1986 -the remake of Fluen is one of the single best horror / sci-fi epics ever made, and the debate is still raging over whether it’s better than the original 1958 version. Jeff Goldblum’s outstanding performance as the eccentric and loopy Seth Brundle is one of his best, and the film is filled with many memorable quotes, not just from his character but also others.
These quotes help tell the story of Brundle’s grotesque transformation from a handsome young scientist to a terrible man / fly hybrid and the horrors that follow. It is one of the darkest and most tragic horror films of the 1980s, and the blood-curdling images are married to
a great 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 rigor of his work. His days were spent researching technology related to teleportation, which would have a drastic impact on humanity if power were used properly. He was not a typical horror movie mad scientist, but he walked the obsessive edge of the knife that made many people get lost.
He first met Victoria at a science gala, where he immediately tried to call her with stories about his research. That was enough to capture her interest and agree to return to his lab, where he introduced her to the teleportation pods he had been working on.
9 “I’m glad I did not give you my Rolex if I had a Rolex!” – Victoria
Brundle’s teleportation technology was somewhat similar Sort Mirror franchise, and just as dangerous. To demonstrate the power of his teleportation bellows, Brundle asked Victoria to share a personal topic. She ended up taking one of her stockings down and giving it to him, after which he put it in a pod, activated
machine, and successfully teleported it to the other pod.
At first, Victoria thought he had ruined her stocking, which got this funny quote that was ironic in itself. She would later realize how much Seth was on the money when it came to his research, even though teleportation of organic substances was still out of his reach.
8 “The complete overview of the most earthquaking invention ever. The one that ended all concepts of transportation, of borders and boundaries, of time and space.” – Seth
When Victoria revealed that she would write a piece about Seth’s work, he immediately hesitated for fear that his funding would be cut. He tried to call for her a little more by inviting her to lunch, where he presented the idea that they should work together, rather than on opposite sides.
Victoria would keep revealing her story until Seth felt the technology had been perfected. It was an agreement of mutual trust that paved the way for a working relationship and a romantic one that followed.
7 “… Human teleportation – molecular decimation, collapse and reformation wash in themselves. That makes a man a king!” – Seth
After experiencing a bit of jealousy over Victoria’s ex-boyfriend, Seth got a little too drunk and decided to test his teleportation bellows on himself. He came out fresh and intact on the other side, but it did not take long before the warning signs began to appear.
He took Victoria with him
lunch where he went 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, 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 was not feeling well when his personality began to change. He was no longer the adorable, socially awkward guy she fell in love with. He had become arrogant, uninhibited, temperamental and judgmental, all because she would not let herself be teleported either.
Eventually, he bumped into her and sabotaged his romantic relationship by saying he wanted to find someone else who was not afraid of the process. For Seth, teleportation was the path to ultimate bliss. For Victoria, it was a nightmare scenario with pitfalls that she did not trust.
5 [Seth] “Do not be afraid.” [Veronica] No, be scared! Be VERY scared! “
After breaking up with Victoria, Seth decided to go out and find another woman whom he could convince to get into the teleportation pods. He arm-fought a fierce bartender 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 joined 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 scared as he dragged her to the bellows, but Victoria stood in the way and told the young woman that she should be very, very scared. Ironically, one behind the scenes Fly factoid reveals that comedy legend Mel Brooks was the one who came up with this quote as a tagline and thought it was a comedy instead of a horror movie.
4 “What’s happening to me? Am I dying?” – Seth
After Victoria left Seth to herself, he began to take her warnings about his physical appearance and personality changes to heart. He went into the bathroom to examine himself and discovered that several parts of his body were beginning to deteriorate.
He ended up easily pulling one of his own nails off, which was enough to strike fear in him. He wondered if the process had caused him to contract some form 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 Fluen.
3 “I’m getting gloomy. 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 pod with him at the time. He was horrified to learn that it was an ordinary housefly that the computer did not know what to do with. It chose to fuse their respective DNA patterns together at the genetic level.
He finally got his answer as to why he changed. When Victoria showed up to discuss it with him, Seth stated that the unnatural fusion of the DNA made him something the world had never seen. To lighten the mood, he made a joke about the scientific merit that would undoubtedly have given him at least one Nobel Prize.
2 “The medicine cabinet is now the Brundle Museum of Natural History. Do you want to see what else is in it?” – Seth
As Seth continued to mutate, so did parts of his body. His teeth, ears, genitals and other parts of his body now became redundant in the wake of the new genetic mutation. Instead of getting rid of them, he stuffed the parts into jars and stored them in the medicine cabinet of his home.
With nothing to do but ride out the mutation, Seth felt compelled to at least make some jokes about his situation. He asked Victoria if she would like to see the collection of body parts that had since fallen off, but she was understandably opposed to the idea.
1 “I will hurt you if you stay!” – Seth
As the mutation entered its penultimate phase, Seth realized that his mind was gradually falling back into something much more primitive. He joked about the irony of “insect politics” with Victoria, which was supposed to illustrate that insects are brutal and instinctive and do not care very much about diplomacy.
It was his way of demonstrating the dangers of being around him. Eventually he came right out and said that if she stayed, he would end up hurting her. Seth knew that as his mental state deteriorated, so would his respect for people. Instinct would become his first reactionary mechanism, and nothing could be more dangerous.