Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Apple

I learned about this film at the "Joy of Bad Movies" panel during ConVergence last summer, and it was actually shown twice at the convention (once by popular vote as to which film should be granted an encore presentation at Cinema Rex), but I never got the chance to see it until very recently. And oh, what an experience that was.

"The Apple" is a bizarre glam/ disco mash that reminds me of "Rocky Horror", The Village People's "Can't Stop The Music", "Velvet Goldmine", and even "Fahrenheit 451". Quoth Netflix: "Two Canadians... fight the leaders of a future dystopia (set, interestingly enough, in the now-distant past of 1994) when they test their fate at the Worldvision Song Festival. Their sweet and smart lyrics earn them the admiration of many, but corporate giant Boogalow International Music pushes for another team to win. When BIM offers them a contract, however, the pair wonders whether the gift is really a trap."

And so on... many spectacular song-and-dance production numbers follow, and an inexplicable plot careens on a collision course with the viewer's utter bewilderment. The elaborate costumes, sets and lighting are truly unbelievable.

One of the many truly odd aspects of this film is a kind of hamfisted satire of real-world America circa 1980-- the BIM regime enforces values of totalized decadence and unconcern for one's fellows, all in the name of the corporate revenue stream. One gets the sense that some (though, sadly, not all) of the performers understand they're partaking in a monumentally silly undertaking, and the writer(s) must have been cognizant of it as well.

But that makes the film sound considerably more savvy than I mean it to. The colossal train wreck of all these ideas is what makes "The Apple" such a hoot, especially since the characters introduced to oppose BIM's values (or lack thereof) are... a commune of hippies who live in a cave? It's one of those artifacts of an era when the question of "How did this happen?" likely has something, somewhere, somehow to do with cocaine. Sample the trailer linked above, and if it looks like your cup of tea then kick back with this film and get get ready for a real treat.

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