Cinema Monolith

Reviews of movies from my giant DVD tower, and more.

Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films

Cinema Monolith: 9/10
IMDb: 7.4/10
Radio Times Guide to Films: **** out of 5

Released in Australia on October 6, 2014 and in the US on September 18, 2015
Rated R
106 minutes

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)

16 comments on “Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films

  1. Dracula
    12/4/17

    Never remember seeing that logo, but then I was never a Chuck Norris guy!

    • Todd B
      12/4/17

      I don’t know if any of these movies would be up your alley…I just took a look at the list of all Cannon films released, and the only one that looks like a possibility is Lifeforce, that you might’ve seen with me at the Carousel Cinema 6 in Escondido. Otherwise, I own The Last American Virgin, if you want to come over and give it a look.

  2. What memories this brought back. Extremely enjoyable doc and as a major Bronson fan it’s a must see. Too bad we never got that proposed Charlie flick The Golem. Lol.

    • Todd B
      12/6/17

      I figured you’d like all those Bronson moments! I had to look up the story behind The Golem…I’d never heard of it before. Definitely an interesting story idea.

  3. Dracula
    12/5/17

    Oh yeah, does the documentary with a score of 7.4 IMDb and 9 from CM beat out any of their B rated movies? Have you rated any of their movies, if so, what was the score?

    • Todd B
      12/6/17

      I’m sure a few of their films have earned higher than a 7.4 from somebody, but for me, there haven’t been any as of yet. I couldn’t find any at all that I’d reviewed on the site, but in my movie guide from 2011, I did find one: The Last American Virgin, which I awarded a 6.

  4. Outstanding cast! This actually looks great and your review makes it all the more tempting! Would love that poster in my living room. ;o

    • Todd B
      12/11/17

      It’s available on YouTube in English, but with what looks like Russian subtitles…or you could rent it there for $2.99 and get the normal version. And that is a cool-looking poster, but I can’t find any for sale on-line!

  5. Stu
    1/10/18

    I saw this back in 2015 – a really entertaining documentary that brought back great memories of the era. Is there a Cannon alternative today?

    • Todd B
      1/10/18

      I’d say that once all the video rental stores dried up, movies from companies like Cannon and Crown International disappeared as well. I can’t think of anyone putting out movies like this anymore…Troma maybe?

      • Stu
        1/17/18

        I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Troma movie… well, not knowingly, anyway. Are they still going? (If only there was a way of ‘googling out’ such information on a giant, connected network of… stuff, eh?)

      • Todd B
        1/17/18

        I went ‘goggling’ like you suggested, and found the Troma website; they appear to be alive and well, with over 200 movies to their credit, dating back to the 1960s. And no, I have not seen any of them! And unless you’ve seen The Toxic Avenger or Class of Nuke ‘Em High, I’m guessing you haven’t seen any, either.

      • Stu
        1/18/18

        The Toxic Avenger or the Class of Nuke ‘Em High, you say? No, I haven’t seen them.

      • Todd B
        1/18/18

        I haven’t either, so…we’re even. Finally.

      • Stu
        1/18/18

        Hang on, I thought the score prior to this round was 20,591 versus 19,484. How on earth can we be even?

      • Todd B
        1/18/18

        Yes, you had the lead, but officials gave me 1,107 bonus points for actually watching, finishing, and reviewing Eegah.

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Movies Reviewed: 197

From the Monolith: 107

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