For those growing up in the ’80s, watching a Cannon Films movie was a right of passage. The low budget schlock house became well known for their cheesy sequels to Death Wish and their copious Chuck Norris action movies. Still, Cannon Films took enormous risks with a lot of pictures. They captured the brief phenomenon of breakdancing with the hit Breakin‘ and its often lampooned sequel, Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo. They adapted the works of authors like Charles Bukowski and Elmore Leonard. They helped bring anime to the west with Robotech: The Movie. They predated the movie market’s obsession with pre-established intellectual properties by making a Masters of the Universe film. They even nabbed some Oscar nominations for their film Runaway Train. They gave a number of new actors their start and other actors a shot at getting back in the limelight. Their importance, no matter how small, is undeniable.
So it’s with great excitement that we here at Fandom have learned that Cannon Films is once again back in business! They have announced sequels to some of their more beloved franchises, but just the fact that the spirit of Cannon Films is alive is cause for celebration. If you want to know a whole lot more about the history of the studio and some of their films, you have to check out the excellent documentary Electric Boogaloo. Here’s the trailer:
If you only see a few Cannon Films, here are some essentials: Ninja III: The Domination, Exterminator 2, Missing in Action 2, The Company of Wolves, Invasion U.S.A., Death Wish 3, Cobra, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, 52 Pick-Up, Barfly, Runaway Train, The Apple and Bloodsport. You may notice that a lot fo those films are sequels. Dont worry, you don’t need to see the originals. A Cannon film always stands on its own. If the newest incarnation can produce even one movie as enjoyable as any of those, it will have been well worth the wait.
Welcome back, Cannon Films. We’ve missed you. Please don’t change your logo at the beginning of your films. It’s perfect as it is.