Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Other Fly!

I've never been much of a fan of the 1986 remake of The Fly by David Cronenberg. I find his movies in general to be somewhat nauseating and at times dull. But my affection for the original version of this story from 1958 makes me pay attention at least to this later revision.

Yesterday I stumbled across a very cheap dvd of the remake and because of the extended behind-the-scenes material I popped for it. I love commentaries, and maybe I might find something in the movie I missed all those times before.

I do find the movie more palatable now, but the excesses of Cronenberg's special effects still get in the way sometimes. I don't mind gross necessarily, but I don't understand the need for gross when it actively undermines the storytelling. Trying to see this movie as a romance gone wrong does give me a fresh way to interpret what unfolds, even though I think that analysis falls apart given the ending.

But it is the dark and unrepentant ending which I find most satisfying about this movie. The decision to merely end it after the brutality of the heroine's last act makes the movie to remain fixed forever in a dark place which lingers like only really effective horror flicks can do.

The extras spend far far too much time on the laborious special effects. I get that is a draw in a movie like this for many, but for me while it's neat to remember how these vintage flicks were put together in a pre-digital age, it's nonetheless tiresome to have what seems a never ending array of puppetry shots.

So through the lens of the ending, I find I can appreciate the movie a bit more. I still prefer the original.

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