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Overall Rating

Awesome: 40%
Worth A Look: 0%
Average: 0%
Pretty Bad: 17.5%
Total Crap42.5%

2 reviews, 28 user ratings

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Apple, The (1980)
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by Jay Seaver

"As good as a movie can be without discernible talent in any position."
2 stars

SCREENED AT THE 2005 BOSTON SCIENCE FICTION FILM FESTIVAL: Context is so very important when reviewing a movie. There are classic films I don't properly appreciate because I've only seen them on DVD in the solitary privacy of my living room. Similarly, when I tell you that I greatly enjoyed The Apple, it's important to realize that I saw it as the eighth film of a twenty-four hour, thirteen-film marathon, starting at around quarter of two in the morning. An actual good movie would have knocked me out cold, whereas The Apple sent my optic and otic nerves into overdrive and delivered enough sheer nonsense that my brain had to jump back up to full power in a futile attempt to make some sense of it.

Actually, making sense of it isn't terribly difficult. You just have to accept that American Idol (er, Eurovision - this 1980 movie only predicts the far-off world of 1994) is not only corrupt and rigged, but is in fact run by Satan - who not only controls the record industry, but can give its desires the force of law. Go ahead, use your own jokes. I'll wait.


Okay. Basic story - Satanic music executive Boogalow (Vladek Sheybal) decides that horrifically over-produced pop duo Bim (Alan Love & Grace Kennedy) will win Eurovision, and is peeved when folky, sincere youngsters Alphie (George Gilmour) and Bibi (Catherine Mary Stewart) seem to win over the audience. He adjusts the applause noise, but covers his bases by attempting to sign them. Bibi is seduced, but Alphie has a vision of Boogalow as some sort of really gay devil and hauls ass out of there. But the poor boy's still in love, so you know he's going to do whatever he can to try and rescue Bibi from Bim & Boogalow's base bastardy.

The main problem with this movie, as I figure it, is that nobody involved has a lick of talent. The story is laughable, the acting is bad, and the direction isn't much better than "people and things don't bump into each other." To be fair, most of the singing and dancing shows some skills in the performance, but the actual songs themselves are the kind that give musicals a bad name - they take something that could be communicated in two lines of dialogue and stretch it out for five over-produced minutes. Not that the "using dialogue" option is tremendously appealing with the level of talent on display here, but there's something about jumping into a song from a dead stop that makes the audience feel like the movie should be justifying it somehow - why did you choose here to start singing? What makes this moment so special that you've got to go changing narrative techniques on us? And then, afterward, there's the pause where the audience thinks "well, that was weird" (and the characters seem confused about their musical outburst, too).

The movie takes place in 1994, as imagined in the late seventies, and it's probably one of the last times that the future was predicted to be shiny and metallic and pointy. The wackiest bit of design is the metallic baby carriages that come to a point at the front, and honestly look like something hot dog vendors, rather than new mothers, would push. Most of the time, there's nothing that much more futuristic to it than some really tacky fashions. Normally, I'm pretty good about not being the twelve-year-old who uses "gay" as a pejorative, but there were two or three times during this movie when I found myself thinking "wow, this is the gayest thing I have ever seen. I feel bad about it, but when Boogalow's assistant Shake (Ray Shell) shows up at a party wearing a robe and a Speedo with his scrawny self looking oiled up, I defy you to think anything else.

I feel sort of bad for the cast; aside from Sheybal, most of them appear to be guys in their first roles. They're really trying hard, and for all I know, they all went on to have perfectly fine careers on the stage where the scripts for musicals aren't quite so stupid. Writer/director/producer Menahem Golan's long list of credits includes a lot of crap, and that's after he'd apparently gotten acclimated to working in English.

There's a time and a place for movies like this. That time is after midnight and that place is in a crowd. Sure, by the harsh light of day, one may think "I could have been sleeping!", and I'd never suggest seeing The Apple on it's own, but there are points when insanity is rather useful

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originally posted: 03/19/05 02:52:20
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival. For more in the 2005 Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

4/20/19 dupadoit yeah baby 5 stars
3/23/11 Lizzie GROSS! No! DOUBLE GROSS! No! TRIPLE GROSS! No! It's SUPER GROSS! 1 stars
3/22/11 Jennifer UUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
5/07/10 art WEIRD! 1 stars
8/28/09 vikas pant an outstanding but widely misunderstood film meant for the class and not mass audience 5 stars
5/06/09 art SUPER SONG"S,THAT"S ABOUT IT! 1 stars
12/25/06 Joanie noting bad in this movie 5 stars
8/20/06 Simon Bartolo Yes it's a bad film and it's so WONDERFUL! B-I-M. 5 stars
6/23/06 AmandaIrene Is there any rating higher than Awesome? That doesn't quite capture it! 5 stars
7/29/05 Andrew seen it 26 times and I'm 51 years old 5 stars
7/01/05 John Bishop My new Rocky Horror!! This film just gets better with each screening. No chemicals needed. 5 stars
1/24/05 Jeff Anderson A FRUITY(no pun intended)GUILTY PLEASURE THAT I CAN'T STOP WATCHING! TWISTED & AMAZING!!!!! 5 stars
8/25/04 P-Vu It puts the mess in messianic! Amazing! 5 stars
3/29/04 Taylor Murphy I can't watch it enough 5 stars
2/27/04 Rich Oh my God! 1 stars
2/18/04 Margarita Ryes the best movie i have ever seen in my life 5 stars
12/27/03 Pevis people just don't understand 5 stars
10/29/03 TEPTIME ugliest film ever made! 1 stars
10/28/03 Adam BEST MOVIE EVER!...and worst, too... 5 stars
10/10/03 Paul O'Brien Just awful. So very awful. But so addicting. I had to keep watching this God awful film! 1 stars
9/21/03 Joe Blowe Set my hair on fire just looking at the box at the rental place? 1 stars
8/17/03 Danoid Kicks the ass of Phantom of the Paradise! 2 stars
8/16/03 joe this movie is insane and i love it 5 stars
8/05/03 bb fr fabulous 5 stars
7/26/03 Tom Hubbard Was that real? I have this frightening compulsion to look again just to be sure. 1 stars
7/04/03 Gary Morris Indescribably insane bullshit but you can't stop watching! 5 stars
5/31/03 James Kendrick Gives new meaning to the word bad! See it! 1 stars
5/22/03 Jairo Vel.. ANY PERSON WHO SEE's THIS MOVIE ...SHOULD BE SHOT (where's my shotgun?...) 1 stars
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  21-Nov-1980 (PG)
  DVD: 24-Aug-2004



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