The Fly (1986 film)

1986 film by David Cronenberg
(Redirected from The Fly)

The Fly is a 1986 horror film about a scientist who, while testing his teleportation machine, accidentally fuses with a fly on a molecular level. At first he appears to have been given super strength, but soon his insect persona takes over, to the horror of his reporter girlfriend.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.
I'm an insect who dreamt he was a man, and loved it. But now the dream is over...and the insect is awake.
I'm not Seth Brundle anymore. I'm the offspring of...Brundle and housefly.
Directed by David Cronenberg. Written by Charles Edward Pogue and David Cronenberg, based on the short story by George Langelaan.
Be afraid. Be very afraid. Taglines

Seth Brundle

  • [Talking to his surviving baboon, while drinking] "Residue" means old boyfriend, doesn't it? Stathis Borans is her old boyfriend. "From the desk of Stathis Borans" - how about "Under the desk of Stathis Borans"? She's working for her old boyfriend. Now she runs out late at night to see him. What is this, the Ronnie game?! I'm catching on, I'm catching on... [As the baboon swats at a fly] I didn't mean to kill your brother. But he didn't die in vain, if that's of any comfort. And, as the General said, "There's nothing I'd ask you to do that I wouldn't do myself, boys." ...Hey, you're all right. From looking at you, I can tell you're okay. What are we waiting for? Let's do it.
  • [To Veronica] I will say now, however subjectively, that human teleportation, molecular decimation, breakdown and reformation is inherently purging. It makes a man a king. From the moment I walked out of the pod, I felt like a million bucks... I mean, what an accomplishment! But what have I really done? All I've done is say to the world: "Let's go! Move! Catch me if you can!"
  • [To Veronica] You're afraid to dive into the plasma pool, aren't you? You're afraid to be destroyed and recreated, aren't you? I'll bet you think that you woke me up about the flesh, don't you? But you only know society's straight line about the flesh. You can't penetrate beyond society's sick, gray fear of the flesh! Drink deep or taste not the plasma spring, see what I'm saying? And I'm not just talking about sex and penetration, I'm talking about penetration beyond the veil of the flesh! A deep, penetrating dive into the plasma pool!
  • [To Veronica] I was not pure. The teleporter insists on inner purity; I was not pure. A into the transmitter pod with me that first time when I was alone. The computer got...confused, there weren't supposed to be two separate genetic patterns, and it decided to, erm...splice us together. It mated us, me and the fly. We hadn't even been properly introduced. [Smiles] My...teleporter turned into a gene-splicer. And a very good one. Now I'm not Seth Brundle anymore. I'm the offspring of...Brundle and housefly.
  • [Being filmed by Veronica] How does Brundlefly eat? Well, he found out, the hard and painful way, that he eats very much the way a fly eats. His teeth are now useless, because although he can chew up solid foods, he can't digest them. Solid food hurts. So like a fly, Brundlefly breaks down solids with a corrosive enzyme, playfully called "vomit drop". He regurgitates on his food, it liquefies, and then he sucks it back up. Ready for a demonstration, kids? Here goes...
  • [Adding his teeth to a collection of lost body parts] You're relics. Yes, you are. Vestigial, archaeological, redundant. Artifacts of a bygone era. Of historical interest only. [Notices Veronica] You've missed some good moments. Is that why you're here? To catch up? My teeth have begun to fall out. The medicine cabinet is now the Brundle Museum of Natural History. You wanna see what else is in it?


[After sending a baboon through the telepods, only to have it emerge as a bloody, malformed mess]
Veronica: [recording him with a camera] We've gotta do this, Seth. Talk to the tape. Get in the habit. The world will want to know what you're thinking--
Seth: [angrily] "FUCK" is what I'm thinking!
Veronica: Good... The world will want to know that... What else? Why didn't it work?
Seth: [more calmly] I think it turned the baboon inside-out.
Veronica: Why?
Seth: It can't cope with the flesh. It only seems to work on inanimate objects; nothing that's living. Must be my fault.
Veronica: Why?
Seth: Computers are dumb. They only know what you tell them. I must not know enough about the flesh myself. I'm gonna have to learn. [is silent for a moment] I don't wanna talk now.
[Ronnie turns off the camera and sadly watches him leave]

Seth: Listen. I want you to go through. I want to teleport you. As soon as possible, right now! You'll feel incredible, Ronnie! I hardly need to sleep any more, I feel wonderful! It's like a drug, but a perfectly pure and benign drug! The power I feel surging inside me...! And I won't be able to wear you out! We'll be the perfect couple, the dynamic duo! Come on, right now!
Veronica: Hey, wait! Don't give me that "born-again teleportation" rap! I told you I was scared to do it. What do I have to say?! I'M NOT GOING TO DO IT!
Seth: You're a FUCKING DRAG, you know that?!
Veronica: Something went wrong, Seth. When you went through, something went wrong.

[After Seth teleports again]
Seth: [To Tawny] Okay, okay! Now you're going to like it!
Tawny: I don't want to! [Seth drags Tawny to the lab] I'm afraid!
Seth: Don't be afraid!
Veronica: [Surprising them] No. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Veronica: Those weird hairs growing out of your back, I took them to a lab. I had them analyzed.
Seth: The hairs? The hairs? Oh. Yeah, that’s a strange thing to do.
Veronica: Not as strange as the results. The guy at the lab had trouble identifying them. He finally came to the conclusion that they were definitely not human.
Seth: [points upwards] Oh, very good.
Veronica: Not human, Seth. In fact, very likely insect hairs.
Seth: [scared; in denial] That's silly, that's ridiculous--
Veronica: Look, now there's more. Look at your face... Something happened when you went through, Seth. You've got to get some help, I think you must be sick--
Seth: [exploding] YOU'RE JEALOUS!! I've become free, I've been released and you can't stand it! You'll do anything to bring me down! Come here, does this look sick? Does this look like a sick man to you?
[Seth starts punching and denting the wall with his bare hands]
Veronica: No, stop it!
Seth: Know any sick man who can do that?!

[At Brundle's lab, Veronica finds him scaling the walls]
Seth: I seem to be stricken by a disease with a purpose, wouldn't you say? Maybe not such a bad disease after all.
Veronica: I can't stay here.
Seth: [jumps down onto floor] No, no, no! Why not? Why can't you?
Veronica: I can't take it... It's too much.
Seth: What's there to take? The disease has just revealed its purpose. We don't have to worry about contagion anymore, I know what the disease wants.
Veronica: What does the disease want?
Seth: It wants to...turn me into something else. That's not too terrible, is it? Most people would give anything to be turned into something else.
Veronica: Turned into what?
Seth: What do you think, a fly? Am I becoming a hundred-and-eighty-five pound fly? No, I'm becoming something that's never existed before. I'm becoming... Brundlefly. Don't you think that's worth a Nobel Prize or two?

[Seth is in the final stages of the transformation]
Seth: You have to leave now, and never come back here. Have you ever heard of insect politics? [Veronica shakes her head] Neither have I. Insects don't have politics. They're very brutal. No compassion, no compromise. We can't trust the insect. I'd like to become the first insect politician. Y'see, I'd like to, but...I'm afraid... [groans]
Veronica: I don't know what you're trying to say!
Seth: I'm saying... I'm saying I-I'm an insect who dreamt he was a man, and loved it. But now the dream is over...and the insect is awake.
Veronica: No, no, Seth...
Seth: I'm saying...I'll hurt you if you stay.

Seth: Help me. Help me be human.
Veronica: How?
Seth: [indicating the appropriate telepods] Well, I go there, and you go there. We come apart, and then we come together there. You, me and the baby. Together. [starts the countdown]
Veronica: No...
Seth: We'll be the ultimate family. A family of three, joined together in one body. More human than I am alone.
Veronica: No!!


  • Be afraid. Be very afraid.
  • Half man, half insect... total terror.
  • Something went wrong in the lab today. Very wrong.
  • (from movie trailer) There is a limit, even to the imagination... a point where our greatest creations meet our deepest fears. You are about to go beyond that limit.

About The Fly (1986 film)

Because it was sci-fi, fantasy, horror, no one ever questioned how dark it was. That’s another good thing about horror—it allows you to come to grips with the nitty gritty and at the same time gives you a little cushion, a little protection as well, because it is fantasy. —David Cronenberg
  • He starts to change first perhaps mentally. He starts to get very speedy and hyper and exuberant. So the first manifestation of what’s been happening to him is mental rather than physical. But then it’s also physical because of the sugar lust. I’m just trying to see what the two things do and how far it goes. My interest in insects is more than I deal with in The Fly, actually. It’s phenomenal that any insect transforms. They all do. That’s part of being an insect.
  • Think of the plot of The Fly. Two attractive people fall in love. The man suddenly contracts this incurable disease. He goes downhill in a horrible and hideous way as his mate watches and then he asks her to kill him and that’s the end of the movie. Now, people would not accept that. You could not deal with that in a normal, realistic fashion. It’s just too upfront and too hard and too despairing. If you gave Hollywood that plot, they wouldn’t make the movie. And yet, because it was sci-fi, fantasy, horror, no one ever questioned how dark it was. That’s another good thing about horror—it allows you to come to grips with the nitty gritty and at the same time gives you a little cushion, a little protection as well, because it is fantasy.


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