When: Fri., Feb. 25, 7 p.m. 2011
"Be afraid. Be very afraid." In an age where every other film is a sequel or remake, it's amazing how David Cronenberg's update of the 1950s sci-fi schlock classic turned the genre into something new and fresh and weird and cool. Going with the basic idea of a scientist (Jeff Goldblum at his quirky best) getting his DNA scrambled with a fly's in a teleportation experiment, Cronenberg fashioned a fascinating metaphor for AIDS and other progressive diseases, as Goldblum gradually mutates into a superhuman, then something ... else. You shouldn't look too closely at the contents of his medicine cabinet, and let's leave it at that. The Oscar-winning makeup remains wonderfully creepy, and the film works as both a horrific action movie and as a tragic love story. Oddly, though I have seen this film many times, I have never been able to bring myself to see the original 1958 version, as the idea of a fly with a human head and hand somehow creeps me out more than the Cronenberg version's inside-out baboon. Go figure.
The Fly is paired with Bug, the last film produced by legendary schlockmeister William Castle, who never met a gimmick he didn't like. In this case, he advertised that he'd taken out a million-dollar insurance policy on the film's "star," Hercules the cockroach. We're not sure if this tale of fire-creating cockroaches from the center of the earth will indeed have you in "a soul-killing grip of terror," as the original trailer promised, but it should at least be cheesy fun. —Zack Smith