What is this, anyway? 


 

The Cannon Film Guide is a series of books by Austin Trunick. These books will offer the first comprehensive exploration of the filmography of Cannon, the legendary studio responsible for making many of the most entertaining b-movies of the 1980s.

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The Cannon Film Guide Volume I is available now from BearManor Media. This first volume examines forty films and franchises produced by The Cannon Group, the most prolific b-movie studio of the 1980s, during the company’s first five years under the command of cult film legends Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus. Through in-depth studies and behind-the-scenes stories from the people who made them, this volume examines such beloved, VHS-era classics as the Breakin’, Missing in Action, Hercules, and Death Wish movies, Revenge of the Ninja, Ninja III: The Domination, The Apple, Bolero, Exterminator 2, The Last American Virgin, and many more. Its foreword is written by filmmaker Sam Firstenberg.

Volume II, which looks at the years 1985 through 1987, will follow in 2021. 

Order Volume I on Amazon

“The Cannon Film Guide provides unprecedented access and understanding to the bone-crunching, top-popping, gut-busting, new-wave/roller-disco/Lambada-boogaloo teen-sex/chainsaw-massacre/martial-arts madness (and more!) wrought forth by Golan, Globus, and the mightiest gods of maniacally gonzo cinema. From the the go-go boardrooms of Tel Aviv to the urban gutters blasted clean by Charles Bronson, on to the breakin’ beats of Venice Beach and clear out to the furthermost reaches of Eternia, The Cannon Film Guide is the greatest book anyone could ever write about the greatest movie studio that ever was. And is.”—Mike McPadden, author of Teen Movie Hell and Heavy Metal Movies

“If you’re a fan of Cannon films, or even not a fan, you will be fascinated by Austin Trunick’s deep dive into the studio’s output.  This is an under-reported part of cinema history and this book will delight both film buffs and casual devotees of action-packed movies. This book added to my knowledge, not to mention my testosterone level.”—Frank Conniff, comedian, TV’s Mystery Science Theater 3000

“A joyful, knowledgeable ode to one of the great film companies of all time, a sprawling epic full of fun stories, interviews, and images, and it delivers on its promise to be the ultimate guide to The Cannon Group and their releases.” —david j. moore, author of The Good, the Tough, and the Deadly and World Gone Wild

The Cannon Film Guide is a treasure trove of info for Golan/Globus fans. Even diehard Cannon scholars will learn something from this tome!”—Paul Talbot, author of Bronson’s Loose! and Bronson’s Loose Again! On the Set with Charles Bronson

 

Cannon? huh?

Wait — you’re telling me one company produced ALL these awesome movies?


What do landmark pieces of ‘80s cinema such as American Ninja, Bolero, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, Bloodsport, and Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo have in common? They were all products of the legendary b-movie factory, The Cannon Group.

Following its takeover by cousins Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus in 1980, The Cannon Group was responsible for the production and/or distribution of more than 200 movies. Their output included many of the Eighties’ most action-packed b-movies, as well as a few of the decade’s most notorious flops. In the meantime, they turned action stars such as Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and Michael Dudikoff into household names, and ushered Charles Bronson his end-of-career renaissance. 

While it was rare to find a traditionally “good” film bearing the company’s eye-grabbing logo, it’s even more difficult to find one that isn’t an entertaining experience from its title screen to its credit roll. Today, more than thirty years removed from the studio’s heyday, Cannon’s films are held in extremely high regard by connoisseurs of cinematic cheese.

Cyborg. Lifeforce. Masters of the Universe. Ninja III: The Domination. Over the Top. Death Wish II, 3, and 4. The Apple. Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. Hercules and Hercules II: The Adventures of Hercules. Missing in Action. The Delta Force. Revenge of the Ninja. Sahara. 10 to Midnight. King Solomon’s Mines. Firewalker. Tough Guys Don’t Dance. Invaders from Mars. The list goes on, and on, and on… so much so, that it’s going to take an entire trilogy of reference books to cover them. 

 

Yeah, but who’s the author?

His name’s Austin, and he knows his stuff.


 

Austin Trunick grew up in the era when you had to rent your movies from a video store. That meant physically going to a shop full of things called tapes – up hill and through the snow both ways, naturally – to pay a fee to take a movie home and watch it on your VCR. Then you’d have to rewind the movie, and take it back to the store the next day. 

The ’80s and ’90s were a different time. 

He grew up on b-movies, many of which were produced by Cannon. When he got big enough to tie his own shoes, he moved to New York, got a degree in film studies, and became a professional critic. He’s the Cinema Editor for the nationally-distributed entertainment magazine, Under the Radar, and has written for Mental Floss and Consequence of Sound.