Sunday, August 12, 2007

Great Moments in Cinema - The Fly (1986)



Brundle stands alone at the bar. In the garish neon of the place he no longer looks friendly and cuddly; he is angry, manic and, somehow... predatory.

Two large men with tattoos on their arms are arm-wrestling at a small table, egged on by a VOLUPTUOUSLY SLEAZY WOMAN. Beer is sloshing everywhere as the men struggle for an advantage.

The bartender puts a drink down - a double Scotch - in front of Brundle, who is in the process of unwrapping an O’Henry chocolate bar. The bartender winces as Brundle bites off a piece of chocolate then washes it down with some Scotch.

Brundle gets up and, still munching on his bar, begins to drift over to the table and the sleazy woman, whose name is TAWNY.

        Who’s winning?

        Dunno. Hope it’s Marky.

        How come?

        ‘Cause the winner wins me, and I like Marky


        Yeah? Well, I like you tonight. Maybe I’d
        better get involved in this, too.

The two men ease off their wrestling. The biggest one, MARKY, grabs Brundle by the lapels.

        You’re disturbing us.

        I got a hundred bucks says I can beat either
        one of you.

The men laugh. Marky grabs Brundle’s arm and rips his jacket sleeve right off. He folds Brundle’s arm back and displays it to Tawny.

        Like those biceps, Tawny?

                SECOND MAN
        Hey, I know his secret.
        He eats chocolate and peanuts for energy!

They howl in laughter. Brundle pulls out a hundred-dollar bill which has been waddled up in his pocket. He slams the hundred on the table.

        A hundred. And I get to take the lady home
        for the night if I win.

        Says who?

        Hey - an easy hundred, Tawny.

        Yeah, but says who? It’s the idea of it. I
        ain’t no hooker.


Marky ignores her and sits down, ready to rumble.

        C’mon, let’s get it over with.

Having said her piece, Tawny sits down to enjoy the fun.

Brundle sits down opposite Marky. They spend a few minutes gripping and re-griping each other’s hand under the scrutiny of the second man. A few spectators accumulate around the table.

Finally, they’re ready to wrestle.

ON BRUNDLE, as they start.

ON MARKY, confident.

ON BRUNDLE, having no trouble.

ON TAWNY, wondering what’s happening.

ON MARKY, his confidence turning to mush as he meets the steel in Brundle’s skinny forearm.

The tension is building between the two arms; they are shaking.

CU BRUNDLE - he’s doing well but it’s an effort.

CU BRUNDLE’S FINGERTIPS - the hand that’s wrestling. Under the pressure of the fight, a STRANGE, PUS-LIKE SECRETION begins to ooze from under his fingernails and down the back of Marky’s hand. It goes unnoticed in the general sweat and beer.

The strain is enormous. Veins are bulging. Arms are quivering. Muscles are fibrillating. Then SUDDENLY, all the pent-up energy is released with a sickening CRACK! as MARKY’S FOREARM SHATTERS! Splintered bone slices out through the skin of Marky’s wrist and glints in the icy light of the bar.

Marky shrieks in agony. Brundle lets go. Marky holds his arm and stares at it as though it belonged to someone else. His hand dangles at an impossible angle; the piece of cracked ulna looks white as a tooth. The second man and Tawny look on in disbelief.


People begin to gather around. Marky starts to moan as blood begins to well up in a serious way and spill out of the wound onto the table top.

Brundle grabs his hundred dollars in one hand and takes Tawny by the wrist with the other. She’s stunned and she lets herself be dragged out of the bar.

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