Comparing The Fly (1958) and (1986)

19581986

(1958) “A scientist has a horrific accident when he tries to use his newly invented teleportation device.”IMDB

(1986) “A brilliant but eccentric scientist begins to transform into a giant man/fly hybrid after one of his experiments goes horribly wrong.”IMDB

I always see these two movies always on people’s top recommended horror movie lists.  Sometimes they’ll include one, the other, or even both, which is very surprising since remakes are almost never as good as the original.  Well I’m here to tell you: with these two movies, it’s possible.

The 1958 version is a great example of a classic monster movie.  There’s the tragedy of the man-turned monster, a damsel, and hilarious special effects.  David Hedison did wonderful as the lead, and really helped you feel pity toward the scientist.

On the other hand, the 1986 version has the clear mark of a great 80’s horror movie.  Lots of gore, sex, and general R-rated shenanigans in a well-told story make this version a product of its time as well.  I was not expecting Jeff Goldblum to do as well as he did in the lead role, but his performance equaled Hedison’s in quality and delivery.  Additionally, the story was adapted for a modern audience, using recent discoveries in genetics to make the tale more believable.  This honestly helped tremendously.  By having the two fuse instead of swap some genetic information was ingenious, and made for a completely new tale while also paying homage to the original.  Something else that stood out to me was the sheer amount of body horror.  I didn’t know this going in, but apparently the director David Cronenberg is well-known for his visceral depictions of the human body.  So if you’re squeamish, definitely avoid this movie.  I love body horror, and there were even parts in this movie where I was gagging.

Final Verdict:

(1958) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 8/10 stars.

(1986) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 9/10 stars.

The only reason I’m giving the 1986 version a higher ranking is for that insane body horror.  Like I said, I’m always a fan for some good creative gore, and I haven’t seen anything this well-done since the Hannibal TV series. 👌

So go watch both of them!  They’re definitely worth the hype.

2 thoughts on “Comparing The Fly (1958) and (1986)

  1. I agree with you that the remake is slightly better. The practical effects are great and have such a realistic texture to them. Also, Davis and Goldblum had such great chemistry and palpable heat between them when they were an on and off-screen couple.

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