Halloween Top 13: The Remake #2: The Fly (1986)
Beginning in medias res, scientist Dr. Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) entices journalist Veronica Quaife (Geena Davis) to his laboratory with the promise of an earth shattering breakthrough. The skeptical journalist finds herself faced with an active and working transporter device, at least one capable of moving her silk stocking across the room. The problem is that Seth can’t make it transport flesh and blood creatures, but once Veronica teaches him a thing or two about the flesh (i.e. Baw-chicka-wa-wah.) he works out the problem. Soon enough he’s transporting a cute baboon across the room without turning him inside out. The new couple celebrates at first, but when Veronica goes out to put an end to the harassment by her former boyfriend and current editor Stathis (John Getz), the scientist’s fragile ego gets the best of him. He prematurely decides to transport himself, but he doesn’t realize that there’s a stowaway, Musca domestica, the common housefly.
Halloween Top 13 Inductee, gives one of the most dynamic performances in modern cinema, and the fact that he was not recognized as such because of the genre trappings of the picture is a real shame. At first, he seems alien to Veronica with touches of Starman-like innocence, but their relationship brings him out of his shell and he is taken over by the mechanizations of ego. As the tension builds , and Brundle becomes less human (coincidentally as Goldblum disappears beneath a layer of makeup), his performance becomes an intense, perfect piece of cinema magic. I don’t want to take anything away from Geena Davis’ solid performance or John Getz sleaze ball you hate to love, but the film is clearly Goldblum’s and he owns the moment.
That wraps it up for number 2. Join me back here tomorrow for number one and the top remakes from my number one, my lovely wife Ms. Directed. See you all then! Don’t forget, in case you missed it go back and catch up with the rest of the list and the Halloween Overachivers