The Fly (1986) Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative

The Fly is one of those films that starts out reasonably well but once the whole fly aspect enters the film then it starts to stumble quite a bit. The fly angle takes a while to show up but you wish it didn’t and instead just kept going as an interesting sci-fi drama. I suppose you couldn’t call the film “The Fly” at that point though so you’d need a new name.

The movie starts off with Ronnie at a party where she is trying to get a scoop on the latest inventions. Unfortunately there is nothing here that’s very interesting. A mysterious guy named Seth shows up and informs her that he has one of the greatest inventions of all time. She has to come to his place to see it though since he wants to keep this a secret. Ronnie agrees and it turns out that he has created a teleportation device. This is revolutionary but the issue is he can’t teleport people yet, only objects. Ronnie figures this is good enough to report on so she ignores Seth’s wishes and quickly tells her boss Stathis. Stathis doesn’t believe her though. Seth asks her to hold off this time until he perfects it and she agrees, but will this invention actually end up changing the world?

Seth’s certainly a genius to come up with this invention, that’s for sure. He is quite greedy in wanting to wait until it has been perfected though as just teleporting objects would already be huge. Think of how you could move food around, supplies, etc. You would really change the world in no small way. It goes without saying that any kind of teleportation device in the real world would be absolutely massive.

Unfortunately the dark history of this invention quickly starts to become apparent. For one thing, Seth was running experiments on animals which is as unethical as it gets. You should never experiment on animals or any sentient life. Stick to plants and then if you have to go further, voluntary humans who know the risks, but not innocent animals. At that point Seth was already too far gone to be saved.

We then see that he is quite petty and head strong as he goes through the invention just because he was upset at Ronnie potentially being with someone else. I mean, she made it clear that she was ending an old affair so if he just doesn’t believe her then their relationship was never going to work anyway. Seth’s just not a great guy and this ends up being his undoing. Everything that happens to him in the film is a direct result of actions he took.

Naturally that takes us to the Fly aspect of the film. It seems to affect his emotions almost immediately as he won’t listen to reason and starts rambling a lot. It’s unfortunate because this prevents him from actually realizing the issue here and how to correct it. His computer seems exceptionally advanced so I like to think there would have been an easy way to reverse the process otherwise. Just retool the settings to remove the fly dna or something like that. If it can be merged so quickly it could probably be separated as well. One idea I had was to merge with a fly repellant which could do the trick here. A side effect is maybe you could shoot out bursts of raid.

In the end though, I just didn’t like Seth. Whether it was the Fly dna or not, he was just completely unreasonable. Once he became the Fly he becomes your classic horror villain who just wants to cause carnage and destruction. He’s quite selfish in his motivations at the end and his final plan just doesn’t make sense. He was simply too far gone at that point to really go back.

Then you have Ronnie who is an okay heroine but not as good as she could be. For starters it was iffy that she was going to run to the paper and exploit Seth’s research when he asked her not to. Sure she was expecting a story but maybe she could negotiate something instead of just burning that bridge right away. If he did end up changing history so drastically, wouldn’t you want to be on his side for that? It doesn’t seem like a smart move to make him your enemy.

Finally you have Stathis who is an annoying character the whole time. He used to have an affair with Ronnie and never got over her after they broke up. He follows and pesters her the entire movie and even resorts to blackmail. The film tries to show him as more of a hero by the end but it’s just way too late for that. I’m glad he stepped up and tried to help but in no way does that make him a good character.

The film certainly had an issue with the romance throughout though. It just wasn’t very good. It was all rushed and not all that realistic. The whole time you know it’s just moving way too fast and again, Seth was way too quick to get jealous. He just didn’t trust her which is a huge red flag. That’s not really what destroys the movie though. It’s just how gross the film is and it also manages to throw in some animal violence.

We see what goes wrong when an animal is put in the machine and you have to remember that Seth knew exactly what would happen since he had done this before and only did it again to show Ronnie the effects. That means he destroyed another animal for no reason. It’s certainly a rough way to go out too as the whole procedure looks really painful. Then you have his transformation into the Fly and how he has to vomit on everything. It’s a form of acid that also works as an attack but it’s certainly not a fun one to look at. The film really prioritizes being as gross as possible over the actual story.

Overall, The Fly is a film that you should definitely skip. It can’t quite match up to the original version which is what you should watch instead. This one just goes too far with all of the imagery and throwing in the animal was completely unnecessary. The concept is interesting and you can make a good film out of that but you would definitely need a full redesign of the Fly itself which would be a good starting point.

Overall 2/10

The Brain That Wouldn’t Die Review


Storing brains by themselves is always a recipe for disaster. Usually you’ll end up bringing back a zombie or a monster or at least the odds of that are far greater than the odds of bringing someone back in one piece. It’s just not going to happen and while a single head may sound like it should be easy to defeat, you really can’t underestimate these villains. This film’s not very good. It can be cheesy at times with some good dialogue but it just makes a lot of mistakes along the way. There’s not really much of a cast to root for here and the film made a mistake that I never thought I’d see. It’s a short film that actually drags on quite a bit.

The movie starts with Bill managing to save someone through the use of a brain transplant. His father doesn’t approve since this is really outside of the books but Bill doesn’t care. He speeds a little too fast in his car and ends up getting his girlfriend Jan murdered. He’s able to grab her head which fortunately popped out smoothly and then gets her into a jar. He aims to put her head on someone else’s body and then stitch it together. The tricky part is going to be finding a body so he decides to just find some girls and will pick the best one. Can someone stop this madman before it’s too late?

So I’ve got a lot of problems with the film but my only real question is where did the monster come from? It just feels very out of place and random. I don’t believe it’s the guy from the first operation because that would just make absolutely no sense. How would that guy have gotten downstairs and how was he so deformed? So it seems like this is an unrelated incident and in that case how did Bill not know about it? His sidekick Kurt had to tell him about it and while Bill was surprised, he didn’t seem to care a whole lot because he was just too busy. So where did this monster come from? The film doesn’t seem too care too much but it just did seem out of the blue.

This is the plotline that drags on a lot though. The film is under 2 hours but there are so many scenes of Jan’s head talking to the monster while he beats on the door. A lot of these scenes are basically identical and they just keep going back and forth over and over again. The payoff isn’t until the final few minutes at which point it’s just too late. Some of these scenes could have been cut and nothing would have changed. Bill definitely looks pretty bad though considering there is only one way to get in range and that’s to walk near the window. He did see the body next to him right? Definitely not a good look but it’s not like he was someone to root for anyway so I was pretty okay with this.

Bill just makes for a poor antagonist. Most of his scenes are just him oogling different characters as he chooses his next victim. He flirts quite a bit although he claims his whole goal is to bring his girlfriend back. The whole thing is pretty suspect at best, it’s not really even bringing Jan back at that point since the body will be completely different. I’m sure there are debates to be had on that but either way he’s a pretty unrepentant murderer. It’s also a shame since the heroine at the end already had a hard time trusting people. This is definitely not going to help that in the slightest. So the film’s got a pretty lousy main character and an excuse for random modeling shows and some fanservice. What else is there for the film?

Kurt’s pretty crazy. He tries to tell everyone that he’s not afraid of anything but he’s not even fooling himself with this. The worst part is that he shouldn’t be afraid. Why be afraid of a severed head? I can see him being afraid of the monster. Sure, that makes sense but Jan? Jan did undergo a complete 180 in terms of personality when she became a head though. I didn’t realize that she would become such a fierce character, but I guess dying will do that to you. I also don’t imagine that it’s any fun to live life as a head so I completely understand why she was so upset at Bill. It’s not like he was listening to her at all so you can make a strong case that he just wanted to prove that his methods worked. Jan even had the classic evil laughter at her disposal as she would crack up quite a lot. I was glad that she gets the last word in though. The film ends abruptly but you could say it was a pretty happy ending.

The film’s pretty tame in terms of violence for the most part although near the end it suddenly gets intense. One character literally has his arm ripped off and another one gets chewed up. Those scenes were more intense than you may expect here. The creature’s design also looks pretty painful as you can tell that things went very wrong when trying to work on him. This movie could definitely get intense at times that’s for sure. It just didn’t channel that intensity into being a quality picture and ultimately that’s what held it back here. It didn’t have that decisive moment to take it to the next level.

Overall, This is not a film that I would recommend. While many films back in these days had top tier writing and plot progression, this was not one of them. It really manages to underperform in all areas. The fact that there are no likable characters in the film is already a big red flag. How can you ultimately succeed without any? Bill comes across as rather sinister right from the start as he goes in with the threats immediately and I already talked about Jan. The supporting characters like the old friend who does some modeling and the leader of the modelers were probably the best characters and it’s not like they got a ton of screen time. They were also a bit gullible with how quickly they were trusting Bill. The old friend has a better excuse then the head. The random fight in the dressing room as also as random as they come. If you want to watch a good sci-fi film then you’ve come to the wrong title. I’d recommend checking Men in Black instead.

Overall 4/10