So Bad it’s Netflix #2: The Apple (1980)

So what if the only Scorsese movie Netflix Streaming offers is Last Temptation of Christ? Who cares if their Spielberg collection consists of Amistad, Hook and 1941? What Netflix does have in abundance is garbage. It’s time to surrender and celebrate it. Forbidden pleasures and strange delights of  so bad it’s Netflix await you! This isn’t so bad it’s good.. this is so bad it’s Netflix. Last week’s inaugural post was all about Can’t Stop the Music, a movie that put an end to the Village People’s reign as disco kings/queens. Today we celebrate the second film in the Holy Trinity of Netflix disco musicals.


The Apple (1980)


It’s hard to imagine a such tough and burly guy like Menahem Golan, who flew for the Israeli air force during their war for independence in 1948, coming up with something as dumb and fruity as The Apple. In 1979, Golan, along with cousin Yoram Globus, bought the failing Cannon film company. Together they produced classic macho schlock like the Death Wish sequels, Delta Force, the Missing in Action movies and Sylvester Stallone’s Cobra. However,  in 1980, Menahem outed himself as a peacenik by writing a full-on biblical themed “rock” musical in which an Adam and Eve-ish folk-singing duo (Alphie and Bibi) is torn apart by an evil record company run by the Devil himself.





Let’s go to the So Bad it’s Bullet Points!™

  • Shooting Europe for U.S.



The Apple takes place in America, 1994; you know, the future, and according to the film the U.S. will soon be looking, acting and smelling a lot like Europe. It’s as if Hitler won WWII and then immediately handed the entire world over to his very flamboyant and mentally challenged cousin. Yes, Euro-Trash is now World-Trash and our once proud nation has been reduced to pumping it’s fist to horrible music performed at fascistic, albeit very colorful rallies.  It doesn’t help that The Apple was shot entirely in Berlin, Germany and a huge chunk of it was shot inside a super ugly, unfinished shopping mall.

What really makes my American blood boil is that the film dares to suggest America would ever host something as tacky as a Euro-vision Song Contest (here it’s a “World” Vision Song Contest). The serious lack of American cast members and the distinct “English as a second language” flavor to the script makes this American viewer want to shout, “Hey! The Apple! Love it or leave it, buddy!” which doesn’t even make any sense. And just when you thought you could understand what people were saying and singing- here comes ol’…


  • Vladek Sheybal as Mr. Boogalow a.k.a. the Devil

Perhaps best known for his role as Kronsteen, in From Russia With Love (1963),  Sheybal made a career of playing evil soviet-bloc scumbags (yep, he’s in Red Dawn, too). A distinguished theater actor and teacher, Sheybal grew up in Poland but was actually part Armenian, Scottish and Austrian. He became fluent in French, Italian and German before he ever spoke a word of English. Menahem Golan must have been really impressed with Sheybal’s multi-lingual skills since a scene was written just to show them off. As Mr. Boogalow struts down the spacious hallways of a creepy mall, he answers questions from a French, an Italian and a German reporter in their native languages and boy, it sounds great. Alas, Sheybal’s is given way too much English to wrangle with. Sure, he’s allowed to “talk-sing” through his musical numbers alá legendary no song/no dance-man Rex Harrison. But in his one big tune, “How to be a Master” Sheybal’s phrasing of, “I know how to be a… MAW STAW” is weird and frankly, quite upsetting.


  • Allan Love as Dandi

Wavy-haired British screecher Allan Love, former lead vocalist for the B-grade psychedelic pop group, Opal Butterfly, plays Dandi, an evil rock god who seduces Bibi (Mary Catherine Stewart) on behalf of the Devil. Alas, the very shrimpy Love looks like he could be Roger Daltrey’s “Mini-Me.” Fitting perhaps, since Opal Butterfly did a cover of The Who’s “Mary Anne With the Shaky Hands” in 1969. Even when he’s spray-painted gold with only a G-string to cover his tiny & shiny bum, Love just can’t match Daltrey’s hotness. Love went on to star in a 2007 episode of Kitchen Nightmares in which Gordon Ramsay tries to fix Love’s failing fish restaurant.  The restaurant failed anyway. The Apple curse, perhaps?


  • All Hippies go to Heaven

Needing a force of good to battle Mr. Boogalow, Menahem Golan chose everybody’s favorite soldiers of justice… hippies. Yes, Golan was so totally out of touch with youth culture he apparently thought hippies were still a “thing” in 1980 and that everyone still looked to them for guidance. In the end of The Apple, Bibi escapes Boogalow’s clutches and reunites with Alphie, who has become a forest dwelling flower child. The kind Hippie King (Joss Ackland), explains to our heroes when they arrive that his people are indeed the purest grade of hippie, or rather “refugees from the sixties.” Anyhoo, Boogalow and his crew invade the woods looking for Bibi, claiming she owes them ten million dollars. Thank god, God himself shows up in the form of Mr. Topps, a giant Swede in a white tuxedo (also, Joss Ackland). Topps tells Boogalow he’s taking his people away from the Devil’s clutches. What happens next is very hard to explain; let’s just say all the hippies walk into the sky and leave the planet. This finale made me feel really bad for the Christians; something I’ve never felt before. Since when does God choose filthy hippies over the Christ lovers, who only live to serve his ungrateful ass? Rip-off city.




 A Special R.I.P. Dedication

The world lost a cherished bauble last month when Netflix decided to drop Screwballz II: Loose Screws from their service. After heated and fierce negotiations between Netflix and the Screwballz II: Loose Screws legal team, it looks like Netlfix will not be renewing the Screwballz II: Screwballziest contract. I’m trying to look on the positive side of this; what little time I spent with Screwballz II was magical and life changing. I’m simply grateful for that time. And so I say, so long, Screwballz II: Electric-Screw-galoo— we hardly knew ye! Of your charms let me say this; even though you were an ugly piece of misogynist landfill made for $11.95, the creepiest thing about you was that you were Canadian.



 Next Week: We conclude our Let’s Get These Out of the Way series with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

  • frankie smales (@frankiesmales)

    this film outraged cinema goers at the premier that the film was
    so bad the audience threw items at the screen in protest and it
    was told that the director was contemplating suicide on the roof
    of the cinema and plus the film misguided what would society
    be like in 1994 that it was takened over by totality in dictatorship
    but that did not happen just like the false prophecies in terminator 2
    and back to the future 2 along with the dystopic pop video till the world
    ends by britney spears but the prophecy of the world ending on feb the 14th
    in the year 2016th in ghostbusters 2 yet to be flawed but the English cop drama
    Dempsey and Makepeace predicted the 1992 olympic games and that was in
    1984 but they should have set the film the APPLE light years into the future
    then it would have being plausible but not like they did and that’s why it tanked.

    frankie smales(love rock)

    smales tv uk

  • frankie09

    it was one of those musicals tried to cash in on the success with the likes
    of grease and west side story but failed it’s audience that for musical numbers
    like speed sang by Catherine Mary Stewart about what’s it’s like to be in the land of
    the free and getting hooked on speed that was quite obvious to say that Menachem
    Golan didn’t quite understood of what it really meant where most people knew that
    the name speed is an class related drug and another bad trashy one
    was about having an erection with the title i’m cumming for you but the whole film
    was quite corny and cartoonish including love’s Disney villain like number enticing
    Stewart to surrender herself in hell’s eternity with him holding an large apple that
    followed more clichéd Disney style music numbers like how to be a master but
    the whole bim hour montage felt like an armature music video usually made by
    convention costume players it was filmed that cheap that lead the audience to
    fling complimentary copies of the soundtrack at the screen due to being that
    bad in nature totally.
    Frankie ninja smales
    smales tv uk

  • Sister Wendy Beckett