The Apple

  • 1980
  • Movie
  • PG
  • Musical, Science Fiction

Israeli exploitation producer and occasional director Menachem Golan's futuristic Faustian musical follows singers Bibi (Catherine Mary Stewart, vocals dubbed by Mary Hylan) and Alphie (George Gilmour), sweet kids from Moose Jaw, Canada, as they're seduced by devilish agent-cum-guru Mr. Boogalow (Vladek Sheybal). Boogalow and his flamboyant sidekick, Shake...read more

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Israeli exploitation producer and occasional director Menachem Golan's futuristic Faustian musical follows singers Bibi (Catherine Mary Stewart, vocals dubbed by Mary Hylan) and Alphie (George Gilmour), sweet kids from Moose Jaw, Canada, as they're seduced by devilish agent-cum-guru Mr. Boogalow (Vladek Sheybal). Boogalow and his flamboyant sidekick, Shake (Ray Shell) — clearly the model for DJ Ruby Rhod in Luc Besson's THE FIFTH ELEMENT (1997) — sabotage Bibi and Alphie's bid to win the prestigious Eurovision song contest so his disco duo, Dandi and Pandi (Alan Love, Grace Kennedy) can walk away with the big prize for their soulless anthem, "BIM" (an acronym for Boogalow International Music), then sets about ruining the idealistic youngsters. Bibi is easily seduced with drugs and tasteless clothes, and remade into a trashy pop goddess wailing songs like "Speed" and immersed in the sex-and-orgies lifestyle Boogalow encourages to keep his followers enthralled. Alphie resists and is plunged into poverty, reduced to living in a rundown boarding house run by a shameless Jewish-mama stereotype (Miriam Margolyes). As Boogalow uses the hypnotic "BIM" to take over every aspect of peoples lives, selling them "BIM" merchandize, pushing through laws that require everyone to wear a sparkly BIM patch and mandating an hour of daily exercise to, yes, "BIM," Bibi and Alphie yearn for each other and the simpler lives they once enjoyed. They eventually make their separate ways to a hippie colony in a cave under a bridge, where they forge a new life free of the spirit-sapping accoutrements of the modern world. With the guidance of the group's benevolent leader (Joss Ackland), they find peace. But Mr. Boogalow isn't done with them yet... Shot in Berlin and set in the far-off future of 1994e, THE APPLE was clearly designed to duplicate the success of THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (1975) and failed dismally, in large part because the music is so stupendously banal. Its highlights include a camply hellish orgy sequence ("The Apple"), a dirty disco number ("Coming") and an astonishing sequence in which every man, woman and child drops what he or she is doing for the hour of exercise mandated by fitness fascists of the future: Nuns, policemen, surgeons, bikers, senior citizens and firefighters all aerobicize to "BIM." The lesson: Making a cult hit is harder than it looks. Songs include "Love, the Universal Melody," "Made for Me," "Showbizness," "Master," "Where Has Love Gone," "Cry for Me," "I Found Me" and "Child of Love."

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  • Released: 1980
  • Rating: PG
  • Review: Israeli exploitation producer and occasional director Menachem Golan's futuristic Faustian musical follows singers Bibi (Catherine Mary Stewart, vocals dubbed by Mary Hylan) and Alphie (George Gilmour), sweet kids from Moose Jaw, Canada, as they're seduced… (more)

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