Reviews of movies from my giant DVD tower, and more.
Released in Australia on October 6, 2014 and in the US on September 18, 2015
Directed by Mark Hartley
Written by Mark Hartley
Cast: Menahem Golan, Yoram Globus, Richard Chamberlain, Sybil Danning, John G. Avildsen, Catherine Mary Stewart, Robert Forster, Bo Derek, Tobe Hooper, Molly Ringwald, Diane Franklin, Dolph Lundgren, Cassandra Peterson, Elliott Gould
If you were lucky enough to have grown up during the video rental age of the 1980s, then you probably spent many an afternoon or evening at your local video store browsing aisle upon aisle of VHS—and yes, Beta—cassettes to watch that night, or in preparation for the upcoming weekend. And depending on your cinematic tastes, you might’ve found yourself renting a movie released by Cannon Films, a production company owned by two Israeli cousins who somehow became film moguls, churning out cheap, low-brow drive-in fare throughout the ’80s.
The names of these two schlockmeister cousins were Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, and it’s the chronicle of this Golan/Globus pairing—their origins in the film business, their movies, and the people who worked for them—that director Mark Hartley delightfully presents in his film Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films, an engaging and quite informative look at this pair of film-crazy dreamers, who wanted nothing more than to make lots of movies, and of course, make lots and lots of money. And do whatever it took to achieve those goals.
Taking its name from one of Cannon’s more ridiculously-titled films, Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo, this wonderfully entertaining documentary is stocked to the gills with everything there is to know about the company, via interviews with cast and crew members, behind-the-scenes footage, and television interviews with Golan and Globus during their heyday. And to top it off, included are dozens of clips from their films, including those from ones you know (Missing in Action, Death Wish II, Bolero) and many more you probably don’t (The Apple, America 3000, Going Bananas).
Everything about Electric Boogaloo was just a whole mess of fun, and though the clips were mesmerizing, I’d have to say the stories told by the actors, directors, and key personnel were the most enjoyable aspects of the documentary. They all took such obvious delight in sharing their memories and anecdotes, I couldn’t help but laugh with disbelief right along with them. Whether you’re a fan of cheesy ’80s flicks or not, this doc is well worth checking out, if only to hear about the comical Romancing the Stone incident…and to feast your eyes on a still-hot Catherine Mary Stewart. (9/10)