What killed movie musicals in the early 1980s?

Just as MTV was gaining a foothold in the world of cable TV in the early 1980s, movie musicals went into hiding. What was to blame? The glitzy New Wave/disco of Olivia Newton-John’s XANADU? The crash-and-burn of the Village People’s first (and only) big-screen vehicle CAN’T STOP THE MUSIC? The less-than-gargantuan grosses of GREASE 2? (But the sight of 24-year-old Michelle Pfeiffer climbing that ladder in the “Cool Rider” number? I’d pay top dollar!)

Turner Classic Movies offers two more culprits. And after you see them, you will have a new appreciation for the craftsmanship of XANADU and the subtle shadings of GREASE 2…

Catherine Mary Stewart rocks out in THE APPLE, which is supposed to be set in the 1994 music world. but includes no trace of Ace of Base or the immortal Ini Kamoze classic “Here Comes the Hotstepper” anywhere on its soundtrack.

Take a big, juicy bite of total campiness in THE APPLE, a sort of semi-remake of SGT. PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND, in which guileless young songbirds are lured into decadence and degradation by the pseudo-Satanic Mr. Boogalow. “The Apple takes your soul!” promises the rather unenthusiastic narrator of the trailer, and anyone who’s watched this endlessly hilarious sci-fi musical (set in the futuristic world of 1994 — oooooh!) will heartily agree.

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