Knowingly watching a bad movie so that you can point and laugh at it has become a normal activity among some cinephiles. The list of movies suited to it has grown quite long. There’s “Showgirls.” There’s “Stayin’ Alive.” There’s “Grease 2.” There’s “Xanadu.” There’s “The Room.”
Well, “The Apple” has all of these movies beat. Made in 1980, it’s a disco musical that takes place in the dystopian future world of 1994. It was written and directed by the late Menahem Golan, who would go on to found Cannon Films, a studio notable for churning out budget-free B-movies in the 1980s for the two Chucks — Norris and Bronson.
The movie’s pedigree alone should tell you that it’s bad, but that undersells it significantly. It has been called “the Mount Everest of bad movies,” and watching it in all its exquisite shittiness is comparable to watching a figure skater execute a triple-axle while carrying a tray of slender champagne glasses in one hand and performing microscopic surgery with the other, all without spilling a drop or killing the patient.
The movie takes place in a world ruled by the shady Mr. Boogalow, a Simon Cowell-esque impresario who discovers two naïve folkie singer-songwriters named Alfie and Bibi. Bibi signs with him, and Alfie does not, in a sequence involving a giant apple. Then some police state shit happens, and everyone has to put an adhesive triangular decal, or “B.I.M. mark,” somewhere on their faces. In the end, Alfie, Bibi and a bunch of hippies go to heaven in a gold car, while Mr. Boogalow and his remaining toadies remain on the cursed earth. And with that, this futuristic, musical retelling of the Adam and Eve story comes to an end.
If this sounds like a mountain of shit, you’re right. But again I must stress, words are not adequate to convey the depth, degree and depravity of its shittiness. You will either shut it off after 30 seconds or watch it again and again religiously, as I do. When I first watched it, I immediately went back to the beginning to watch the entire thing again, to make sure I had really just seen what I had just seen. It’s that bad. And every person I have forced to watch it ever since then agrees with me.
For reasons best known to the Kino Lorber company, “The Apple” has now been released in pristine blu-ray and DVD formats, and contains an interview with the film’s star, Catherine Mary Stewart, as well as a commentary track by the actress. I could go on about the aspect ratio and whether the transfer is good enough or whatever other things people look for in these kinds of reviews, but people who are interested in this movie don’t care about that at all, much as customers for snuff movies don’t care about the frame rate.
If you are a fan of watching bad films for sport, you will never, ever do better than Menahem Golan’s magnum opus, “The Apple.” So put on your triangular B.I.M. mark decal, get some projectiles ready to hurl at your TV and get ready for the defining cinematic event of 1980!
You will either shut it off after 30 seconds or watch it again and again religiously, as I do.