The Fly (1 & 2)
THE FLY (18)
D: David Cronenberg
20th Century Fox/Brooksfilms (Stuart Cornfeld)
USA 🇺🇸 1986
W: Charles Pogue & David Cronenberg [based on the story by George Langelaan]
DP: Mark Irwin
Ed: Ronald Sanders
Mus: Howard Shore
PD: Carol Spiers
Cos: Denise Cronenberg
Jeff Goldblum (Seth Brundle), Geena Davis (Veronica Quaife), John Getz (Stathis Borans), Joy Boushel (Tawny)
The golden rule of remaking a film is simple, be original whilst still capturing the general essence of the original film. David Cronenberg's version of The Fly doesn't just do that, it provides a perfect example of a remake.
Keeping to the main plot of the story from the B-movie original, Cronenberg adds elements and allegories of addiction and infection to the mad-scientist monster movie.
Though the makeup effects may look like a guy in the rubber mask by today's standards, the performances from Jeff Goldblum & Geena Davis are nothing short of entirely convincing.
Goldblum plays eccentric scientist Seth Brundle, who has stumbled upon a miraculous invention which he plans to "change the world as we know it"- a teleportation device.
On his inaugural test of the machine, he is unknowingly spliced with a common housefly. Initially, he develops superhuman strength and heightened sentence, but then faces the harsh truths that he is becoming less and less human.
The Fly is a genuinely terrifying horror movie with intelligent allegories which lift it well above the schlock which saturated the genre during the early/mid 1980's.
THE FLY II (18)
D: Chris Walas
20th Century Fox/Brooksfilms (Steven Charles Jaffe)
USA 🇺🇸 1989
W: Mick Garris, Jim Wheat, Ken Wheat & Frank Darabont
DP: Robin Vidgeon
Ed: Sean Barton
Mus: Christopher Young
Eric Stoltz (Martin Brundle), Daphne Zuniga (Beth Logan), Lee Richardson (Anton Bartok), Gary Chalk (Scorby), John Getz (Stathis Borans)
The original cast have little to do with this by-the-numbers, mad scientist sequel, with the directorial reins lifted up by the special effects makeup designer from the original film.
The opening scene features an unconvincing Geena Davis lookalike dying during childbirth. Seth Brundle's half human-half fly son then zips through childhood under the watchful eye of Bartok Industries, who are hopeful that the boy will inherit his father's genius and fix the faults with their own attempts to create a teleportation machine.
The plot throws in a forced romance which just feels wrong, before an unpleasantly squishy finale. Far more violent than the 1986 film, but lacking the allegorical substance which made David Cronenberg's vision much more than 'just a horror movie'.