2 items from 2014
In the mid-1980s, Belgian martial artist Jean-Claude Van Damme arrived in America with dreams of stardom. Possessing a finely-honed physique, thanks to years of training in (among other things) karate, kickboxing and ballet, he was ambitious and brimming with self-belief.
The acting bug bit Van Damme while he was still in his teens: he played “a bad guy with all the knives” in the 1984 French gangster movie Rue Barbare and, determined to further his goal of becoming an actor, hopped on a plane to Los Angeles. His first few years in America were, however, tough. He slept in a rental car for two weeks, and made money money by teaching aerobics and martial arts, delivering pizzas, and working as a doorman at a restaurant belonging to Chuck Norris. »
The rise and fall of Cannon Films is told in Mark Hartley's wildly entertaining documentary, Electric Boogaloo. Here's Ryan's review...
Producers Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus were famous (or infamous) for many things, but a stringent approach to quality filmmaking was hardly one of them. At the height of their success in the 1980s, the Israeli cousins, and their company Cannon Films, were synonymous with cheap B-movies of just about every kind: Chuck Norris action flicks, sex comedies, ninja martial arts epics, dance movies and tawdry slasher horrors.
Their films frequently horrified critics, but became a staple of video rental stores: with Cannon Films cranking out as many as 50 or so pictures a year at its peak, the company's distinctive logo and self-explanatory film titles (New Year's Evil, Avenging Force, Enter The Ninja) were ubiquitous throughout the 80s and early 90s. The company was eventually brought down by its fast-and-loose approach to film production, »
2 items from 2014