The Fly [1986] : Episode 114

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The Fly [1986]

What: A mad project manager accidentally fuses himself with a fly. Whoops.
Directed by: David Cronenberg
Starring: Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, John Getz

Recommended and Related Media

Flies lifecycle
Microscopes! Neat!

A Scientist Responds… to The Fly
The article that inspired us to cover The fly for this year’s horror month  🙂
Read it io9

Show Notes

Body horror

Body horror, biological horror, organic horror or visceral horror is horror fiction in which the horror is principally derived from the unnatural graphic transformation, degeneration or destruction of the physical body.

via Wikipedia

Cronenberg! And Carpenter! You may recall some similar horror themes from our episodes on Event Horizon (though that concentrated rather on the cosmic horror) and The Thing.

Mad… scientist?

More like mad “project manager,” as he describes himself. How refreshing to see something sidestep the trope of the omnicapable super-scientist and have someone NOT create world-changing supertech by themselves. The art of the kludge/bodge.

The computer

It’s basically a genie! Rules-lawyering a computer is programming a computer. The nature of this interpretive computer system and the feats of artificial intelligence that enable it to coherently fuse Brundle and fly together.

Teleporter

Materials-detection, DNA analysis, and black-box DNA recombination algorithms. That’s a hell of a design. And the voice recognition isn’t too shabby, either.

DNA detection

How do we tell between species by DNA these days? DNA barcoding! Find a good, differentiable locus and make a database of that area for a certain type of earth life. Where do we keep the database? The Barcode of Life Data System.

How genetic fusion teleportation could go wrong

Animate vs inanimate. DNA fusion or DNA damage and how and when problems could manifest. Expressing or ignoring large chunks of odd DNA. The unlikelihood of coherent expression of fly-like traits from the fused fly DNA. Junk DNA and its influence on our robustness against fly fusion.

Turning into a fly

Gross hairs. Super strength and the square cube law a la our King Kong episode. Enzymatic digestion. Insect reproductive cycles.

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