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The Apple (1980)

Cast: Catherine Stewart, Catherine Stewart, George Gilmour, more...
Director: Menahem Golan, Menahem Golan
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: MGM
Genre: Cult, Golden Turkeys, Fantasy, Musicals
Running Time: 86 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
    see additional details...

Unleashed just as the disco phenomenon had peaked and was slipping out of public favor, this one-of-a-kind pop musical is set in 1994, when a Mephistophelean entrepreneur named Mr. Boogalow (Vladek Sheybal) controls the international recording industry through the Worldvision Song Contest. Boogalow's wildly theatrical protégés, a decedent dance-pop group called Bim, seem a sure bet to walk off with the grand prize and worldwide fame, but at the last minute Alphie (George Gilmour) and Bibi (Catherine Mary Stewart), a folk duo from Canada, nearly steal their thunder with their song "Love, the Universal Melody." While Boogalow rigs a victory for Bim, he sees moneymaking potential in Alphie and Bibi and offers to sign them to a contract. Alphie, suspicious of Boogalow, declines, but Bibi leaps at the chance, and is soon remodeled into a stylish pop star while heart-broken Alphie throws in his lot with a gang of hippies living in the park. Bibi comes to regard fame and wealth as hollow and empty, but discovers walking away from Boogalow is easier said than done. Featuring an inarguably remarkable finale, The Apple was shot primarily in Germany, despite being set in the United States; while George Clinton is credited with writing lyrics for several of the original tunes, be advised it's not the same George Clinton who led Parliament and Funkadelic in the 1970s and '80s. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Staff Pick: Well, this is it. The Apple is indisputably the worst musical ever made. Menahem Golan (who later brought us many of the decade's most bloated action films) ushered in the 1980s by officially, if inadvertantly, killing off disco with this absolutely fabulous(ly awful) example of oversparkled costuming, unchoreography, bizarre plotting and misguided religious symbolism. A fine example of the latter is in the unforgettable image in the final scene, in which we discover what make of car God enjoys. But if you're in a giggly mood, it's also a complete riot. We don't condone or support the use of hallucinogenic drugs to enjoy the film, and, frankly, that won't be necessary, as the film's own rainbow of fashions and uncatchy yet catchy songs (including one with the lyrics, "America, the land of the free / Is shooting up with pure energy / And every day she has to take morrrrrrespeed!") will give you many of the same effects. Set in "the future" - 1994, which, thankfully didn't look like this, with the exception of certain parts of Las Vegas - the story, if you care, is about two wholesome folksingers who are split apart by a devilish cult, and its melange of drugs, orgies, lamé, and satin, I mean, Satan. Perhaps it's all meant to be a metaphor for the dark side of the music business, but that'd be giving the makers too much credit. The Apple makes Xanadu look like a heyday-era MGM classic; don't say you weren't warned, but, we dare say, don't miss it, either. The Apple may be rotten, but it's tasty all the same. -- Craig Phillips

GreenCine Member Reviews

Bite the Apple! by evilcupcakes September 30, 2004 - 4:07 PM PDT
4 out of 6 members found this review helpful
This "futuristic" musical is like a glitter enema being administered on a cold metal table by a cute German nurse with a lazy eye while Donna Summer's "MacArthur Park" plays over the loud speaker at slightly the wrong speed. It's all starts with a music contest in the future of 1994 (and you know it's the future because everyone has stuff made out Plexiglas and trash bags) run by a pimpy looking guy who is probably the least threatening incarnation of evil on the screen since Gargamel, and it just goes downhill from there. The music is atrocious, but in a "man, I will be singing THAT for a week" kinda way, the make up and costumes are hysterical in a "only in the 80s" kinda way, and you KNOW the acting is bad when one of the leads pants turns in a more mesmerizing performance than he does.

In summery, you MUST see this movie to believe it. It is my all-time favorite movie... next to Xanadu of course..... so take that into consideration when you rent this....

PS look for Yma Sumac in a very brief cameo during the Ballet 2000 sequence.

You'll Laugh! You'll Cry! You'll Vomit! You'll Have A Good Time! by ZenBones September 23, 2004 - 2:48 PM PDT
11 out of 11 members found this review helpful
Remember those God-awful musical numbers at the Academy Award ceremonies in the 1970s? I've no doubt that the people who created the music and choreography for this movie were either the same people responsible for those tasteless atrocities, or they were just deeply inspired by them (most likely while under the influence of nose candy, Kool Aid, and in one particular 'sexy' number, too much Barry White!). Now, imagine that scenario compounded with art direction by Ken Russell (during his Listomania period), and talent so bad that even Disney would say "Mmm............ nah! I don't think so!", and there you have "The Apple". The strange thing is, despite occasional involuntary heaving spells, I found the experience of watching this quite exciting. Like the best horror movies, you just can't look away. I found myself anxious to see what even worse horrors of bad taste would come next, and I was never disappointed. It's awful, yes, but despite the tired Barbarella-meets-Godspell costume designs, everything about this film is at least original, which is more than I can say for 90% of the product released by Hollywood in the past twenty-plus years. There's simply nothing else like it. Even the other two 'Eeeeagghhh!' musicals of the period, "Xanadu" and "Can't Stop The Music" can't compare, and I'm sure Golan and his merry band of Rocky Horror rejects tried real hard to measure up (down?) to that standard.
Rent this for a midnight screening with your friends, and don't forget to supply plenty of glitter, feather boas, and barf bags.
P.S. Joss Ackland I forgive you.

The best worst movie EVER by JPrichard July 11, 2004 - 7:12 PM PDT
7 out of 7 members found this review helpful
I gotta give this one an 8 for pure enjoyment.

It's a 1980 movie, set in futuristic 1994, where Disco rules the airwaves and the Devil tempts you to sing his Apple song. And if that didn't make any sense, just wait until the singing starts.

A Golan-Globus production, famous for a whole slew of terrible - terribly entertaining - movies in the 80's, this one is no dissapointment.

If you're a fan of bad movies, and want to see what a disco 1994 meets 1984 looks like, want to sing along with horrible music and delight in the acting (this movie was a death sentence to all who wer ein it, except hte female lead who was the love interest in weekend at bernie's) (except character actors).

Oh, and if there is any doubt, at the end of the movie God comes out of the sky in a GOLDEN LIMOUSINE.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 5.45)
66 Votes
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