31 Days Of Hallowe'en: The Fly (1986)
Welcome to JOE's 31 Days Of Hallowe'en. For each and every day of October, we'll be bringing you a horror movie to tuck into for the lead up to the big night. It could be new, old, an undiscovered gem, or a classic you'll have seen a thousand times. No matter what it is, we guarantee you that it is brilliant, and it is SCARY.
For Day 26, we're looking back over 1986's stomach-churning body-horror, The Fly.
"Something went wrong. Very wrong."
David Cronenberg (Videodrome, A History Of Violence) is no stranger to horror movies, but he almost didn't direct what would go on to become his masterpiece. When someone decided that a remake of the kitschy 50's horror movie was in order, Cronenberg was their first choice, but he was tied up with his new project, Total Recall.
The producers moved on to another director, but right before shooting was set to begin, the director's daughter died in an accident, and he was unable to continue in the position. Months passed, and Cronenberg dropped out of Total Recall (to be replaced by Paul Verhoeven), and he picked up The Fly instead, insisting that he be allowed to rewrite large portions of the script himself.
The end product is one of the most relentlessly queasy-inducing, endlessly impressive horror films of all time, up there with The Thing in terms of jaw-dropping special effects, all pinned together with the duo of fantastic performances by Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis.
Clip via TrashTrailers
Goldblum plays a genius scientist, who falls immediately head over heels for a journalist (Davis) who is writing an article on him. His latest invention is a transportation device that isn't quite working, but in an act of desperation, he tries it out on himself, unaware that a harmless house-fly is also in the pod with him.
Bit by bit, Goldblum begins to become a human/fly hybrid, a creation he seems initially unable to reverse, until he decides that he may enjoy his new state of being, much to the horror of Davis and everyone else around him.
The Fly rightfully won the Academy Award for Best Make-Up, and as the stages of the hybrid play out, you will inevitably reach a point that you will start to feel your stomach doing somersaults. Many people read the movie as an message on the AIDS epidemic of the 80's, but Cronenberg said it was more just to do with the ageing process in general.
Goldblum and Davis are fantastic together as the essentially doomed couple, but more than anything, The Fly is skin-crawlingly scary.
You've heard it countless times before, but the tagline for The Fly was "Be afraid. Be very afraid."
There is a reason for that.
Check out our previous recommendations below: