Over the weekend we got together with some friends to watch a very bad movie. What we watched was a really great bad musical called, The Apple. The Apple is a post-apocalyptic movie from 1980 telling an allegorical story of a future 1994 in which the boyfriend-girlfriend duet of Alphie & Bibi is tempted to music fame by Mr. Boogalow and his biggest stars: Dandi & Randi. Sure this movie is really loose on the plot and heavy on the allegorical retelling of Adam & Eve but it makes up for it in COSTUMES! And well choreographed (by Nigel Lythgoe, no less) numbers in which the lyrics and singing isn’t great but the music is usually bangin’.
If you like bad movies, bad musicals especially and you haven’t seen The Apple, you need to correct yourself immediately. It has everything. From the devil with one horn, Mr. Boogalow, the song about Coming that is as unsubtle as a brick the forehead, a mandatory nationwide dance-hour, to the biggest and most literal version of Deus Ex-Machina that’s ever happened in any movie ever; this movie has everything. And did I mention the costumes?
This movie, meant as a Hebrew stage presentation was being written in the mid-seventies and then updated to a musical movie meant to cash in on the musical movies fad that America was going through in the late seventies. And it might’ve been collectively panned when it came out, once you watch it you’ll see the hints of its influence all over the nineties and early aughts. It’s amazing. Speaking of influences, it’s filming location of West Berlin which is painfully obvious throughout the movie.
I don’t think you can watch the whole thing anywhere for free — though the soundtrack is on YouTube. There are also a lot of amazing clips from the movie on YouTube if you need a taste of just how fabulous it is. The video of BIM Hour is my favorite. BIM Hour is of course the hour of 4-5pm when everyone everywhere sets aside what they’re doing to dance. And it’s mandatory. Just like the holographic stickers (BIM marks) everyone is wearing. Don’t let the police catch you without one.
A word of warning if you take this on: there is a really unfortunate and tone-deaf reggae song where Mr. Boogalow talks about what a great ‘master’ he is. It’s an obvious reference to the allegorical part of the story, Mr. Boogalow is supposed to be the devil but it just comes across racially insensitive given that two of the principal singers are black.
I mentioned that it began as a Hebrew stage place, so it is also worth noting that the story was written by an Israeli husband-wife writing team, Cory & Iris Recht. And that the script for the movie was written and produced an Israeli man, Menahem Golan, who created a lot of movies under The Cannon Group a production company run by his cousin. The Cannon Group is well-known for it’s slate of early 80’s low-budget American action flicks, including Superman IV: A Quest for Peace.
If you’ve got 90 minutes to spare and want a few well-deserved laughs, The Apple has them waiting for you. I’ve heard there’s a Rifftrax’d version of this out there too, so if you prefer your laughs pre-filtered give that a shot instead.
After all, how can you say no to this masterpiece? It even comes complete with an ‘actual vampire’.