Friday, June 23, 2017

Sci Fi Top 100, #19: "The Fly" (1986)

Movie Stats:
Released 1986 (USA)
American, British & Canadian, in English
Director - David Cronenberg
Stars - Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, John Getz

Plot Summary:
When scientist Seth Brundle (Goldblum) sends himself through the teleportation device he’s invented, a mishap leads to his DNA merging with that of a fly. Davis co-stars as journalist-turned-Seth’s-lover Veronica Quaife & Getz as Veronica’s editor/former lover, Stathis Borans.

Blue language; violence; extreme gore; sexy times; brief male nudity (butt only).

Bad Stuff:
It’s way, way more gory than I care for in my movies.

I don’t like that it goes from a fairly interesting, scientifically-themed flick to horror schlock. That was disappointing.

There’s no reason that they had to tack “jealous creep ex” onto the Stathis character. He would have been perfectly acceptable (even better) as merely Veronica’s editor & friend. It was an unnecessary storyline. [SPOILER-y] There are a million other triggers that could have sent Seth on an ill-advised trip through the teleportation device beyond his jealousy of Stathis. [SPOILER]

Good Stuff:
I really enjoyed the first half of the film, which had a lot of scientific theory. I have no idea if any of it was correct, but it sounded plausible & was interesting.

Jeff Goldblum gives an excellent performance. I thought he was particularly good during the part of the film where he’s in the early stages of his transformation. Truly chilling.

A lot of the special effects are great.

I loved the soundtrack.

The Verdict:
This is a tale of two movies for me. The first half is interesting and intense as we follow an enthusiastic-and-perhaps-naive Seth while he perfects his machine, falls in love with Veronica, makes some poor life choices, and begins his transformation into a fly. The second half is typical, boring 1980s horror crap. I really liked that first half. If the whole film had been that way, I would’ve given it more than 4 stars. But it didn’t stay that way. Therefore, it’s not getting that 4+ rating. I still think there’s a lot to recommend in this film, particularly Goldblum’s performance, but it’s definitely not going to be my favorite of the Top 20.

I give it 3.75 stars.

Side note: Is it me, or does Stathis Barons sound strikingly similar to Stannis Baratheon? Maybe George R.R. Martin is a fan of this film, lol.


Patricia said...

I don't know about the Stathis/Stannis thing, but I was very excited because one of my (second, maybe even third?) cousins was named Stathis! He died of cancer in the 1990s, and I have some nice memories of him. I've never seen that name associated with anyone but him!

I will not be watching this movie though. Too much gore means none for me.

balyien said...

Wow! I'm kind of surprised there was a real person out there named Stathis. I thought it was a "Hollywood" name. This one definitely isn't a Patricia movie. I had to cover my eyes/look away more than once.