Feb 25, 2008

The Fly

David Cronenberg’s The Fly is the directors biggest box office success. It is also Cronenberg’s most accessible film for mainstream moviegoers. Cronenberg succeeded in creating an original sci-fi masterpiece. Keep in mind that The Fly is a remake of the 1958 Vincent price classic. David Cronenberg was the right man for the remake job.

I generally hate remakes. Especially remakes from the horror and sci-fi genre. Remakes in these genres (especially horror) are for the most part guaranteed moneymakers. The sad thing is that newer generations of horror fans know more about remakes (Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Hills Have Eyes, Dawn of the Dead) than they do the original films. The majority of these films completely destroy the significance and strengths of the originals.

Cronenberg lends his psychosexual auteur touch to The Fly resulting in a worthy remake. Like Stanley Kubrick, Cronenberg transforms a films source material into his own unique vision. Cinema offers the grand opportunity of unique vision. Directors like David Cronenberg use it to their advantage. Most directors are just worried about the paycheck.

Jeff Goldblum stars as scientist Seth Brundle in The Fly. Goldblum was the appropriate choice for playing the eccentric and fast talking scientist. Brundle is obsessed with international notoriety and fame. A man that wants to change how people use transportation in the world. He also is also sometimes half asses in his ambitions. This eventually results in Brundle getting drunk and becoming a hybrid of man and fly.

Like most of Cronenberg’s film, The Fly features monstrous sexual flesh. Brundle’s love interest (played by Geena Davis) dreams that she gives birth to a gigantic maggot. Cronenberg has always had an obsession with gynecology (see Dead Ringers). He could even be called the Sigmund Freud of horror. Only David Cronenberg could find sexual elements in typewriters (Naked Lunch), infections (Shivers), car wreck injuries (Crash), and VHS tapes (Videodrome). The world of David Cronenberg is much darker than his nerdy exterior displays.

The Fly is one of the best sci-fi films of the 1980s. David Cronenberg was able to successfully make the transition from underground subversive horror director to mainstream director. He has shown no sign of halting of lengthy career. A History of Violence and Eastern Promises (which I think is one of his greatest films) is a testament to that.

-Ty E


JD said...

I am very happy to read someone else who appreciates David Cronenberg-- especially his last two films.

THis is one of the better remakes out there.
Great review.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

guess what...i`m one of the few people who genuinely thinks that the film that chris walas made 3 years later "THE FLY 2" is actually even better than cronenbergs film.

John Carpenter said...

You know that bit in one of his earlier films where the geezers head explodes in a glorious crescendo of brains and filth. Well theres more magic, cinematic joy and flair, imagination, and entertain-girl-t value in those 30 or 40 frames of film-making by themselves than in literally everything that the so-called British film industry has ever produced put together over the last 129 years since the invention of the cinematograph circa 1889. Just another classic example to put into perspective what a ludicrous and pathetic joke ALL British made films are. Hey, wouldn`t it be great if the entire British film industry could explode in the same way that the blokes head did, then no-one would ever have to watch any more British made films ever again, PERFECTION ! ! !.