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Mark Hartley’s doco on Cannon Films far from Missing In Action!

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Caffeinated Clint
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Clint is the creator, editor and maintainer of Moviehole.

We speak a lot about Cannon films here on Moviehole. And for two reason; firstly, they were the grandmother that raised me – on a diet of mostly unhealthy gunk, but alas, the cinematic matriarch guided me until my teens. Secondly, they were one of the savviest but also sleazily selfish film production companies in history – but those that have read our tales on their proposed version of “Spider-Man”, which they planned to do with an unknown actor and a small plastic zipped bag of cash, know that already.

Word from Deadline is that someone’s come up with the cunning, brilliant idea of documenting the rise, fall and fuck-up’s of Cannon. The dude’s name is Mark Hartley, he’s a writer-director who did the awesome doc on Aussie exploitation flicks titled “Not Quite Hollywood”, which featured a bevy of great interviewees and stories. And he’s already rounded up some ex-Cannon pay-roll names to spill the beans for this one.

“Electric Boogaloo : The Wild Untold Story of Cannon Films” will tell of Cannon’s journey from the skids to the screen, hopefully with some great stories from Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, the Israeli-born duo who snapped up the company in 1979 and put it on the map. With films like “Runaway Train” and “Barfly”, both fucking excellent pictures, Golan and Globus turned Canon into a bloody sensation. But their penchant for doing things on the cheap, and at the cost of diminishing a movie’s appeal and enjoyment factor (see “Masters of the Universe”), was also their undoing. And the companies. Apparently the duo have yet to commit to doing any interviews with Hartley, but hopefully they’ll change their mind once they get wind of who is doing interviews with the filmmaker – and no doubt ratting on the former CEO’s ratty practices.

Among Canon’s great and not-so-great – many of which were action movies, featuring the likes of Chuck Norris, Sylvester Stallone, Michael Dudikoff, and Jean-Claude Van Damme – are Stallone vehicle “Cobra”, “Masters of the Universe”, “Cyborg”, “Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2″, “Lifeforce”, “American Ninja”, “Over the Top”, “52 Pick-Up”, “Surrender”, and “Missing in Action”. Cannon’s last credited project was 1993’s “American Ninja V”.

Deadline says filmmakers like Barbet Schroeder, Tobe Hooper, Michael Winner and Andrei Konchalovsky have all agreed to share their experiences of collaborating with Cannon.
Drafthouse have picked up the distribution rights to the doc. Apparently a theatrical release of the doc is planned, along with a rolling roadshow of old-school Canon films, that will be re-issued in the theaters. Cool.

Hartley is doing some good stuff – he’s also got a doco on Aussie acting legend Rod Taylor in the works, and is set to begin shooting a remake of the classic “Patrick” shortly.

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