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The Best of 2015 Thus Far

As we’re now well and truly past the half-way mark for the year, it seems like as good a time as any for a few of the Failed Critics contributors to bundle together and reveal which films they’ve enjoyed the most so far. Come December, we’ll still be running the annual Failed Critics Awards, giving you the opportunity to cast your vote for your favourite films of 2015.

In the meantime, let’s have a quick run through of what some of our writers and podcasters have chosen as their five favourite films of the year. Will the biggest film of the year so far, Jurassic World, be featured? Will United Passions somehow infect this article too? Will anyone pick anything other than Mad Max?? Find out below…


by Andrew Brooker (@Brooker411)

1] Mad Max: Fury Road

mad maxFighting the urge to fill my word limit with just paragraphs of me repeating the words “Perfect”, “Awesome” and “The most fun I’ve had this year with clothes on”, I’ll try and be a little more cohesive in my description. It had been thirty years since the last film in the iconic Mad Max franchise, to bring a fourth entry to a series after that long is a massive undertaking at the best of times. But when its original star is as iconic as the film’s that made him famous, replacing him as well would be a recipe for disaster in any other filmmakers hands. Thankfully for all of us, the series’ creator made a triumphant return and gave us one of the greatest films I’ve ever seen. A breathtaking, visceral two hours (on three occasions) in the cinema left me shellshocked and shaking with excitement and almost unable to write my review when I got home I was so pumped. Oh, and there’s a dude on a truck made of drums and speakers playing heavy metal on a flame throwing guitar! No more needs to be said!

2] Ex Machina

3] Whiplash

4] Still Alice

5] It Follows

WORST: Avengers: Age of Ultron – Years of subtle hype and weeks of actual hype in the buildup to this, the biggest Marvel movie yet. What we got was a more than two hour long wet fart of a film that left me blindingly disappointed with a really bad taste in my mouth.


by Paul Field (@pafster)

1] Wild Tales

wild talesDark, twisted and utterly enthralling anthology from Argentina. All of the stories are great, no fillers here as is often the case with anthology films. I love a revenge film, and to have 6 served up in one sitting is a real treat. Hard to pick my favourite… the parking ticket is brilliant, the plane passengers unsettling and hilarious, the overtaking motorist caper that escalates out of all control…..but I think the Wedding. Pissing off the bride on her wedding day is an absolute no no, and here, she conveys her displeasure in spectacular fashion. As a first feature from Damián Szifron, this is outstanding and will take some toppling come the end of the year.

2] Hyena

3] Creep

4] We Are Still Here

5] Buzzard

WORST: Lost River Ryan Gosling believing his own hype, delivers the most pretentious load of cobblers ever committed to film. Utter, utter toilet.. and yes, I’ve seen United Passions, Accidental Love and the new Danny Dyer film this year too. Its worse than all three of those, on repeat, for eternity.


by Owen Hughes (@ohughes86)

1] Birdman: or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

birdmanReleased in the UK on 1 January 2015, I still don’t think I’ve seen a funnier, more entertaining film in the cinema all year. Michael Keaton is absolutely phenomenal as the flailing former superhero movie star attempting to reinvent himself as a stage actor and producer. His manic behaviour, coupled with director Iñárritu’s frenetic, constantly adapting story shot as if the whole production was just one long take; I just loved every minute of it. However, I was hesitant to put it as number one on my list, given a couple people I’ve recommended it to have hated it! But ultimately, despite seeing it only two days into the year, nothing else has managed to better it yet for me.

2] Mad Max: Fury Road

3] Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films

4] Cobain: Montage of Heck

5] John Wick

WORST: United Passions – Technically not even released in the UK this year, and unlike Jupiter Ascending (cinema) and The Man With The Iron Fists 2 (VOD), I didn’t even watch this legally. But if there’s a more abhorrent, reprehensible piece of offensive propagandist garbage with as high a budget and released globally within the next decade, I’ll be surprised.


By Matt Lambourne (@LamboMat)

1] Mad Max: Fury Road

mad max 4I’m still thinking about this movie, weeks after seeing it. The action, the character, the dialogue, the music and most importantly, the SCALE. It’s over the top in every sense and works for me on every level. I can’t wait to get hold of the home release and enjoy it without the hindrance of 3D. Absolutely superb movie!

2] American Sniper

3] Furious 7

4] Jurassic World

5] Terminator Genisys

WORST: Fifty Shades of Grey Bloated, tacky, overly polished and un-sexy. I didn’t get an erection and I didn’t get a shag that night.

by Steve Norman (@StevePN86)

1] The Theory of Everything

theory of everythingThe Stephen Hawking biopic earned lead man Eddie Redmayne an Oscar and deservedly so. His portrayal of a genius of a man going through various stages of a terrible, life changing illness was extremely believable. The film also put over a side of Hawking you don’t often see, the friend, parent and husband, not the man who invented time. Or something.

2] Ex Machina

3] Kingsman: The Secret Service

4] Selma

5] Furious 7

WORST: United Passions Garbage of the highest order. I found Tim Roth less deplorable playing a racist in Selma than I did playing Sepp Blatter in this tripe. It’s offensive that it was even made.


by Callum Petch (@CallumPetch)

1] Mad Max: Fury Road

mad max fury roadFury Road is the kind of film whose existence is a reminder that this Movies thing might be alright after all, a beacon of hope that we can all look to in dark times and remind ourselves that we can, in fact, have it so much better.  From its uncomplicated story, to its unique world and set design, to its outstanding special effects, to its jaw-dropping practical stunts, to its brilliantly subtle Tom Hardy performance, to its mesmerising Charlize Theron performance, to its openly and furiously feminist and matriarchal heart, every last frame of this utter masterpiece is what I have heard perfection is supposed to be like.  It is everything that modern Hollywood blockbuster filmmaking isn’t, a purposeful pushback against everything wrong with those films right now that, in a just world, will have everyone following its example in the years to come.  Both times that I saw this movie, my veins pulsed with pure adrenaline from frame one and the feeling did not stop until long after I left the screen in tears of pure joy at that perfect final shot.  I foresee nothing else coming anywhere close to it for the rest of this year, mainly cos I have no idea what’ll happen to me if there is a better film than Fury Road to come.

2] Magic Mike XXL

3] The Voices

4] Shaun The Sheep Movie

5] Spy

WORST: Entourage  I said everything I needed to say about this reprehensible piece of abysmal shite here and here.  I’m not going to repeat myself.

Owen’s 2015 in Film: Part 6 – June: Electric Boogaloo

Following on from last month’s article, Owen continues his ongoing year in review series by reviewing the films he’s seen in June. As with each of the previous articles in the series, the month will be broken down by week, with a review of one arbitrarily chosen film seen during each period.

by Owen Hughes (@ohughes86)

delta forceI thought football was supposed to be over for the summer? The World Cup was last year, the Euro’s are next year. The season ended in May and yet somehow I seem to have spent so much time being disappointed with the England U21 side out in the Czech Republic and cheering on the women’s team over in Canada. I even stayed up until 3am watching football! This isn’t meant to happen. At this time of the year, it’s only supposed to take up half an hour of your day. Reading the transfer gossip columns over lunch, guffawing at Twitter rumours about Pogba to Man City, Angel Di Maria to Barcelona, or famous baldy Gervinho to Al Jazira including £85k per week wages, his own private beach and personal helicopter…

Hell, even two of the films I’ve watched in June have been football related. However, I did manage to squeeze both of them into the same day’s viewing so in reality they didn’t take up too much time away from other, proper, serious films. Like the myriad of Chuck Norris movies and micro-budget horrors listed below. Ahem.

Coupling these unexpectedly exciting international football tournaments and hilarious football transfers (Spurs mugging some Chinese team off by selling Paulinho for £10m?!) with new seasons of Hannibal and True Detective starting, plus the last few episodes of Game of Thrones and various other TV shows, I’m as surprised as anybody (probably, er, more than anyone else I guess) that I’ve actually watch so many films last month. Especially as quality seems to have gone completely out of the window in place of quantity, all thanks to a certain documentary. But I’ve tried to pick out a few of the more interesting movies seen lately to talk about below.


Week 1 – Monday 1 – Sunday 7 June 2015

Monday – Kung Fury (2015), San Andreas (2015); Tuesday – [absolutely nothing]; Wednesday – Spy (2015); Thursday – The Redwood Massacre (2015); Friday – Insidious: Chapter 3 (2015), Fist of the North Star (1986); Saturday – COBRA (1986); Sunday – The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988)

cobraEight films, five of which were released this year, including three cinema trips, plus two films from the year I was born and one classic 80’s comedy (that Steve recently revealed he has somehow never seen before despite it being on TV constantly.) As you can tell, I started off June with a bit of a mixed bag. A neat little indie film, a couple of decent comedies, a long boring blockbuster and a classic Sylvester Stallone 80s crime thriller released in the UK 10 days before I was born. I’m not quite sure what it was I was expecting from Cobra. It’s just one of many blurays on a Stallone box-set I own, it looked kinda cheesy but was fairly short so I stuck it on late one Saturday evening after Barcelona battered Juventus in the Champions League final (yep, more football). I don’t know whether it was due to a combination of the beer in me and sleep deprivation, or what, but man it was so much fun. From the moment Lt. Cobra rocks up in his first appearance with a hugely inappropriate muscle car and ‘AWSOM 50’ license plate, proceeding to take out the crazed gunman inside the supermarket delivering the one liner “you’re a disease, and I’m the cure”, I knew it was going to be a film I’d love. Sly is effortlessly cool as the policeman personally protecting a witness from the New World crime wave. I can’t believe I’d never seen it before but will absolutely be watching it again. And again. And again.


Week 2 – Monday 8 – Sunday 14 June 2015

Monday – Insidious (2010); Tuesday – Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013); Wednesday – Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films (2015); Thursday – Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films (2015), SAFETY LAST! (1923)Friday – The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959); Saturday – Jurassic World (2015); Sunday – [absolutely nothing]

safety lastIt was bitterly sad news on Thursday 11 June as the iconic Sir Christopher Lee passed away. I knocked up a quick article highlighting some of my favourite performances of his and remembered I’d never seen The Hound of the Baskervilles before. In short: it was fine, not going to make me re-think my list, but Lee and Cushing together were absolutely brilliant. The best film I watched this week was actually the Electric Boogaloo documentary about Cannon films, but I’ve already written a review of that (and you should go watch it right now!) However, the film I’m actually going to talk about is the classic Harold Lloyd silent comedy, Safety Last!, which I saw at the Ultimate Picture Palace in Oxford with a score performed by Unsilent Movies live in the cinema. It was immensely entertaining; both witnessing this unbelievably talented duo keeping beat with every movement on screen, as well as the movie itself. I’ve confessed many times before that I like watching the odd silent film, but when it comes to silent comedies, I’m a little out of touch. Chaplin is pretty much my only point of reference. I’ve not seen any Laurel & Hardy, for example. The only Buster Keaton film I’ve seen (The General) had just one scene that made me laugh. Nevertheless, I genuinely found that the quality of the gags and humour in Safety Last! matched the joyful experience I was having at the UPP. The plot was simple enough to allow for some fantastical scenarios to occur, as Harold Lloyd moves to the city to get a good enough job to impress his sweetheart back home in the country, pretending to have a better job than he actually has. It’s constant gag after gag after gag, but each one is so well crafted that even now, 92 years on, you can still admire them and, more importantly, laugh at them. I guess you could say that it’s timeless. And yes, that is a shoe-horned in pun on the film’s most famous scene, that doesn’t really work. No, you shut up.


Week 3 – Monday 15 – Sunday 21 June 2015

Monday – Weaverfish (2015), Over The Top (1987); Tuesday – American Ninja (1985); Wednesday – La Grande Illusion (1937); Thursday – Invasion USA (1985); Friday – Dragon Lord (1982); Saturday – Gascoigne (2015), UNITED PASSIONS (2015); Sunday – Mr Holmes (2015)

united passionsThis is possibly only the fifth time this year that I’ve actually watched at least one film every day for an entire week. Despite that, the film I’m going to talk about is probably the least deserving of any minor publicity my reviews might bring. In fact, have we ever talked about a film on Failed Critics more obsessively than United Passions? I suppose Star Wars gets a mention every so often when Steve and I are in full-on argumentative mode. Kill Keith lingered like a chip van outside of an inner-city school at lunch time, refusing to go away despite repeated attempts to get rid of it. But this God awful piece of FIFA propaganda, this slimy, abhorrent garbage, this offensively obnoxious drivel, this nauseating, badly directed, badly written, badly acted detestable xenophobic filth just won’t leave us alone. I’ve listed the release year for the movie as 2015, but if this ever sees wide distribution in the UK, I will eat Sepp Blatter’s oversized hat off of his humongous head, once he’s finally extracted it from his fetid engorged colon. I’m aware that you have to allow artistic license for these kinds of biopics, so most of the film is based on fictional events (or at least highly exaggerated events), but to portray Sepp Blatter as a virtually infallible hero of world football, protecting it from the corruption all at the same time as being solely responsible for the promotion of the women’s game and saving Africa, it’s a fucking embarrassment. £16m of FIFA’s money was pumped into this smug circle jerk. Sixteen. Millions. Pounds. That’s £16m that has been taken out of the game, money that could be put back into developing football at a grass roots level in countries that would benefit from the investment. Instead all of it is splurted over Blatter’s scrotum-textured face like a FIFA-backed money-bukake. His resignation from FIFA cannot come soon enough, but knowing what a cowardly conniving bald fat twat he is, based on his real-life exploits not just those of Tim Roth’s portrayal in United Passions (Tim-bloody-Roth, what the fuck are you doing for crying out loud) he’ll no doubt renege on his promise, stand for re-election and miraculously win it it. Again. Ugh.


Week 4 – Monday 22 – Sunday 28 June 2015

Monday – Zombeavers (2014); Tuesday – The Terminator (1984); Wednesday – [absolutely nothing]; Thursday – [absolutely nothing]; Friday – Delta Force (1986), Pet Semetary (1989); Saturday – TWIN WARRIORS (AKA TAI-CHI MASTER) (1993); Sunday – Minions (2015), Through The Lens (2015)

tai chi masterHaving seen The Terminator for the second time this year (albeit on this occasion on the big screen for the very first time) I thought I’d give you all a break and talk about something else. In the first ever article I wrote for this series back at the end of January, I mentioned how I’d seen a boat-load of kung-fu movies. Well, it seems that itch returned as I sought out a few more in the latter part of June. Partly because after trying to think of my four favourite actresses for a Twitter trend that’s taking over my feed lately, I named one of them as Michelle Yeoh. It then got me thinking how few of her lesser known films I’ve actually sat down to watch during these recent binges. A quick trip to America to search for Yeoh’s films on Netflix revealed a 1993 martial arts action-comedy co-starring Jet Li that was quite highly rated at 4.5 stars. Whilst Yeoh herself is more of a side character who helps out Jet Li’s banished monk-turned-political rebellion activist after his long-time friend’s lust for power drives them apart, I still thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s occasionally funny, has some excellently choreographed combat scenes with both Yeoh and Li involved in some high-wire stunts. It even possesses quite a well crafted morality play throughout the plot. The sides of good and evil, right and wrong, friendship and enemies etc with not all of the important scenes involving fisty-cuffs. It’s balanced well enough to keep you engaged even when there’s no wave after wave of useless goons being pummeled by Jet Li’s furious fists…


Week 5 – Monday 29 – Tuesday 30 June 2015

Monday – The Last Dragon (1985), The Big Sleep (1946); Tuesday – Police Assassins (AKA Yes Madam) (AKA  Huang jia shi jie) (1985)

the last dragonOn Monday, I had the evening to myself as my wife was away. I played a bit of Star Fox 64 on my new 2DS (it’s still rock solid) before spending a few hours watching two and just-over-a-half films. Don’t get too excited. I’m not going to name the ‘half a film’; not solely because I didn’t make it to the end before switching it off, but because it was a preview screener for review and don’t think it would be fair to name-and-shame unless I’d seen it all the way to the end. Who knows? That last 20-25 minutes could’ve been spectacular. Alas, of the hour and a bit I did see, it was, without doubt (bearing in mind I also watched United Passions last month) one of the worst, most incoherent, horrendously edited, joyless, completely devoid of any redeeming qualities and downright appalling movies I have ever seen in my entire life. To be fair to it, I personally think that werewolf films are the most difficult Horror sub-genre to tackle. They’re very rarely done right, particularly if you have no money for decent CGI or proper practical special effects. An American Werewolf In London might be one of my favourite films, but An American Werewolf In Paris ain’t. Ginger Snaps, Curse of the Werewolf and Dog Soldiers = good. Ginger Snaps Back, Never Cry Werewolf and Strippers vs Werewolves = bad, bad and ‘just fuck off’ bad. This particular screener for an as-yet unreleased werewolf film was just gibberish. If there was a main character, protagonist or antagonist, I couldn’t tell you. It seems stuck between avoiding replicating PG-rated teen romance dramas, and copying violent, more explicit OTT Japanese animes, whilst trying to construct an appalling superhero origin movie. Random characters would occasionally have exposition read out during mid-scene narration sequences. Think of the line “Jim never has a second cup of coffee at home” from Airplane! and you’re half way there. In some scenes, the actual conversational dialogue was inaudible due to the overbearing dubstep background music, yet explosions and sound effects were ear-bleedingly loud to the point that Michael Bay would’ve been proud. I genuinely rued that wasted hour of my evening. It was so bad I actually began questioning whether or not I even enjoy watching movies any more… before putting on The Big Sleep and realising I do enjoy films, just not this particular one. To make matters worse, I was actually going to talk about The Last Dragon in this review, Mo-Town’s funky kung-fu film about a (seemingly autistic) virgin dubbed Bruce Leroy, with a bordering-on-racist phony Asian accent, despite being from Harlem, who fantasises about achieving a “glow”. Ah well. Maybe I’ll get around to that should I ever rewatch it in the next 6 months. (Spoiler: that’s very, very unlikely.)


And that’s it, I guess! I’ll be back around about the same time next month to round up the stuff that I’ve been watching throughout July. No doubt more kung-fu films, a couple of classic movies and some 80’s cult Cannon films. As ever, if you’ve any comments to make on the films I’ve talked about (or not talked about) above, leave them in the box below or send me a tweet.

Failed Critics Podcast: Jurassic World & Christopher Lee

christopher leeHuh? Where’s the podcast gone…?

…oh, no…

…IT’S CAMOUFLAGED!

No, wait, here it is. And it looks like Steve Norman and Owen Hughes have spliced together some DNA and created a monster of their own in Mike Shawcross. You might think that’s an insult, but remember, ‘monster’ is relative. To a mouse, a cat is a monster. To Hammer Horror, Christopher Lee is a monster. To our audience, we are monsters.

Anyway, in this episode we review Colin Trevorrow’s new mega-blockbuster box office-record-breaking hit Jurassic World, including both a spoiler free review (as normal) and the return of “spoiler alert” at the end of the podcast after the credits.

Also in this episode: we pay tribute to the iconic Sir Christopher Lee, a true legend of cinema, who sadly passed away last week; as well as running through the original Jurassic Park films and the latest Channel 4 series Humans, Steve actually prepared a quiz this week; Mike explains the problems with The Matrix on blu-ray; and Owen raves about the documentary Paul recommended at the end of last week’s podcast, Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films.

Join us again next week as we review Entourage: The Movie (or whatever it’s called) and Mr Holmes.

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Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films

Warning: watching this documentary about the history of Cannon films will almost certainly lead to you spending hours watching terrible 80’s action movies.

by Owen Hughes (@ohughes86)

electric boogalooYou may have heard Paul Field recommend a documentary during last week’s podcast called Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films. It tells a rather comprehensive tale exploring the rise and demise of Israeli cousins Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus; two infamous and incredibly ambitious film makers who came to Hollywood, conquered Hollywood and … promptly left Hollywood. It was on Paul’s recommendation that I recently gave it a whirl and now I’m urging you to do the same!

Between them, Golan & Globus were responsible for over 200 films – probably even less than half of which you might have heard of before! Whilst watching the documentary, I was ticking off my bingo card listing the films of theirs I’d seen. Chances are, if you’ve ever seen a Chuck Norris or Charles Bronson film from the 1980’s, it will have been produced by one or both of the cousins.

Got dusty old copies of Missing In Action, Delta Force or Invasion USA in your attic? Check. Ever seen a Death Wish sequel on ITV4’s late night rotation? Yep, that was them. What about virtually any film from the 80’s with ‘ninja’ in the title, including most of those featuring the legendary Shô Kosugi? Tick, tick, tick. How about Masters of the Universe, Superman IV: The Quest For PeaceThe Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, CyborgInvaders from Mars, Bloodsport, the 1990 version of Captain America?? The list goes on and on. If it cost a lot to produce, earned very little back in the box office, and was made in the 80’s, you’ll probably find Manahem and/or Yoram’s name listed in the credits eventually.

Complete with interviews from the likes of Sybil Danning, Tobe Hooper, Diane Franklin, Alex Winter, Michael Dudikoff, Franco Nero, Albert Pyun, Dolph Lundgren, David Engelbach, Boaz Davidson and plenty of others, the talking heads in this feature do not hold back in telling everyone what exactly they thought about their time at Cannon. Most of the them affectionately looking back at the things they can’t believe they got away with – or didn’t get away with, as the case may be. Anecdotes about funds being raised for films as the ideas are made up literally on the spot by Manahem at Cannes, or writers having their scripts completely re-written during production, films being churned out in a matter of weeks from conception to print. It really does sound as wild as the title would have you believe.

There’s an attempt by writer and director Mark Hartley to explain exactly where things might have gone wrong for Cannon. Although no individual excuse is painted as the sole reason for the collapse of the prolific studio, certain aspects are consistently alluded to. Prominently featured among these theories is the fact that being from Israel, Manahem and Yoram were always outsiders in Hollywood. They were the foreigners who didn’t understand the American idioms or fit into the culture of having to schmooze your way to the top at fancy parties or tennis clubs if you really wanted to get anywhere in the business. What makes them both endearing characters is the fact it genuinely comes across as though all they really wanted to do, no matter what stage of their career they were at, was simply make films. It’s a sincere affection for cinema that makes them both such interesting characters. The kind of people you don’t expect to really exist in the cut throat economic world of the high level motion picture production line.

However, somewhat conversely, another theory proffered is that they sacrificed quality for quantity in their efforts to stay afloat. Movies were being made day by day on the money made from potential future pictures. There’s a quote in Electric Boogaloo where Yoram, the more down to earth of the two, revealed his concerns during their peak that they owe the bank $5m. Manahem’s response? To express his dismay that they didn’t owe $10m! Their solution to most problems seemed to be throwing more money at it; sometimes money that they just didn’t have. Frugality didn’t appear to be in their nature.

Take, for example, their plan to ride out their wane in the mid-late eighties. In 1985, Stallone starred in Rambo: First Blood Part II, and then Rocky IV, before appearing in Cobra the following year. Already an Oscar nominated writer and director for Rocky a decade before, now the go-to action star, he was a legitimately huge box office draw. Despite repeated attempts by Cannon to get him into their pictures, including his agent rebuffing $12m, in 1987, Sly finally relented and earned a whopping $14m for his part in the arm-wrestling-come-road-trip movie Over The Top. Fourteen. Million. Dollars! It was an unprecedented amount that he couldn’t refuse and was basically Cannon’s last ditch attempt to go all in as they tried to rescue themselves. Hoping some of Stallone’s success would rub off on them, it nearly worked as the film made quite a bit of money, although just $2m more than they paid Stallone and never actually broke even unfortunately.

But as Hartley explores, this epitomised their approach to film making at that time. No longer were they making daring raunchy films, inserting crude nudity simply to ensure a return on their investment (sex does indeed sell, after all) but trying to refine their product for specific audiences. Which is also another reason offered up as to where things started to go wrong. To put it bluntly, they weren’t good film makers. Passionate, sure. Keenly driven, undoubtedly. Relatively talented, enough to put out a feature film in their home country that people flocked to see, absolutely. But the turning point in their lives, buying Cannon Group and starting a partnership with the distributor MGM, may have been the beginning of their own downfall. As they attempted to up their game, producing more and more pictures with higher budgets and of supposedly a higher standard, their lack of awareness and quality was highlighted ten-fold. Seeing and listening to the former head of MGM at the time, Frank Yablans, during this segment of the documentary, it seems that bitterness towards Cannon over the “garbage” that he had to try and distribute had not dissipated over time.

In fact, Yablans is one of only a handful of people in Electric Boogaloo who seems unable to look back at this period and laugh about it. Laurene Landon is another who seems to despise the company still for the way they treated the crew on America 3000. Others seem to aim their gun at different people involved in production, such as Robin Sherwood’s stories about her time working with the man widely acknowledged as a genuinely humongous dickhead, Michael Winner, on the set of Death Wish II. It seems that if there’s a criticism of Menahem and Yoram’s approach, it was the little-to-no protection they afforded their cast and stars. There were no guarantees that promises would be fulfilled (I sincerely hope that Dudikoff’s Spider-Man is eventually released in some format or another), never mind ensuring stuff they didn’t have time for, like Actors Union standards, would actually be met on set.

It would have been the icing on the extraordinarily bizarre and hugely entertaining cake if Golan & Globus appeared on screen together to defend their actions. Alas, with Menahem Golan passing away last year, there is no longer the opportunity for him to do so. At least, not directly. Alternatively, you could always check out last year’s The Go-Go Boys: The Inside Story of Cannon Films, a documentary that they produced themselves as an attempt to tell the story in their own words. A film hilariously released in competition with Electric Boogaloo, mimicking production on their old films that they released in competition with other studios, such as their most financially successful film Breakin’ and its rivalry with Beat Street. 

If nothing else though, watching the riveting story of Cannon in Electric Boogaloo will give you a wave of nostalgia as you find out the true history of some terrible films from your youth. Or if you’re anything like me, it will leave you trawling through Netflix looking for which region you can watch classics like American Ninja on. (That’s UK Netflix, for what it’s worth.)

Electric Boogaloo was released right here in the UK earlier this month and is available to rent from most VOD services.