Double bill featuring two tales of men turning into insects. In 'The Fly' scientist Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) uses himself as a guinea-pig in his experiments with transmitting matter, but is unaware that a fly has got into the machinery. He embarks on a relationship with Veronica Quaife (Geena Davis), the journalist covering his project, and they are both surprised when his body begins to take on fly-like characteristics. In 'The Fly 2', Seth is no more, but he has left behind a gruesome legacy: the teleportation device which transformed him into a human fly, and a son, Martin, who is infected with his father's insect metabolism. Martin grows at a hugely accelerated rate, and he is soon a fully-grown man, keen to pick up the experiments where Seth left off...
David Cronenberg's 1986 remake of the science fiction classic about a scientist who accidentally swaps body parts with a fly is both smart and terrifying: an allegory for the awful processes of slow death and a monster movie with a tragic spin. Jeff Goldblum gives a masterful performance as a sweet, nerdy scientist whose romance with a writer (Geena Davis) makes him more fully alive. Next thing you know, a tiny oversight in an experiment causes him to transmogrify, gradually, into something more like an insect than a human. This is Cronenberg (Scanners, Videodrome) country, so expect The Fly
to be a gross-out, but in the way that disease corrupts the body and can make a loved one unrecognizable on every level. This is one of Cronenberg's best films, and certainly one of the important movies of the 1980s. --Tom KeoghThe Fly II
Chris Walas, the effects whiz who turned Jeff Goldblum into the gooey, grotesque Brundle-Fly in David Cronenberg's The Fly
, makes his directorial debut in this equally icky sequel. Eric Stoltz is Brundle's genetically diseased offspring, a boy genius brought up in an experimental laboratory by a nefarious foster father eager to see what his inevitable metamorphosis will bring. No surprise here: like father, like son. Daphne Zuniga is his sweet young girlfriend, and John Getz reprises his role from the first film as a bitter alcoholic with a very bad fake beard. This cut-rate Son of the Fly
knockoff pales next to Cronenberg's classic, degenerating into a gory revenge flick. Walas strains under a limited budget, and many of the more elaborate creatures (a monstrously mutated dog, the skeletal fly monster leaping about the warehouse-like lab) are rather shabby. The makeup is suitably gooey, slathered in ooze and pus, and the mayhem-filled finale is a nasty but impressive over-the-top frenzy of blood and gore climaxing in the nastiest piece of poetic justice since Freaks. The opening birth scene (with a look-alike subbing for mom Geena Davis) is an homage to Larry Cohen's It's Alive
. --Sean Axmaker