Considered fairly gruesome in its day, the original 1958 The Fly looks like Mister Rogers' Neighborhood compared to this 1986 remake. Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis star as Seth Brundle, a self-involved research scientist, and Veronica Quaife, a science-magazine reporter. Inviting Veronica to his lab, Seth prepares to demonstrate his "telepod," which can theoretically transfer matter through space. As they grow closer over the next few weeks, she inadvertently goads Seth into experimenting with human beings rather than inanimate objects. Seth himself enters the telepod, preparing to transmit himself through the ether -- but he doesn't know that he is sharing the telepod with a tiny housefly. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
1986--Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Chris Walas-Winner
Some viewers read David Cronenberg's revitalization of the 1958 Vincent Price camp classic as a thinly veiled AIDS allegory (Cronenberg denies it), but more obviously the film attacks humans' unbridled ambition not only to understand nature but also to control and shape it in their own image. In a theme as familiar as Frankenstein (and Kafka's Metamorphosis), Cronenberg betrays his romantic heart when he shows the consequences of bending the scientific method to one's God-like schemes. Many viewers consider the film Cronenberg's best work -- fully rounded, as touching as it is gruesome, as intellectually complex as it is viscerally affecting. The performances of the two leads, Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis, are remarkably effective considering the emotional limitations that the horror genre usually places upon actors. Goldblum's Seth Brundle achieves self-awareness, but at a horrible price: as he becomes more sympathetic, he also becomes more physically repugnant. Davis is more than just a plot device, for her struggle to understand and love Seth elevates the film's motives and provides the audience with a deeper emotional stake in Brundle's fate. Cronenberg's ability to shock and disgust viewers are here married with an intelligent theme and sympathetic characters, resulting in a thinking man's horror film, almost Shakespearean in its tragic scope. And The Fly still fills the screen with enough mayhem to appeal to the traditional horror audience. The Fly rightfully won the 1987 Academy Award for Best Makeup. ~ Dan Jardine, Rovi
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