Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Summer Shocks 1986: The Fly

When it came to picking a Summer Shocks selection for 1986, it wasn't easy. I mean, there's great summers and then there's the summer of '86. Take a look at the line-up:

Poltergeist II: The Other Side (May 23rd)
Invaders from Mars (June 6th)
Psycho III (July 2nd)
Vamp (July 18th)
Aliens (July 18th)
Maximum Overdrive (July 25th)
Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (August 1st)
The Fly (August 15th)
Manhunter (August 15th)
Dead End Drive-In (August 22nd)
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (August 22nd)
Night of the Creeps (August 22nd)

Now that's a bad-ass summer! Even the movies among that bunch that were shit were still great fun (Maximum Overdrive, baby!!). For anyone who wants to make a case that being inundated with sequels and remakes isn't so bad, the summer of '86 makes for a damn good argument. Psycho III, Aliens, Friday the 13th Part VI, and Texas Chainsaw 2 are arguably the best sequels in their respective series. And even though it isn't so hot, Poltergeist II has to be seen as the better of the two Poltergeist sequels so there's that, too. But really, among a great crop of movies, David Cronenberg's remake of The Fly just can't be beat. Even after almost twenty years, as a tale of science gone awry it can easily mop the floor with recent offerings like Splice, dated FX and all. The Fly is just genius - and it has the most quoted tagline ever to boot.

For my full review at Shock Till You Drop, click here.


Unknown said...

Nice write-up! The arm-wrestling scene still skeeves me to this day. Blech! But what a great film and a potent reminder on how to do a horror film remake well. Michael Bay take note...

Will Errickson said...

Great review of a movie--and summer--that had a huge impact on me as a teenager. Glad you noted its insanely famous tagline, whose origin has mostly been forgotten (unlike, say, "Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water").

Jeff Allard said...

J.D., I don't think any amount of notes would help Michael Bay! The remakes he produces with Platinum Dunes have gotten progressively worse so learning doesn't seem to be a big skill for him. Or, to be fair, maybe he stopped being hands-on with these movies after TCM and Amityville got the ball rolling.

Will, I agree - I bet a lot of people who use "Be Afriad" these days have no clue where it began. It's become so absorbed into the culture that its origin has been largely forgotten.

Will Errickson said...

You can see the tagline prominently on the poster here:

Jeff Allard said...

Thanks Will!

Bob Ignizio said...

I actually saw a lot of those in a theater, including 'The Fly'. One of the best summers of my teenage years for horror flicks, to be sure.

Jeff Allard said...

If only this summer were as packed with great films as '86 was!