The Apple

1980

Action / Music / Musical / Sci-Fi

5
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 27% · 11 reviews
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 48% · 1K ratings
IMDb Rating 4.3/10 10 2699 2.7K

Director

Top cast

Miriam Margolyes as Landlady
Joss Ackland as Mr. Topps / Hippie Leader
Finola Hughes as Dancer
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
789.11 MB
1280*544
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 30 min
Seeds 2
1.4 GB
1920*816
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 30 min
Seeds 7

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Lechuguilla 3 / 10

The Disco Future That Never Happened

If hippiedom had taken root in the 1980s, this musical shows how things might have worked out in the 1990s. Of course you have to use your imagination here. The story describes a nightmarish society wherein everyone must eat, breathe, and sleep for something called "Bim", as promulgated by a capitalistic music mogul named Mr. Boogalow. This Mr. Boogalow rather conspicuously resembles the devil; he tempts the lead male and female singers with an apple, because their love song is a threat to his disco empire. I'm not quite sure what "Bim" refers to, except maybe the perpetuation of disco dollars, along with big bucks for bizarre costumes and garish makeup, of which the film has tons.

The entire production is so overdone, so excessive, so lacking in subtlety it's laughable. But there is a worthwhile message here. And that's the idea that people are easily manipulated to become slaves to greed and superficial images; that part of the future the film got right.

As for performances, George Gilmour, the lead male, can sing but can't act; Catherine Mary Stewart, the lead female, can act but can't sing; they make a dandy duo. Songs tend to be uninspired and repetitious; the first musical number is awful. But I did like "Cry For Me", toward the end.

Others have described "The Apple" as the worst musical of all time. I wouldn't know, since there are many musicals I have not seen. But what is certain is that this film is quaint, to say the least. It's a historical film curio, a cinematic time warp back to another era when disco was king, and Reagan was just an American actor trying to be a President with capitalistic ideas.

Reviewed by BandSAboutMovies 10 / 10

Anyone that hates this has no soul

You know how everyone thinks Cannon put out some completely crazy movies? If you haven't seen The Apple (also known as Star Rock), you haven't seen their full power. Directed by Menahem Golan, this slice of sheer madness is a movie I use to test the resolve of anyone brave enough to watch movies with me.

The genesis of this film begins in 1975. Israeli rock producer Coby Recht was signed to Barclay Records and began to feel distrustful of show business. He worked it into a story with his wife Iris Yotvat and brought it to the attention of his longtime friend Menahem. After hearing the demos for the songs, the producer/director instructed Recht to go to Los Angeles immediately. They were making the movie.

Yotvat said, "That was marvelous. That was just fantastic to think that it was going to be a movie all of the sudden. It was just amazing."

It wasn't going to stay that way.

Recht and Yotvat lived in a villa that Menahem provided, writing six screenplay drafts in three weeks. As those drafts progressed, the story became more comical and less Orwellian. Soon, things were getting corny, out of touch and out of date. If you've seen any of the movies that Golan was involved in, you can see how that might be true.

After auditioning thousands of hopefuls, Recht settled on Catherine Marie Stewart for the lead role of Bibi. Who is a singer. Not a dancer, like Stewart. He figured she could learn, but the producers decided to have her voice dubbed.

Tensions only got worse once filming began, as what started as a $4 million dollar movie turned into $10 million and then more. Editor Alain Jakubowicz claimed that Golan shot around a million feet of footage, with six cameras of coverage for every dance number, ending up with a four-hour rough cut.

The movie got way bigger than its scriptwriters intended. Shooting in West Berlin lasted forever, with a five-day shoot for the opening number, the song "Speed" being filmed at the Metropol nightclub (which held the world record for biggest indoor laser show) and some scenes were actually shot inside a gas chamber that had killed people during World War II.

Nigel Lythgoe, who later was a big part of American Idol, choreographed the film, saying that some days were "really, really depressing" and others "very, very stressful." The cast and crew hated the script, but here they were, making the film.

Menahem and Recht's battles soon got worse. The writer felt he should be in London mixing the songs (the sessions had more than 200 artists involved), but Menahem demanded that he show up at the shoot. The first day he was there, he witnessed the uncut version "Paradise Day" which featured fifteen dinosaurs and a tiger that broke free and escaped. This scene also contained elephants getting their trunks stuck in the set, actors collapsing while wearing a too hot brontosaurus costume and a set that made it near impossible for people to dance on and cameras to move around. Removing this scene makes the Biblical end of the movie come out of nowhere. That's right. None of this is in the film.

Catherine Marie Stewart has stated that none of this rattled Menahem. In fact, he was convinced that The Apple was going to be embraced: "Menahem was very passionate about what he was doing. He had very lofty ideas about the project. He thought this was going to break him into the American film industry. It had, you know, all the elements that he thought were necessary at that time. It was the early eighties and there were a lot of musicals. And Menahem thought that was his ticket into the American film industry."

So what happened?

The plot is basically Adam and Eve meets Faust. Bibi (Stewart) and Alphie (George Gilmour) are contestants in the 1994 Worldvision Song Festival. They're talented but easily defeated by the machinations of Mr. Boogalow (Vladek Sheybal, Kronsteen in From Russian With Love) and BIM (Boogalow International Music).

The evil leader soon signs the duo but they soon fall victim to the darkness of show business. Bibi is caught up in the drugs and sex and glamour, while Alphie is beaten by cops and nearly dies to save her. He also lives with a woman who is either his mother or lover or landlady and no one ever explains it to us.

Eventually, they escape and live as hippies, having a child. Mr. Boogalow finds them and claims that Bibi owes him $10 million dollars, but soon God, known here as Mr. Topps (Joss Acklund, The House That Dripped Blood, Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey) takes them away in his Rolls Royce and the Rapture occurs.

There are numerous scenes where people put stickers, called BIM Marks, all over their faces. Everyone has camel toe. And the movie is nearly 100% disco.

The movie premiered at the 1980 Montreal World Film Festival. To say it did not go well is an understatement.

Attendees hated the film so much that they launched giveaway records of the soundtrack at the screen. Menahem was so devastated that he almost jumped off his hotel balcony before being saved by his business partner, Yoram Globus. A similar scene happened at its second premiere at the Paramount Theater in Hollywood.

The director said, "It's impossible that I'm so wrong about it. I cannot be that wrong about the movie. They just don't understand what I was trying to do."

I get it, Menahem. You were just trying to get people to understand the power of love and music and being hippies a full decade after any of that mattered. You didn't care if anyone else got it. You had a vision. And we're not talking about any of those critics today. No, we're talking about you. We're talking about The Apple.

This is a movie that wears its heart messily all over its spandex crotch. The songs are ridiculous. The dancing is, at times, poor. The story makes no sense at all. You're lucky to sit and witness it. I can't even tell you how many times I've watched it!

Reviewed by tavm 5 / 10

The Apple was a fascinating Golan-Globus musical of the late '70s-early '80s

It was only a few years ago that I even knew about this Golan-Globus Cannon musical production that came out the same year as similar flops like Can't Stop the Music and Xanadu or better received hits of the same genre like The Blues Brothers and the original Fame. I'll just say that while I was weireded out by the direction of some sequences and the way they were put together, I actually did like many of the musical numbers and the way they tied to both plot and characterization. And I also thought the actors that sang, with the exception of Catherine Mary Stewart who was nicely dubbed by Mary Hylan, also did a good job. So on that note, I'll just say that The Apple is neither one of the worst nor one of the best of the movie musicals. It's just simply a fascinating futuristic look at a time 14 years after this was made at what the music industry would be like if Disco, Glam Rock, and Folk/Adult Contemporary were the only musical trends (or non-trends) to go to as choices...

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