The Brundle Museum of Natural History". Brundle comes to realize that he is losing his human reason and compassion, and that he is now being driven by primitive impulses he cannot control. 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. After having a nightmare in which she gives birth to a giant maggot, Veronica becomes determined to get an abortion.

Although Veronica visits Brundle to tell him about her pregnancy, she can't bring herself to do so. Outside Brundle's warehouse, Veronica begs Stathis to take her to a clinic so she can get an abortion, but Brundle overhears their discussion while watching them from the rooftop. Brundle then abducts Veronica from the clinic, 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. Brundle takes her back to his warehouse.

Meanwhile, Stathis breaks into the 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 Stathis' left hand and right foot with his corrosive vomit-drop enzyme. Stathis is spared from death only by the pleading of Veronica.

Brundle then reveals his desperate, last-ditch plan to Veronica: He will use the three telepods (the third pod being the original prototype) to fuse himself, Veronica, and their unborn child together into one entity, so they can be the "ultimate family", which the desperate Brundle believes will be "more human than I am alone". Veronica frantically resists Brundle's efforts to drag her into Telepod 1 and then accidentally tears off his jaw, triggering his final transformation. His body sheds its outer layer of decaying flesh, revealing a monstrous combination of man and insect. The now-mute "Brundlefly" creature traps Veronica inside Telepod 1, then steps into Telepod 2. As the computer's timer counts down to the activation of the fusion sequence, the wounded Stathis manages to shoot the power cables connected to Veronica's telepod with his shotgun, severing Telepod 1's connection to the computer and allowing Veronica to escape unharmed. Brundlefly attempts to break out of its own telepod just as the fusion sequence occurs, and 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. A devastated Veronica hesitates for a moment, and then pulls the trigger, ending the life of her hideously-transformed lover.

Production history

In the early 1980s, co-producer Kip Ohman approached screenwriter Charles Edward Pogue with the idea of remaking the classic science fiction/horror film The Fly. Pogue began by reading George Langelaan's short story and then watching the original film, which he had never seen. Deciding that this was a project he was interested in, he talked with producer Stuart Cornfeld about setting up the production, and Cornfeld very quickly agreed. The duo then pitched the idea to executives at 20th Century Fox and received an enthusiastic response, and Pogue was given money to write a first draft screenplay. He initially wrote an outline similar to that of Langelaan's story, but both he and Cornfeld thought that it would be better to rework the material to focus on a gradual metamorphosis instead of an instantaneous monster. But when executives read the script they were so unimpressed that they immediately withdrew from the project. After some negotiation, Cornfeld orchestrated a deal whereby Fox would agree to distribute the film if he could set up financing through another source.

The new producer was Mel Brooks, who had previously worked with Cornfeld on David Lynch's film The Elephant Man, produced by Brooks' company Brooksfilms. Cornfeld gave the script to Brooks, who liked it but felt that a different writer was needed. Pogue was then removed from the project and Cornfeld hired Walon Green for a rewrite, but it was felt that his draft was not a step in the right direction, so Pogue was then brought back to try and polish up the material. At the same time, Brooks and Cornfeld were trying to find a suitable director. Their first choice was David Cronenberg, but he was working on an adaptation of Total Recall for Dino De Laurentiis and was unable to accept. Cornfeld decided on a young British director named Robert Bierman after seeing one of his short films. Bierman was flown to Los Angeles to meet with Pogue, and the film was in the very early stages of preproduction when tragedy struck. Bierman's family had been vacationing in South Africa and his daughter was killed in an accident. Bierman boarded a plane to go to his family, and Brooks and Cornfeld waited for a month before approaching him about resuming work on the picture. Bierman told them that he was unable to start working so soon, and Brooks told him that he would wait three months and contact him again. At the end of the three months Bierman told him that he could not commit to the project. Brooks told him that he had understood and had freed him from his contract.

Cornfeld then heard that Cronenberg was no longer associated with Total Recall and once again approached him with The Fly. Cronenberg agreed to sign on as director if he would be allowed to rewrite the script. His revised draft differed greatly from Pogue's screenplay, though it still retained the basic plot outline and also included the central concept of a genetic mutation. With a script that everyone was now happy with, Cronenberg assembled his usual crew and began the process of casting the picture, ultimately deciding on Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis for the leads. Chris Walas, who had designed the creatures in Gremlins, was hired to handle the film's extensive special effects.

The producers also commissioned Bryan Ferry to record a song for the film for promotional purposes. The resulting track was entitled "Help Me". A music video was made for the song, and footage from the film was featured heavily in it. On the DVD's commentary track Cronenberg admitted to liking the song, but felt that it was inappropriate to the film itself. Brooks and Cornfeld originally wanted to play the song over the closing credits, but after Cronenberg screened it for them they agreed with the director that it did not mesh with the movie. As a result, the song is featured only briefly in the film, in the scene where Brundle challenges Marky in the bar. "Help Me" quickly disappeared and became extremely rare, as it was not included on the film's soundtrack release. It resurfaced in 1993 on the Roxy Music/Bryan Ferry compact disc Ultimate Collection.

Deleted/Alternate scenes

After filming ended early in 1986, a rough cut of the The Fly was shown to 20th Century Fox executives, who were very impressed. A rough cut was then previewed at Toronto's Uptown Theatre in the Spring of that year. Due to a strong audience reaction, the graphic and infamous "monkey-cat" sequence was cut from the film to make it easier for audiences to maintain sympathy for Brundle's character. Another preview screening was subsequently held at the Fox lot in Los Angeles, and this version featured the "Butterfly Baby" coda. As before, the screening results dictated that the scene be cut.

As with most of David Cronenberg's movies, The Fly was tightly edited to maintain a strong pace and to downplay gratuitous gore. The final cut runs a brisk 95 minutes, and although very few scenes were cut, many others were trimmed down. The DVD and Blu-Ray editions of the film feature both the shooting script and a great deal of deleted, extended, and alternate footage which had never been seen before.

The most notable deleted/alternate scenes include:

Second Interview
A short scene that features Veronica Quaife conducting a videotaped interview with Seth Brundle (after his superhuman exercise seen in the completed film), in which he mistakenly theorizes that being teleported has somehow improved him (a slightly different version of this scene appears in The Fly II, which contains alternate takes and dialogue that was deleted from the workprint version that appears on the DVD).
Monkey-Cat
A legendary sequence in which a desperate Brundle (in a transitional makeup stage that appears only in this scene), uses the Telepods to merge an alley cat and a baboon (the same baboon that Brundle successfully teleported earlier in the film) together in an attempt to find a cure for his condition. However, the resulting "monkey-cat" creature comes out of the receiving Telepod terribly deformed, and attacks Brundle, who ends up beating the two-headed creature to death with a metal pipe to end its misery. The sequence goes on to show the disturbed Brundle scaling the wall of his lab up to the roof, only to feel a sharp pain in his left side (specifically, in the hernia-like bulge seen in the final cut of the film when Brundle first demonstrates his wall-crawling powers). He accidentally slips off the roof, slides down the wall, lands on a metal awning, and watches as a small, fly-like leg emerges from his torso. Horrified by this new appendage, Brundle amputates it with his teeth.
Brundle's motivation for fusing the two animals together was intended to be somewhat ambiguous in the context of the sequence, which featured a "test run" for Brundle's fusion "cure" seen at the end of the movie. Thematically, the point of the scene was that Brundle was trying to find some kind of cure for his rapidly deteriorating condition, but was clearly losing his sanity at the same time. The end of the sequence also revealed exactly what the hernia-like bulge on Brundle's torso was, as well as revealing the final fate of the surviving baboon, story points that are both left unresolved in the final cut.
As noted, this sequence was included in the rough cut shown at the Toronto preview screening. The audience had a strong reaction, with at least one person allegedly throwing up. The general consensus from the preview audience was that Brundle was being cruel to the animals (and thus the scene played as being gratuitous, which was not the filmmakers' intent), and, as a result, they lost sympathy for him for the duration of the film. The scene was cut, and remained lost for nearly 20 years. For the 2005 DVD, the scene was restored from the original negative (which was editorially conformed to the workprint version), with tracked-in sound effects and music taken from the completed film.
The script additionally called for Brundle to encounter a homeless woman in the alley after amputating the insect leg, whose face he would vomit on and consume, but this segment was written out of the movie before filming, although an actress had already been hired to play the baglady. The scripted sequence appears on the DVD.
Butterfly Baby
The film's deleted epilogue was shot four different ways (all of which can be seen on the DVD). In the version of the scene that was originally scripted (and previewed for the Los Angeles test audience), Veronica Quaife is seen in bed with Stathis Borans (having married him) some time after Seth Brundle's death. She awakens from another nightmare in which she gives birth to Brundle's child, and Stathis reassures her that she is safe, and that the baby she is now carrying (having presumably aborted Brundle's) is his. Veronica then falls back asleep, and we see that she's now dreaming of a beautiful human baby with butterfly wings hatching from a cocoon and flying off towards a distant light source.
The other filmed versions of the epilogue featured:
  • Veronica in bed with Stathis (much the same as the version that was previewed), but without her being pregnant. Instead, Stathis reassures her that "there's no baby". She then falls back asleep and has the butterfly-baby dream.
  • Veronica waking up alone and in her own bed, then falling back asleep and having the butterfly-baby dream. In this version, she is clearly still pregnant with Brundle's baby.
  • Veronica waking up alone and in her own bed, then having the butterfly-baby dream. In this version, she's not visibly pregnant (thus leaving the ending ambiguous).
The epilogue was intended as a upbeat bookend for Veronica's earlier maggot-baby dream, and to give the surviving characters a more hopeful ending. However, the coda did not fare well with the preview audience, since they were too stunned by the film's climax to focus on the coda, which raised a number of questions. Further, due to the dynamics between the characters that evolved during filming, the chemistry between Brundle and Ronnie proved so strong that no one wanted to see her end up with Stathis Borans (which is one reason why the alternate, Borans-less versions of the coda were shot). The filmmakers also agreed that the story should end with Brundle's mercy-killing at Veronica's hands, despite the unanswered questions about Veronica's unborn child that would be raised by the deletion of the epilogue.

The climax of the film also went through several incarnations in the various drafts of the script before the final version was filmed:

In one early version of the ending, Veronica is unconscious after Brundlefly throws her into Telepod 1. When the Brundlething emerges from the prototype telepod, the raging and mortally wounded creature crawls toward the injured Stathis Borans, who manages to grab a loose wire jutting from the telepod/human/fly-hybrid creature's back and jams it into an electrical socket. The Brundlething is liquified by the electricity.

A later version of the scene is nearly identical, except that the Brundlething crawls toward Stathis (whether it wants to attack him or is just desperate for help is left ambiguous) and then dies.

In the version of the script that appears on the 2005 DVD, Veronica is conscious during the final scene, and when the Brundlething emerges from the receiving telepod and crawls toward her, she aims Stathis' shotgun at it, but the creature ends up dying at her feet. Eventually, this was slightly changed to the mercy-killing seen in the completed film.

Makeup/creature effects

The Academy Award-winning makeup seen in The Fly was designed and executed by Chris Walas, Inc. over a period of several months. The final "Brundlefly" creature was designed first, and then the various steps needed to carry protagonist Seth Brundle to that final incarnation were designed afterwards. The transformation was intended to be a metaphor for the aging process. Indeed, Brundle loses hair, teeth, and fingernails, and his skin becomes discolored and lumpy. The intention of the filmmakers was to give Brundle a bruised, cancerous, and diseased look that gets progressively worse as time goes on.

Various looks were tested for the different stages before the perfected versions seen in the completed film were arrived at. Some early test footage can be seen on the 2005 The Fly: Collector's Edition DVD.

Early versions of the different makeup stages include:

  • A prototype of Stage 2, featuring more exaggerated facial discoloration, open sores, and peeling skin (test footage of this version can be seen on the Fly CE DVD).
  • The first test version of Stage 4-A, which featured the same face sculpt as the final version of the makeup, but also had an enlarged headpiece underneath Goldblum's wig. The "hernia-bulge" on his side is in a lower position on his torso than the final version, and only Brundle's face and hands are visibly mutated (also, the sticky pads on his palms are of different colors than the metallic-green pads seen in the final film). The rest of Goldblum's body is discolored with body makeup, and there are numerous insect-like hairs on his arms and torso. In the final version of the makeup seen in the film, Brundle's entire body is lumpy and deformed (test footage of this version can be seen on the Fly CE DVD).
  • There may also be another version of Stage 4-A (which can be seen in nearly all of the publicity and still photos of that stage). This version appears to have been slightly different arm appliances (with less distorted hands and the lighter-colored palm-pads of the first prototype), and more hair on Brundle's head (which actually seems to coordinate better with Stage 4-B, since Stage 4-B appears to have more hair than the filmed version of Stage 4-A). It is unclear if this really is a prototype, since most photographs of this version indicate that it was filmed on the set. The apparent differences between the "prototype" and the filmed version may be mere optical illusions created by different lighting schemes and film stocks.

The following is a breakdown of each stage of Seth Brundle's horrifying transformation as designed and created by the CWI crew (with behind-the-scenes information presented in italics):

  • STAGE 1 (on view in the scene where Veronica discovers the small insect-like hairs on Brundle's back): Brundle's face is discolored, and it looks as though he has a bad allergic rash. Small insect-like hair are growing out of the scratches on his back (an injury sustained prior to Brundle's fateful teleportation when he accidentally rolled onto a stray circuit board). Actor Jeff Goldblum's face was painted with dabs of blue, red, green, yellow, and purple makeup. The fly-like hairs growing from the scratches on Brundle's back were made from monofilament fishing wire that was trimmed, tapered, and tinted black.
  • STAGE 2 (on view from the scene where the manic Brundle storms the city's streets and then enters the bar until the point where he discovers the truth about his fusion with the fly by checking his computer's records): It looks as though Brundle has a bad case of acne, as his face is full of what appear to be pimples, warts and bumps (and more lesions appear on his face as time goes on). There are also some small fly-like hairs growing out of various areas of his face. Many more such hairs are growing out of the scratches on his back. Brundle's entire body is becoming subtly discolored, and his fingers are swollen, blotchy, and have loose nails. Plastic warts and pimples were applied to Goldblum's face. He wore foam-rubber fingertips for the nail-pulling scene.
  • STAGE 3 (on view in the scene where Veronica visits Brundle after his one-month period of isolation): Brundle's face is lumpy and discolored. His hair is thinning (with visible bald spots) and he has no eyebrows. He must now walk with the aid of a pair of canes (as a result of the changes to the internal structure of his body) and vomits digestive enzymes on his food in order to dissolve it. His right ear falls off in this stage. Goldblum wore a full face/neck foam-rubber appliance with wig. The "vomit drop" was made from eggs, honey, and milk.
  • STAGE 4-A (on view in the scene where Brundle demonstrates his wall-crawling and "vomit-drop" abilities to Veronica): Brundle has lost all of his fingernails and toenails, as well as both ears. More of his hair has fallen out, and his teeth are crooked (with receding gums). His face and arms are lumpy and deformed, and coarse insect-like hairs are popping up all over his body. A hernia-like bulge has developed on the lower left side of his torso. Sticky, cushion-like pads have appeared on Brundle's hands and feet, giving him the ability to cling to walls. The index and middle fingers of his right hand are webbed together with a flap of flesh, and are starting to fuse together. Some of the toes on Brundle's feet are clustering and fusing together. Brundle's inner structure has changed enough so that he no longer needs to walk with the aid of canes, and his natural posture is now hunched-over and inhuman. He has also begun to exhibit nervous and jerky fly-like twitches and tics. Goldblum wore foam rubber appliances on his head, neck, arms, feet, and abdomen. Various pieces of foam were put under his clothes to suggest a misshapen form underneath. He also wore another wig with sparse hair, and custom-made dentures to show Brundle's crooked teeth.
  • STAGE 4-B (not seen in the final cut of the film; appears only in the deleted "Monkey-Cat"/insect leg-amputation sequence that can be seen on the 2005 Fly Collector's Edition DVD): Essentially the same as Stage 4-A, but now Brundle is completely naked. He has lost his genitals, his buttocks have fused together, and his hips have become enlarged. The hernia-like bulge on his side is very noticeable now, and eventually bursts open to reveal a small, fly-like appendage that is messily amputated by the horrified Brundle. This stage used the same sculpting for the face and arms as the Stage 4-A makeup appliances did, but since the scene revealed the entirety of Brundle's deformed body, Goldblum was required to wear the first of two full-body, foam-rubber bodysuits designed for the film.
  • STAGE 5 (on view from the point where Brundle loses his teeth up until the moment when his jaw is ripped off): Brundle is nearing the end of his metamorphosis. His hair is almost entirely gone, and his head has become swollen and misshapen, with his face becoming even more deformed with each passing day. The right eyelid is puffed up and the left eye is enlarged. The index and middle fingers on Brundle's right hand have fused together, and the pinky fingers of both hands are "dead" and vestigial. The middle finger of the left hand has swollen grotesquely. Brundle loses a number of teeth in this stage, and the open wound on his torso (from the deleted "Monkey-Cat" sequence) is clearly visible. Goldblum wore a second full-body suit similar to the one seen in Stage 4-B, but this version featured more exaggerated deformities. Goldblum also wore special dentures with missing teeth and custom-made contact lenses that made one eye appear bigger than the other. The most complete makeup job in the film, this stage took nearly six hours to apply to the actor. The shots of Brundle's jaw flexing in a non-human way so as to vomit corrosive enzymes on Stathis Borans, as well as the shots of Brundle's jaw being ripped off, were accomplished with mechanized, full-bust puppet replicas of the character. In a shot deleted from the film, Brundle ejects an eight-inch proboscis to suck up the remains of Borans' foot, a sequence that also used a mechanized bust. This was the last stage of Brundlefly's transformation to involve actor Jeff Goldblum.
  • STAGE 6 (seen when Brundlefly tosses Veronica into Telepod 1 and then steps into Telepod 2): Brundle's dead and decaying outer layer of skin falls off to reveal his final incarnation, the entity previously dubbed "Brundlefly" by the diseased scientist. This grotesque, human-insect hybrid creature has a misshapen head with antennae, insect eyes with enlarged eyelids, and a proboscis. The torso is somewhat segmented, like an insect's, and the hips are enlarged and deformed. The right leg reverses its joint to become reverse-bending and Brundle's dead human foot is shaken loose. The creature's new, hoof-like foot ends in a pair of insect claws. The left leg is vaguely humanoid, but there is an extra joint beneath the knee, and the foot consists of three large, deformed toes that are tipped by insect claws. The left arm is humanoid, and terminates in a deformed, human-type hand with stubby, vestigial fingers. The right arm features a distorted and elongated hand that has two long, tubular fingers (which are also tipped with insect claws), and a small, fly-like leg (similar to the leg that burst out of Brundle's left side in the deleted "Monkey-Cat" scene) can be seen on the right side of the creature's torso. This ultimate fusion of man and insect was brought to life through the use of various cable-controlled and rod-operated puppets.
  • "STAGE" 7 (seen in The Fly's final moments, after Brundlefly is merged with a section of Telepod 2): Not necessarily a stage, but after its failed attempt to reclaim some semblance of humanity by merging with Veronica Quaife, Brundlefly is accidentally fused with a large chunk of its own sending telepod. The resulting fusion of man, insect, and machine crawls out of the receiving pod, mortally wounded and in terrible agony. The thing that was once Seth Brundle silently begs Veronica to end its life, and she does. This final incarnation of Seth Brundle, technically not a part of his metamorphosis into Brundlefly, was dubbed the "Brundlething" or "Brundlebooth" by the film's crew (and is also called "BrundlePod" by some fans). The pathetic creature was created as a rod puppet with cable-controlled facial features.

Critical response

Upon its release, The Fly was critically lauded, as was Goldblum's tour de force performance. The film was a huge commercial success, the biggest of Cronenberg's career, and was the top-grossing film in the United States for two weeks, earning a total domestic gross of $40,456,565.

Film critic Gene Siskel named The Fly as the tenth best film of 1986. In 1989, Premiere and American Film magazines both conducted independent polls of American film critics, directors, and other such groups to determine the best films of the 1980s, and The Fly appeared on both lists.

The film was also widely thought to be an allegory of the AIDS epidemic, although Cronenberg denies this and states that the subtext/metaphor of the film is the natural process of aging and death. The "Brundlefly" makeup effects won a 1986 Academy Award, the film's sole nomination.

In 2005, Time magazine film critics Richard Corliss and Richard Schickel included The Fly in their list of the All-TIME 100 Greatest Movies, Time later named it one of the 25 best horror films.[2] In 2006, the Chicago Film Critics Association named The Fly the 32nd scariest film ever made.[3]

In 2008, the American Film Institute distributed ballots to 1,500 directors, critics, and other people associated with the film industry in order to determine the top ten American films in ten different genre categories. Cronenberg's version of The Fly was nominated under the "Science Fiction" category, although it did not make the top ten.

Sequel

The sequel is The Fly II (1989). Cronenberg has said that the stories in his films have definitive beginnings and endings, and he has never considered making a sequel to one of his own films, although others have made sequels to Cronenberg films, including Scanners (1981).

Interestingly enough, an early treatment for a sequel, written by Tim Lucas, involved Veronica Quaife dealing with the evils of the Bartok company. Brundle's consciousness had somehow survived within the Telepod computer, and the Bartok scientists had enslaved him and were using him to develop the system for cloning purposes. Brundle becomes able to communicate with Veronica through the computer, and he eventually takes control of the Bartok complex's security systems to gruesomely attack the villains. Eventually, Veronica frees Brundle by conspiring with him to reintegrate a non-contaminated version of his original body. Cronenberg endorsed this concept at the time. Geena Davis was open to doing a sequel (and only pulled out of Fly II because her character was to be killed in the opening scene), while Goldblum was not (although he was okay with a cameo), and this treatment reflects that. However, a later treatment written by Jim and Ken Wheat was used as the basis for the final script, written by Frank Darabont. Mick Garris also wrote a treatment, with elements incorporated into the final film.

The Fly — The Opera

On 2 July 2008 the opera The Fly by Howard Shore to a libretto by David Henry Hwang premiered at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris with Cronenberg as director and Plácido Domingo conducting.[4] The US premiere was 7 September 2008 at the Los Angeles Opera.[5]

Remake

On 23 September 2009, it was announced David Cronenberg planned a remake of his film.[6]

Merchandise

A 6-inch figure of "Brundlefly" was created by McFarlane Toys for their Movie Maniacs line in 2000. Also, a 15-inch polystone statue of "Brundlefly" was made by Sideshow Collectibles in 2008.

References

External links

Advertisements

Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

The Fly is a 1986 horror film.

Directed by David Cronenberg. Written by Charles Edward Pogue and David Cronenberg, based on the short story by George Langelaan.
Be afraid. Be very afraid. Taglines

Contents

Seth

  • What am I working on? Uhhh ... I'm working on something that will change the world and human life as we know it.
  • You're afraid to dive into the plasma pool aren't you? You're afraid to be destroyed and re-created, aren't you? I'll bet you think that you woke me up about the flesh, don't you? But you only know society's straight line about the flesh! You can't penetrate beyond society's sick, grey fear of the flesh! Drink deep or taste not the plasma spring, see what I'm saying? Now, I'm not just talking about sex and penetration, I'm talking about penetration beyond the veil of the flesh! A deep, penetrating dive into the plasma pool!
  • A fly...got into the...transmitter pod with me that first time when I was alone. Uh, the computer got confused, there weren't supposed to be two seperate genetic patterns, and it decided to, uh, splice us together. It mated us, me and the fly. We hadn't even been properly introduced! My...teleporter turned into a gene-splicer. And a very good one, now I'm not Seth Brundle anymore. I'm the offspring of...Brundle and housefly.

Dialogue

Seth: Don't be afraid.
Veronica: No. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

(At Brundle's lab, Veronica finds him scaling the walls.)
Seth: I seem to be stricken by a disease with a purpose, wouldn't you say? Maybe not such a bad disease after all.
Veronica: I can't stay here.
Seth (jumps onto floor): No, no, no! Why not? Why can't you?
Veronica: I can't take it ... It's too much.
Seth: What's there to take? The disease has just revealed its purpose. We don't have to worry about contagion anymore ... I know what the disease wants.
Veronica: What does the disease want?
Seth: It wants to ... turn me ... into something else. That's not too terrible, is it? Most people would give anything to be turned into something else.
Veronica: Turned into what?
Seth: Whadda you think, a fly? Am I becoming a hundred-and-eighty-five pound fly? No, I'm becoming something that never existed before. I'm becoming ... Brundlefly. Don't you think that's worth a Nobel Prize or two?

Seth: You have to leave now, and never come back here. Have you ever heard of insect politics? Neither have I. Insects ... don't have politics. They're very ... brutal. No compassion, no compromise. We can't trust the insect. I'd like to become the first ... insect politician. Y'see, I'd like to, but ... I'm afraid ...(groans)
Veronica: I don't know what you're trying to say!
Seth: I'm saying ... I'm saying I-I'm an insect who dreamt he was a man ... and loved it. But now the dream is over ... and the insect is awake.
Veronica: No...No, Seth ...
Seth: I'm saying ...I'll hurt you if you stay.

Seth: Help me. Help me be human.
Veronica: How?
Seth (indicating the appropriate telepods): Well, I go there, and you go there. We come apart, and then we come together there. You, me and the baby. Together.
Veronica: No...
Seth: We'll be the ultimate family. A family of three, joined together in one body...more human than I am alone.
Veronica: No!!

Veronica: We've got to do this, Seth. Talk to the tape, get in the habit. The world will want to know what you're thinking...
Seth: FUCK is what I'm thinking!

Taglines

  • Be afraid. Be very afraid.
  • Half man, half insect... total terror!
  • Something went wrong in the lab today... something very wrong...

Cast

External links

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about:

Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message