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Apple, The

    Ian Jane

  • Apple, The

    Released by: Kino Lorber/Scorpion Releasing
    Released on: June 27th, 2017.
    Director: Menahem Golan
    Cast: Catherine Mary Stewart, George Gilmour, Grace Kennedy, Allan Love, Joss Ackland
    Year: 1980
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    The Movie:

    Directed and co-produced by Menahem Golan for Cannon Films, 1980's The Apple takes place in the far flung future of 1994 where music rules the world. The music industry, however, is ruled with an iron fist by one Mr. Boogalow (Vladek Sheybal), a greedy and mean spirited type who bears more than a passing resemblance to Satan himself!

    When the movie begins, two new up and coming musicians all the way from Canada named Alphie (George Gilmour) and Bibi (Catharine Mary Stewart) are debuting their good old fashioned love song at Boogalow's WorldVision Song Festival. It proves a hit until Boogalow uses some behind the scenes trickery to knock them down in the rankings a bit. Why? So that he can take advantage of them, of course. Or, more specifically, so that he can take advantage of Bibi and get rid of Alphie.

    Soon enough he's got a contract in place and is trying to set her up with his son, Dandi (Allan Love), and once Bibi gets a taste of the big life, well, she's under Boogalow's spell… will Alphie be able to save her or is it already too late?

    Cocaine is a hell of a drug.

    Remember that episode of The Simpsons where Homer gets to design his dream car? That car is in this movie. Remember the story of Faust? That story is this movie. Remember the disco insanity of some of the better parts of Saturday Night Fever? They ain't got nothin' on this movie. The Apple is so far over the top in its completely nonsensical mix of movie musical tropes, sci-fi themes and glitzy flamboyant costumes that you can't help but get sucked in by it all. The sets are a mix of future-industrial designs and Biblically influenced sets, allowing the movie to literally take us to Hell and back and to conjure up some truly wacky imagery (guys with two faces are scary, I don't care what anyone says!).

    The movie kinda-sorta rages against the corporate machine as it plays out, ending with a sequence where a Rolls Royce pulls in the middle of a cloud only for a magical guy named Mr. Topps (Josh Acklerand) to show up and save the day with some help from a gang of hippies. Shades of Hair here, but The Apple is never coherent enough to work on that same level. Instead it strings together a series of completely over the top musical numbers by way of what is pretty much a threadbare plot devoid of any real character development. Still, if nothing else, it's a fascinatingly weird exercise in cinematic excess and one of the most insane takes on the Biblical tale of good and evil you're ever likely to see.


    The Apple hits Blu-ray framed properly at 2.35.1 widescreen in an AVC encoded 1080p high definition presentation on a 25GB Blu-ray disc. Nothing to complain about here, the transfer is a good one. Colors are really nice, with some of the primaries really popping here. Detail softens a bit during the scenes that take place under heavy stage lighting but that's to be expected, otherwise detail and texture are really strong across the board. Aside from the occasional small white speck there's nothing in the way of print damage to note, and so the picture is also very clean. Black levels are nice, there are no compression artifacts to note and the image is free of any obvious noise reduction or edge enhancement.

    The only audio option for the disc is an English language DTS-HD 2.0 Stereo track. There are no alternate language options or subtitles provided. Again, the disc scores high marks. While a 5.1 mix might have been fun, the stereo track is definitely no slouch. The music sounds fantastic here, really leaping out of the speakers at you, while the dialogue in the calmer moments of the film stays clean, clear and easy to understand. There are no audible problems with any hiss or distortion and the levels are nicely balanced as well.

    Extras on the disc start off with a commentary with actress Catherine Mary Stewart moderated by Nathanial Thompson. This is a good track with Stewart looking back on the making of this odd film pretty fondly. She's got some fun stories about acting alongside her co-stars, taking direction from Golan, the difficulties with some of the musical scenes, material that was shot for the film but not included in this cut and quite a bit more. Thompson is a good moderator here, he clearly knows the film well and has no trouble keeping Stewart engaged.

    Catherine Mary Stewart also pops up in an exclusive video interview that runs just shy of fifty minutes in length. This, understandably, covers a fair bit of the same ground that's gone over in the commentary track but in addition to covering her involvement in The Apple she also tells some interesting stories about other films she's been involved with over the years. She really does come across as quite enthusiastic, down to earth and genuinely likeable both here and in the commentary.

    Aside from that we get a trailer for the feature, menus and chapter selection. Note that the alternate scenes discussed in the extras weren't able to be included on this release presumably because the elements are missing.

    The Final Word:

    The Apple might have come out in 1980 but it's such a product of coke-fueled seventies excess that it almost seems out of place. Regardless, the movie is nuts. It's completely over the top, it's gleefully insane and while it's not good in the way that some movies are good, it's a ridiculously creative and bizarre film unlike any other. The Blu-ray release from Kino/Scorpion give the film a really nice high definition presentation with some solid extras too. All in all, a really fun release.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!

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