I know that some of you out there have not seen The Apple, so first, a primer: What is The Apple? Well, it’s an allegory-heavy sci-fi disco musical that tells the tale of young folk singers Alphie and Bibi (they’re from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan!), who struggle with fame and fortune in the dystopian future of 1994 (it was made in 1980) and are controlled by an evil record company run by the sinister Satan stand-in Mr. Boogalow. If you haven’t seen it, you owe it to yourself to do so immediately. It’s from the same excelsior year that produced Can’t Stop The Music and Xanadu, and it’s arguably more insane than those two combined.
The Apple is a true cinematic oddity; it’s terribly wrong-headed in every way, from the music to the costumes to the plot to the out-of-nowhere ending. But it’s also watchable and fascinating. Heck, I’ve seen it more times than I’ve seen films I liked way more. A cult has developed around the movie, and there are some serious fanatics out there. One of those people is Brad McLaughlin, who claims to have the world’s largest collection of memorabilia related to the movie, and this summer, he allegedly had a chance to check out an alternate cut of the ending. (I will take him at his word.) Spoileriffic information after the jump!
It all started when McLaughlin received this email from a local theater:
Pay attention now.
We have found a new alternate cut of The Apple. Seriously. Because of my own error (I booked the wrong date), MGM was going to be unable to send the print of The Apple I requested. Instead—being sweethearts over there—they sent me an uninspected print we could try out, and see if it would be better than playing a DVD. All they had in their notes was that it was labeled “Screening Print”.
I hadn’t seen The Apple in a while, so I spent the whole night feeling like my rhythmn was off. “Isn’t there supposed to be a cut right there that gets a laugh”, I wondered. Or, “I don’t remember this scene being this long…”, or “I don’t remember that at all”. But when the ending was completely different, I knew something was definitely up. So if you wondered where the longer Child of Love number was that you get on the soundtrack album, wonder no more. Want to see the marriage scene? Now you can. My guess is this is the print that was test-screened, and then booed out of the theatre, to be recut into a better movie (a quixotian task if I ever heard one).
So….with the Universal fire precluding us from showing THREE O’CLOCK HIGH this Friday, we are going to reshow The Apple: The Alternate Cut, Friday night at midnight. Calling all Apple fans! Help me figure out what the differences are for historical posterity. Bring a friend who hasn’t seen it!
Of course, McLaughlin jumped at the opportunity to check out this lost filmic treasure. I interviewed him via AIM to get the scoop.
McLaughlin: It was really fascinating. From a casual view point, it wasn’t too different. Three new/extending/different scenes and they all came near the end. (During ‘Coming‘, Child of love and a different ending) But for people that know the movie real well, the editing is a lot different. Most the music numbers are cut less dynamically, more linear, which is noticeable. Hey Hey Hey goes on comically long and they sing the chorus 8-10 more times. A handful of scenes are done in just one shot. The movie makes more sense. The transition to the “The Apple” song is like, oh, that makes sense.
McLaughlin: Overall it was awesome. For me, it was like watching it with new eyes and it’s totally worth it for the breaking through the glass part during the freakout after Coming. He breaks through the glass and discovers Bibi 3 times. It’s soooo awesome. The glass shatters and Bibi sits up with Dandi in bed and she’s like “what are you doing here? go away.” and Alphie is like shocked and says okay and turns around and leaves. Then Alphie breaks through the glass (again?) and Bibi sits up in bed with grace jones character Pandi. Awesome Lesbian Action! Bibi says go away, I don’t want you here. Then Alphie breaks though glass again! And Bibi’s sitting in bed topless surround by a dozen naked guys! A dude is like hugging her from behind, arms around her boobs. She looks at Alphie and says something to the effect of “this is my life I can do with it what I want, go away”. Dandi is revealed, kind of like he’s orchestrating it and he leans in the doorway and laughs. It’s awesome. They attempt to make Dandi out as more evil in the cut. When he’s kissing Bibi at the party after “You’re made for me”, where Mr. Boogaloo says “C’est La Vie, my friend”. During the makeout he flashes Alphie a look and winks. Also, during The Apple song, he does more to keep Alphie away from getting to Bibi.
Me: This is gold
McLaughlin: As for the end, it’s different in two ways
McLaughlin: Mainly instead of a Caddie flying in from the sky, its just a blob of light. Then the hippie leader raises his hands up and claps and he turns into Mr. Topps
McLaughlin: Ohhhhh. There’s a fulll Child of love scene
McLaughlin: They marry, passage of time, she carries a baby and then he grows a beard and then McLaughlin: they have a kid
McLaughlin: there’s a hilarious dance routine out in the park where they have their hippie commune right before the end
Me: do they all go into the sky?
Me: the same way?
Me: its just a bright light and not a car
Me: but still no explanation of this other planet
McLaughlin: no explanation
Me: who had the extra footage?
McLaughlin: Apparently MGM double booked the apple and then they called the theatre guy up and was like, we found this print of the apple we don’t know how good of quality it is but you’re more than welcome to screen it.
Me: oh wow
McLaughlin: It had never screened, was just gather dust for 20 years
McLaughlin: no, I think what happened was, they screened it thinking it was the regular apple then a few people said, hey something is off, then by the end they were like this is an alt version. so they kept the print and showed it again in sort of a secret but open to the public 2nd screening
I think word got out and it was more of a work print than anything, so I’m sure if it’s ever going to see light of day again.
McLaughlin: Me and my buddy were seriously considering trying to borrow it to get it telecined for a bootleg DVD
McLaughlin: but pipe dreams
Me: I think MGM really needs to milk this…release a Showgirls style edition
Me: complete with BIM mark, shot glass
Me: heartbeep monitor
Me: I think they are sitting on a small but rabid fanbase
McLaughlin: yeah. I donno I’ll ask the guy what happened because he wanted to show it again but alas, he didn’t
Me: to be honest, I can’t believe it’s on DVD
McLaughlin: yeah, its great. I have the largest self proclaimed apple memorabilia collection
McLaughlin: *That I know of
McLaughlin: I’ve got a french 4 foot by 6 foot poster
McLaughlin: under the name Bim Stars
McLaughlin: it was also known as star rock
Me: which version do you like better?
McLaughlin: I prefer the Original
McLaughlin: the second one is great for the few that are obsessed
Oh, man. If anyone out there has any more information about this then let us know: tipsATidolatorDOTcom.