BHS Blogress Report: 2020, Week 47 – A Natural Desire

Week 47 – A Natural Desire

It’s honestly sort of unreal how much better I’m feeling compared to this time last month. Knowing that every day and week that passes brings me a little bit closer to the end of 45’s reign of terror sort of makes me feel like I can handle almost anything between now and then. My anxiety isn’t gone, but it’s more manageable than it’s been in years. Just two more months, and I’ll have survived it.

Anyway. Today marked the 40th anniversary of the American release of my all-time favorite bad movie, The Apple. See, I love watching and laughing at so-bad-it’s-good movies, and this one was a one often spoken of among aficionados, but rarely seen or mentioned alongside the really infamous ones… the likes of Plan 9 from Outer Space, Heaven’s Gate, or The Room. There’s no massive cult following or beloved audience participation routine for it… or if there is, I’m unaware of it. It was described as bizarrely terrible, but I only decided that I had to see it after I read Nathan Rabin’s description of it in his My World of Flops column: “The peculiar genius of The Apple is that every time it appears the film cannot get any crazier, it ratchets up the weirdness to almost indescribable levels. It belongs to the subset of movies so all-consumingly druggy and surreal that they make audiences feel baked out of their minds even when they’re sober. The Apple is both the perfect mind fuck to see while high and a movie that makes drugs seem redundant and unnecessary.”

So one fateful night in the fall of 2013, I convinced my best friend VDrake to take the plunge with me as I watched it for the first time… and even reading about it for years beforehand was not enough to prepare me for it. I was repeating “Oh my god” over and over within the first five minutes… and I kept repeating it throughout the film, in between fits of hysterical laughter. Drake and I both knew almost from the moment we finished it that we had seen something wonderfully unique and special and absolutely bonkers, and that we had to share it with more people.

And so I did. I felt it was a grave injustice that more people didn’t know about this movie, so I introduced it to as many people as I could. On April 1st, 2018, I hosting a live MSTing of it for my friends and YouTube followers, an event I christened “Apple Fools Day”. When I got my own Discord server, I decided to prank the server members by showing the movie or clips of it at unexpected times… my version of Paul Rudd’s wonderful Mac and Me gag that he’s been pulling on Conan O’Brien for nearly two decades. For most of the past year, I’ve even worked many of those clips into my Twitch streams, bound to hotkeys. Hell, one of my server rules is now “Everyone on the server must watch The Apple. No exceptions.” Every time a new person joins, there’s initial confusion as to why we all speak of The Apple in hushed tones… and every time these new people see it for themselves, they quickly understand why. We may not have the numbers of the cult followings for Rocky Horror or The Room, but we’re making progress all the same.

It’s not just The Apple’s bugfuck insanity that makes it my favorite bad movie… though that’s a big part of it. In a weird way, because it’s so obscure, it feels like my bad movie. Keeping it small and enjoying it with my friends feels more personal, more meaningful than, say, enjoying The Room with a theater full of rabid fans… though having done that, it is a ton of fun. It’s something I never get tired of introducing to new people, and something I always find hilarious no matter how many times I watch it. Every time I find something new, some interesting little tidbit or background detail or weird line read to crack up over. In this year, which has been so miserable for so many, I’m more grateful than ever for those laughs.

The Apple is a bad film, there’s no question of that. The plot is nonsense, the musical numbers are middling to awful, the costumes are cringe-inducing, the acting is laughable. It opened in the US 40 years ago today and failed spectacularly, sinking with nary trace, and is largely only remembered by weirdos like me. But it’s brought me over seven years of joy and laughter, and I’ll treasure it forever because of that. Happy anniversary, you magnificently weird trainwreck of a film. Here’s to you. Hey, hey, hey!

-BHS

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: BHS Blogress Report: 2020, Week 45 – Breathing Easier | Tasakeru
  2. Trackback: BHS Blogress Report: 2020, Week 48 – Jane | Tasakeru

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