Cannon Films was an era-defining studio in the 1980s run by Israeli cousins Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, who were like a monstrous cross-breed of Roger Corman and the Weinstein brothers. After succeeding in Israel in the ’60s, the pair moved to LA, with Yoram rounding up the money and Menahem picking the scripts. Together they produced a torrent of low-budget B-movies featuring the likes of Charles Bronson, Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme and, er, Michael Dudikoff.
“The Go-Go Boys,” playing from Nov. 14 to 27 at Shinjuku’s Cinemart, is a documentary that tracks the studio’s rise and fall. By the mid-1980s Cannon was releasing over 40 films a year, taking 20 percent of the U.S. box office and controlling over 1,000 screens in Europe. They seemed unstoppable, but hubris set in, budgets ballooned and films like the abysmal “Superman IV: The Quest for Peace” and Sylvester Stallone’s pet project “Over the Top,” sank them.