The 1986 remake of The Fly is one of the single-best horror/sci-fi epics ever made, and the debate still rages over whether it’s better than the original 1958 version. Jeff Goldblum’s excellent performance as the eccentric and loopy Seth Brundle is one of his best, and the film is loaded with many memorable quotes not just from his character, but others as well.
These quotes help tell the story of Brundle’s grotesque transformation from a handsome young scientist into a horrific man/fly hybrid and the horrors that ensue. It’s one of the darkest and most tragic horror flicks of the 1980s, and the blood-curdling visuals are married to
one 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 oddball who mostly kept to himself, and the rigors of his work. His days were spent researching technology related to teleportation, which would have a drastic impact on humanity, were the power harnessed correctly. He wasn’t a typical horror movie mad scientist, but he walked the obsessive edge of the knife that led many to fall astray.
He first met Victoria at a science gala, where he immediately tried to woo her with tales of his research. It was enough to capture her interest, and agree to come back to his lab, where he introduced her to the teleportation pods he 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 akin to something out of the 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 taking down one of her stockings and giving it to him, after which he placed it in a pod, activated the
machine, and successfully teleported it to the other pod.
At first, Victoria believed he had destroyed her stocking, prompting this funny quote that was ironic in and of itself. She’d later come to realize just how on the money Seth was when it came to his research, even if teleportation of organics was still out of his reach.
8 “The Complete Record Of The Most Earth-Shattering Invention Ever. The One That Ended All Concepts Of Transport, Of Borders And Frontiers, Of Time And Space.” – Seth
When Victoria revealed that she wanted to write a piece on Seth’s work, he immediately hesitated for fear of his funding being cut. He tried to woo her a little more by inviting her to lunch, where he pitched the idea of them working together, rather than on opposite sides.
Victoria would hold off on revealing her story until Seth felt that the technology had been perfected. It was a deal made on mutual trust, paving the way for a working relationship, and a romantic one that followed.
7 “… Human Teleportation – Molecular Decimation, Breakdown And Reformation Is Inherently Purging. It Makes A Man A King!” – Seth
After experiencing a bout of jealousy over Victoria’s ex-boyfriend, Seth got a little too drunk and decided to test his teleportation pods on himself. He emerged healthy and intact on the other side, but it didn’t take long for the warning signs to start popping up.
He took Victoria to
lunch, where he went off on a super-energetic rant about teleportation technology, and how it made him feel. He seemed reborn, like a new man bursting with boundless optimism, self-confidence, and physical strength, not to mention a rather unhealthy obsession with sugar.
6 “Something Went Wrong, Seth! When You Went Through, Something Went Wrong!” – Victoria
Victoria realized that Seth wasn’t well when his personality started to change. He was no longer the adorable, socially awkward guy she fell in love with. He had become arrogant, unhinged, temperamental, and judgmental, all because she wouldn’t allow herself to be teleported as well.
He eventually clashed with her and sabotaged his romantic relationship by saying he’d find someone else who wasn’t afraid of the process. To Seth, teleportation was the pathway to ultimate bliss. To Victoria, it was a nightmare scenario wrought with pitfalls that she did not trust.
5 [Seth] “Don’t Be Afraid.” [Veronica] No, Be Afraid! Be VERY Afraid!”
After breaking up with Victoria, Seth decided to go out and find another woman that he could convince to get into the teleportation pods. He arm-wrestled a burly bar patron and broke his wrist as a demonstration of his power, which was enough to entice a young woman to come home with him.
The two hooked up after Seth demonstrated his teleportation technology to her, but when he tried to convince her to go through, she resisted. Seth told her not to be afraid as he dragged her to the pods, but Victoria stood in his 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 tagline, believing it was a comedy instead of a horror film.
4 “What’s Happening To Me? Am I Dying?” – Seth
After Victoria left Seth to his own devices, he began taking her warnings about his physical appearance and personality changes to heart. He went into the bathroom to examine himself, noticing that several parts of his body were beginning to deteriorate.
He ended up pulling off one of his own fingernails with ease, which was enough to strike fear into him. He wondered if the process had caused him to contract some sort of disease, or mess with his molecular structure to the point where a rabid form of cancer had set in. This element of “body horror” is just one reason why the 1986 remake is better than the original 1958 version of The Fly.
3 “I’m Becoming Brundlefly. Don’t You Think That’s Worth A Nobel Prize Or Two?” – Seth
Seth compared the data of his first teleportation trip and discovered that a foreign organic entity was in the pod with him at the time. He was horrified to learn that it was a common housefly which the computer didn’t know what to do with. It chose to fuse their respective DNA patterns together at the genetic level.
He finally had his answer for why he was changing. When Victoria showed up to discuss it with him, Seth indicated that the unnatural fusion of the DNA was turning him into something the world had never seen. To lighten the mood, he cracked a joke about the 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. You Wanna’ See What Else Is In It?” – Seth
As Seth kept mutating, so too did parts of his body keep falling off. His teeth, ears, genitals, and other pieces of his body were now becoming redundant in the wake of the emerging new genetic mutation. Rather than get rid of them, he stuffed the parts in jars and hid them in the medicine cabinet of his home.
With nothing else to do but ride the mutation out, Seth felt compelled to at least make some jokes about his state of affairs. He asked Victoria if she’d like to see the collection of body parts that had since fallen off, but she was understandably opposed to the idea.
1 “I’ll Hurt You If You Stay!” – Seth
When the mutation entered its second-last stage, Seth realized that his mind was gradually regressing into something much more primitive. He joked about the irony of “insect politics” with Victoria, which was meant to illustrate that insects are brutal and instinctive, and don’t care much for diplomacy.
It was his way of demonstrating the dangers of her being around him. Finally, he came right out and said that if she stayed, he’d end up hurting her. Seth knew that as his mental state deteriorated, so too would his regard for humans. Instinct would become his first reactionary mechanism, and nothing could be more dangerous.