Six degrees of "The Apple"

After coming home from work on friday night I still had to do some preparation work, so I switched on Turner Classic Movies hoping that "TCM Underground" would provide some background entertainment. Pretty soon I found myself totally drawn into one of the weirdest and...well, weirdest films I have ever seen.

Since I didn´t pay attention from the beginning I had no idea what cinematic attrocity was unfolding in front of my eyes and ears.
In short it was a science-fiction musical that was set in a sort of future disco-tyranny.

Since I love disco-tyrannies and I desperately wish to live in one, I pretty soon forgot about my work and concentrated on this "vision of the future 1994" ca. 1979.

My eyes were blinded by Halloween-Halston costumes, dayglo-make-up, effeminate black minions, butch muscle-demons (who were visibly embarassed to be there), a ridiculous villain (whose best scene was a single-shot press interview which he gave in five languages.), and a real monorail which was shot from all angles to impress us with the flat-out science-fiction values of the production design.

I was so mesmerized by the inane story, the abysmal acting and the "songs" that I literally had to do a double take when I suddenly recognized a familiar background. Although the film was set in future America it appeared that this dystopia looked a lot like the Berlin of 1980!

Suddenly, most of the "jewish-mother-jokes" became rather eerie: [Landlady looking at sleeping place] "Oh, my God, what happened in here last night, a pogrom?";

Did I already mention that the story takes place in the music world and offers "insight" into the record business? After the record company is controlled by the state, they force the population to buy their merchandise, wear it visibly (neat, little triangles) while dancing to their corporate disco-muzak every day!

Of course I felt immidiately guilty of my very existence!

So how is the music?! Imagine a whirlwind mash-up of all the worst musical numbers you have ever had to endure. I am talking "Phantom of the Paradise", "Shock Treatment", "Xanadu", "You can´t stop the music" and "Grease 2"! Put them in a blender, add lots of money to burn taxes and you come up with lines like these: "From New York out to L.A. Everybody does it her way. Pumpin' power by the hour: Speed! I can feel the earth start quakin' when America starts shakin'. Pumpin' power by the hour: Speed!

In the end God (Mr. Topps) descends from the heavens with a pimp-mobile, frees the opressed hippies from the tyranny of the disco-dictator and leads the sleazy bunch to paradise in one of the worst SF/X-scenes I have ever seen. The End!

After I came to my senses again, I immediately searched IMDB to find out what in the hell I just saw and why it was on TCM. It turned out that I witnessed a broadcast of "The Apple"! Directed by 80´s soon-to-be-film mogul Menahem Golan (who now claims that he just can´t remember anything about the making of the film), it was indeed shot entirely in Berlin (although I thought I saw a glimpse of Hamburg).

Actually I was a bit embarrased that I have never heard of "The Apple". Reading several comments and outside critics, I learned that it is indeed refarded as one of the best worst films ever! Rightly so.

Since I work in the film business I checked the full cast and crew only to find out that I actually know two crew-members! To make it even better: One of them is employed at my current production here in Canada!

The next day I interviewed her about every minuscule detail about the production.
It turns out that it must have been indeed a sort of a write-off project since she claims she never earned more money on any film she did afterwards.

She also told me that she got pregnant during the production and won 32.000 Deutschmark in the lottery, but she never saw the movie!
After all she has only the best memories of the productio and told me only of a few fights with the director. But I will not write about that.

I also could not bring myself to tell her about the rumours that the premier-audience hurled their give-away soundtrack albums at the screen!

So, if you ever played Six degrees of Menahem Golan and you are missing one person: Write me a comment, i am no. 5!

Read a pretty funny write up of "The Apple" at BadMovies.org. They also have sound- and video-clips! (The pics are also taken from there)

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