The 1986 remake of The fly is one of the best horror / sci-fi epics ever made, and the debate is still raging as to whether it is better than the original 1958 version. Jeff Goldblum’s excellent performance as eccentric and wacky Seth Brundle is one of his best, And the movie is loaded with many memorable quotes from not only her character, but others as well.
These quotes help tell the story of Brundle’s grotesque transformation from a handsome young scientist to a hideous man / fly hybrid and the horrors that ensue. It’s one of the darkest and most tragic horror movies of the 1980s, and the creepy footage is married to
a fantastic script that sticks to the story and sells it perfectly.
10 “What am I working on? Uhhh, I’m working on something that will change the world and human life as we know it.” – Seth
Seth Brundle was an eccentric weirdo who mostly reserved himself and the rigors of his job. He spent his days researching technology related to teleportation, which would have a drastic impact on humanity, if the power was harnessed properly. He wasn’t your typical horror movie mad scientist, but he walked the obsessive knife edge that led many astray.
He met Victoria at a science gala, where he immediately tried to woo her with stories from his research. It was enough to get her interest and she agreed to return to her lab, where she introduced her to the teleportation pods she had been working on.
9 “I’m glad I didn’t give you my Rolex, if I had a Rolex!” – Victoria
Brundle’s teleportation technology was similar to something out of Black mirror franchise, and just as dangerous. To demonstrate the power of his teleportation pods, Brundle asked Victoria to share a personal item. She ended up removing one of her stockings and giving it to him, after which he placed it in a capsule, activated the
machine, and successfully teleported him to the other capsule.
At first, Victoria believed that he had destroyed her stocking, prompting this funny quote that was ironic in and of itself. She’d later realized just how on the money Seth was when it came to his research, even if organics teleportation was still out of reach.
8 “The complete record of the most devastating invention in history. The one that put an end to all concepts of transportation, of borders and borders, of time and space.” – Seth
When Victoria revealed that she wanted to write an article about Seth’s work, he immediately hesitated for fear that his funding would be cut. He tried to woo her a bit more by inviting her to lunch, where he pitched the idea of them working together, rather than on opposite sides.
Victoria would wait to reveal her story until Seth felt that the technology had been perfected. It was a deal made on the basis of mutual trust, paving the way for a working relationship, and a romantic one that followed.
7 “… Human teleportation: molecular destruction, collapse, and reform are inherently purifying. Makes a man a king!” – Seth
After experiencing a fit of jealousy over Victoria’s ex-boyfriend, Seth got a bit drunk and decided to test his teleportation pods on himself. He came out healthy and intact on the other side, but the warning signs were not long in coming.
He took Victoria to
lunch, where he launched into a super-spirited spiel about teleportation technology, and how it made him feel. He seemed to be reborn, a new man brimming with boundless optimism, self-confidence, and physical strength, not to mention a rather unhealthy obsession with sugar.
6 “Something went wrong, Seth! When you passed, something went wrong!” – Victoria
Victoria realized that Seth was not well when his personality began to change. He was no longer the adorable, socially awkward boy she fell in love with. He had become arrogant, unhinged, temperamental, and critical, all because she would not allow herself to be teleported as well.
He eventually confronted her and sabotaged their romantic relationship by saying that he would find someone else who was not afraid of the process. For Seth, teleportation was the path to ultimate happiness. For Victoria, it was a nightmare scenario forged with traps she didn’t trust.
5 [Seth] “Do not be afraid”. [Veronica] No, be afraid! Be VERY afraid! “
After breaking up with Victoria, Seth decided to go out and find another woman he could convince to enter the teleportation pods. He wrestled with a burly patron from a bar and broke his wrist as a demonstration of his power, which was enough to lure a young woman back home with him.
The two connected after Seth showed her his teleportation technology, but when he tried to convince her to do so, she resisted. Seth told her not to be afraid as he dragged her to the capsules, but Victoria got in her way, telling the young woman to be very, very afraid. Ironically, a behind the scenes Fly factoid reveals that comedy legend Mel Brooks was the one who came up with this quote as a motto, believing it to be a comedy rather than a horror movie.
4 “What’s happening to me? Am I dying?” – Seth
After Victoria left Seth to his own devices, he began to take her warnings about his physical appearance and personality changes seriously. He went into the bathroom to examine himself, noticing that various parts of his body were beginning to deteriorate.
She ended up removing one of her own nails with ease, which was enough to strike fear into him. He wondered if the process had caused him to contract some kind of disease or alter his molecular structure to the point where a rabid form of cancer had established itself. This “body horror” element is just one reason the 1986 remake is better than the original 1958 version of The fly.
3 “I’m turning into Brundlefly. Don’t you think it’s worth a Nobel Prize or two?” – Seth
Seth compared the data from his first teleportation trip and discovered that a foreign organic entity was in the capsule with him at the time. He was horrified to learn that it was a housefly that the computer didn’t know what to do with. He chose to fuse their respective DNA patterns at the genetic level.
He finally had his answer as to why he was changing. When Victoria appeared to discuss it with him, Seth indicated that the unnatural fusion of DNA was turning it into something the world had never seen. To lighten the mood, he made a joke about scientific merit that would undoubtedly have earned him at least one Nobel Prize.
2 “The medicine cabinet is now the Brundle Museum of Natural History. Want to see what else is in it?” – Seth
As Seth kept mutating, parts of his body kept falling off as well. His teeth, ears, genitals, and other parts of his body were now becoming redundant in the wake of the new emerging genetic mutation. Instead of disposing of them, he put them in jars and hid them in his medicine cabinet at home.
With nothing to do but overcome the mutation, Seth felt compelled to at least make a few jokes about his situation. He asked Victoria if she would like to see the collection of body parts that had fallen off since then, but she, understandably, objected to the idea.
1 “I’ll hurt you if you stay!” – Seth
As the mutation entered its penultimate stage, Seth found that his mind was gradually receding to something much more primitive. He joked about the irony of “insect politics” with Victoria, which was intended to illustrate that insects are brutal and instinctive, and don’t care much about diplomacy.
It was his way of showing the dangers of her being around him. Finally, he went straight out and said that if she stayed, he would end up hurting her. Seth knew that as his mental state deteriorated, so did his respect for humans. Instinct would become his first reactionary mechanism and nothing could be more dangerous.