Posts Tagged ‘Cannon Films’

Menahem Golan, 1929-2014

Friday, August 8th, 2014

tn_golanAs you may have read, Menahem Golan, co-head of The Cannon Group (as well as 21st Century Film Corporation and New Cannan Group) died today at the age of 85. Don’t worry, he didn’t have to suffer from cancer or anything, he just collapsed while walking outside his home in Jaffa, and could not be revived. Golan was a filmmaker to the end, at least according to an IMDb listing that says he was in pre-production on a new ALLAN QUATERMAIN movie that he wrote and would’ve directed.

Like so many of the greats, Golan actually got his start working for Roger Corman, in his case as a production assistant on THE YOUNG RACERS in 1963. That same year he made his writing/directing debut with a Hebrew-language Israeli production called EL DORADO, starring Topol of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF fame. Throughout his career he would direct more than 40 films and produce more than 200. He and his cousin Yoram Globus started Noah Films, an Israeli production company known worldwide for the Oscar nominated satire SALLAH. But of course we know and love them for their reign as the heads of The Cannon Group, which they purchased in 1979 and turned into a prolific powerhouse of low budget action and exploitation in the VHS era. (read the rest of this shit…)

American Samurai

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

tn_americansamuraiHow the fuck does a guy become an American samurai? Well, in the case of Drew Collins (David Bradley, AMERICAN NINJA 3-V) when he was a baby he and his parents were traveling in a small plane that crashed into a tree, only he survived, and then he was raised by an old Japanese guy named Tatsuya (John Fujioka, ZATOICHI IN DESPERATION, AMERICAN NINJA, AMERICAN YAKUZA). Finders keepers, you know?

Basically it’s exactly like Superman, except being a white man in Asia doesn’t give him super powers. But he does really good in his sword training anyway. I’m not clear why his adopted father was a samurai swordsman in the 1980s, I suppose it’s kind of along the lines of being a civil war buff. In related news I would like to see a Cannon movie called JAPANESE BLUEBELLY. (read the rest of this shit…)

Ninja III: The Domination Blu-Ray review

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

 

tn_ninjaiiib

NINJA III is one of the only movies to really explore how much ninjas like yogurt

 

One of our nation’s perennial VHS favorites, NINJA III: THE DOMINATION, has recently made the transition to digital and high definition disc type formats courtesy of the heroes at Shout Factory. Check out my review of the new blu-ray over on Daily Grindhouse. If you also want to read a review I wrote of the movie a couple years ago then you can click here.

The Super-Kumite: American Kickboxer 1

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

tn_americankickboxerSUPER-KUMITE, ROUND 1, SECOND BOUT: AMERICAN KICKBOXERS VS. THE WOMEN

IMDb may list this Cannon production as AMERICAN KICKBOXER, but the DVD cover and more importantly the title screen call it AMERICAN KICKBOXER 1. So going by the DIE HARD 2 precedent that is the official title as far as I’m concerned. Part 1 is the story of B.J. Quinn (John Barett, GYMKATA), middleweight kickboxingstill_americankickboxer_title champ with a 35-1 record. In the opening fight he takes on the young up and comer Chad Hunter (Keith Vitali, REVENGE OF THE NINJA) and wins with an allegedly accidental elbow. Because of B.J.’s arrogant talk on the way to the ring and the dishonorable means of victory I honestly thought this was the introduction of the bad guy. But I guess he’s supposed to be one of those lovable asshole characters, or possibly just a guy at a low point who needs redemption or whatever. (read the rest of this shit…)

Masters of the Universe

Friday, March 8th, 2013

tn_mastersoftheuniverseMASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE is a Golan and Globus production starring Dolph Lundgren, but it’s a little more mainstream than that implies because it’s for the children, it’s based on action figures and on a cartoon based on action figures. I was looking for that same authorial voice and unique perspective we saw represented in the TRANSFORMERSes and GI JOE, but it turns out that’s Hasbro, this one is based on the works of Mattel. That’s like mixing up H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe. I feel like an idiot.

I guess Cannon was trying to make their version of a STAR WARS type fantasy sci-fi-deal. You can tell that when a character says “You got us here, you Thumerian wurbat, now get us home,” but it was already clear from the opening credits over a starfield and the STAR WARSy themes by Bill Conti. Then the credits explode into a shower of sparks. How could this not be exciting? (read the rest of this shit…)

Hospital Massacre

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

tn_hospitalmassacreaka X-Ray

In 1982, a year after MY BLOODY VALENTINE, we got this Golan and Globus production which also begins with a murderous incident on Valentine’s Day, 1961. It looks like the ’80s and the kids even say “Omigod!”, but it says it’s 1961 so I’m taking their word for it. In this one a little boy named Harold leaves a valentine for a little girl named Susan and watches through her window as she reads it. When she sees it’s from Harold she laughs and her (brother? boyfriend?) crumples it up and throws it on the ground.

While Susan goes into the other room to cut two giant pieces of cake for her and the boy, Harold comes in and breaks the kid’s neck and hangs him from a coatrack. (read the rest of this shit…)

Young Warriors

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

tn_youngwarriorsbacktoschoolYOUNG WARRIORS is a crazy fuckin movie released by Cannon in 1983. The description on the back of the VHS box begins like this:

“What do you get if you cross ‘Animal House’ with ‘Death Wish’? Young Warriors– a unique combination of fraternity hijinks, high-speed action, wildly imaginative animation, and hard-drivin’ rock!” (read the rest of this shit…)

Ninja III: The Domination

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

tn_ninjaiiiA few years ago when I wrote about ENTER THE NINJA and REVENGE OF THE NINJA I know everybody told me I had to watch part 3 and it was hilarious and all that. And I always intended to get to it but see I was on a serious ninja kick, I wanted real ninja action and not just some dumb bullshit to laugh at because a girl from BREAKIN’ gets possessed by a ninja.

But forgive me, man. I was on the outside. There was no way to really know without seeing it that NINJA III is a must-see.
(read the rest of this shit…)

The Delta Force

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

tn_deltaforceI’ve never been much of a Chuck Norris fan, but maybe some day I could be if I fill in that gap in my badass cinema knowledge. I’ll always give a guy a shot. So I figured I couldn’t go wrong with THE DELTA FORCE. Not only is it about an elite counter-terrorist special ops team (same one as on THE UNIT), but with Lee Marvin as the man in charge. Even in his fuck-it-I’m-not-grooming-my-eyebrows-anymore later period Lee Marvin is a plus for any movie, so he could be my gateway drug to Chuck Norris.

Well, could’ve been, but this movie is not very good. It’s written and directed by Cannon head Menahem Golan (OVER THE TOP, ENTER THE NINJA) and seems to be his attempt at an all star ensemble movie with some kind of social message, like Irwin Allen used to make. Yeah, it seems like it’s mainly a Chuck Norris movie, but then you see Martin Balsam (Arbogast from PSYCHO), Joey Bishop, Susan Strasberg, Robert Vaughn, Kim Delaney… (read the rest of this shit…)

Over the Top

Friday, August 13th, 2010

tn_overthetopcountdownlogoWrestling – and I’m talking about real deal wrestling, like Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling, not WWE – is a sport of skill and stamina as well as strength. It’s a series of offenses and defenses, attacks and responses, takedowns, holds and escapes. Strength and size are a huge advantage, but they’re not everything. A great wrestler always has to know how to find an opening to control his opponent and also how to slip away when he’s made a mistake. It can look like two brutes rolling around on the ground, but at times it can be as much of a battle of wits as a chess game. The winning wrestler has to perform the correct sequence of moves, and perform them well, to get the other guy where he wants him for the win.

Also there is arm wrestling. (read the rest of this shit…)