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The Fly

The Fly. David Cronenberg. 1986.

This may have been the first Cronenberg movie I watched as a teenager. It’s got Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis! Just based on that, it’s the perfect movie to watch as a teenager.

I remember nothing else about this movie, so I’m excited to re-watch it.

This is the second of Cronenberg’s not very productive descent into big-budget American movies. I mean, just ponder this career:

After doing a rapid fire schedule, there’s about three years between his movies as he gets bigger budgets and better distribution: Three years between The Dead Zone and The Fly, two to Dead Ringers, and three to Naked Lunch.

Cronenberg’s previous movie , The Dead Zone (based on a script rewritten five times), totally sucked, and this would seem like a further descent into mainstream hell: A remake of a 50s B movie sci-fi movie.

But this low expectation set-up apparently allows Cronenberg to return to his obsessions: The body and how yucky it is. But it’s not just that: It’s got a lot of the old Cronenberg touches everywhere. It’s got the silent, awkward scenes and the proper creepy atmosphere and the really gross bodily transformations.

I’m not quite sure what I think of this movie now. There’s really not happening, or tension. The movie is Goldblum slowly turning into a horrible-looking monster, and it’s all shown clearly on the screen. There’s no skulking in the shadows for Cronenberg.

And Cronenberg playing a gynaecologist in a dream sequence is pretty on the nose.

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