Sunday, 2 October 2011

Film Reviews: The Fly (1986)

Ilmi Omar
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
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Brandt Sponseller
Published December 17, 2002

A+ Reviews
Published July 16, 2010

Caryn James
Published August 15, 1986


  1. Hi Ilmi,

    my name is Paul and I'm a second year CG A&A student. Phil has asked me to mentor or help students so if you have any questions about blogging or your work give me a shout and I do what I can to help.

    How are you getting on with your metamorphosis project? I see you have been assigned a turtle or is it a terrapin? Look's like you've made a good start and I can see you can draw!

    You're film reviews are good but you need to beef them up with quotations from published sources and some throw in some illustrations too! Let me know if you want a hand gathering info and how to do it!

    Other wise, good work and I'll look forward to seeing your final piece.

  2. hey Paul hope your well mate thats good to know your knowledge will come in handy mate. its actually "Chelonia Mydas" in other words a sea turtle. im just trying to put some initials together. I've been away from art for sometime so know im trying to get back to it, its a bit annoying because it feels like i dont know how to draw anymore. i guess i just have to stick at it and get better hopefully.

    At the moment im just trying to learn to post my work but i will definitely look back at my work and make the adjustments. thanks for looking out mate.