Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Watch Party Watch: The Apple (1980) - @#$% this movie

Watched:  05/07/2021
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  First (and last)
Decade:  1980's
Director:  Menahem Golan

Well, I've now seen The Apple (1980), the sci-fi, near-future dystopian musical religious and political allegory.  And while watching, this is roughly how I felt:

Look, this thing is...  intensely bad.  Exquisitely, magnificently, mind-bendingly bad.  

A movie with grand aspirations and a wholly unearned belief in itself as art and social-commentary, it bungles the basics of religious allegory - seemingly unfamiliar with the opening portions of the Book of Genesis, and the actual point of the the fruit of the tree of knowledge.  

Mostly, it's a pretty standard rock'n'roll fable about evil music producers, a musician suckered in and needing to find their way out.  And, yeah, there's a musician who doesn't sell out and remains "pure", and somehow it all feels wildly misogynistic.  But somehow the movie also layers on the music producer's dictatorial behavior as extending beyond just musicians and the pop audience, but extending into government and everyday life.  And, of course, performs the greatest crime of all by suggesting that hippies will show us the way.

This movie *looks* expensive.  Like, there's tons of dancers, choreography, large sets, lighting, etc...  this isn't a cheap film.  And it's not like I haven't watched very expensive bad films (I've seen a Transformers).  But somehow, knowing this wasn't studio-backed, and that it's clearly an absolute fumble of a film is somehow more painful.  I genuinely feel bad for the leads, who are young people who were probably excited until they realized starring in this was going to end it for them.  

This movie features a lead, supposedly from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan who has a distinctly Scottish accent.  

It had a story only in that there seemed to be the same characters throughout the film's runtime, so there's the illusion of some kind of progression.  Except when the film stops dead and you have to sort out what the deal is with the main guy and his landlord (who he absolutely gropes...).  

As a musical, the music itself is just...  Well, it thinks spending the first five minutes of the film repeating "hey hey hey BIM's on the way" - without explaining, first, what BIM is (it's the record label/ despotic organization, and it stands for something, but I don't remember or care what it was).  But, holy shit... is the music unlistenable.  Like - not a single song that sticks with you except in the way, say, Raffi's "Bananaphone" sticks with you through painful repetition.

But... To provide a complete list of the sins of the movie is a disservice to you, to me and to my psyche.  

I will say this:  my goal for the past several movies was to find just gawdawful films as I planned my escape from Friday Night Watch Parties.  I really thought I'd overdone it with Teen Witch, and this movie would be a let down.  

Friends, against all odds, this was way worse than Teen Witch in ways I'm not sure I can appropriately articulate.  It begins to border on the kind of insanity I chalk up to something as frustratingly plotless and aggressively lackadaisical as, say, Santa With Muscles, but on a huge scale.  There are WORSE movies (I've seen parts of Nukie), but the sheer pretensions of this film - none of which it has the ability to support or even understand - is really, really something.  

Frankly, I'd rather watch Cats again, twice, before watching this movie again.  

Yeah, you heard me.

Anyway, you should watch it.

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