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.

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