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Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films (2014)

R | | Documentary | 5 June 2015 (UK)
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The history of the independent film company, The Cannon Film Group, Inc..

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sam Firstenberg ...
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David Paulsen ...
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Luigi Cozzi ...
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Itzik Kol ...
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Michael Hartman ...
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Quentin Falk ...
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Boaz Davidson ...
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William Stout ...
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Roni Ya'ackov ...
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Yftach Katzur ...
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Dan Wolman ...
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Storyline

A documentary about Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus - two movie-obsessed cousins whose passion for cinema changed the way movies were made and marketed - and the tale of how this passion ultimately led to the demise of the company they built together. Written by Anonymous

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Rated R for strong sexual content, graphic nudity, violence including rape, language and some drug use | See all certifications »

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Electric Boogaloo  »

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Trivia

Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus were both approached to be interviewed for this documentary. They refused. See more »

Connections

Features The Forbidden Dance (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Shake It Up
Written by Ric Ocasek
Performed by The Cars
Lido Music Inc.
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User Reviews

 
The rapid rise and even faster implosion of the notorious Cannon Group
12 September 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

When Israeli cousins Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus took over The Cannon Group in 1979, cinema had little idea what it was in for. With the company in a dyer financial situation, Golan and Globus began churning out pictures of questionable quality at an unnerving rate, making a small profit with the odd micro-hit that quickly added up. Soon enough, the exploitation pioneers were buying up cinema chains, paying movie stars ludicrous amounts of money, taking over Cannes, and releasing some of the most diabolical and insane movies of 1980's. Electric Boogaloo tells the rapid rise and even faster implosion of the notorious studio, with the people both in front of and behind the camera telling their own anecdotes of the madcap antics that seemed to engulf their every production.

Director Mark Hartley has made a career in documenting exploitation cinema with Not Quite Hollywood (2008) and Machete Maidens Unleashed! (2010), and Electric Boogaloo is undoubtedly his most fun. Packed with clips of such cinematic disasters as Enter the Ninja (1981), Hercules (1983), Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo (1984) and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987), the film lambastes Cannon as much as it adores their persistence, levelling the field by also showing us their more interesting efforts - the likes of Lifeforce (1985) and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986), both directed by Tobe Hooper - and the films that were surprisingly great, such as Runaway Train (1985) and Barfly (1987). But this isn't just a collection of clips from some of the most outlandish films ever made, Hartley ensures that the film is highly informative about the 'creative' minds behind the company and the reasons for its inevitable fall from grace.

Amongst the interviewees are John G. Avildsen, Franco Nero, Dolph Lundgren, Robert Forster, Bo Derek and Alex Winter, all telling stories that will have you laughing as well as questioning just how the Israeli's got away with it for so long. Some of it is brutal, with Golan especially coming across as an ego-maniacal tyrant with little care for the safety of his crew and no understanding of the American audience he was targeting. Yet it's all told with a nostalgic fondness, celebrating the fact that these were little guys who actually made it, and doing it all on their own terms. They were, after all, responsible for Chuck Norris's career and the prolonging of Charles Bronson's (although it's questionable as to whether or not that's a good thing), and were eager to give great but fading directors such as Jean-Luc Godard, John Cassavetes and Franco Zeffirelli another shot with complete artistic control. It's a strange story - Golan and Globus clearly adored cinema but didn't seem to understand it - but this is a success story like no other, and insomniacs with little to do at night but watch TV have a lot to thank them for.


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