As a kid growing up in the ‘80s, the Cannon Group was an important part of my becoming a movie geek. Thanks to the advent of the VCR, I spent countless weekends and summer vacations inside a house, in front of a television set, watching movies like Revenge of the Ninja and Missing in Action. Hell, if it weren’t for Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, the world might have missed out on a ton of Chuck Norris and Sho Kosugi movies in general. Those guys were like stalwarts in the Cannon stable.
The little company that could raked in big bucks during the Reagan era, and looked like it was going to be a force in the industry for years to come – until it made two fatal miscalculations: the Israeli cousins dumped money into Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, which flopped miserably, and then bought the rights to make a Spider-Man movie that never got off the ground. And just like that, Cannon Films was gone – but not forgotten by those of us who came of age in the era of giant shoulder pads and leg warmers.
It’s at least a little bit ironic that Cannon went bust on superhero films since those same movies are so popular and such big moneymakers these days. Unfortunately, back in the ‘80s comic book movies were a much tougher sell. Cannon learned this the hard way.
However, before everything turned to crap, the BBC made this one-hour documentary about Golan and Globus and their little cinematic empire. It’s a trip down memory lane for those of us who loved ninjas and breakdancing and all the other assorted silliness that made growing up in the ‘80s so amazing.