Written by: Michael Den Boer on April 1st, 2017
Theatrical Release Dates: Australia / USA / Israel / UK, 2014 (Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films), Australia, 2010 (Machete Maidens Unleashed!)
Director: Mark Hartley
Writer: Mark Hartley
BluRay released: April 5th, 2017
Approximate running times: 106 minutes (Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films), 88 minutes (Machete Maidens Unleashed!)
Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC (Both Films)
Rating: MA 15+ (Australia)
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 English (Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films), Dolby Digital Stereo English (Machete Maidens Unleashed!)
BluRay Release: Umbrella Entertainment
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $34.99
Strap yourselves in and take an off-road cinematic rampage through the bowels of Hollywood’s least-loved film studio, CANNON FILMS.
Responsible for churning out a breathtaking cavalcade of hits and misses (including DEATH WISH II, BREAKIN’, INVASION USA and MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE) that showcased ninjas, nudity, creaky monosyllabic action heroes, threadbare plots and accidental moments of near-genius – the folks at Cannon botched plots, bounced cheques and burned careers – and in doing so forever changed the way movies were made and marketed.” – Synopsis provided by the Distributor
For most lifelong fans of cinema, there is no denying the indelible mark that the decade from their youth where they discovered the wonders of cinema. For me that decade would be the 1980’s and looking back with nostalgia, I realize just how inventive and in some instances crazy the films from this decade are. With no films more personifying this vibe, than the films that were being made by Cannon Films.
And though I am familiar with many of the films represented in this documentary. I was still astonished by how many films that were made by Cannon Films, that I had no idea about their involvement in making them. Needless to say, Cannon Films has left a lasting impression on my psyche.
Content wise, this documentary is an insightful and often frank discussion about the rise and fall of Cannon Films. With the majority of the main players involved in the making of these films participating. Unfortunately, there are few key contributors who are absent, most notably, Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus. It should be noted that they do appear via archive footage. Fortunately, there lack of participation does not affect the end result. Since those who do appear throughout this documentary provide all the essential details about the rise and fall of Cannon Films.
Join us for a non-stop Filipino femme-fest, all the way from the jungles of the Pacific via the trash cans of the critics!
Boasting cheap labour, exotic scenery and non-existent health and safety regulations, The Philippines was a dreamland for exploitation auteurs whose renegade productions were soon engulfing drive-in screens around the globe like a tidal schlock-wave!
This is the ultimate insiders account of a far away backlot where stuntmen came cheap, plot was obsolete – and the make-up guy was packin’ heat!” – Synopsis provided by the Distributor
There is no denying that the 1970’s were special time to be a fan of cinema. It was a time when independently made cinema and genre cinema ruled at the box office. And even as things started to shift by the end of the decade. The major studios had already begun to see that genre cinema would a valuable commodity.
Besides pushing the limits when it came to violence and eroticism. Another area where the 1970’s often excelled is when it came to making home grown products for American audiences in foreign countries. This often gave the films an unusual vibe that differed from your typical home grown product.
Structurally the film’s does not only a good job covering the American financed that were made in the Philippines during the 1970’s. It also breaks things down by key individuals, Gerardo de Leon, Eddie Romero, Cirio H. Santiago, Roger Corman, Weng Weng and Apocalypse Now. All of the participants who do appear throughout this documentary provide all the essential details about the actors, filmmakers and genres that have since come to define this era of filmmaking in the Philippines.
Whether you are a fan of exploitation cinema or just a fan of cinema, Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films and Machete Maidens Unleashed! are what dreams are made of.
Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films and Machete Maidens Unleashed! are presented on a 50 GB dual layer (46.5 GB) BluRay and both film’s are presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. The sources used for these documentaries vary in quality. With the newly shot interviews being the footage that looks the strongest.
Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in English and Machete Maidens Unleashed! comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital stereo mix in English. Both audio mixes sound, clear, balanced and robust when it needs too. Both of these films have English subtitles for any dialog that is not in English.
Extras for Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films include, a trailer for the film (2 minutes 18 seconds), an extensive Behind the Scenes image gallery, an extensive image gallery that contains Cannon Stills & Posters, UK press interview with director Mark Hartley (4 minutes 33 seconds), Variety Studio interview with Mark Hartley & filmmaker / co-producer Brett Ratner (5 minutes 20 seconds), Tiff Red Carpet Report (6 minutes 17 seconds), A Word With Frank Yablans (4 minutes 7 seconds), Michael Dudikoff Extended Interview (12 minutes 33 seconds) and Deleted & Extended Scenes (37 minutes 22 seconds).
Other extras for Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films include, a Cannon Films trailer reel and here is a list of the trailers. Inga, Innocence Lost, Joe, Maid in Sweden, The Blood on Satan’s Claw, Hot Tee-Shirts, The Apple, Schizoid, The Happy Hooker Goes to Hollywood, Lady Chatterly’s Lover, Body and Soul, Enter the Ninja, That Championship Season, The Last American Virgin, Death Wish II, The Wicked Lady, Revenge of the Ninja, Hercules, 10 To Midnight, Treasure of the Four Crowns, Breakin’, Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo, Making the Grade, The Ambassaor, The Naked Face, Sword of the Valiant, Bolero, Maria’s Lovers, Missing in Action, Missing in Action 2: The Beginning, Mata Hari, Hercules II: The Adventures of Hercules, Lifeforce, King Solomon’s Mines, Death Wish 3, American Warrior (AKA American Ninja), Invasion: USA, Runaway Train, Firewalker, Alan Quartermain and the Lost City of Gold, Invaders from Mars, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, The Delta Force, 52 Pickup, Cobra, American Ninja 2: The Confrontation, Assassin, Street Smart, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, Masters of the Universe, Over the Top, Death Wish 4: The Crackdown, Tough Guys Don’t Dance, Alien from LA, Messenger of Death, Salsa, American Ninja 3: Blood Hunt, Sinbad of the Seven Seas, Kinjite: Forbidden Subjects, Cyborg and Lambada.
Extras for Machete Maidens Unleashed! include, a trailer for the film (2 minutes 36 seconds, an extensive Filipino Poster & Stills image gallery, Oath of Green Blood promo for Mad Doctor of Blood Island (1 minute 20 seconds), monster test footage from Up From the Depths (3 minutes 21 seconds), Rue Morgue audio interview with Mark Hartley (29 minutes 10 seconds), Fantastic Fest interview with Mark Hartley (2 minutes 47 seconds), Fantastic Fest Q&A with Roger and Julie Corman, Mark Hartley and Tim League (13 minutes 27 seconds), Fantastic Fest Red Carpet (4 minutes 27 seconds), a collection of more interviews which did not make the final cut titled More Wild & Untold Stories From Machete Maidens (86 minutes 32 seconds) and an audio commentary with Mark Hartley, sound recordist Jock Healy, assistant cameraman Angelo Sartore and production manager Melissa Hines.
Other extras for Machete Maidens Unleashed! include, a Filipino trailer reel and here is a list of the trailers. Raiders of Leyte Gulf, Terror is a Man, Mad Doctor of Blood Island, Beast of Blood, Beast of the Yellow Night, The Big Dollhouse, Women in Cages, The Big Bird Cage, Night of the Cobra Woman, The Hot Box, Black Mama/White Mama (AKA Women in Chains), The Woman Hunt, The Twilight People, Beyond Atlantis, Savage Sisters, Savage, TNT Jackson, Fly Me, Cover Girl Models, Ebony, Ivory and Jade, Hollywood Boulevard, Naked Fist (AKA Firecracker), They Call Him Chop Suey, Master Samurai, Devils Three, The One Armed Executioner, The Losers, For Your Height Only and Up From The Depths.
Rounding out the extras is a reversible cover art.
It should be noted that the majority of the extras are exclusive to this release.
There is a wealth of extra content that comes with these two extraordinary documentaries and just like the main features, there is a wealth of insightful information which can be gleaned from this extra content. Overall this is an exceptional release from Umbrella Entertainment, highly recommended.