August 26, 2014

We Need a New Cannon Films

We all love to reminisce about the golden age of action movies where we could have Chuck Norris, Michael Dudikoff or Charles Bronson kicking ass in low budget Cannon films. Any time the logo came up on screen, you just knew you were in for 90 odd minutes of violence-filled action fun.

Cannon specialised on doing action movies with a budget of about $5 million dollars and for some reason a lot of these movies still look better than the majority of today’s action movies.


They had real explosions, squibs and zero CGI.  Masterminded by Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus from 1975, the company created many action classics that still stand out today for sheer entertainment.

The stories would never be overly complex but the characters were always so memorable and the action was plentiful.

All good things must come to an end however and Cannon went bust after a few unsuccessful pictures which cost a lot to make but didn’t make back the money.

Since then there hasn’t really been a film company that has made so many fun action films and dammit all, I want someone to do it. I would love it if a whole bunch of indie film-makers all got together and created a new Cannon films with a better business model for the modern market.

We all keep saying that no one makes decent action movies any more as they are all filled with shaky cam, CGI and watered down family friendly violence. So how about a company that specialises in low budget action movies and encourages new talent to let their work be seen? Oh your movie has violence, profanity and nudity? Good! You’re hired!

Kickstarter campaigns are fine and may end up being the realistic future for independent movies, but they aren’t always successful and a lot of fans wonder why they should have to pay to finance movies.

It’s a fair point which is why I’d love to see something like Cannon once again. Big studios don’t like to take risks any more (aside from maybe Marvel) but if you’re making films with modest budgets where the cast are on lower salaries then the films don’t need to make $100 million to be considered a success.

Giving new filmmakers a real shot could be an interesting way to reinvigorate the sagging genre and discover the next John McTiernan.

Also, it doesn’t cost $200 million dollars to create a memorable character; where is the next action icon? I would love to see someone like Dirty Harry, Paul Kersey or Snake Plissken fighting against the politically correct system, which is very much still in effect. I’d say the most memorable action movie character of the past few years would be Bryan Mills from Taken or Mike Banning from Olympus Has Fallen. Even then they aren’t so iconic that the average Joe on the street would know their name. If you say Rambo, everyone knows who that is but truly memorable characters are few and far between recently.

So many modern action movies today are gritty and frankly depressing, shot in ugly looking locations with dark stories. Why can’t we have a bit of sunshine and glamour again? Is it so wrong for an action film to be fun and to have a true hero? Oh that’s right; it has to be ironic where everyone hates themselves and the world.

Sue me, but I want real action, with real badasses where CGI is outlawed and heads explode like it’s going out of fashion. Cannon films did that and surely there has to be someone out there who thinks the same?

There are a few companies like Grindstone, Moonstone, Well Go USA and Arclight who are doing good work but we need someone with some influence to spearhead something really special. Someone who will fight the PC brigade and create the movies we really want to see.  Someone who will say “Sure, I’ll finance Undisputed 4”… I have no idea who that someone would be but I’m making this up as I go…

It’s not like there aren’t action movie fans out there, but so many big budget action movies have just failed to ignite the passions like they should do and we’re still waiting for the ultimate Expendables film which is now likely to never happen.

I’ve kind of gone off on various tangents here so I‘ll wind this up by saying  yes, I am in the minority about having a new Cannon Films and it will probably never happen but it’s just a thought. Anyone agree? Anyone? Bueller… Bueller…

About the Author

Eoin Friel
Eoin Friel
I grew up watching JCVD, Sly and Arnold destroy bad guys, blow things up and spew one-liners like it's a fashion statement. Action is everything I go to the movies for and the reason I came up with this site is to share my love for the genre with everyone.

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