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Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films (4 stars)

Fun documentary charting the rise and fall of a pair of eccentric film producers

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Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films

Any film by Golan-Globus came 'minus good taste' – so says one of 80 film insiders in this stupendously entertaining documentary frolic written and directed by Mark Hartley. Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films charts the crazy rise and predictable demise of Cannon Films before and after the company’s purchase by Israel’s schlock filmmakers Menahem Golan and cousin Yoram Globus.

Hartley unspools archive footage, talking heads and clips into a pacy rundown of anecdotes, films and asides, studded with so many great soundbites you’ll want to write them down. The list style is somewhat exhausting but necessary, as it helps recall and emulate the mania Golan-Globus had when it came to making films (something which earned them the nickname 'the Go-Go Boys'). Of course, it helps to know the story but newbies can catch on quick.

Hartley shows how the company had respectable hits before being sold to Golan-Globus in 1979. Innovation and ideas came thick and fast (they once owned the rights to Superman, Spider-Man and Captain America – and were behind the Oscar-nommed thriller Runaway Train) but ultimately their fondness for nudity, weird trends and violence brought them lower than grindhouse. After early hits in Israel, the cousins repeatedly tried to beat Hollywood at its own game but, as outsiders, could not. The frenzied stories verge on the unbelievable: was Sharon Stone cast by accident by Golan when he meant Kathleen Turner? Who cares! Cannon had Charles Bronson, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris and more.

After seeing Electric Boogaloo your jaw will be on the ground in disbelief that this pair of producers ever existed. They had terrible taste, but boy did they love movies. This is one documentary that’s a must-see for anyone interested in film history, or seeing hope and enthusiasm triumph critical and financial success.

Selected release from Fri 5 Jun.

Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films

  • 4 stars
  • 2015
  • 106 min
  • 18
  • Directed by: Mark Hartley
  • UK release: 5 June 2015

Documentary on the crazy rise and predictable demise of Cannon Films, before and after its purchase by Israeli schlockmeisters Menahem Golan and Yoran Globus. Stupendously entertaining, packed with quotable soundbites; your jaw will be on the ground in disbelief that these guys ever existed.

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