Film / The Apple

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/theapple.jpg
1994 was a weird year.
A 1980 dystopian, sci-fi, biblical-allegory showbiz disco-rock opera about an evil, all-powerful media mogul and his powerful Boogaloo International Music (BIM) Mega Corp., the young starlet fallen under his corrupting influence and the all-Canadian baby-faced hero determined to get her back out of his evil clutches.

The movie details the story of Alphie and Bibi, a pair of musicians in the far off future of 1994 who compete in an international music competition. Despite being the most talented group there, the Boogalow International Music Group (known as BIM) rig the contest to ensure their own band featuring Pandi and Dandi succeeds instead. In spite of their loss, Mr. Boogalow tries to sign the two of them to his label anyway, enticing Bibi into a life of sinful rock and roll that is also slowly corrupting all of humanity. Bibi's popularity allows BIM to eventually take over the entire planet as Alphie struggles to get her away from Mr. Boogalow's diabolical control. In the grand finale, the grooviest God and Satan appear to fight for the soul of humanity, with the movie ending in the only Rapture to include a golden Rolls Royce driving off into the sky.

One of Cannon Films' first English-language efforts, in trying to follow the success of Saturday Night Fever and Grease its outlandish premise winds up having more in common with Brave New World, Nineteen Eighty-Four, All That Jazz and Xanadu, with a little Godspell thrown in hastily at the last minute. In addition to having a very complicated and troubled production, it proved a major financial and critical flop, concurrent with the sharp decline of Disco.

Despite some rather heart-pumping music and dance numbers, the prosaic lyrics, trippy aesthetic, and off-the-wall script place it squarely in Camp territory. However, starting with its DVD release in 2004, it began to gather a small but dedicated cult following and started appearing on the midnight movie circuit, especially thanks to regular showings by the Alamo Drafthouse. It was also released in 2012 as a Podcast/Rifftrax video-on-demand download with their mocking commentary added.


This film contains examples of:

  • All-Canadian Face / Canada, Eh?: Alphie and Bibi, who are revealed to be originally from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: A likely unintentional implication of the ending. All the people who've managed to resist Boogalow's control are raptured away to a new world, leaving no-one left on Earth to oppose him.
  • Big Bad: Mr. Boogalow, the least subtle analog to Satan ever.
  • Big Good: Mr. Topps who appears in the closing moments of the film as the obvious God counterpart.
  • Camp: It's hard to classify this film as anyone else given its outrageous fashion, insane dance numbers, and everyone in the film giving the most ridiculously over-the-top performances committed to celluloid.
  • Corrupt the Cutie: BIM's efforts to control Bibi.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Shakes, implicitly Mr. Boogalow as well.
  • Deus ex Machina: A-near literal example with Mr. Topps, who is not only a seemingly all-powerful Messianic Archetype, but is never mentioned until moments before he arrives to rescue the heroes.
  • Driven to Suicide: The director, Menahem Globus, later gave an interview in which he revealed that after the film's disastrous opening in Montreal where it was booed relentlessly, he left halfway through the showing and was preparing to jump from the balcony before his business partner stopped him.
  • The Snake: Shakes to Mr. Boogalow, who even appears at several points in the film in a flamboyant snake costume to hammer into your head what Biblical allegory he is.
  • Evil Brit: Bibi's bodyguards/captors are the thuggish, Cockney-esque type, right down to being played by British actors.
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell: An entire (imagined) musical number takes place there. Compared to the hippy commune of Paradise, it seems quite pleasant.
  • High-Heel–Face Turn: Pandi at the end of the film.
  • Intercourse with You: Pandi's "I'm Coming" manages to make "Love To Love You Baby" seem subtle. Even without the bed-based choreography.
  • Jewish Mother: Alphie's landlady.
  • Louis Cypher: Mr. Boogalow again as a human identity of Satan.
  • Lyrical Shoehorn: "Meet an actual actual actual vampire!"
  • Mark of the Beast: The BIM mark, which is a holographic sticker of the company's logo that Mr. Boogalow mandates all people wear on their face, to the point that violators will be threatened with fines or arrest.
  • Mega Corp.: BIM. Eventually they become so powerful, the government requires everyone to wear their logo (referred to as "the BIM Mark") and stop all activity to listen to their music for an hour each day.
  • Mind Screw: The entire film is a bizarre trip where dance numbers and fantasies come out of nowhere and its very difficult to tell what is meant to be part of the narrative and what isn't.
  • New-Age Retro Hippie: The only people who try to live free of BIM.
  • Produce Pelting: A Real Life variation. According to legend, the audience at the premiere were so horrified that they chucked the film's merchandise at the screen.
  • Rape Portrayed as Redemption: Bizarrely inverted. At one of the party scenes Pandi orders two (presumably drugged) drinks for her and Alphie, but he drinks down both of them while she smiles sheepishly. Later she has sex with him while he's under the influence. The next day, she, the rapist, is the one who is redeemed, and finally decides to help Bibi escape. Thus at the end of the film, Mr. Topps allows her to join the hippies in the Rapture.
  • Serious Business: The BIM Hour, where everyone, regardless of whatever they're doing, breaks into choreographed dance numbers.
  • Sissy Villain: A huge portion of Shake / Boogalow's inner circle fits one overblown Camp Gay stereotype or another.
  • Slipping a Mickey: Dandi drugs Bibi early in the film and later Pandi does the same in order to sleep with Alphie.
  • Twenty Minutes into the Future: Made in 1980, set in the future dystopia of 1994. Originally the movie was to be set in 1984 for obvious reasons, but Menahem Golan decided that such a date was far too close by to feel futuristic enough and pushed it ahead by ten more years.
  • World of Ham: Clearly, subtlety was dead by 1994.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Film/TheApple