An Apple A Day…

  • videoarchives
  • May 2, 2023

It’s a natural, natural, natural desire to listen to the actual, actual, actual Video Archives After Show! This week, guest film expert Marc Heuck returns to chat with Gala about the ultimate sci-fi disco musical/Garden Of Eden allegory The Apple. Quentin also tells us a story about director Menahem Golan’s experience at the film’s ill-fated premiere, and even Franklin Brauner shares how he got involved with the production. I have VHS covers and Apple memorabilia galore in today’s Counter Talk, so let’s get started, if BIM wills it…

Golan is best known as a producer, co-owner of the legendary Cannon Films with Yoram Globus, but he was also a director in his own right, making over 40 films dating back to 1963’s El Dorado. The Apple is unique in his filmography, however (it would be unique in any director’s filmography) - a full-throttle Orwellian rock opera with a significant budget and an ending that hints at a deep, bizarre cosmology, he clearly saw it as his magnum opus. The rest of the world loudly disagreed, with The Apple regularly appearing on “worst of all time” lists, but it’s gained a passionate cult following over the years because there’s simply nothing else like it. Also some of the songs are pretty great!

The Apple didn’t quite make the cut for the official Video Archives canon, but it’s too interesting not to discuss at all, especially once Gala got her hands on a highly coveted Paragon VHS release. Behold, the power of rock in the unimaginable year of 1994:

The typically skimpy Paragon description is especially confusing from the vantage point of 2023 - for one thing, they already had new wave music in the 70s, and the songs from Kobi and Iris Recht and George Clinton (not that one) sound closer to disco than new wave…

Here’s Marc’s cut-box hard case version of the same release:

Marc is possibly the #1 living historian of The Apple, and he brought some incredible memorabilia from the film, including this vinyl release of the soundtrack.

Marc even had a bootleg CD version of the soundtrack made!

This unassuming-looking spool is an exceptionally rare 35mm reel of the original Apple trailer from Marc’s collection.

Finally, Marc brought some amazing foreign language posters from this very international production. You can’t see her but that’s Gala holding up the Spanish Apple poster at the SiriusXM studios.

And here’s the Israeli Hebrew-language poster, turning the titular fruit into a planet with a gleaming treble-clef stem.

That’s the extent of the Apple posters Marc brought to the taping, but there’s plenty more incredible Boogalow-approved art out there. In France, the film was called “BIM Stars,” and I’m very enamored with this cheeky pop-futurist piece.

This retro-styled poster is adorable and looks closer to Grease than a druggy music industry allegory.

My favorite poster, though, is the German one (appropriately for this West Berlin-shot film), which uses the alternate title “Star Rock” and leans into full dystopia. A shadowy BIM leader looms over the glitzy show with clenched fists, as if to say “Disco is the opiate of the masses.”

Today’s Video Archives Merch Spotlight comes from stunning ingenue Zira, and her owner Priscilla! Priscilla writes “Zira is a 13 year old pug from Austin, TX. In her spare time, Zira enjoys the films of De Palma and Peckinpah. She’s a big fan of the pod, but is not allowed to watch BAXTER.”

That does it for this week – next week, we have a really special guest joining the Video Archives crew on the fourth mic, for three films you won’t want to miss. Until then, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, rate and review us on Apple and Amazon, and we’ll be back in your ears soon!