Seth Brundle, a brilliant but eccentric scientist attempts to woo investigative journalist Veronica Quaife by offering her a scoop on his latest research in the field of matter transportation, which against all the expectations of the scientific establishment have proved successful. Up to a point. Brundle thinks he has ironed out the last problem when he successfully transports a living creature, but when he attempts to teleport himself a fly enters one of the transmission booths, and Brundle finds he is a changed man.
David Cronenberg's 1986 remake of the science fiction classic about a scientist who accidentally swaps body parts with a fly is both smart and terrifying: an allegory for the awful processes of slow death and a monster movie with a tragic spin. Jeff Goldblum gives a masterful performance as a sweet, nerdy scientist whose romance with a writer (Geena Davis) makes him more fully alive. Next thing you know, a tiny oversight in an experiment causes him to transmogrify, gradually, into something more like an insect than a human. This is Cronenberg (Scanners
) country, so expect The Fly
to be a gross-out, but in the way that disease corrupts the body and can make a loved one unrecognizable on every level. This is one of Cronenberg's best films, and certainly one of the important movies of the 1980s. --Tom Keogh