Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films (DVD)

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Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films (DVD)

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Review of "Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films (DVD)"

published 01/03/2016 | thedevilinme
Member since : 13/05/2008
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Ciao made $2,200 profit last year, about $37 bucks a day.
Pro Great fun to see the old movies from the 1980s
Cons They were terrible movies.
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"When Cannon had a Ball!"

Electric Booglaoo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films (DVD)

Electric Booglaoo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films (DVD)

Star – Norris….Lundgren….Van Damme…
Genre – Documentary
Run Time – 106 minutes
Certificate – 18
Country – USA
Amazon – £12.99 DVD (Blue Ray £7.53)
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In the 1980s watching porno movies moved from smutty cinemas to the privacy of the home with the arrival of the video recorder. The sex trades decision in the late 1970s to choose the cheaper VHS option over Betamax pretty much killed off Betamax over night while sales of pornographic films drove take-up of video recorders. The reciprocation worked for low budget action movies to and Cannon Films were born, the first to really cash in by bringing home B-Rental cinema to the masses. And as more people bought VHS to watch the movies more movies had to be made to meet demand. Fortunately there was no likewise expansion on quality control and with no IMDB.com to access what we were renting a lot of crap was produced. But there were gens to and iconic movie stars created in the process.
Cannon was born out of two movie-obsessed immigrant Israeli cousins, Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, who, in pursuit of the "American dream", purchased and refinanced the little known indie studio Cannon that would produce over 120 exploitation films from 1979-1989 with them at the helm, launching the careers of numerous action stars like Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren. It was all about filling that VHS demand and the films came thick and fast like the explosions, sex, bad acting and exploitation of the Cannon cannon, so to speak.


• Olivia d'Abo
• John G. Avildsen
• Martine Beswick
• Richard Chamberlain
• Sybil Danning
• Bo Derek
• Lucinda Dickey
• Michael Dudikoff
• Robert Forster
• Diane Franklin
• Elliott Gould
• Tobe Hooper
• Just Jaeckin
• Laurene Landon
• Dolph Lundgren
• Franco Nero
• Cassandra Peterson
• Molly Ringwald
• Robin Sherwood
• Marina Sirtis
• Catherine Mary Stewart
• Alex Winter
• Franco Zeffirelli….
The story begins with the Israelis crazy film making antics in Israel and so bringing the same style of movie making to America. Menahem Golan was very much the

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Electric Booglaoo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films (DVD)
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more obnoxious of the two and would green light the projects on the most tenuous of reasons with cigar in hand where as Yoram Globus was the calmer and more thoughtful cousin. Aggressive self promotion was their style and it worked up until a point. They had enjoyed success with the film ‘Operation Thunderbolt’ in Israel and nominated for an Oscar in 1978 (Best Foreign Film) and so ready to make their move to the big time in Hollywood.

Metaphorically their approach was make the poster first and sell the film to investors off the back of it, be it Chuck Norris on a motorbike with rocket launchers or an American Ninja dressed in white (Michael Dudikoff) v a regular Ninja dressed in black (Bruce Li). The plan was to get involved as many films as possible and hope some make enough money to fund the others, maybe get lucky with a big hit or two. Runaway Train (1985) with Eric Roberts and Jon Voight written by Akira Kurosawa proved to be that hit and still one of their best to date. Budgets would be kept at a minimum so more money to make more movies to produce that unlikely hit.

Globus:"99 percent of the budget is going on the screen, not on limousines and lunches!’

Before the boys bought Cannon it had enjoyed successes with films like Joe (1970), a drama about an advertising executive who ends up in the face of a crazed factory employee, with murderous results, nominated for an Oscar for its screenplay. Joe wound up making $19.3 million on a tiny $106,000 budget.

The boys were also known for using films to try and break and make stars. If they had someone with little training but lots of presence they thought they could put in a movie and so make them money they would do exactly that. Apparently, Van Damme was obsessed with getting his big break with Cannon and would wait outside Globus office to meet him. Legend has it he introduced himself with a round nose kick that brushed the Israelis nose. A week later he was starring in one of their movies.
Cannon really hit home in the 1980s with the Death Wish movies. If Donald Trump was a movie producer this is the type of film he would make, Charles Bronson spending the whole movie shooting and maiming immigrant criminals. The demand was there for the trash low budget cinema and the Israelis fed the machine. Things got so big in the mid 1980s for Cannon they were even entrusted to make a Superman movie!

As their output and reputation grew for getting films made they even employed big stars and big directors to make big movies. They even paid Sly Stallone a reported $10 million to come over and made the rather silly arm wrestling movie Over the Top with them. Sly Franco Zefferelli's made Otello in 1986 with them, Jean-Luc Goddard's did King Lear in 1988 and Barbet Schroeder's drama Barfly followed soon after, acclaimed films at the time. The Israeli boys weren’t looking for credibility so much but simply offering anyone who wanted to work the chance to. But trying to be all things too all men would cost them and led to the studio falling over in 1990. At one point they were making an insane 50 movies a year and $15 million in debt.
Buying up the rights to Superman was extremely ambitious and because Cannon didn’t scale back production on other movies to make sure Superman 4 worked and was funded correctly. The studios originally earmarked $36 million for Superman IV: The Quest For Peace and was slashed in half to a reported $17 million just one month before production began as money was spent on other movies.. Money was also hacked from the critical special effects budget, the only part of the movie that really matters with comic book films. A further big budget action flop, Masters of the Universe, highlighted the fact Cannon had perhaps over extended itself and the fact the studio was mostly bankrolled by junk bonds (a high-yield, high-risk security, typically issued by a company seeking to raise capital quickly) bankruptcy was inevitable. Van Damme briefly rallied profits with his Kickboxer series but taking on Captain America proved too much as the 1990s dawned and the film straight-to-video and never seen as the studio collapsed. Cannon was briefly reborn under a much smaller operation as the two cousins split acrimoniously, blaming each other for the bankruptcy, and so setting up rival production companies, which saw both men release a Lambada movie in the same week. This silliness lasted for another 5 years until the Cannon name disappeared all together as other better funded indie studios could simply do it better than them and they were no longer needed.

Their frugal filmmaking style can work today, in moderation, with guys like Jason Blum who has made a killing (excuse the pun) in the horror market, with movies like Paranormal Activity and its sequels. He also had Sinister, The Purge, and Insidious all making a fortune on tiny budgets, good ideas made cheaply and hitting the target audiences. Cannon were also smart in their embrace of the international market, something Hollywood ignored for years to its cost. This approach is now vital for high-budget filmmaking in Hollywood. The robot smacking film Pacific Rim proved it, a solid performance overseas can make the difference between a profit and a loss, particularly when it comes to a genre picture made for more than $100 million. When Ridley Scott made The Martian he had China in mind to make sure he maximized the films revenue if the critics didn’t like it, actually incorporating China in a positive manner as part of the movie just to insure that. As it turned out The Martian was a really good movie and made $800 million dollars world-wide.

I really enjoyed this and an excellent follow up to director Mark Hartley’s other film ‘Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! It’s similar in style and races along with the stars and directors talking about their role in the chaotic world of Cannon films and segwayed with animation and other contributors slotting in nicely with comment on the gloriously over-the-top world of Cannon movie making. There are laugh out loud anecdotes and visual moments to enjoy and great to see those old movies that we all sloped out of Granada Video Rental with. In those days we had independent video stores and every Asian newsagent having their own range of them and we would eat up Chuck Norris and co with our beans on toast for afternoon viewing on the dole or at college in the 1980s.

Today the Israeli boys would simply not be able to exist in the increasingly stale and conservative world of Hollywood and the Cannon Films team outsiders from day one back in the day. It’s all about political correctness now and with the recent controversy around black performers overlooked by Hollywood its interesting to note there are not many black actors featuring in this movie, or the Cannon movies. Personally I felt Chris Rock slagging of The Academy for 4 hours on live TV was too much but watching this film you can see how white the industry was in the 1980s. things do need to change.

Imdb.com – 7.4 /10.0 (2,671votes)
Rottentomatos.com – 95% critic’s approval


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  • hiker published 28/03/2016
  • inkyscribbles published 03/03/2016
    Exceptional review!
  • euphie published 02/03/2016
    e :o)
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Product Information : Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films (DVD)

Manufacturer's product description

Product Details

Sub Genre: Entertainment Documentaries

DVD Region: DVD

Director(s): Mark Hartley

Actor(s): Mimi Rogers, Molly Ringwald, Dolph Lundgren, Brooke Shields

Production Year: 2014

EAN: 5055002559976

Classification: 18 years and over

Sub Sub Genre: General

Director(s) (Last name, First name): Hartley, Mark


Listed on Ciao since: 26/02/2016