Stream This? is a new feature on Kabooooom devoted to exploring and reviewing some of the lesser known and often-times weirder films that can be found on various streaming services. For this inaugural column, Roy Buckingham examines the 1980 film The Apple.
The Apple is a movie that defies all convention. A film that will make you question its very existence. A film that is for those that claim they have seen it all.
How in the world can I explain this thing? I can only think of one way and the comparison is as strange as The Apple itself. Imagine that Stefon from Saturday Night Live decided to make a dystopian future movie musical. The result would look like The Apple.
The Apple was released in 1980 and is set in the future world of 1994. In this dystopian future, a music producer named Mr. Booglaow (pronounced Boogaloo) runs the world and our culture through BIM Enterprises. He forces the world to watch a disco rock variation of American Idol for reasons that are never made clear. A couple of folk singers named Bibi and Alphie from a Canadian town called Moosejaw appear on the show and sing a love song, even though love songs have been outlawed.
However, seeing how the world responds to this song makes Mr. Boogalow freak out. To save the status quo, he offers the singers a soul-destroying contract promising fame and glory. Bibi says yes while Alphie says no, in a musical number that looks like Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Starlight Express, only set in Hell with glittery disco zombies and vampires.
Souls are tainted, hearts are broken, drugs are taken and orgies are held in well-choreographed dance numbers. Drag queens parade in style and hippies emerge to save the world in a thick casserole of WTF. This film may be named The Apple, but this, to quote Gwen Stefani, is bananas.
The Apple was distributed by Cannon Films and produced and directed by the notorious film-making team of Menehem Glolan and Yoram Globus. A doctoral-level thesis could be written on their contributions to schlock cinema. This is the group responsible for making Chuck Norris what he is today, as well as cult classics Over The Top and Cobra starring Sylvester Stallone. Alas, they also gave us Superman 4: The Quest For Peace and Masters of the Universe. And yet their most famous contribution to pop culture will always be the existence of Breakin’ and it’s famously titled sequel, Breakin’ 2 Electric Boogaloo. The Apple, however, will be remembered as their most notorious film ever.
To say The Apple was a bomb is an understatement. Different reports claim the movie cost $5-10 million to make. Either way, it grossed none of it back. The audience was so mad at the film’s premiere in Hollywood that halfway through the screening they threw their complimentary LP copies of the soundtrack at the theater screen and destroyed it beyond repair.
To top it all off, it was discovered that the true purpose of the film was to act as a tax shelter for Golan & Globus. It was as if Biaylastock and Bloom from The Producers got away with their plan. Despite this, director Menahem Golan was reportedly was so upset by the negative reception to the movie that he almost committed suicide.
It took about two decades for this film to get rediscovered and to develop a large cult following. It is now held on the same platform as The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Room, Xanadu and Troll 2 when it comes to fan love and cult status. If you have Amazon Prime, do yourself a favor and watch this one as soon as you can. It may not be a good movie, as such, but you will never, ever forget it.