I am participating in a 30-day challenge. This time it is all about horror! If you know anything about us here at the Fort, you would know that we are hardcore horror fans. Each October, we watch a movie night that we dub “The 31 Nights of Horror.”
Prompt: A Horror-Love Story
This was a tough one. One could argue the ultimate Horror-Love Story is Halloween, especially the Rob Zombie films. Other notable horror love stories are any Dracula movie, The Phantom of the Opera, or even Twilight (gross!).
David Cronenberg’s The Fly (1986) has more Love Story DNA than it does from the 1958 B-Movie classic it is based on. Body horror has never been more tender or effective as an allegory for losing a loved one to a terminal illness. Released at the height of the AIDS crisis, the sci-fi horror film is a moving tale of courtship, honeymoon, and tragedy. It begins as a rom-com. Veronica Quaife (Geena Davis) is a reporter for a science journal looking for a story. Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) is a socially awkward scientist who thinks he can change the world. He tries to flirt as best as a scientist can. He brags about his motion sickness, which can cause a nosebleed at the slightest velocity change, shows her his closet of identical suits, and introduces her to his baboon friends.
Finally, he pulls out the big guns, essentially inventing Star Trek’s teleporter. He should have watched the episode “The Enemy Within” because soon he is as reliable as a housefly. Seth proposes that Veronica should have exclusive book rights to the mechanism’s development by their second date, and the characters are on screen together for almost the entire film. Alone with a bottle of champagne and Chinese takeout for two, Seth gets jealous and shoots himself through the telepod. Veronica knows something is different from the first kiss after his breakthrough. Later he picks up a strange woman in a bar and shoots her through the machine.
Throughout, Veronica understands and forgives. She loves him as his hair falls out; she loves him as his ears fall off. She loves him when he’s manic, no matter how disgusting it is to watch him eat sugar. Even as he becomes unrecognizable, they never give up on each other.