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Friday, September 9, 2011

Apple



The Apple
1980
Menahem Golan

The Apple, to my knowledge is the only near future, science-fiction, bible parable musical ever made. This is something we should all be thankful about. Opening with a splashy stage production by the duet known as BIM, who are happy to let us know that, “Hey Hey Hey BIM’s on the way,” in a bombastic yet somehow limp disco number. The crowd seems to like it, but perhaps they only feel sorry for the ridiculous costumes the singers are wearing.

A guy who’s totally not the Devil, (I mean come on he has a pointy beard and a red suit they wouldn’t be that obvious would they?) is running a song competition and he’s pleased at BIM’s high ratings, he is significantly less pleased at the high ratings of the folksy acoustic duo that follows BIM. The duo ( are Alphie and Bibi (no really), and they sing about love. The crowd doesn’t like it so much at first but they get won over pretty quickly. The Devil ...ahem… I mean Mr. Boogalow, in a rare show of good taste, messes up their show , and they lose.

Being the good natured saps they are, Alphie and Bibi attend a party thrown by Mr. Boogalow for BIM. Here we discover that Mr. Boogalow is going to be marketing a BIM symbol (or mark if you prefer) for people to wear. We also meet Pandi and Dandi (what‘s with these names, already?), the singers for BIM. Alphi and Bibi are tempted with record deals, sex and *gasp* alcohol. Alphi stands strong but Bibi begins to crumble through the magic of yet another lame musical number.

What follows is Bibi’s journey to stardom at the cost of her soul, while Alphie must endure torment while trying to find a way to save her from Mr. Boogalow’s clutches. BIM rules the world and if you don’t wear their symbol you get fined by the cops, there’s drugs and a hell with guys with 1 ½ faces and it’s all sprinkled with bad music and really embarrassing dancing. Only when Alphie falls in with some hippies led by the mysterious Mr. Topps, is there hope for him and Bibi

Honestly I’m not really sure where to start with the movie. It fails in every conceivable way. As a musical it’s dire. No one is abysmal but there are really no standout singers either. The songs themselves range from disco to folk to show tunes to disco sounding show tunes. The dancing resembles groups of people attending a physical therapy class.

The future is going to consist largely of triangles and lycra. Glitter will be sold by the metric ton and you will have a choice of jumpsuits with or without huge-ass shoulder pads to wear. Mr. Boogalow’s recording company seems to exist in an airport lobby. Car spoilers get huge. This not what I’d call a coherent vision of the future.

As a bible parable it just doesn’t work either. Alphie is a total stiff who’s about as fun to watch as the scenery behind him… scratch that, the scenery is more fun at least it has triangles and probably glows or something. Bibi at least seems human, she falls to temptation, revels in her decadence but ultimately it doesn’t fulfill her. She’s the only character in the entire film with a character arc.

So, let me get this straight, Mr. Boogalow’s entire plan for dominating the world is to make people listen to dull disco and exercise? It’s not really my thing but everyone in the movie looks like they are having the time of their lives. He doesn’t come across as evil, he just seems like that weird guy with the weirder accent who’s always standing in the hallway at your apartment waiting for the mail.

Oh and Jesus shows up in his solid gold Mercedes Benz at the end to lead everyone into heaven.

2 comments:

  1. This movie is like Xanadu's evil twin (or good twin). Here's a fun fact from IMDB
    "Reportedly, during its premiere at the Paramount Theater in Hollywood, audiences threw their free souvenir soundtracks at the screen, causing extensive damage." That pretty much it says it all.

    Then there's the gold glittery Speedo wearing antagonist.

    BTW, have you seen Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978)? It has an all star cast of late 70's talent, inclding the Bee Gee's, Peter Frampton and Aerosmith, just to name a few. And it's bad, just awful. Like The Apple, it representsall that was wrong about the 70's.

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  2. I have seen that one, it's truly terrible. Especially Steve Martin's rendition of Maxwell's Silver Hammer.

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