Saturday, July 11, 2009

Let Me Tell You About: The Apple (1980)

In 1980, the Cannon film company wanted a piece of the disco pie. Three years earlier, Saturday Night Fever was a cultural phenomenon, and Cannon offered their own low-budget solution - snag a few million from some sketchy Israeli producers and throw it all into an allegorical sci-fi disco-tacular called The Apple.

Too bad that by the time The Apple was released, disco was dead.

The film takes place in 1994. Well, the best 1994 could possibly look like in 1980, at least. We follow an eager young Canadian couple as they strive to compete in the Worldvision Song Festival (a futuristic vision of the Eurovision Song Contest). The winner gets signed to a label, simple as that. Too bad their main competition is sponsored by the evil Boogalow International Music company, and their Dracula-esque leader Mr. Boogalow.

"The Apple... takes your soul." proudly proclaims the trailer. While this may be a lofty statement to proclaim to an audience of casual moviegoers, even in those innocent days of 1980, The Apple is a movie that not so much steals your soul, but rather kidnaps it temporarily, covers it with sequins, and leaves it on the side of the interstate, shivering and confused.

Okay, instead of listening to my hyperbolizing the grotesque spectacle of The Apple, take a gander at the trailer:

There are many "What the Hell?" moments, including a huge dance sequence in, well, Hell. Another scene I found completely unnerving involved our protagonist visiting his stout elderly mother and playfully grabbing her breasts while giggling like a schoolboy. But hey, it's 1994. How dare I question the ethics of the future.

The Apple was a critical and financial disaster, which is why it was quickly buried and never heard from again. If you're looking for a fascinating piece of musical cinema trash, see The Apple, then watch Can't Stop the Music to cleanse your palette.

Steven Seagal and I Want to Wish You a Happy Summer!


Friday, July 10, 2009

I've Been HACKED!

As you can see, on July 10, the image-hosting site ImageShack was hacked by some internet terrorist group called Anti-Sec, replacing thousands of their hosted images. I don't care who they are or what they're about, I just want my pictures back.

So in case you're wondering why some of the images on this blog may be acting wonky, you can blame the Anti-Sec geniuses. In the meantime, enjoy the trailer to the greatest movie about computer hacking ever (and no, it's not Hackers.)

Friday, July 03, 2009

Care for a Slice of Apple from 1984?

Apple Computer wasn't always the root-toot-tootin-est, iPhone-selling-est, gizmo-maker around. More than 20 years ago, they were the underdog. Big ideas led to some landmark successes and colossal failures (*cough* Apple III *cough*).

Of course, everyone has seen the famous Ridley Scott-directed Super Bowl TV spot which made them famous, but have you seen this rare video Apple showed at their annual keynote event, to promote the release of the Apple Lisa?

Apple has really come a long away to the bleeding-edge innovators of today, so let celebrate their roots, shall we? Here it is, in all its retro goodness, along with some 80s flair and a jammin' song (which sounds suspiciously like "What a Feeling" from Flashdance. Hmmm...).

Note: keep an eye out for Steve Jobs' INSANELY HAPPY alter-ego at the 1:13 mark.

The Thing

No, not the John Carpenter film. Although I'm sure I'll be covering that in another post. No, no, in fact, "The Thing," is a peculiar little novelty song written in 1950 by Charles Randolph Grean which managed to climb the Billboard charts thanks to a great recording by entertainer Phil Harris. As a dilettante of 50s novelty music, I implore you, casual jaded listener, to welcome your eardrums to this little ditty from nineteen-fitty:

Pretty weird huh? What's even harder to believe is that this song spent fourteen weeks on the Billboard charts in the fall of 1950, even peaking at number one. The song was popular enough that cover versions were performed by the likes of Teresa Brewer, Danny Kaye, and even Ray Charles (whose soulful version can be found on his 1960 album "Have a Smile With Me.")

Personally I prefer the Teresa Brewer version which has just the right amount of loopy zaniness to make it a winner:

So, get out of here with that *dum dum dum* especially if it looks like this...

Sorry, Mr. Carpenter.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Enviro-Bear 2000: Operation Hibernation

Finally, a game the whole family can enjoy. Introducing Enviro-Bear 2000: Operation Hibernation.

Here's the premise: You are a bear. You are a bear driving a car.

Need I say more? YES!

You drive your sedan around the forest as your in-car alarm clock counts down to hibernation time. You smash your sedan into trees and collect fish and berries that fall into your car. Beware of badgers however! Also, to add to the challenge, THERE ARE OTHER BEARS DRIVING CARS THAT WILL DO EVERYTHING THEY CAN TO STOP YOU.

Check out this heart-pumping gameplay footage:

Alas, the game is PC only, so us Mac elitists will just have to settle for acting smug instead. This gem of a game can be found (and downloaded for free) on indie games site TIGSource.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

A few more Michael Jackson tidbits...

Consider this an addendum to my MJ post from a couple days ago. It was heartwarming to see that SEGA had issued an official statement regarding MJ's death. Jackson had a long working relationship with SEGA dating back to the 1990 release of "Moonwalker" - an arcade beat-em-up starring the King of Pop himself.

A later collaboration between Jackson and SEGA which is little-known nowadays is his featured cameo in Tetsuya Mizuguchi's outrageous space-age rhythm game "Space Channel 5" as the character Space Michael. Space Michael would later become a full-fledged character in "Space Channel 5: Part 2."

It's interesting to note that in 1999, Jackson was still under high public scrutiny for the allegations of child abuse filed against him. SEGA, having such a strong relationship with Jackson, had no qualms in featuring him in a high-profile (at least in Japan) release such as "Space Channel 5."

As a bonus, here's the awesome trailer for the 1988 film "Moonwalker" on which the video game was based. (Yes, that's Joe Pesci!)