Monday, 26 September 2011

David Cronenberg's 'The Fly' (1986)

This remake of the 1958 classic could not be further apart from Nuemann’s original in terms of narrative and structure although the general theme remains the same. The eighties was one of the defining eras of the horror movie genre and the ‘gore factor’ was rife with the advancement in prosthetics and the generation x audience’s lust for blood and disfigurement. "Firmly rooted in the type of film he does best, Cronenberg unleashes a series of nauseating effects as Goldblum transforms into a fly over a period of weeks." (Haflidason,2000) ‘The Fly’ definitely delivered not only from point of view of the ‘gore hunters’ but also from those loyal to the original film as the morality remained very much the same.

    The audience are introduced to Seth Brundle, the eccentric  scientist early on and watch his relationship with Veronica Quaife bloom. As the film progresses the audience form an bond with Brundle and almost relate to him on a personal level as his love and sensitivity towards Quaife is a depiction of human nature which makes his transformation more of a struggle between the man and the harsh nature of the insect.   "Cronenberg and co-screenwriter Charles Edward Pogue dumped the idea of a man suddenly growing a massive fly head after a teleportation experiment went awry and he merges with the insect on the micro genetic level" (Carr,2005). This was a slow cancerous process and at times disgustingly gruesome making the film potent and very relevant to the issues of the time. Brundles body slowly decaying and disfiguring could possibly be a poignant reference to the AIDS pandemic, which became widespread throughout the Eighties. The real point here is to slowly build tension and psychological claustrophobia leading to futility, desperation and nihilism (Sponseller,2000).

    Cronenberg also touched on abortion when Veronica Quaife fears her unborn child will be an abomination like the ‘BrundleFly’ and so orders the doctor to rid her body of the creature. This was also another taboo topic throughout much of the Eighties as it was seen as murder by many.

     The manner in which Cronenberg is able to inject his own flavor into the story, touch on many issues of the era and still stay true to the theme of the original film is admirable and a stroke of genius.

List of Illustrations
Image 1 and 2 , 
Image 3

Almar Haflldason BBC Film Review  (2000) (accessed on 26/09/2011)
Kevin Carr ‘the Fly’ DVD review (2005) (accessed on 26/09/2011)
 Brandt Sponseller  ‘The Fly Review’ (17/12/2000) (accessed on 26/09/2011)

1 comment:

  1. The next Amazing Spider-Man film should be just like the Fly(1986). Perhaps David Cronenberg should produce the next Spider-Man flick to depict the Fly. Don't you agree?