in the right spread of films is what keeps the industry alive, providing
jobs for thousands of creative people and trades, engineers, writers and
business persons. This index focuses on films relating to kindred
subjects, movies with religious or mystical themes, involving compasses
or attempts at everlasting life, such as cloning.
The Fly is a 1986 American science fiction horror film directed and co-written by David Cronenberg. Produced by Brooksfilms and distributed by
Fox, the film stars Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis and John Getz. Loosely based on George Langelaan's 1957 short story of the same name and the 1958 film of the same name, The Fly tells of an eccentric scientist who, after one of his
teleportation experiments goes wrong, slowly turns into a fly-hybrid
creature as his DNA
is spliced with an insect. The score was composed by Howard Shore and the make-up effects were created by Chris Walas, along with makeup artist Stephan Dupuis.
The Fly was released on August 15, 1986, to massive acclaim by critics and audiences, with praise mainly regarding the special effects and Goldblum's performance. It grossed $60.6 million at the box office against its $9 million budget, becoming the largest commercial success of Cronenberg's career. Walas and Dupuis' work on the film resulted in their winning an Academy Award for Best Makeup, the only Oscar won by a film directed by Cronenberg. A sequel, directed by Walas, was released in 1989.
Brilliant but eccentric scientist Seth Brundle meets science journalist Veronica "Ronnie" Quaife at a meet-the-press event held by Bartok Science Industries, the company funding his work. He takes her back to the laboratory of his warehouse home and asks her to exclusively document his invention: two pods that can teleport objects between them. While the "telepods" can transport inanimate objects perfectly, they are unable to teleport live tissue, as demonstrated when a baboon is turned inside out after being teleported.
As they experiment with the invention, Seth and Ronnie begin to form a relationship. Using two steaks, one a control and one teleported, Seth discovers that the machine is creating a synthetic version of biological material rather than the object itself. He reprograms the system to understand the makeup of living tissue and successfully teleports a second baboon. Ronnie departs before they can celebrate, and Seth worries that she is rekindling her relationship with her editor, Stathis Borans. She actually left to confront Stathis about a veiled threat, spurred by his jealousy of Seth, to publish the telepod story without her consent. While drunk, Seth teleports himself alone, unaware that a housefly had entered the transmitter pod with him. He emerges from the receiving pod, seemingly normal.
After Seth and Ronnie reconcile, Seth exhibits sugar cravings and increased strength, agility, stamina, and sexual potency, which he believes resulted from the teleportation "purifying" his body. Ronnie becomes increasingly concerned about Seth's deteriorating sanity, as well as strange, bristly hairs growing from a wound on his back and developing sores on his face. When she expresses her worries, Seth becomes aggressive, insisting that the process is beneficial. He tries to force Ronnie to undergo teleportation, but she refuses.
Seth goes to a bar and partakes in an arm-wrestling match, leaving his opponent with a compound fracture. He brings a woman, Tawny, back to the warehouse, where they have sex. After that, Seth tries to coerce her into teleporting. However, Ronnie intervenes, and Seth throws her out. When his fingernails begin falling off, he slowly realizes that Ronnie had been telling the truth. He re-runs the teleportation sequence and discovers that the computer, confused by the presence of two separate lifeforms in the sending pod, fused him with the fly at the molecular-genetic level.
Seth continues to deteriorate, losing body parts along with his human appearance. After several weeks, he reconnects with Ronnie and reveals he is slowly becoming a hybrid creature that is neither human nor insect, which he has nicknamed "Brundlefly." He has also begun vomiting digestive enzymes onto his food before eating and is able to cling to walls and ceilings. He also discovers that he is losing his human reason and compassion and is now being driven by primitive impulses he cannot control.
Seth installs a fusion program into the telepod computer, planning to dilute the fly genes in his body with human DNA. Ronnie discovers she is pregnant with Seth's baby and has a nightmare of giving birth to a giant maggot. She demands that Stathis persuade a doctor to perform an abortion in the middle of the night, but Seth overhears Ronnie's fears and abducts her before the procedure occurs. He begs her to carry the child to term, since it may be the last remnant of his humanity. Stathis breaks into Seth's lab with a shotgun, but Seth disables him using his corrosive vomit to destroy Stathis' hand and foot, stopping just short of vomiting acid onto his face when Ronnie screams at him to stop.
Seth reveals his final plan to Ronnie: he will use the telepods to fuse the two of them, along with the unborn child, into a single entity to become "the ultimate family." During a struggle, she accidentally tears off his jaw, which triggers his final transformation, shedding his decaying flesh to become a monstrous, insectoid-human creature.
Seth traps Ronnie in the first telepod, puts himself in the other, and begins the countdown. A weakened Stathis recovers his shotgun and severs the cables connecting Ronnie's telepod to the computer. Seth breaks halfway out of his own pod, but the fusion process activates, gruesomely amalgamating him with a chunk of the telepod. Seth crawls to Ronnie and places the end of the shotgun to his head, silently begging her to end his suffering. Looking on at the creature that was once Seth Brundle, she tearfully fires, killing him instantly. She falls to her knees in despair.
Jeff Goldblum as Seth Brundle
Geena Davis as Veronica "Ronnie" Quaife
John Getz as Stathis Borans
Joy Boushel as Tawny
Leslie Carlson as Dr. Brent Cheevers
George Chuvalo as Marky
David Cronenberg as a Gynecologist
RECEPTION AND BOX OFFICE
The Fly was critically acclaimed, with most praise going to Goldblum's performance and the special effects. Despite being a gory remake of a classic, and made by a controversial, non-mainstream director, the film was a 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. Audiences reacted strongly to the graphic creature effects and the tragic love story, and the film received much attention at the time of its release. Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale.
Cronenberg was surprised when The Fly was seen by some critics as a cultural metaphor for AIDS, since he originally intended the film to be a more general analogy for disease itself, terminal conditions like
cancer and, more specifically, the aging process:
If you, or your lover, has AIDS, you watch that film and of course you'll see AIDS in it, but you don't have to have that experience to respond emotionally to the movie and I think that's really its power. This is not to say that AIDS didn't have an incredible impact on everyone and, of course, after a certain point, people were seeing AIDS stories everywhere, so I don't take any offense that people see that in my movie. For me though, there was something about The Fly story that was much more universal:
aging and death
- something all of us have to deal with.
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 Fly holds a 92% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 65 reviews, with an average rating of 8.40/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "David Cronenberg combines his trademark affinity for gore and horror with strongly developed characters, making The Fly a surprisingly affecting
tragedy." 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. The film was ranked #33 on Bravo's 100 Scariest Movie Moments. Similarly, the Chicago Film Critics Association named The Fly the 32nd scariest film ever made. In 2021, The Daily Star ranked The Fly at the top of its list of greatest short story adaptations, praising the film for "exhibiting how greater a short story can evolve, and very much become its own detached, barely recognisable thing."
& QUESTS FOR LIFE FILMS
A Space Odyssey - Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C Clarke
Hur (Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins) 1959
Gold (Matthew McConaughy, Kate Hudson) 2008
Indiana Jones and the
Last Crusade 1989
Cruise, (Emily Blunt, Dwayne Johnson) 2021
World Dominion, (Chris Pratt) 2022
Amistad (Djimon Hounsou, Matthew McConaughey) 1997
Croft - Tomb Raider, Pandora's Box 2001
Croft - Tomb Raider, Cradle of Life 2003
Croft - Tomb Raider, Himiko 2018
Python and the Holy Grail 1975
(Tom Cruise, Andria Riseborough) 2013
of the Apes (Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall) 1968
Day (Arnold Schwarzenegger) 2000
Count of Monte Cristo (Jim Caviezel, Guy Pearce) 2002
da Vinci Code (Tom Hanks) 2006
Fly - (Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis) 1986
Golden Compass (Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Dakota Blue Richards)
Greatest Story Ever Told (Charlton Heston) 1965
Medicine Man (Sean Connery, Lorraine Bracco) 1992
Pope's Exorcist (Russell Crowe, Julius Avery) 2023
Ten Commandments (Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner) 1956 Cecile B DeMille
Recall - (Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rachel Ticotin, Sharon Stone) 1990
(Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg) 2022