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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films - A Film Review

I really enjoyed watching the documentary Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films. It is about The Cannon Group, a film company that made low-budget movies, which genres mostly comprised of action, exploitation, crime thrillers, sci-fi, and a children's division.

The company was run by two Israeli guys who were passionate about filmmaking, and totally outside the Hollywood system, more into pumping out low-quality movies with crazy amounts of sex and violence, that they saw as Oscar material. And throughout the documentary, the actors and directors just trash them constantly, for damaging their careers or ripping them off or being difficult to work with. One actress even burns a VHS copy of the movie she was in, to show how disgusted she was by it. The film producers had also often went over budget and didn't make their money back, ripped off investors, went into debt, and had burned many bridges due to their careless attitudes.

I still enjoy these movies, because I love that the filmmakers were ballsy and wild, made these ridiculous movies because of a genuine love of cinema, and just going for it. Some of the movies they made were films that I enjoyed in my childhood: Invaders from Mars and Missing in Action. And I enjoyed Runaway Train, Bloodsport, Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo, Kickboxer, and Over the Top. I did not like Superman IV: The Quest for Peace because it had a terrible villain and I didn't like the preachy, self-righteous attitude of the story, and the special effects were dreadful.

And I was glad that this movie pointed out the same reasons I had for not liking the Death Wish series. As a kid, I had seen a TV promo for the Death Wish movies being shown on WPIX all week, and seeing an old man gun down people at night in rundown neighborhoods was disturbing to me. I tried watching Death Wish II and III, but couldn't stand them. I hated seeing rape being depicted in an exploitative, titillating matter (with nudity and showing the rape in full view( or seeing an old white middle-class man go into rundown ghetto neighborhoods and gun down any minority who looked like a thug. It wasn't something to root for, the movies were just gross. So I was glad others felt the same.

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