Friday, February 12, 2016

On the Big Scary Screen: "The Fly" Still Delivers Shivers and Quivers

A great old sci-fi  flick, made in 1958, seems closer today than it did then to where our insane addictions to e-Gadgets are taking us.  Is your cell phone acting strange?  Beware.

The atoms of an ambitious scientist become tragically entangled with those of a fly during one of his experiments in transmitting matter through space.  It all happens in the man's basement.  Flashing contraptions buzz and roar and rattle into operation.  Test objects are placed into one glass box and transported to another across the room.
It makes for a fairly gripping story when the scientist's wife finally comes face to face with an unexpected outcome. 

Some may laugh.  Some may tremble over the spectacle of an insect ending up in one of the test transmissions.    The insect may have welcomed the result.  The scientist did not.  And the wife is left to deal with it. Terror to assisted suicide.

In its appetite for dramatizing the horrors of technology gone amok, Hollywood sometimes performs value public service warnings.  Add this one to your checklist.

Oh, sweet mystery of love! We kiss in a nightmare!

(A more recent Hollywood warning came through in Her, about a man falling in love with an operating system -- until she dumps him for another caller.)

The wife's botched up husband begs her to kill the freak fly that he has become. 

The film's message: "The search for truth is the most important work in the world -- and the most dangerous."

And if I were you, I'd be sure I know what I'm opening up when the next drone arrives at my door -- or at my security-enhanced, people-free, animal-free, all-virtual cell.

No comments: