The Fly (1986)

Day #478

Time flies. Especially when you're having as much fun as I am in this GODFORSAKEN HELLHOLE!

But it's not all bad. Much excitement was to be had today as I discovered a small door in the igloo, previously hidden behind the TV set! I made my way through it and appeared in another igloo!! Very strange. What's more, when I left this igloo I noticed another lone igloo in the distance. I realise that I'm saying 'igloo' too much so I'll keep it brief...

... walking towards it, I started to feel that it was... familiar somehow (and I'm sure regular readers will have the same familiar feeling) and lo and behold it was! It was my own igloo! Igloo of the Uncanny!!

Seems like I've stumbled upon some sort of teleportation device. And a completely useless one if I'm not much mistaken, so I boarded up the door in my own igloo, and firebombed the other igloo until it melted completely. There's only room for one igloo in this force-field and it wasn't that one. There wasn't an uncanny thing about it. Except for the fact that I'd never noticed it before, come to think of it...

THE FLY (1986)

The 1986 remake of The Fly resonates with familiar Crononbergian themes of science run amok, loss of control, disease, technology and mutating bodies - themes that any horror blogger worth their salt would have a field day examining and exploring.

Right then, let's talk about Jeff Goldblum's stupid 80's mullet.

To be fair to him, it was the 80's. And if you happen to see a photograph of him now he looks perfectly presentable. But watching The Fly now, and seeing 80's Jeff with his mullet and jacket sleeves rolled up to the elbows is not an experience for the faint-hearted. Neither is this mis-judged teaser poster that focused on the common housefly's less appealing toilet habits:

It's not just Jeff's looks that grab your attention of course - it's his unique way of delivering lines. So unique that I can't understand a word he says in anything he does. Whenever I watch Jeff Goldblum in a film he looks like someone rehearsing his lines to himself before the actual take. Perhaps, as I write this, there are vaults full of film canisters containing the 'correct takes' that were filmed just after the ones we've been enduring all these years. 'correct takes' where he is speaking in a voice louder than Brian Blessed, enunciating every syllable as clearly as Rex Harrison.

Come to think of it that's pretty unlikely - if these legendary 'correct takes' ever existed surely Jeff himself would have said something by now? Although maybe he did, and nobody understood what he saying.

Anyway. Jeff Goldblum is Brundle, a brilliant scientist who lives in one of those semi-derelict loft/warehouse spaces that only people in 80's films ever live in. He invites Veronica (Geena Davis) back to his place one night and, as brilliant scientists do, gets his pod out. After doing a neat teleportation trick, he is alarmed to discover that Veronica is a reporter after a scoop! He throws her out / meets her again / falls in love / gets her pregnant / turns into a fly / gets his head blown off.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. There's another man in Veronica's life who has the best beard I've ever seen, and the best name I've ever heard.

Meet Stathis Borans.

Stathis is a great character who spends the entire film asking Veronica for a shag. The only time he doesn't ask her for a shag is when she's having an abortion. But then, this is a dream sequence so it doesn't really count. In fact, it was Stathis's lack of asking Veronica for a shag that clued me up to the fact that it was a dream sequence. Stathis is a complete tosser but interestingly, becomes a bit of a bloody hero by the end of the film.

Long before the hero bit though, we see him sneaking around Veronica's place and taking showers just for the hell of it. It's not a completely random piece of shower-taking because we discover they used to be in a relationship, and it would appear that Stathis has paid a visit to wind her up and show that he still very much has the hots for Veronica. Albeit in a creepy stalkerish way. He was probably waiting for hours in the shower before Veronica turns up. He may even have had a look through her underwear drawer. I know I would.

The next time we see Stathis he's gone off the rails even more, and is in a rage because of Veronica and Brundle's blossoming relationship. This leads to him confronting Veronica in a store with a great line, "I followed you - Psychology Today my ass!"

And he follows it up with another cracker. When Veronica explains that she's only spending time with Brundle because she's "finally onto something that's big. Huge!" he replies - quick as a flash, mind - "What, like his cock?" This is a genius response, but unfortunately it does have the effect of making Jeff Goldblum's cock spring up in your mind. A long and thin one, surely.

Ok, less cock more action - flushed with the success of teleporting a live baboon, Brundle gets pished and teleports himself.

Unfortunately it turns out he's left a fly undone, and it has disastrous consequences... as you'd expect, if you're watching a horror film called 'The Fly'.

It's not just his cock that Brundle has to start worrying about. All manner of disgusting and repulsive things start happening to his body and in a rather icky bathroom scene he finds that his teeth and fingernails are falling off. There is also some pus involved.

Soon, Jeff Goldblum has disappeared completely underneath some fantastically hideous make-up. I'm not having a sly dig at Jeff, but only when he is completely unrecognisable does the film become really enjoyable to watch, as it moves up a gear into a full-blown work of Cronenbergian terror.

"I'm an insect who dreamt he was a man and loved it.But the dream is over...and the insect is awake."

The final showdown is terrific, as Brundle returns with pregnant Veronica to his warehouse loft apartment to find it completely empty, burgled by local hoods who took advantage of him never locking the doors.

Not true, of course! Brundle returns with pregnant Veronica to his warehouse loft apartment full of his teleportation gear to fulfil his scheme of creating the perfect family by fusing them altogether. Okay, so not a great idea but he has been under a lot of pressure.

Luckily, Stathis is there and this time he's not in the mood for a shower - he's packing a shotgun! And despite getting a hand and foot melted by Brundle's stomach acid...

...(bet that hurt) he manages to shoot one of the teleporters and mess it up enough for Veronica to be freed unharmed, and for Brundle to emerge looking like a bag of shit - fused with the teleport and all sorts of other stuff that wasn't in his happy family plan. He's put out of his misery by a shotgun blast from Veronica. Stathis only has time to ask Veronica for a quick shag before the credits roll.

So there you have it. Turns out that man shouldn't play God, which is pretty obvious when you think about it. I'm surprised nobody's mentioned it before...

As a final treat, here's one of those mad Polish posters:


  1. OKay, that was the best and most interesting review of the film I have ever read. I used to think I liked that movie...thanks for opening my eyes :D


  2. I gotta ditto the Frog Queen! I rarely laugh out loud when reading movie reviews (well, I do, but then I laugh at stuff that's not supposed to be funny)... here, Mr. Igloo Keeper, you throw out line after line that had me chortling (love the stuff about Goldblums' practice takes ending up on film). Again, nice take on one of the 80s most famous re-makes.

  3. Well, FQ and Rogue have beat me to the punch, but this IS a fine review and a fun read. Thanks!

  4. Thanks guys - appreciate the kind words!

  5. I would like to chip in and say bravo - very entertaining. I love this film, and I love Jeff, including his mullet, sinewy body, and leathery skin. I also like the way he talks, as well as his habit of putting a finger to his mouth while he mumbles and glances around wildly. It's a complete package that you either have to embrace or reject, and I embrace it wholeheartedly.

  6. Great review of one of my favorite movies. Just one nitpick--when referring to Jeff's mullet, you totally misspelled the word "awesome."