Every horror fan is familiar with the phrase, “Be afraid. Be very afraid.”
Spoken by Geena Davis in David Cronenberg’s 1986 film The Fly, these five words were ultimately used as the tagline for the beloved body horror movie. But did you know that the man who actually came up with those chilling words was Blazing Saddles director and legendary funnyman Mel Brooks, whose company Brooksfilms produced the movie? This fascinating fear fact was revealed by Cronenberg himself in the course of Beyond Fest’s recent retrospective tribute to the Canadian horror-meister.
“At one point, Mel was saying, about that particular moment, he said, ’When he says, Don’t be afraid, the answer should be, Yes, be afraid, be very afraid,’” Cronenberg recalled to moderator, fellow director, and Movie Crypt cohost Joe Lynch after a screening of The Fly at Los Angeles’ Egyptian Theatre. “He wasn’t really giving me dialogue, he was just reacting. And I said, ‘Yeah, I’m going to put that in the script.’ So let’s say it was a collaboration. But yes, it was Mel who came up with [that].”
Watch the trailer for Cronenberg’s The Fly above.