Boogaloo-ing to the Cannon Groove: Electric Boogaloo (2014) + 10 to Midnight (1983)

October 19, 2015 | By

They’re actually wearing a kind of Team Cannon! tracksuit which, some have reported, enabled the go-go boys to levitate for 10 seconds.

Among my most beloved film production logos are the Twentieth Century-Fox / CinemaScope fanfare, the RKO Radio Pictures blinkity-blinkity radio tower, and the Cannon Film Group logo with its blub-blub-blub-dummm… dittity-dubity-dummm synth music – a proclamation that you, dear film fan, are most likely in for a goofy B-movie hybrid unlike anything produced by the major studios.

Mark Hartley’s doc  – Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films – is one of two 2014 docs (the other being Hilla Medalia’s The Go-Go Boys: The Inside Story of Cannon Films) chronicling the gradual rise and intense middle period of the preeminent B-movie outfit that aspired to become a major, but took too many gambles and ultimately crashed, being split and later absorbed by other entities, leaving its founders, two Israeli cousins, heading on separate and competing film production pathways.

Menachem Golan and Yoram Globus were a dynamic team of differing energies and foci, two movie lovers who gambled on new strategies to finance, produce, and release films, create lucrative franchises, and enjoy ongoing relationships with often aging stars or directors wanting to just work, and maybe once in a while, turn out a decent picture.

J. Lee Thompson’s 10 to Midnight (1983) is a perfect example of a once-great director making movies in commercial genres with an international albeit aging star, Charles Bronson, here playing another tough guy who quickly takes the law into his own hands out of revenge, a sense of injustice, or because being grumbly and reactive is in his nature.

In North America, Warner Home Video chose to release a DVD of Boogaloo – they may have felt the film was too niche for a Blu-ray edition, or perhaps by being restricted to DVD, enabled WHV to package a special Cannon boxed set to further exploit a pre-existing Cannon back catalogue – whereas Midnight is available both on DVD from MGM / TGG Direct and on Blu from Twilight Time, the latter sporting a great transfer and an excellent commentary track that’s an important addendum to Hartley’s doc.

Coming next: some reflections on this past weekend’s Video Store Day.




Mark R. Hasan, Editor

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


Comments are closed.