Written by Joseph Holgate, who you can follow on Twitter at @joerodholgate

Happy Halloween!

Fresh Perspective on Female First

Fresh Perspective on Female First

Welcome to my inaugural issue of brand new feature series Fresh Perspective, where I’ll be reviewing films I’ve never seen before. Whilst some are regarded as timeless classics and the rest dilapidated wrecks, I’ll be giving my wholehearted honest opinion and providing them with a score out of 10. So, let’s kick things off with David Cronenberg’s The Fly (1986). Note, there are spoilers ahead!

Cronenberg’s sci-fi body-horror illustrates the story of Jeff Goldblum’s Seth Brundle, an aberrant genius who has invented teleportation gateways known as ‘telepods’. Whilst at a press conference, Brundle takes home Geena Davis’ Veronica Quaife, an avid journalist, whom he allows to publish his ground-breaking invention once it permits human transportation. After spending the night together, and beginning a relationship, Brundle drunkenly uses the telepods himself. Unbeknownst to him, a housefly also enters, fusing them genetically.

Despite exhibiting superhuman strength, durability and endurance, strange hairs erupt from his face and he eventually transforms into a humanoid fly, nicknamed ‘Brundlefly’. After finding out Quaife is pregnant with his child, Brundlefly kidnaps her in a delusional attempt to amalgamate all three lifeforms together and create an “ultimate family”, therefore curing him. His efforts are thwarted by John Getz’s Stathis Borans, Quaife’s editor and sleazy ex-lover, who tried to organise an abortion for her prior to her abduction. Despite being disfigured by Brundle’s corrosive spit, he manages to disconnect the link between the two telepods causing Brundle to merge with the metal casing of the pods. The newly-emerged metal-infused creature begs Quaife to end his life, which she obliges.

First impressions

Despite being quite apprehensive about seeing the film, it proved to be quite the watch. The transformation of Jeff Goldblum’s character, both visually and mentally, is a fantastic journey to observe. The confident ingenuity morphs into hedonistic self-love and then into abhorrent paranoia, ultimately mirroring the three stages of his physical alteration: Brundle, post-pod Brundle and Brundlefly.

Furthermore, the tragical element to the film compliments the narrative. Two newly-founded lovers are separated by the consequential intrigue that joined them. However, the Oscar-winning feature of the film is the main winner for me.

Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox
Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox

The makeup department incredibly created a terrifying and hideous monster. Whilst the corrupted genome dominated his body, Brundle’s skin began to look cancerous and raw until full transformation took place. The end product resented the idea of a feasible organism as it appeared malformed and grotesque. Even the gory aspects of Borans’ disfigurement were entirely convincing. In spite of being born into a generation that is abused with CGI, I was well and truly pleased with the perfect prosthetics and art that is the ‘Brundlefly’.

Final thoughts

8/10

United with a fantastic story and makeup effects, Cronenberg’s The Fly was truly a pleasure to watch. My apprehension was rewarded with gripping character dynamic and presentation. Whilst it is void of typical horror tropes, The Fly does not fail to make your skin crawl in disgust as the extremities of biological fusion are gruesomely displayed. Look out for my next addition of Fresh Perspective, where I’ll be reviewing Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of The Shining (1980) by Stephen King, just in time for the highly anticipated Doctor Sleep, starring Ewan McGregor.

See ya next time!


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