Story Details

Documentary Battles: Electric Boogaloo or The Go-Go Boys? (2014) - Reviewed

Posted By themoviesleuth 528 days ago on Entertainment - Courtesy of MVD VisualBy now you’ve probably heard of the two Israeli cousins Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus who became the CEOs of the prolific (and controversial) film production company Cannon Films or The Cannon Group.  Whether it be through the series of films themselves including some of the wildest, best (and worst) films of the 1980s, their track record of serving up low-budget sleazy exploitation trash and their history of cutting corners, Golan-Globus have achieved cinematic history as well as infamy with their tenure in the film business.   With renewed interest in the Cannon Group’s library of films with companies like Shout Factory serving up newly restored editions of some of their harder-to-find titles, it was only a matter of time before the self-proclaimed ‘Go-Go Boys’ would find themselves the subjects of not one but two separate documentary films.  In the time-honored tradition of Golan-Globus’ business practices of quickly assembling a film production to race another company’s production to the finish line ala Breakin’ vs Beat Street, the Go-Go Boys weren’t too pleased with what would become Mark Hartley’s documentary film Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films. Courtesy of MVD Visual Produced without their participation, the film featured numerous interviews with many of the actors, directors and producers involved in The Cannon Group in what is more or less an expose of the company’s practices and the notorious reputation of Golan-Globus as being kind of wheeler dealer film producers.  Something of a hit piece, Golan-Globus responded by teaming up with filmmaker Hilla Medalia for the simultaneously released documentary The Go-Go Boys, offering their version of the story in their own words. With one documentary designed to balk at the company’s missteps and tendency towards smut while the other is out and out hagiography, neither film is completely right or wrong about The Cannon Group or the people who ran it.  One is a takedown of the company, the other a buildup.  One says The Cannon Group was a slipshod outfit that didn’t pay the staff, cast or crew while the other sees the saga as a success story of rags to riches.   What both of these variations on the Cannon Group’s history offer when viewed alongside one another, however, is as complete of a picture on Golan-Globus’ endeavors in the film world as we’re likely to ever get.  Tragically Menahem Golan didn’t live much longer, passing away the year both documentary films were released and is survived by Yoram Globus who still lives in Israel today.  So, let us take a closer look at these two disparate documentaries that function as companion pieces that complement rather than refute one another.Courtesy of MVD Visual Though The Go-Go Boys came out the same year, the film didn’t see a stateside release until recently thanks to MVD Visual while more people saw Electric Bugaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films which was released domestically by Warner Brothers.  Co-produced by Brett Ratner, the documentary Electric Bugaloo features interviews with Sam Firstenberg, Luigi Cozzi, John G. Avildsen, Elliott Gould, Michael Dudikoff, Bo Derek and many more.  From the perspective of Electric Bugaloo, we mostly hear outsiders as well as those involved in the movies speaking of The Cannon Group and the behavior and practices of the two men running the company. While we get a top-to-bottom picture with many visual and pictorial examples of the company’s history interspersed with archival interviews with Golan-Globus, we never really hear firsthand what the Go-Go Boys think about what they’ve accomplished in the independent film scene.  Enter The Go-Go Boys which instead substitutes many of the clips of particularly wacky scenes from the movies with newly recorded interviews with Golan-Globus who speak candidly about their experiences in the Israeli and eventually the American film industries. For many The Go-Go Boys abdicates Golan-Globus of most of their responsibilities however one gets the sense watching it that Menahem Golan was (then) in denial about the fall of his company while Yoram Globus accused Menahem of overspending.  Though the two parted ways, seeing them onscreen together in a movie theater enjoying what they’ve created was kind of heartwarming and made you care for a moment as deeply as these two did about the movies. Courtesy of MVD Visual Whatever the case, in my opinion the story of The Cannon Group is incomplete without the other half.  While one film isn’t being completely honest about the facts, it reveals things about the Golan-Globus relationship that couldn’t have been ascertained without watching and comparing both documentary films.  All in all, while Electric Bugaloo for many will be the more factually accurate and entertaining piece of the two, for what it is worth The Go-Go Boys offered a great deal of insight which fans of all things The Cannon Group related should be overjoyed to hear!--Andrew Kotwicki (function() { var zergnet = document.createElement('script'); zergnet.type = 'text/javascript'; zergnet.async = true; zergnet.src = (document.location.protocol == "https:" ? "https:" : "http:") + '//'; var znscr = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; znscr.parentNode.insertBefore(zergnet, znscr); })();

Submit a Comment

Log in to comment or register here