I’m showing my age here, but I miss video. The humble VHS may have been as compact as a brick, have a picture which often resembled the end of the world (any female nudity was often accompanied by the kind of major crumpling which only repeated rewind, pause and playing causes) and truly classy covers, but it spawned a plethora of weird and wonderful movies. Troma were the masters of the cheap and wonderful but Cannon were normally close behind.
Whilst Troma knew exactly what they were doing, Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus were more interested in the sheer number of films they could release rather than getting it right. The two Israelis, after conquering their native cinema, set their sights on America. After purchasing Cannon Films they set-about trying to take-on the big Studio. Sadly, whilst there’s no doubting they had the energy and work rate which would astonish anybody, quantity and quality are two very separate beasts. There quality control was somewhere north of suspect and their financial model, precarious by any measure.
As Mark Hartley’s film, Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films, highlights for every Lifeforce,Runaway Train or Highlander there were fifty Death Wish Vs. Indeed the list of bad movies produced by Cannon is truly staggering. However, they were synonymous with rampant output of the ’80s and responsible for the careers of Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme, and the end of an ailing Superman franchise. They made impossible films possible. Electric Boogaloo: is a fitting tribute to a couple of real characters who flew too near the sun and ended up burnt and bankrupt.
Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films.