The Fly 1986
The 1986 remake of “The Fly” by David Cronenberg was significantly different to the original one. ‘Cronenberg’s update, which retains only the original premise, is masterful and flawless’ (SPONSELLER, 2002). The base of the story was there in terms of the scientist and his project but the layout of the rest of the story was different and how everything comes together. The cultural difference is implemented in the film. Everything that was apparent in that period was some how integrated into the film. The film touches on many political references and one of those being abortion.
The gap between the original and the remake is near enough thirty years. Technology has changed with culture. In Kurt Neumann’s original, the film is set within a family home and there isn’t a lot of exposure of the outside world. But in David Cronenberg’s remake it’s a lot more open, characters emotions are exposed a lot more. Seth (Jeff Langelaan) gets his inspiration to reprogram his computer to cope with living flesh after a sexual encounter with Veronica (Geena Davies). ‘Seth is at first unable to teleport living organisms, but after of those post-coital epiphanies that always happen in movies (oh yeah, set and veronica start doing it. Also, they fall in love), he refines the process and tests it on himself’. There’s a lot more activity in Cronenberg’s remake in that sense.
Another thing that stuck me is the process of Seth’s transformation into “Brundle-fly”. ‘ Jeff Goldblum is a graphic fly for the fact-crazed 80's, transformed into a creature so repulsive he makes the monster in ''Aliens'' look like Grandma in a Norman Rockwell painting’ (JAMES’ 1986) It was agonising to watch as the horror took over from him being super human to looking like a monstrous disease struck him. The time this film was released HIV/AIDS was still fresh in the minds of the public as it just emerged. David Cronenberg used this to his advantage and saw it as a driving force to his remake. Seth’s cancerous transformation was one of the keys ingredients to success of this movie.
What made it more special was the fact that there were still humanity/emotional references attached to the characters through out. Veronica was still able to hug Seth after he vomits on his food. The sight of him is sickening but the fact that she’s able to have that connection with him when he’s in that state is quite appealing in terms of mortality.
List of Illustration
Published December 17, 2002
Published July 16, 2010
Published August 15, 1986