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The Fly

David Cronenberg's version of The Fly was one of the first real horror movies I ever attempted to watch all the way through by myself. I must have been about ten or eleven years old at the time, and I'd taped it off the television a year or two after its theatrical release. I remember getting through most of the movie without much of a problem, but then at the very end there was one scene where I had to close my eyes. Looking at it now, it all seems kind of silly, but to my decade old eyes, that was the stuff from which nightmares were made.

In the film, Jeff Goldblum plays creepy scientist with bad hair Seth Brundle, who falls for journalist with even worse hair Geena Davis. Most of you know the story: scientist gets too wrapped up in his own work, performs reckless experiment and becomes horribly mutated into a human-fly hybrid as a result. Of course, he just wants his girlfriend to see him for what he is on the inside and love him anyway, so he kind of goes crazy at the end and decides he wants her to have his fly babies or something.

Throughout the course of the film, we see Brundle slowly mutate into a freakish abomination as body parts start falling off (who can forget seeing his testicles in a jar?), he learns he can stick to walls, and he needs to spit up a corrosive enzyme in order to externally digest his food. When Brundle kidnaps his former girlfriend and decides he's going to use his teleporter technology to merge him, her, and their unborn child into one fucked up entity, his girlfriend's former lover shows up to save the day, only to have his hand and foot melted by Brundlefly's acidic drool.

That scene was hard enough for me to get through as a child, but somehow I managed to endure the whole thing. It was what came next that I couldn't handle. While dragging his girlfriend away, she grabs his jaw and manages to rip it off, prompting his final transformation.

He sloughs off his skin to reveal his fully transformed Brundlefly self underneath. As a child, this terrified me. It wasn't the sight of his skin peeling away that scared me so badly; rather, I think it was the anticipation of seeing his final form that freaked me out so much. I had imagined it would be far more horrific than it actually was, but even so, this remains an awesome classic horror movie sequence.

And you know, come to think of it, it is still pretty damn gross.

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Penciled by comics' legend Wally Wood and painted by pulp sensation Norm Saunders, this 1962 series of collectable bubble gum Mars Attacks trading cards told the story of a Martian invasion. The brief text on the back of each card and the fact that the cards were stand-alone, not tied to any movie, book or product, gave the experience an eerie newsreel-like quality. In 1996, Tim Burton would make it into a very long, deliberately bad film.

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a horrible night indeed! :o