The Fly

BookThe Fly

The Fly

Devil's Advocates


November 6th, 2018

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It's not often that a remake outshines its original but David Cronenberg's "reimagining" of The Fly (1986) is one of those rare exceptions. Equal parts horror, science fiction, and romance, The Fly takes the premise of its 1958 original—a man unintentionally fusing with a housefly during an experiment in teleportation—and reinterprets the plot as a gradual cellular metamorphosis between these two organisms.
This book teases out the intricate DNA of The Fly and how it represents the personalities of many authors, including a distinguished history of Man-as-God tales stretching back to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1818). Drawing from interviews with cast, crew, film commentators, and other filmmakers, Emma Westwood interlaces the "making of" travails of The Fly with why it is one of the most important examples of master storytelling ever committed to screen.

Westwood brilliantly configures The Fly’s legacy as both a remake that improves upon the original and is an audacious exploration of metamorphosis.

Film Stages

Author Information

Emma Westwood is the author of two cinema books – Monster Movies for the Pocket Essential series, and a monograph on David Cronenberg’s The Fly for Auteur's Devil’s Advocates’ series – and she is currently working on a book for Electric Dreamhouse Press about James Whale’s Bride of Frankenstein. She writes for numerous publications and film festivals and can be heard on DVD audio commentaries and extras for the likes of Kino Lorber (USA), Indicator (UK) and Umbrella (Australia) among other labels.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
1. 'Help me be human': Cronenberg becomes The Fly10
2. 'There was an old lady who swallowed a fly': A 'Cronefeld' Film26
3. 'Am I becoming a one hundred-and-eighty-five pound fly?': The gestation of The Fly38
4. 'The flesh. It should make the computer, uh, crazy': Remaking The Fly60
5. 'I've come here to say one magic word to you: cheeseburger.' The Fly scene-by-scene: Act one74
6. 'I'll hurt you if you stay.' The Fly scene-by-scene: Act two88
7. 'Insects don't have politics.' The Fly scene-by-scene: Act three98
8. 'Be afraid, be very afraid': Aftermath and Legacy114