The Apple (1980)
Chosen by me as part of Musical theme week.
|Everything about this is just fabulous|
What makes a good Bad Movie?
This idea gets looked at a lot in my favourite movie podcast - The Flophouse.
What makes a movie enjoyable even when terrible?
A big part of it can be the communal sharing. Groups of people will get together to watch The Room and wallow together in it's weirdness. I regularly go to an interactive film screening club - Fortune and Glory, which often screens ostensibly awful movies like Super Mario Bros for everyone to enjoy/endure. Watching some of these movies on your own can just highlight how dull they are. With friends around you joke and talk over the boring parts, we've had a couple of those films reviewed on here like The Killer Shrews and sat at my home, alone, they just weren't weren't that fun.
So I think the biggest thing a bad movie needs to be good is a singular vision, a sincere belief in the story it's telling. All too often they try for a cynical nod and a wink at the audience letting us know they know how crap they are. This moribund post modernism results in dreck like Sharknado, a selection of camp non-sensical bits that would play well as youtube videos but show no real craft or passion put together as a whole.
The Apple may be my favourite bad movie of all time.
And it is certainly pretty bad.
The lead has exactly zero charisma.
The villain cannot sing or dance in the slightest.
It has a baffling religious text layered over a baffling version of the future (well 1994) layered over a fairly dull story about the music biz.
And it's just about the best thing ever.
As if to hide how played out the actual story is (The Phantom of the Paradise toyed with the Faustian bargain and music industry far more interestingly) everything is FUTURE. All the cars have plastic fins and bubbles, looking like the car Homer designs in the episode of the Simpsons where he finds his long lost brother.
But what raises this film from a funny but cliche version of future tech is that you see a couple of prams being pushed along by mothers that also have silver fins and plastic bubbles. Because obviously that is how babies should be transported in the FUTURE.
Vladek Sheybal, of From Russia With Love plays the devil like record boss and can't quite pull off a Christopher Walken in Puss in Boots but has a damn good try.
His major song is performed in what looks like an airport lobby with a couple of signs added in to suggest it's a record label headquarters and is just delightfully weird. A company of 'Ballet' dancers in silver (naturally it's the FUTURE) sparkly costumes parade around whilst he sings, well talks with a very, very slight tonal cadence about show-bizness (it's the FUTURE so you can definitely hear the Z).
For wirdness this is only matched by the dream(?) sequence musical number where the two leads are dressed up as Adam and Eve and an Apple (hey it's the title of the movie!) is offered.
Although the seduction number, which is somehow even less subtle than Grease 2's Reproduction song is amazing and simply has the singer say how much she wants to come all over the male lead. Or wants all his come. I dont know that I've ever been so confused and aroused at the same time.
I dont know that i've even scratched the surface of how strange this movie is (I didnt even tell you about Miriam Margoyles playing a broad Jewish stereotype who is introduced being told by a policeman to wear an identifying sticker or how Joss Acklund plays a hippie commune leader who turns out to be God) and how delightful I found it all.
I've never really been into the whole "I love it because of how bad it is" but if all bad movies were this offbeat, this idiosyncratic then sign me up,