Documentary Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films coming from Not Quite Hollywood creator

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Drafthouse Films recently nabbed U.S. rights to Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films from Celluloid Nightmares. From acclaimed cult film documentarian Mark Hartley (Not Quite Hollywood, Machete Maidens Unleashed), Electric Boogaloo centers on the story of two Israeli-born, movie-obsessed cousins, Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, who in pursuit of the American dream launched an indie studio that would produce over 120 exploitation films from 1979-1989 turning a renegade outfit into the proclaimed “seventh Hollywood major.” The film is currently in pre-production in Australia with Producer Veronica Fury and Executive Producers XYZ Films (upcoming Sony Pictures release The Raid). A theatrical release is being planned for late 2012 to coincide with a traveling roadshow retrospective of Cannon’s seminal films.

Electric Boogaloo refers to the 1984 Cannon-produced movie Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo, the sequel to the hit breakdance movie Breakin’, the film series that starred Michael ‘Boogaloo Shrimp’ Chambers and Adolfo ‘Shabba-Doo’ Quinones, two early hip hop dancers. Another bit of trivia regarding Cannon films: I was in L.A. shooting the documentary Blvd. Warriors (which centers on martial artists) and stumbled upon a pizza shop owner on Hollywood Blvd. that was friends with actor and martial artist Steve James. James appeared in a number of Cannon movie projects, including American Ninja (1985), Avenging Force (1986), The Delta Force (1986), Behind Enemy Lines (1986), American Ninja 2: The Confrontation (1987), Hero and the Terror (1988), American Ninja 3: Blood Hunt (1989) and Street Hunter (1990). When I began working on Blvd. Warriors, I had hoped to interview James, but found out that he had died of cancer in 1993 at the young age of 41. You might not know his name, but if you’re reading this article, you’ll know his face. I took a picture of a photo of Steve James that was hanging on the wall, and wrote about the experience RIGHT HERE.

While best known for their explosive 1980’s action fare, such as Missing In Action, the Death Wish sequels, and the Academy Award-nominated Runaway Train, Cannon Films’ diverse and ambitious production output also included body-count slashers (Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2), musicals and comedies (The Apple, Breakin’), science fiction and fantasy epics (Masters of the Universe, Lifeforce), martial arts cult classics (American Ninja series, Kickboxer), neo-noir crime thrillers (52 Pick-Up, 10 to Midnight), art-house dramas (Barfly, John Cassavetes’ Love Streams, Jean-Luc Godard’s King Lear), in addition to launching the careers of many future genre superstars like Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme.

“No other production organization in the world today,” proclaimed Roger Ebert in 1987, “has taken more chances with serious, marginal films than Cannon.”

“Cannon Films was an enterprise that in many ways defined exploitation cinema of the 1980s,” said Alamo Drafthouse and Fantastic Fest Founder Tim League, “We are thrilled to share their untold legacy with movie fans around the country.” Drafthouse Films Director Evan Husney elaborated, “With director Mark Hartley at the helm, Electric Boogaloo is sure to be a wildly entertaining, comprehensive and frenetic no-holds-barred dive into the world of perhaps the most infamous production company in film history.”

So far we know that Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris, Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus appear in Electric Boogaloo, but I’m not sure if they’re all interviewed, or if there’s archive footage.

Below is a list of Cannon film titles, grouped by subject matter and certain stars, along with Amazon listings.

Starring Charles Bronson

  • Death Wish II (1982)
  • 10 to Midnight (1983)
  • Death Wish 3 (1985)
  • Murphy’s Law (1986)
  • Death Wish 4: The Crackdown (1987)
  • Assassination (1987)
  • Messenger of Death (1988)
  • Kinjite: Forbidden Subjects (1989)
  • Death Wish V: The Face of Death (1994)

Starring Chuck Norris

  • Missing in Action (1984)
  • Invasion U.S.A. (1985)
  • Missing in Action 2: The Beginning (1985)
  • Delta Force, The (1986)
  • Firewalker (1986)
  • Hero and the Terror (1988)
  • Braddock: Missing in Action III (1988)
  • Delta Force 2: Operation Stranglehold (1990) [Pathe]
  • The Hitman (1991)
  • Hellbound (1993)

Starring Sylvester Stallone

  • Cobra (1986)
  • Over the Top (1987)

Starring Jean Claude Van Damme

  • Bloodsport (1988)
  • Cyborg (1989)
  • Kickboxer (1989)

Steve James (who I previously mentioned), Michael Dudikoff (famous for the American Ninja movies), Sho Kosugi (ninja films) and other actors were Cannon regulars as well. Their films are listed among these groups.

Ninja

  • American Ninja (1985)
  • American Ninja 2: The Confrontation (1987)
  • American Ninja 3: Blood Hunt (1989)
  • American Ninja 4: The Annihilation (1991)
  • American Ninja V (1993)
  • Enter the Ninja (1981)
  • Ninja III: The Domination (1984)
  • Revenge of the Ninja (1983)

Action, Adventure, and Prison

  • Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold (1987)
  • America 3000 (1986)
  • American Cyborg: Steel Warrior (1994)
  • American Kickboxer 1 (1991)
  • Avenging Force (1986)
  • Behind Enemy Lines (1986)
  • Chain of Command (1995)
  • Dance Macabre (1991)
  • Dangerously Close (1986)
  • Dead Center (1994)
  • Delta Force 3: The Killing Game (1991)
  • Desert Kickboxer (1992)
  • Down Twisted (1987)
  • Exterminator 2 (1984)
  • Fifty/Fifty (1993)
  • Hit the Dutchman (1992)
  • The Human Shield (1991)
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth (1989)
  • Keaton’s Cop (1988) (TV)
  • Killing Streets (1991)
  • King Solomon’s Mines (1985)
  • Mad Dog Coll (1992)
  • Mascara (1987)
  • Mercenary Fighters (1987)
  • Midnight Ride (1990)
  • The Naked Cage (1986)
  • No Place to Hide (1992)
  • Number One with a Bullet (1987)
  • Prison Heat (1993)
  • Rescue Me (1993)
  • River of Death (1989)
  • The Seven Magnificent Gladiators (1983)
  • Street Hunter (1990)
  • Street Knight (1993)
  • Under Cover (1987)

Comedy, Romance, Musical and Teen

  • The Apple (1980)
  • Breakin’ (1984)
  • Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo (1984)
  • Bullseye! (1990)
  • Doin’ Time on Planet Earth (1988)
  • Dr. Heckyl and Mr. Hype (1980)
  • Dutch Treat (1986)
  • The Forbidden Dance (1990)
  • Going Bananas (1987)
  • Grace Quigley (1984)
  • The Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood (1980)
  • The Happy Hooker Goes to Washington (1977)
  • The Happy Hooker (1975)
  • Hot Chili (1985)
  • Hot Resort (1985)
  • Hot T-Shirts (1979)
  • Lambada (1990) I
  • The Last American Virgin (1982)
  • A Man Called Sarge (1990)
  • Manifesto (1988)
  • Over the Brooklyn Bridge (1984)
  • Rappin’ (1985)
  • Salsa (1988)
  • Seed of Innocence (1980)
  • Surrender (1987)
  • Teenage Bonnie and Klepto Clyde (1993)
  • Thunder Alley (1985)

Family

  • Beauty and the Beast (1987)
  • Cannon Movie Tales: Cinderella (2002)
  • Cannon Movie Tales: Hansel and Gretel (1987)
  • Cannon Movie Tales: Puss in Boots (1988)
  • Cannon Movie Tales: Sleeping Beauty (1987)
  • The Emperor’s New Clothes (1987)
  • Frog Prince, The (1988)
  • Lightning, the White Stallion (1986)
  • Red Riding Hood (1987)
  • Rumpelstiltskin (1987)
  • Sword of the Valiant: The Legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (1982)
  • Snow White (1988)
  • Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)
  • Treasure Island (1985)

Horror

  • Agenda 187 (1999)
  • The Borrower (1991)
  • Contaminazione aka Alien Contamination (1980)
  • The Godsend (1980)
  • House of the Long Shadows (1983)
  • Link (1986)
  • New Year’s Evil (1981)
  • The Mummy Lives (1993)
  • Night of the Living Dead (1990)
  • Night Terrors (1993)
  • The Phantom of the Opera (1989)
  • Savage Weekend (1979)
  • Schizoid (1980)
  • The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)

Fantasy and Science Fiction

  • Le Avventure dell’incredibile Ercole (1985)
  • Alien from L.A. (1987)
  • The Barbarians (1987)
  • The Beast in the Cellar (1971)
  • The Company of Wolves (1984)
  • Gor (1988)
  • Hercules (1983)
  • Hospital Massacre (1981)
  • Invader (1992)
  • Invaders from Mars (1986)
  • Lifeforce (1985)
  • Masters of the Universe (1987)
  • Outlaw of Gor (1989)
  • Prison Planet (1992)
  • Shy People (1987)
  • Sinbad of the Seven Seas (1989)
  • El Tesoro de las cuatro coronas (1982)

Foreign and Documentary

  • Africa Express (1989)
  • Appointment with Death (1988)
  • Un Complicato intrigo di donne, vicoli e delitti (1986)
  • The Berlin Affair (1985) I
  • Castaway (1987)
  • A Cry in the Dark (1988)
  • Detective School Dropouts (1985)
  • I’m Almost Not Crazy: John Cassavetes: the Man and His Work (1984)
  • King Lear (1987)
  • Lady Chatterley’s Lover (1981)
  • The Naked Face (1984)
  • The Rose Garden (1989)
  • Ten Little Indians (1989)
  • Otello (1986) I
  • The Wicked Lady (1983)
  • Los Ángeles (1991)

Drama, Mystery, and War

  • 52 Pick-Up (1986)
  • The Assisi Underground (1985)
  • Barfly (1987)
  • Body and Soul (1981)
  • Business as Usual (1987)
  • Dancers (1987)
  • Déjà Vu (1985)
  • Duet for One (1986)
  • The Finest Hour (1991)
  • Fool for Love (1985)
  • The Hanoi Hilton (1987)
  • Hanna’s War (1988)
  • Haunted Summer (1988)
  • Love Streams (1984)
  • The Magician of Lublin (1979)
  • Mata Hari (1985)
  • Ordeal by Innocence (1984)
  • Platoon Leader (1988)
  • Runaway Train (1985)
  • Sahara (1983)
  • Silent Victim (1993)
  • Street Smart (1987)
  • Tough Guys Don’t Dance (1987)

Erotic and Soft Porn

  • Bolero (1984)
  • Emmanuelle’s Love (1993)
  • Lady Chatterly’s Lover (1981)
  • Nana (1982)

Below is a partial list of Cannon film titles currently available on Amazon.

Music/Comedy

Charles Bronson

Chuck Norris

Jean Claude Van Damme

Ninja Action

Sci-fi/Fantasy

Romance/Action/Other

Action-Adventure/Other