While you might pride yourself on knowing all about the classics and the various arthouse corners of the cinema world, a piece of history that’s worth making an acquaintance with is the ’80s and ’90s output of rogue studio Cannon Films. Built on a foundation of schlocky exploitation and cheap action flicks, the studio was arguably a forerunner to kind of low-budget stuff (think “The Purge” or this past weekend’s “Annabelle“) that routinely get wide releases (and that make plenty of box office bank). But don’t fear if this is all new to you, the upcoming documentary “Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story Of Cannon Films” tells you all you need to know.
Directed by Mark Hartley and executive produced by Brett Ratner, the doc is an always involving and entertaining look behind the curtain of the studio, and at the men who ran it: filmmaker/producer Menahem Golan and producer/businessman Yoram Globus. Simply put, they loved making movies, and while the quality varied wildly, as long as they had a movie in cinemas, they were happy. Working with guys like Charles Bronson and Chuck Norris allowed Cannon to stay afloat even if they released a string of stinkers, but the studio even flirted with with legitimate filmmakers, providing a home for folks like Jean-Luc Godard (“King Lear”), John Cassavetes (“Love Streams”), Franco Zeffirelli (“Othello”) and Barbet Schroder (“Barfly” with Mickey Rourke).