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Aug 09 2014
Menahem Golan, Israeli Film Pioneer & Action-Movie Kingpin, Dies @ 85 Comments (0)

Menahem Golan, one half (with cousin Yoram Globus, b. 1941) of the spirited, balls-out indie production company Cannon Films from 1979—1989, died in Israel yesterday at 85.

Golan was known as a colorful character, described by Variety in his obituary as “free-spending” (this fate awaits me, I fear, except for the part about being remembered in Variety). With Globus, he is responsible as a producer for some of the most gloriously terrible, lovably regrettable films of the '70s and (more so) '80s. A lurid, incomplete list includes:


Happy-HookerDeacon & West don drag

The Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood (1980)

Described as a madcap comedy (both untrue), this laughably unfunny piece o' shite is classic for awkward appearances by Adam West (b. September 19, 1928), Phil Silvers (May 11, 1911—November 1, 1985) and Richard Deacon (May 14, 1921—August 8, 1984).



New Year's Evil (1980)

Execrable horror flick that gave Happy Days galpal Roz Kelly her chance at superstardom.


8397_9_screenshotAs a kid, I thought she wasn't pretty because she had short hair.

Lady Chatterley's Lover (1981)

Starring Sylvia Kristel (September 28, 1952—October 18, 2012), this erotic mess-terpiece was a staple of late-night pay cable in the early '80s. I fussed with our cable box often to try to get a clear picture of the humping.


266Jayne KennedyFor Christ's sake!

Body and Soul (1981)

Boxing movie starring Leon Isaac Kennedy (b. January 1, 1949) and his then wife Jayne Kennedy (b. October 27, 1951) more famous for the uninhibited nude spread Playboy shot of the goody two-shoes/Christian couple during filming. You must read this passive-aggressively bitchtastic piece from the Chicago Tribune on the latter subject. (A low-resolution copy of a decades-old sex video of the couple has since been leaked.)


MonosonMonoson is SO HOT now—click here!

Steveantin1The Last American Virgin (1982)

Delightfully lusty teen-sex comedy with highly sexable guys like Lawrence Monoson (b. August 11, 1964) and Steve Antin (b. April 19, 1958).


Treasure of the Four Crowns

Treasure of the Four Crowns (1983)

OMG...I went to see this with my Dungeons & Dragons buddies and we loved it. It was in 3-D, and had Spanish actress Ana Obregón (b. March 18, 1955) as the slu—, I mean, leading lady. Just pure trash! Made no sense at all.



Wicked-LadyThe original face

The Wicked Lady (1983)

Faye Dunaway (b. January 14, 1941) was in her transition from Oscar-winning acting goddess to...something less than that, and made several films with Cannon, which probably salivated over the idea of working with Hollywood royalty.


Brooke-SheildsDry humor.

Sahara (1983)

One of the ultimate movie bombs, starring Brooke Shields (b. May 31, 1965).



Breakin' (1984) & Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo (also 1984!)

Capitalizing on the breakdancing fad, these movies will never leave pop cultural consciousness thanks to the completely unselfconscious use of electric boogaloo.



The Delta Force (1986)

Cheesy actioner with ubiquitous ass Chuck Norris (b. March 10, 1940).


Going bananas media vhs adCheck out the sources of the blurbs!

Going Bananas (1987)

Could the world really have gone on without a Jimmie Walker (b. June 25, 1947)/Dom DeLuise (August 1, 1933—May 4, 2009) comedy about a talking chimp from the African nation of Momba-Zomba Land? (Walker is a right-winger, so wouldn't entertain any suggestion that the fake country's name was a little culturally insensitive.)



Masters of the Universe (1987)

Surely you know this one. Dolph Lundgren (b. November 3, 1957) at his waxy, sexy best.



Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)

The most unwatchable Superman ever, probably the worst thing Gene Hackman (b. January 30, 1930) ever said yes to.


R.speedwayjunky.mHunky junkies

Speedway Junky (1999)

Post-Cannon, Golan produced this odd coming-of-age flick starring Jonathan Taylor Thomas (b. September 8, 1981) and other boymeat. For some reason, Darryl Hannah (b. December 3, 1960) and Patsy Kensit (b. March 4, 1968) show up.


Cannon also made more than a few stabs at quality films, some of which are more noteworthy for the effort than for the result, but we must not overlook: That Championship Season (1982), Grace Quigley (1984), 52 Pick-Up (1986), Barfly (1987) and Powaqqatsi (1988).