As I stated recently in my blog, ‘The Fly’ made in 1986 by David Cronenberg was a superior and far more complex film then the original in 1958. The film follows an anti-social scientist (Seth Brundel) who discovers the art of teleportation and is keen to perfect the device and finally be able to transport life organism. After meeting reporter Veronica Quaife at a scientific community conference he shows her invention as a way of impressing her not thinking of the consequences of inviting a reporter back to the invention of the century. This results in collaboration between them and even romance as they document the final stages of the invention. Being socially inept, when Veronica leaves to follow a lead on a case with her editor ( a previous relationship) Seth attempts to teleport himself after having success only once previously with a baboon. Whilst in progress a fly enter the teleportation system and whilst through the duration genetically combined with Seth. Following on from this Seth physical and mental character changes for the worst and the effect turn him more confident and stronger, faster and have the abilities known to insect. Alongside these problems Veronica struggle to get to grips with her new love transform as well as having his child.
'Only Cronenberg can get away with working out his raw phobias on screen while being poignantly witty and repulsively entertaining at the same time.' – Alan Jones
When watching this epic (which it is an epic). I felt that the film was more complex then its predecessor in 1958. It had vital information, area that contributed better to the final outcome of the film. Nevertheless, keeping parallel to the storyline of the 1958 ‘The Fly’. My first impression that had changed from the original was that this was a horror, without a shadow of doubt. The lighting was dark and cold. Unlike the 1958 version which made it look more like family movie. A real positive that came from David Cronenberg remakes was the gore, which is vital to a horror movie. The idea of the human anatomy being manipulated, distorted, decaying, mangled as the progression of what is implied as a disease takes over Seth Body. My favourite scene has to be the arm-wrestling when snaps the man forearm. The idea of human body being disfigure has always had a psychological affect on ourselves, as it freak us out. We as human being don’t like to see any type of manipulation to our natural physique.
'Decay and metamorphosis into an exuberantly handled, shamelessly melodramatic love story - albeit a love story in which one partner is a pus-packed bluebottle' – Adam Smith
Other improvements where to the story, as the modification to the manipulation of the fly genetics and the human combining saw a steady transformation just as a cancer would gradually spread with a more hideous and un-symmetrical then seen in the 1958 box office. As well as the mental affects of being combined.
In conclusion, David Cronenberg made his career off this well produced piece. The attention to detail in the costumes and the lighting where critical for the genre it resides in. Furthermore his attention to detail in the story and how each individual story and personality affects the final result in the films. All in all David Cronenberg in my opinion rescued the awful sham which was the 1958 version of ‘The Fly’. My advice...Forget the original ever existed.
'Beautifully wrought, darkly funny and finally devastating' - Dave Kehr