The Fly / The Thing (1982)
This week in the double feature I decided to go with two of my all time favorite sci-fi/horror movies. Both of these films are equally scary but for two completely different reasons. The Fly is scary because you have to watch the character slowly and gruesomely change further and further from being human. Then you have The Thing which is just terrifying because there is absolutely no one you can trust, who is good and who is evil? Both of these films do something you almost never see anymore, they both use practical effects which is when the filmmakers use effects without the aid of computer generated images. There is something about handcrafted monsters that have a way of creeping into your nightmares and these two films have some of the best you will ever see.The Fly Directed by David Cronenberg Released: 1986
The practical effects in this movie are absolutely disgusting as you are forced to watch Brundle’s body shed away the parts that are no longer necessary. I’ll never forget the first time I saw this movie, it ruined my sleep for weeks. The scene where Brundle looks into the camera and says, “This, is how Brundle-Fly eats” has got to be one of the greatest cinematic moments in sci-fi history. He then goes and nonchalantly pukes up this disgusting looking stomach acid onto a friggin donut held in his pincer-like hand. It doesn’t get much better or freakier than that folks. The Fly is just one of those movies that, honestly, anyone who calls themselves a fan of anything horror or sci-fi needs to see, if not own. The Fly centers around an eccentric scientist who has successfully solved matter transportation. After transporting a living creature with no problem he thinks his machine is ready for a human subject. Himself. When he attempts to teleport himself a fly gets into one of the transformation booths where he soon finds out he is a changed man.Directed by John Carpenter Released: 1982
This is such a perfect horror movie with its relentless suspense and amazing visuals. The special effects really pushed the boundaries creating some of the most unforgettable monsters ever put on screen. This is paranoia at it’s finest, the film does such a great job at making you feel isolated with the characters and it keeps you guessing literally up until the credits roll and beyond. There is a scene that, no matter how many times I’ve seen it, still scares the shit out of me every time. You know the one. When they come up with this ingenious way of testing who is the alien and who isn’t by putting a hot wire to someones blood on a dish. You just watch in horror waiting…..and waiting…..and waiting. Masterfully done, one of my favorite scenes of all time. Where man is the warmest place to hide, you might find yourself moving further and further away from the person you are watching this with because you never know who the alien’s next victim is going to be. Set in the Antarctic, The Thing is about a scientific expedition that gets interrupted by a group of what seems like insane Norwegians in a helicopter chasing and shooting at a dog. When the helicopter crashes while pursuing the dog they are left with questions that have no answers. They soon realize that an alien life-form that has the ability to assume the appearance of the people that it kills has taken over their camp. They don’t know who might have already been taken over and can trust not a single living soul.
The reason why these two films work so perfectly together is because they were made in a time where films weren’t totally relying on the ability of a computer generated image, instead they had a team of extremely talented people create truly scary monsters that you just don’t see anymore. I don’t know about you but when I see the monsters in movies like these ones they just feel so much scarier. They have a perfectly life-like feeling to them that you don’t get with cgi. When I see a cgi monster I look at it as exactly that, computer generated, not a living, breathing thing. I think a lot of times films can lose its authenticity when they have their actors performing in front of a tennis ball. I understand that cgi is easier and much more convenient and often times totally needed, it’s just sad knowing that this form of movie making is slowly dying. So with these two films you get a chance to look back at some amazing work from very talented people and see some terrifying monsters. This double feature is sure to keep you up at night. Trust no one, and be afraid. Be very afraid.
Thanks for reading! Be sure to check out the last weeks double feature if you missed it: