VHS Club: The Fly Trivia

20 years after its release, The Fly made Time Magazine’s 100 best movies of all time list. A remake of a film from 1958 depicting a scientist getting his head and hand instantly swapped with a fly. And yes, that did mean there was a fly flittering around with a man’s head. “Help meeee. Help meeee!” But this film was updated to be about a man grappling with a slow, tragic metamorphosis that Cronenberg said could be seen as an analogy for aging. Being the 80s, others saw it as a metaphor for AIDS. No matter what lens it was viewed through, it came a long way from its 50s B-movie creature feature roots. One of the stars of the 1958 version told Jeff Goldblum that he thought the film was “wonderful right up to a certain point… it went a little too far.” Knowing Cronenberg’s work, you are damn right it did. Deliciously.

The Fly Trivia

  1. The Fly is a remake of a 1958 film co-starring what iconic classic horror film actor? 
    A: Vincent Price. We heard what he thought of this version. Reviews of his own film called it revolting. Despite this or maybe because of it, the film was a big hit for the studio and spawned two sequels – Son of and Curse of The Fly.
  1. Both films are based on a short story by George Langelaan which was published in the June 1957 issue of what men’s magazine?
    A: Playboy. I read it for the sci fi. 
  1. What’s the first thing Seth teleports in the movie?
    A: Ronnie’s stocking. If a fly had gotten in there, we coulda had quite a burlesque movie. The second thing was steak. You never microwave steak.
  1. Seth tells Ronnie that he’d like to become the first insect what?
    A: Politician. I’d say most politicians are already insects.
  1. Finish this quote: “Am I becoming a 185-pound fly? No, I’m becoming something that never existed before: I’m becoming ____.”
    A: Brundlefly. Good thing his name wasn’t Bar or Shoe. Or Checkyur. 
  1. This movie was produced by what famous comedian, actor, and director – best known for the films Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein? 
    A: Mel Brooks. Yes! It’s one of the wilder bits of The Fly trivia. Brooks had previously produced the 1980 Kubrick drama The Elephant Man, so it wasn’t completely strange, But still Brooks made sure his name was left out of the credits so audiences wouldn’t be confused. 
  1. What was The Fly’s now iconic poster tagline?
    A: Be afraid, Be very afraid. The tag line has every little to do with the movie but they wanted to use it in the movie. So they had Geena Davis say it when she sees Seth with another woman. Be afraid of unprotected fly sex. Anyway that tag line was thought up by producer Mel Brooks. 
  1. Jeff Goldblum pushed for and got his famous girlfriend in the film. Who was his girlfriend?
    A: Geena Davis. Cronenberg said the problem with them both being in the film is that Davis was basically doing an impression of Jeff, stating that his strange cadence was infectious and they spent so much time together as a couple. Also, Goldblum has to be asked to leave the set during Geena’s scenes with John Getz due to his jealousy. 
  1. Geena Davis and Jeff Goldblum made three films together in the 80s. Besides The Fly, can you name one of the other ones?
    A: Earth Girls Are Easy, Transylvania 6-5000. Earth Girls Are Easy co-starred a not yet famous Jim Carrey. 
  1. Cronenberg wasn’t originally attached to direct this movie. He was busy working on what sci fi film adaptation of Philip K Dick’s story We Can Remember It for You Wholesale that would eventually star Arnold Schwarzenegger?
    A: Total Recall. He left that project and around the same time The Fly director Robert Bierman tragically lost his daughter on a trip to South Africa and couldn’t continue. Bierman did go on to direct cult classic Vampire’s Kiss with Nic Cage. 
  1. Jeff Goldblum had to wrestle to the ground Typhoon, which is the name of what animal in the film?
    A: The baboon. The baboon got startled by the flashing lights in the transportation pod and ripped its way out, and Goldblum and a handler wrestled it to the ground. The baboon was also apparently infatuated with the film’s script supervisor who was really short. Goldblum is 6’4 and was jacked for this movie, and the handler said it helped the monkey know its place in the pecking order. Is there anything Goldblum can’t do? Becoming alpha monkey? Freaking legend.
  1. Who has a cameo as the gynecologist in Ronnie’s dream sequence where she delivers a fly larva?
    A: Director David Cronenberg. Davis asked for him to do the cameo, because she thought if someone is going to have that view of her it might as well be the director. She actually turned down The Fly 2 because of another birthing scene. 
  1. The Fly was Goldblum’s first major Hollywood leading role. In what 1974 Charles Bronson vigilante revenge film did he make his debut as Freak #1?
    A: Death Wish. He had noted brief appearances in Annie Hall, “This is Mr. Davis. I forgot my mantra” Silverado, The Big Chill, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and Buckaroo Bonzai, but this was his breakout leading role.
  1. The teleportation pods originally looked like phone booths which Cronenberg didn’t like. So he showed his production designers what object’s cylinders for them to use as the design?
    A: Motorcycle. Cronenberg liked the design of the cylinders on his Ducati motorcycle.
  1. The Fly 2 which is not directed by Cronenberg but by the visual effects artist from the first Fly, centers around the son of Seth and Ronnie. Who plays their son?
    A: Eric Stoltz. The actor famously fired from Back to the Future and also quite an annoying method actor from what I have read.

Tie Breaker: Closest to the correct amount, how much did The Fly at the box office?
A: 60 million. 

VHS Club is a monthly screening of a video store era classic at Green Light Cinema in Saint Petersburg, FL, with trivia and prizes sponsored by Screen Fix podcast.

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