[Guest Post] The Flesh: Goldblum versus Fly (1986) 1

Note from Rachael: I love this post from Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam so much that I think this might become the favored format for all guest posts in the blog from now on. Call it Guest Writer Watches a Movie So You Don’t Have To. Or maybe something catchier.

Anyone who knows me knows that I can’t watch gory movies. I have to avert my eyes, even for the smallest hint of blood. Anyone who knows me well knows I can’t resist Jeff Goldblum, with his healthy ego and his slightly-stammering speech patterns. So when I decided to watch a monster movie for Rachael’s blog in order to promote my fiction-music project Strange Monsters, funding on Kickstarter until August 1st, I decided I had better pit my love of Goldblum against my dislike of gore and watch and record my reactions to The Fly*.

Why is The Fly related to my album project? Well, okay, I could write something lengthy and insightful about how the stories in my Kickstarter all question our concept of what makes someone monstrous, and since Cronenberg makes us both enamored (just me? Probably not just me) and repulsed by Brundle the half-creepy/half-endearing scientist protagonist, it was only logical I watch this particular movie. But really I’ve just been hearing about it for so long it seemed an inevitable fate. It’s one of the Goldblum masterpieces I’ve been too chicken, until now, to watch.

*Fermented beverage was imbibed during the watching of this movie.

Here goes:

Okay, here’s Jeff Goldblum’s character being creepy at a party, but since I know he’s legit it’s not necessarily a turnoff. He can make me cappuccino, anytime. Well, except cappuccino makes me nervous (too much caffeine), but I do love the smell so maybe I can just smell the cappuccino and he can talk to me about fake science.

His house is “cleaner on the inside.” Is this a mangled Doctor Who reference? Is Seth Brundle the generic, less exciting version of a time lord?

Things I know about Seth Brundle: Seth Brundle gives away research secrets for a date. Seth Brundle writes with French fries, unlike us lesser humans who write with pens and pencils and sparklers. Seth Brundle hates baboons (not the baboon! Ugggggggghhhhhhhh, I’m already regretting the decision to watch this movie).

“I must not know enough about the flesh myself. I’ll have to learn.” <Best pickup line ever?

Say “the flesh” again.

He offers Veronica two steaks: one that’s gone through the teleporter, and one that hasn’t. He offers them to the reported for an “objective opinion,” but tells her which one was teleported. Come on, Seth Brundle. Bad science!

Veronica’s buying him clothes. Well, that escalated quickly.

The moral of this movie is: jealousy will turn you into a fly. Looks like I don’t need to watch any further.

There’s that flesh Seth/Jeff keeps going on about.

It’s begun. Things I’ve learned about flies: they’re flexible. Good at gymnastics. And have a lot of sexual stamina?

Shit, Brundle/Goldblum is being a dick. Don’t be a dick! It hurts my head not to like your character.

The plasma spring sounds like a swimming hole I’d like to avoid.

I’m at the arm wrestling scene. Oh balls, the wrist! And the woman’s into it? I don’t know about anyone else, but watching bone pop out of the flesh doesn’t make me want to have sex. Probably just me, though.

Seth Goldblum just pulled his fingernails off. Okay, movie over. Great film. I’m done. Fuck, David Cronenberg! Why do you do this to me?

“Secondary element is not-Brundle.” I like this. On my off days I am not-Stufflebeam.

The secret is out, on all counts. What a start to a relationship!

Oh holy fuck, with the vomit and the ear and the face.

She’s pregnant with the fly-baby. Did they use condoms and/or other birth control? I’m thinking two highly intelligent people would use some form of birth control. Also, why are these accidental pregnancies so common in movies? Birth control must only be 20% effective in movie-world.

Oh fuck with the teeth. He’s keeping his parts in the medicine cabinet? Well, okay, isn’t that where everyone keeps their extra body parts? (I’d probably keep them in the fridge. Less rot that way.)

An insect politician would be a lot more interesting than most of our human politicians.

Seth Goldblum: “I’ll hurt you if you stay.” Is the Fly seriously making me cry?

He melted the editor-man’s hand. Now I’m crying for a different reason.

Shedding the flesh! Shedding the flesh! Why is this happening? (And now I’m singing “shedding the flesh” to the tune of “Stayin’ Alive.”)

I might have lost my attraction to Goldblum. Better watch the Portlandia episode with the beet sketch. That’s better.

Final verdict: if you stop watching right before he first teleports, when he’s naked in the pod, the Fly is a perfect movie.

(PS from Rachael: go support this kickstarter. It’s an excellent project and I’m supporting it too. Bonnie has earned it with her delicious suffering.)

One comment on “[Guest Post] The Flesh: Goldblum versus Fly (1986)

  1. Pingback: The Flesh! In which I pit my love for Goldblum against my dislike of gore and watch The Fly | Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam

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