The eighties were a good time for horror films. The amount of scary movies released during the decade of Reagan and Rambo that are still considered classics today is staggering. With so many great ‘80s horror movies to choose from, it’s sometimes hard to pick which movie to show during the Alamo’s monthly screenings of The Graveyard Shift, our new horror film series in Houston.
For July’s pick, though, the answer was easy. David Cronenberg’s remake of THE FLY is not only one of the best horror films of the ‘80s — it is one of the best movies of the decade period. A perfectly balanced mixture of scares, engaging characters and operatic tragedy, THE FLY is proof that remakes don’t always have to suck.
Jeff Goldblum stars as Seth Brundle, a reclusive and quirky scientist who has invented a world-changing creation — the Telepod. Exactly what it sounds like, the Telepod is poised to change the way the world handles its travel needs — but only if Brundle can work out a few of its kinks.
Geena Davis co-stars as Veronica Quaife, a journalist who becomes entangled in Brundle’s life when she begins covering the inventor’s work. The love story between Veronica and Seth is one of the best-handled romances in any horror film of any decade. Davis and Goldblum, a real-life couple at the time who’ve made three films together, have unbelievably great chemistry — chemistry that only adds to the film’s eventual tragic undertones once Brundle discovers the dark side-effects that come with tampering with unknown science.
When Brundle begins to transform into something resembling a walking, talking meat loaf platter, you’ll have no problem believing and even sharing the couple’s pain and frustration.
Whether you see the film as a reflection on the then prevalent AIDS epidemic (the make-up effects created for Brundle’s transformation would resemble an extremely exaggerated case of some of the lesions found on those dying from the disease) or you enjoy the classic Universal Monsters-esque story of a satisfyingly sympathetic movie monster, THE FLY has what you are looking for in a great movie — regardless of how you feel about the horror genre.
If you’ve never seen the film before, it is high time you do so — especially as we celebrate THE FLY’s 25th anniversary this year. In typical Graveyard Shift fashion, we’ll be throwing a party for the film’s screening. We’ll kick things off at 10 PM with games, trivia and prizes from FEARnet. Rotten Cotton will also be on hand to give out some of their t-shirts as door prizes. Plus, the first 100 guests will receive a complimentary fly swatter.
So buy your tickets in advance today. You don’t want to be left crying “Help Me” when the show is sold out and you’ve been left out of the party.
Next month, the Graveyard Shift returns with a special double feature of two classic ‘80s horror-comedies: AN AMERICAN WEREWEOLF IN LONDON and the original 1985 FRIGHT NIGHT. The event goes down on August 13 – the night of a full moon! - and tickets will be on sale soon.
See you Saturday!