US cinema release for Cannon doc

 Hollywood studios rarely release theatrical documentaries so Mark Hartley is chuffed to be invited to Los Angeles next month for the premiere of his profile of the 1980s filmmaking machine run by Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus.

Warner Bros. is launching Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films ( in 17 US cities on September 18.

Hartley and his producer, Wildbear Entertainment’s Veronica Fury, found an ally in Brett Ratner and James Packer’s RatPac Entertainment, which co-finances films with WB.

Ratner contacted Hartley when he read a story in Variety about Drafthouse Films acquiring the US rights to the doc.  Subsequently a big piece of the Australian funding fell through when Screen Australia declined to invest in the project (although the agency later put up completion funds).

Drafthouse agreed to step aside, realising that RatPac's investment was the only way the film would get financed, as Ratner agreed to co-produce via RatPac Documentary Films. Ratner saw a rough cut and made some helpful suggestions about elaborating on Cannon’s demise at the end.

The studio is assembling a panel of Cannon veterans for the Q&A with Hartley at Landmark Cinemas on September 17, and he hopes Ratner will take part.

On September 29 the doc will get a further promotional push by Warner Bros as part of the DVD and Blu-ray release of 10 Cannon films including Cobra, Delta Force, Bloodsport, Hitman and Hellbound.  Electric Boogaloo will also be available as a stand-alone disc.

Golan and Globus, the Israeli-born cousins nicknamed the ‘Go-Go Boys,’ bought Cannon in 1979, moved to the US and churned out dozens of films, mostly cheap and rapidly-shot.

Meanwhile Hartley is developing Monster Business, a thriller scripted by Shayne Armstrong and Shane Krause, who co-wrote Bait 3D and Greg Mclean’s US pic 6 Miranda Drive.

The plot follows a writer who gets writer’s block and needs some persuasion to put words on the page. The trio is finishing the vision statement and will soon shop the project to producers.

Also on his slate is a chase pic which started out as a remake of Fair Game, Mario Andreacchio’s 1985 action/horror film, for producer Antony I. Ginnane, written by Justin King, who scripted Hartley’s Patrick reboot.

Fury produced Neon, Lawrence Johnston’s lyrical documentary on the fading craft of neon, which premiered at MIFF.  Mongrel Media is handling international sales and will use festivals as a launch pad.  Ronin Films is planning a theatrical release early next year.