The Fly
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FAQ for
The Fly (1986) More at IMDbPro »

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FAQ Contents


A Note Regarding Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for The Fly can be found here.

What is 'The Fly' about?

Research scientist Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) meets Veronica 'Ronnie' Quaife (Geena Davis), a journalist for Particle magazine, at a meet-the-press event held by Bartok Science Industries, the company that provides funding for Brundle's work. In an attempt to woo Ronnie, Seth shows her his latest invention, a teleporter that transports matter from one pod to another. Until recently, he has only tried teleporting inanimate objects. However, when he successfully teleports a living baboon, he rashly decides to try it on himself. Unfortunately, there is a housefly in the pod with him, and the teleporter fuses its atoms with Seth's, causing him to slowly transform into Brundlefly, a human/fly hybrid.

The Fly is remake of The Fly (1958), both of which are based on a short story of the same name by French-born (later British) author George Langelaan [1908-1972]. The story was first published in the June, 1957 issue of Playboy magazine. It was adapted for the screen by Charles Edward Pogue and later revised by David Cronenberg (who also directed the film). A sequel, The Fly II was released in 1989.

If you watch the scene closely, you'll see that while the guy is struggling with Brundle, Brundle's hand is secreting a white-colored substance. This fluid is probably similar to the "vomit drop" Brundle later secrets from his mouth and has corrosive properties. Because Brundle was only in the initial stages of his transformation, the fluid's properties were weaker so the guy's wrist didn't simply dissolve. When it had weakened his tissue and bone, his wrist snapped. Under normal circumstances, if Brundle had been able to beat the guy in the match, he probably would only have strained the guy's arm or thrown him on the floor.

How does the movie end?

Ronnie learns that she is pregnant with Seth's baby and consults a doctor about having an abortion. Just as the procedure is about to begin, the Brundlefly bursts through a window and carries her to his laboratory where he plans to send both Ronnie and himself through the teleporter with the hopes of reducing the amount of fly DNA in his body. Meanwhile, Stathis (John Getz) has also gone to the lab, armed with a shotgun. The Brundlefly intercepts him and regurgitates his digestive enzymes on Stathis' left hand and right foot, causing his hand to dissolve away while his severed foot is lifted off by Seth. As Seth hovers over the unconscious Stathis, ready to vomit onto his face, Ronnie manages to stop him. The Brundlefly attempts to coerce Ronnie into the teleporter, but she fights him, breaking off his jaw, causing the Brundlefly to complete his transformation into a fly. Now completely transformed, the Brundlefly throws Ronnie into a pod and initiates the fusion sequence, then climbs into another pod. The wounded Stathis uses his shotgun to shoot the cables connecting Ronnie's telepod to the computer and lets her out. The receiving pod opens and the Brundlefly crawls out, and Ronnie picks up the shotgun. In the final scene, the Brundlefly uses his claw to point the shotgun at his own head, silently asking Ronnie to kill him. At first, she resists, but finally pulls the trigger.

Perhaps not. The idea was to mitigate his mutations, not necessarily reverse them, and his unborn child would, he's guessing, provide some sort of extra source of genetic material. Yet he'd also be splicing his genes with the mother, and she still had her clothes - as established in the finale, teleporting with inanimate matter is as bad as teleporting with another living thing. Following the logic of the movie, the consequent result would inevitably be a grotesque abomination. At this stage his mental state has degraded severely, and it's been suggested by the crew that Brundle's plan was a matter of delusion and desperation rather than a worked-through, scientific idea that his "old self" would've concocted.

We're not told in this film. In the opening of the sequel The Fly II, however, Veronica gives birth to Brundle's son Martin and dies from complications. The producers of that film got around Geena Davis' refusal to appear again as Veronica by filming the replacement actress from a distance.

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