VIRAL VAULT MIKE BROWN LOOKS BACK AT CANNON FILMS AND ELECTRIC BOOGALOO
Everyone who was a child in the 1980s will have some memory of a CANNON film. The movies were generally NOT that great. But they were THERE. They made a B Movie almost a deliberate brand. And in some sense, the Cannon legacy IS still alive and well. Today’s fixation in Cinema with adapting old comic book heroes and toy lines into ready made movie franchises is simply a more lovingly crafted and better financed version of what Cannon were TRYING to achieve with a kind of factory floor of film. NETFLIX too seem to appreciate the contributions, as MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE (soon to be remade) is available to stream.
And so, we welcome MIKE BROWN as he takes a look back at CANNON via the recent film: Electric Boogaloo: The Wild Untold Story Of Cannon Films. Over to you, MIKE!
I saw Electric Boogaloo: The Wild Untold Story Of Cannon Films finally last night, and it was bittersweet. At first after I watched it I liked it. But after sleeping on it and doing my own research on Cannon and their library I came away with a completely different opinion on it, which can be summed up in two words.
Why? Because ironically enough this film is not a love letter to Cannon films. It is instead an exploitation movie. And that is not what I expected at all. And for a documentary? It kinda sucks at it’s job. If you are a fan of Cannon films? You already know about 90 percent of the history the film is telling you. You really don’t learn much of anything new other than wild and crazy stories about the Golans or crazy on the set tales. Other than that? It offers a drive by history of the company for the curious and the people who are unfamiliar.
Also there is a disturbing amount of shit talking about Cannon in this documentary. Hence why I called it an exploitation film. So many bitter haters having their bitter thoughts about the company recorded and shown for all the world to see. Some of them? I can’t blame them for feeling that way. Others? Sounded like they had grudges.
This kind of thing would not be so bad if it was balanced out. But in this film it most certainly is not. There is a considerable shortage of positivity for Cannon films and the Golans. Also there is no presence of genuine passion for the company behind the camera. No interviews with die hard fans or anything. The whole documentary seemed at times to just be an excuse to milk Cannon films for outrageous stories than anything else. And the outrageous stories are fun, and they are genuinely hilarious. But they alone cannot carry the film.
This documentary also glosses over so much of the company’s film library and it’s stars. Michael Dudikoff is interviewed but he only has maybe 2 minutes at best of screen time. Alex Winters has more and he was an extra in Death Wish 3 for fuck’s sake. You have the American Ninja and you only give him less than two minutes of screen time? Shame on you Nick Hartley. Shame. It completely misses talking about some of the infamous un-produced Cannon films like Spider-Man. I am sorry a quick flash of the poster does not count in my book. Big missed opportunity there. They don’t even talk about the last film produced by Cannon either. Or their time in the direct to video era.
This film was an incomplete history of Cannon that further solidifies my theory that filmmaker’s intention from the start was to make a Cannon films exploitation movie. It lacked a heart. It had it at points at the start but then it just started an avalanche of Cannon blasting that got very tiresome after awhile. It even shit talked the logo for chrissakes. Entertaining at points documentary but ultimately an unsatisfying biased piece of exploitation.
MIKE BROWN is a freelance contributor whose passion for film and unique insights to the medium’s history have seen his opinions feature in a range of media platforms.