Posts Tagged ‘Cannon Films’

Despite the fact that he doesn’t age like other human beings Chuck Norris just turned 82 (yeah, can’t believe it myself) and we felt the need to commemorate the occasion with an appropriate top list!

And as you can expect from the WM Crew we will concentrate on one for the most neglected, forgotten and outright ignored part of his illustrious career. That’s, you guessed it- Chuck Norris‘s very own animated cartoon series- Chuck Norris Karate Kommandos (1986)!

Produced during the height of Saturday morning cartoons and with Norris hitting his Cannon stride (with Invasion U.S.A. & The Delta Force) it was seemingly a perfect match. 5 episode mini-season was animated by the veterans Ruby- Spears ( Scooby-Do, Thundarr The Barbarian and my favorite Rambo: The Freedom Force ).

It stars Chuck Norris as (of course) Chuck Norris, a government agent who works with a team of operatives which consist of Pepper (tech support), Reed (her brother), Kimo ( a samurai), Tabe ( sumo wrestler) and (a tagalong kid) Too Much. Spoiler, he really is too much.

As you can see at least two members of the team are entirely disposable .

They fight the evil forces of VULTURE led by the genuinely cool bad guy- The Claw and his henchman , ruthless Super Ninja.

Now that you’re up to speed , without further ado we present you this ultimate list in the descending order:


Chuck and the Kommandos are tasked with protecting a robot laser while its being transported and naturally the Claw wants a peace of that. Super Ninja ends up planting an explosive device on the train and Chuck must act quickly to save both the laser and the unsuspecting civilians. Unfortunately the train proves surprisingly easy to get on and off from and the episode ends up loosing all the momentum because of it. It ends up being like a cartoon version of the Steven Seagal’s Under Seige 2: Dark Country just much, much worse. If you want to start watching Karate Kommandos don’t start with this one.


The Claw is (again) attempting to to gain control of the whole country by bringing down the US satelite (with the plan to reprogram it and use it to control military bases). Unexpectedly satellite ends up in a Voodoo Island (of all places) and Chuck and co. must faces and evil Witchdoctor and his army of the Walking Dead to get to it. Now the premise is kinda fun but of course the team gets easily captured and Chuck basically must do everything himself. The only thing stopping him is a Chuck Norris voodoo doll the Witchdoctor produces (they should have sold that as a toy too) but not even magic can defeat Karate and Chuck Norris manages to save the day, and blow up a volcano destroying all the evil creatures on the island. They were all dead anyway, at least most of them.


Chuck Norris and his comrades are helping a scientist named Dr. Sanford test experimental equipment that would enable people to breathe underwater by (somehow) converting water into oxygen. The Claw sends Super-Ninja and also a female VULTURE operative named Angelfish (great design with a classic Femme Fatale hair across the eye) to kidnap Dr. Sanford and break into Sealab. It’s up to Norris’ team to defend them both.


Second best and coincidentally also the second episode in the order of release. Target: Chuck Norris has our favorite recurring villain- the Imposter! As the name states he is master of disguise yet he’s always recognizable by his thick New York accent! As you might imagine, that can pose a bit of a problem.

Hired by CLAW after unsuccessful bid to steal a computer chip that would gain him control over NATO’s defenses. Impostor sets up a couple of traps first, a ludicrous ambush on a gas station and then on a fancy dinner (I especially like his bartender disguise).

Greatest spin- kick of all time!

Things don’t quite work out and Chuck Norris survives but Super-Ninja gets away with Chuck’s irritating kid sidekick Too-Much. The only logical follow up is Chuck leading the pursuit in a plane that he just randomly took from some man (only thing he had to do was say- “I am Chuck Norris” and there was no resistance).

Of course the plan devolves into Super- Ninja kidnapping Too Much and Chuck Norris Of course it all ends with an Impostor almost getting away dressed as a Grandma. No, I’m not making
this up!


The ultimate episode because Chuck not only fights alligators (and defeats one of them by simply stashing him up in a closet) but he ends up fighting Super-Ninja on a Space Station in almost 0 gravity.

Unfortunately devious Ninja finds a way to escape but still, you’ll never find those elements together again (unless someone decides to make Alligators in Space film). I can watch this one over and over again.

Honorable mention: Chuck Norris’s sage (live-action) life advice. Often it has nothing to do with just happened in the episode, even though he does give it his all.

I mean you can’t help but be motivated.

Verdict: If you like 80s craziness (and I would say a lot of people do these days) than this is a show for you. It’s so ridiculous and over the top that Adult Swim would wish they thought of it first (and they did run reruns of it). Voice acting is perfect and the fact that Chuck Norris isn’t really capable of showing emotions is perfectly balanced with Keone Young as Super Ninja who’s at times so over the top he would make Nicolas Cage jealous.

The only things that’s a bit baffling to me is the fact that for a show that puts action first- Martial Art scenes are pretty clunky. And that could have been easily solved- if you look at even older productions like He-Man , they used rotoscoping for a few key action scenes and they would just re- use it over and over again. If you watched any of Chuck Norris’s films he basically uses couple of combination over and over again (like 1-2- backfist or 1-2 and a spin- kick) and that would be so easy to animate.

On the other hand the real selling point of any cartoon is Action Figures! And boy- we got some awesome ones:

Tell me you didn’t want these as kid, I dare you!

Trivia: Besides these super- awesome toys (any funds donated to the WM page may be appropriated to buy some off eBay) we also got Karate Kommandos in comics. Marvel’s kid label Star Comics produced a short 4 issue run of Karate Kommandos and shockingly they didn’t get some random no- name artist to do the job- nope, they got freaking co- creator of Spider-Man and Dr. StrangeSteve Ditko himself! How that happened I’ll never understand.

Then why did we never get more than 5? Here’s what Chuck had to say: “We only did 5 then the woman in CBS said these are too violent. I said what do you mean they are too violent, do you see what’s on TV now? This is good guys versus bad guys. She said yeah, but you’re a real person, so it’s too violent”.

I can’t believe we missed out on more Karate Kommandos just because Chuck Norris is a real person. This never happened to Santa!

Now with HBO Max in full swing and WB producing a lot more animation, maybe we could finally get that second season? We only waited 35 years for it.


If you know your MOTU history you’ll remember that Cannon Films planed to follow up their Masters of the Universe (1987) movie (featuring the all- powerful Dolph Lundgren in his first lead role) with a direct sequel. Hell, the movie even had a post- credit scene with Skeletor surviving to advertise it, and it the 80’s that really wasn’t a common practice.

Masters of the Universe 2: Cyborg was to be written and directed by the Cannon regular, Albert Pyun and filmed concurrently with Canon’s never produced Spider-Man movie (but that’s the story for another time).  Dolph supposedly moved on with his career by this point and was to be replaced by a popular surfer Laird Hamilton. The project supposedly fell trough when Cannon wouldn’t pay Mattel and unused sets and costumes were repurposed for a new low- budget SF- Action movie called, you guessed it- Cyborg

Now, Cyborg was originally going to feature tried and true Cannon star Chuck Norris but he was replaced at the last minute by then young and upcoming Jean Claude Van Damme and as they say- the rest is history! For the record I still consider Cyborg the best movie Pyun ever directed and an early Van Damme favorite too.

Now, we’ve talked about Pyun’s Bad Ass Angels and Demons, his most ambitious movie in decades before. But now thanks to the Alan Pirie, the designer working on the movie we have a confirmation that Bad Ass Angels is actually based on unused script for The Masters of the Universe 2: Requiem! This is something I never thought possible- it’s feels like Cannon is finally coming out of the ashes like a phoenix and I for one couldn’t be more happier.


Over the years it wasn’t that unusual for Superman mythos to bring back the certain elements from different media back into the comics that inspired them. His Smallville youth, Kryptonite and even the phrase “Faster than a speeding bullet…” for example originated in the popular Superman radio serials of the 40’s , and his ability to fly was first introduced in the famous Fleicher cartoons in the 50’s (it was easier to animate flying than constant jumping he used to do).

Similarly early Christopher Reeve movies proved very influential too, General Zod‘s inclusion into a comicbook canon being the prime example.

From Superman: The Last Son of Krypton, art by Adam Kubert

On the other hand the final Christoper Reeve movie produced by non- other than Cannon FilmsSuperman IV: Quest for the Peace didn’t prove that influential at all.  Quite the opposite the movie was often ridiculed for it’s weak plot, cheap production, nonsensical super- powers and it’s over the top villain Nuclear Man. Well, no more! At least on that last one. Cannon is now officially canon!

We’re exited too!

After a challenge from fans and co leagues alike- starting with a sketch from Nick Derington (Doom Patrol, Mister Miracle) former Marvel (Spider-Man, Iron Man, Jessica Jones) writer
Brian Michael Bendis, now working on DC’s Superman (Man of Steel mini- series, then Action Comics/ Superman) took it upon himself to make Nuclear Man an official part of  Superman mythos.




The tweet that started it all


This is the official Ivan Reis (Aquaman, Green Lantern, Justice League) penciled page from the Superman #02 that marks the first in-continuity comicbook appearance of the character. And it only took 3 decades for it to happen! For all you Cannon lovers who also dig comicbooks the release date is August 8. Mark it on your calendar.


Verdict: Even though  Mark Pillow‘s  acting was more WWE than DC  I always thought the costume design had something interesting going on, and as far as I can see it seems to work very well on the page. So, this should be an interesting one to read.

Update: Final version of the Superman #02- Nuclear Man appearance:

DkF0Zh-XgAAvxjH.jpg large

Robert “Bronzi” Kovacs is a Spanish musician and actor with an uncanny resemblance to the late, great Charles Bronson (strangely, there’s more that a couple cases of Bronsonism here in Europe).

Something like this…

He already made his first steps in fulfilling his  destiny as a Bronson double for the Western themed commercial for LIDL, European mega- supermarket chain.

He followed that up a Western/ Horror production called From Hell to the Wild West, and  now to top it all off, he takes a lead role in a awesome looking Death Wish tribute called the Death Kiss, coming to the screens later this year. You can enjoy the first trailer right here:

Just look at him go!



We enthusiastically talked about the first post- Expendables 2 movie for Chuck Norris- The Finisher.  Unfortunately that project never came into fruition (even though they were talks of it shooting in Australia with out favorite Aussie badass Richard Norton directing) but now we finally have some good news for all you Norris fans out there!

15056431_1137649649646235_6784295093935268070_n  Just a cool photo of Chuck stretching Norton from our friends at Action Elite

Chuck has signed to appear in African (Botswanan to be precise) movie with some B- movie heavy hitters like Michael Jai White (Spawn, Black Dynamite) and previously mentioned Richard Norton, now a famed choreographer having worked on Mad Max: Fury Road, Suicide Squad and Ghost in a Shell).  The writer is Motswana- born Edward Sebati and on the directing duties we have none other than the action maestro Isaac Florentine of Undisputed and Ninja fame! I see him as a sort of heir to the Menahem Golan of the legendary Cannon Films (just better).

943363_360839514037845_1477549880_nMcDaniels brothers, only their mother can tell them apart!

Movie centers around the two brothers Sasha McDaniels and  Dumisani McDaniels who end up caught up in a net of poaching, robbery, murder and even a serious political conspiracy. Chuck is of course playing their cool uncle Sean Kane. Pre- production is well on the way and filming should beginning early 2017 and I’m sure I speak for all of us- it was about damn time!

320350_361977167257413_1249151529_nDeadly villain Sahili played by Aurelien Henry Obama,much deadlier than the regular Obama!

The last part of the famous Cannon Film’s Ninja trilogy (of completely unrelated films) is without the doubt the craziest and the must fun of them all.  Fact that we have an absolute miscast, a dancing star Lucinda Dickey (Breakin’, Breakin’ 2: The Electric Boogaloo) in the main role only makes it that much sweeter.


This movie starts with too seemingly unrelated scenes, a Ninja prepping his ancient and deadly weapons in the cave and some ritch guys playing golf without a care in the world. Turns out Ninja was payed to kill one of the rich golf playing pricks. Which one, who knows- he killed them all!

He’s maybe good at killing but strategy is certainly not his greatest strength.

Now, beside some fun moments in the fight I have to wonder why did someone trained in the art of deception decide to kill people in the broad daylight on the location where it’s almost impossible to for him to hide. I mean he even runs by foot being chased by cop cars and motorcycles. Stopping numerous cops, including two riding a helicopter he menages to escape barely alive by burying himself deep in the sand. Cops eventually give up on the pursue and he menages to get to a random girl fixing a phone line while listening to modern dance music on a boombox ( I guess she doesn’t have a cool Walkman like everyone else). He grabs her and after some scuffle she excepts an gift, Ninja To (sword) after which he finally drops the bucket.

Then we are treated to flashbacks of the Ninja’s battle that happened literally 3 minutes ago!!! Did they really want to beef up the  running time of this movie or what? She ends up interrogated in the police station and one of the younger officers Billy Secord , irritatingly insist on taking her out on a coffee. She continues to have flashbacks and runs away.But after playing some games on her… she decides that it’s noting some aerobics won’t fix.

It seems gyms  bring out the worse in men, because more than a couple jacked up idiots are making advances to one of the aerobic chicks Lucy to the point of being ready to take her by force. And that’s not in a dark ally but in the broad daylight in front of dozen witnesses! I don’t know what they’re on but it’s not doing them any good. Thankfully, the evil ninja ghost kicks in and Christie transforms into a deadly ass- kicker. And after an impressive acrobatic routine Christie kicks the crap out of muscle-heads while people cheer (why not one of them even thought about helping a girl out- who knows?)

Irritating cop Billy finally menages to pick her up in his car. Now, remember boys if you are stalking a girl long enough she’s going to eventually give up! Or call the cops, thankfully Secord is a cop himself so he doesn’t have that problem. They get into a bit of a fight but shockingly she takes the dude home, and gets to undressing part really, really quick. I don’t think we can blame the evil ninja spirit for this behavior.After the sex scene we are treated to some light show and a flying sword which all indicates Ninja possession is becoming even stronger.FlyingSword

And it is- as she dresses up in the costume and goes after one of the cops who killed “him”. The old man is playing pool in his home (who has a pool table in his living room?) and doesn’t see it coming. I guess he never had an avenging Ninja problem before. Soon enough another police officer ends up dead (the one in a Jacuzzi with couple of girls) but she still can’t put the peaces to together and thinks it’s all a nightmare.

Dead Ninja is sorry he didn’t kill absolutely everybody and goes after the cops that eventually stopped him.

Also, my favorite Sho Kosugi arrives to the US via airplane. He’s interesting because he doesn’t have an eye but he did what any other badass would do, he made and eye-patch out of sword shielding and wears it proudly for all the world to see. You know you don’t want to mess with a person like that.

Ninja III The Domination (1984).mp4_001862318Man, he’s awesome!

Her boyfriend I guess (that was fast) Billy kinda figures out what is going on and brings her to a Japanese mystic a Japanese mystic (played by James Hung, a Chinese man). She gets tied up and he performs and Asian Exorcism (like the regular Exorcism only in Japanese). In spite it being very amusing for the audience Ninja is is not impressed and he refuses to leave her body.

“You fool! You cannot stop me. I am a NINJA!”

It turns out that an ancient law applies here (the one I actually never heard before) “only a ninja can destroy a ninja” So that’s where Sho Kosugi comes in. His fellow ninja cost him his Master and his eye and he will get his revenge. She gets back home and angry at herself decides to battle the possible loss of her body and should to an unclean and evil presence bydirty dancing! ’cause that’s how you solved problems in the 80’s Did any problems actually got solved in the 80’s? I seriously doubt it.

Now Ninja continues his devious plan by attending the funeral of the cop- just to use the gathering as an opportunity to kill the remaining cops. Man he is insatiable!  Thankfully things get sorted out-  an exorcism finally separates the demon Ninja and the girl and Ninja ends up in a duel with Kosugi in an old temple in the most awesome Kung Fu moment of the whole movie. 

Slightly less epic battle ensues on the hill and seemingly indestructible Ninja  finally meets his demise by the only way possible, a freakin’ knife to the brain! You can’t go back from that… well except if you’re some kind of zombie ninja, but being that we experienced a demon ninja here I guess everything is possible. Cannon never picked up from here (making another unrelated Ninja sequel) but truthfully there is still no way to top this movie, is it?

Ninja III The Domination (1984).mp4_005302005This is the end, my Ninja friend, the end…

Verdict: It can be said that this movie is Cannon Films in a nutshell.

I mean it has dancing, aerobics, synth score, Asian Martial Arts, over the top acting and the ridiculous plot all rolled up in one! If you meet a person who knows nothing of Cannon Studios opus this would be more than a fine example (even more so than their more popular franchises like American Ninja, Missing in Action or endless string of Death Wish sequels).

Trivia: And ’cause it’s always fun to hear it from the people who were there in Cannon’s golden days (including Lucinda Dickey) here’s a clip from the documentary Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films.


This movie is remembered as a beloved classic of the genre by people who grew up in the 80es but the truth is much different, this is a prime example of horrible remaking culture that runs rampant even these days (you might even say now more than ever). Here is a short guide to Tobe Hooper’s desecrating of a great 50es SF film.

You are impressed already, aren’t you?

First thing first- aliens arrive in what resembles a GIANT DISCO BALL!!! Didn’t see that one coming. Kid (scientist 80es kid, you know the kind) follows it with a expression that seems lifted straight from Troll 2. He tries to convince his parents of the phenomena and after display of mind- numbingly horrible acting by all three people he finally goes back to bed. In the morning everything is strangely different, his father starts acting out of character and the boy notices strange carving on his neck. It doesn’t take long for the strange behavior to spread on his mother too and David seeks refuge in the last place anyone would look- school! Unfortunately he catches one of his old teachers eating a frog- normally used for dissecting and it becomes painfully clear that she is infected too. Scared for his life he finds a shelter in the offices of the school nurse, confuse looking blond woman.

The old lady just doing her thing!

After some back and forth the kid successfully convinces the nurse of his UFO experience and strange effects it had on people. Now alien teacher tries to catch David again but he uses oportunity and runs away- unfortunately he hides himself in her car, so he didn’t realy make it easy on himself. He fallows the teacher into new-found holes in the Copper Hill and then firsthandedly sees bizarre alien creatures and their master, creature that looks like a cross between of Krang of TMNT and human penis. After a bit more horrible acting by the kid aliens finally notice he’s there and he is forced to run for his life.

He menages to find the the Nurse who starts panicking even more than he does. They decide that there’s only one place they can hide- the school!? Anyway police (also alien controled) finds them in something like 5 minutes and the go in hiding in the basement/ boiling room. That doesn’t actually work so they hug echother waiting for death or even worse- assimilation! But just as they were about to say goodbye cruel world the alien digging machine Spears out of nowhere and they use the ruskus to escape. Nurse finally freaks out almost Nick Cage style but boy starts yelling irritatingly “General Wilson” and they head straight for local army base. It turns out David’s father worked for the military and that’s enough to grant them entrance (a bit imbecilyc but at least it gets as to the third act and thus closer to the end of the movie).

Invaders.From.Mars.(1986).XviD.AC3._LoaD.avi_003124746Still a better love story than Twilight!

David spills the beans on whole alien invasion thing and after some convincing General accepts a little boy’s claims (yes, just that!) Military disposes of the aliens that infiltrated their base andt he ugly truth comes to light – Aliens decided to invade us to stop the launching on the rocket to Mars that would prove their existence- o boy, o boy, those as some stupid ass Martians! In an epic scene we see military cleaning up the town including their destruction of the Elementary School (which is hilarious as it gets). Bunch of soldiers end up sucked into the Copper Hill and General seems surprisingly emotive about it. Anyway the unit confronts the alien in their tunnels but scientist insists on interacting with them- then he gets disintegrated! They kill the first two aliens, then go ahead- an soon enough kill another two that look just the same as the first one… I’m starting to doubt that they made only two costumes for the whole movie- that’s retarded but you have to take into the consideration that this is Cannon film and that goes with the territory.

But I just want to talk!

Faced with possible anihilation the boy does only thing he can (after pleading with the creatures)- he knocks down Krang who then runs away! Then he focuses all his attention not on his parents (that could possobly still be saved) but on the Nurse who somehow ended up captured and almost brainwashed. Finally everything blows up, Krang escapes in the disco ball and David’s parents keep chasing him until the aliend influence is finaly broken. And then… it turns out everything was just a dream. Or was it?  IT WASN’T! THE END

Invaders.From.Mars.(1986).XviD.AC3._LoaD.avi_002349930Somewhere on Mars, right this moment Krang is plotting his return…

Verdict: The whole movie lays squerly on the sholder of the young man playing David (because the whole story is seen basically from his perspective and his performance should give gravitas to the whole fantastic scenario) and his acting is so far beyond fail, that he invented new levels of failure just for this movie. The only thing that could be even remotely seen as areedeming quality of this movies are it’s creature effect by always great Stan Winstone and his studio, even thou design is a bit more cartoony and absurdist than regular it still oozes  with originality and technical prowess.

STAN WINSTON, the only good thing about this movie!

Advice: If you really want to watch a quality ( a quite psychedelic) movie with a ludicrous plot like this, just find the original from the 50’s- hell, let me help you, here it is! It will help you forget the 80’s version in no time.

Feeling of pure horror got a hold of me before movie even started, when I saw that this monstrosity is product of sinful , blasphemous, unholy union between Cannon and MGM. Like a convict to a death penalty who awaits his own execution I trembled in fever while awaiting the appearance of Chuck Norris. Of course, this kind of movie can’t exist without Aron Norris’s “colorful” script. Equation is simple here: Cannon+MGM+Norris Bros.Inc = Mental Torture. Lethal injection never seemed this tempting.

Cannon MGM logo USA

If you see this, run as far as you can, you might still have a chance!

The story is quite simple: Evil Soviet terrorists had launched full attack on USA. Mission – Conquering entire country! Start of their invasion looked like famous “Day D”; army of terrorists in a shitload of boats. After landing in middle of night, they enter hundreds of trucks. It came to our attention that no one of the authorities had raised an issue about unusual number of ice cream trucks parked at beach in the dead of the night. Soviets showed here extremely high level of patience since they conquering had consisted of destroying one house at a time using a rocket launchers. God have mercy on America. Meanwhile, in swamp of New Orleans, ex-government executioner Matt Hunter (Chuck Norris) passes his time with wrestling vs alligators.

Something like this…

He lives in nearby shack with some old Indian. Tools of repression (government’s men) found Matt there and literally begged him to return to his duty and save the USA. With the least possible emotions manifesting Chuck Norris had refused this offer. In that moment, it seemed that nothing can stop evil Soviets. Ok now, back to conquerors side. Rostov , main man in entire operation seems to got Matthunterphobia. Terrified by nightmare in which Chuck Norris rapes, kills and rapes him again, he decides to put an end to it by hunting Hunter in the stinky swamp. Epilogue of that attack was one burned shack (by rocket launcher ofc) and one dead Indian (not played by Armand Assante). After death of his longtime friend, Chuck Norris had engaged attempt to show at least some emotions… and he failed miserably. Without burying corpse of his friend, Chuck goes to bar (which was owned by the now dead Indian). After drinking himself to death he decides to avenge old man. Rostov doesn’t know what he had started. Well, he brought this on himself. Chuck wasn’t really interested in doing old US of A’s dirty work anymore. That’s what happens when you give too much credits to your dreams.

Next, the evil Soviets attack a shopping mall where all people are doing their Christmas shopping. During the attack, Hunter comes crashing in his pick-up and starts obliterating everything in his path in a style that would make Terminator jealous.  Next, Hunter tracks down the whole group that attacked the mall. He obliterates them too! Finally figuring out that something is terribly wrong, guard troops are called up and martial law is declared. Hunter of course continues to go after the terrorists, stopping their plans to bomb a church and a school bus with students and in the process, kills Rostov’s right hand man.

Chuck Norris and his pickup visit the mall, showing everyone what the Real Black Friday is!

In the sudden twist of fate, the FBI agents arrest arrest Hunter for the killing of the terrorists (?) and he is taken to the command center, where he goads Rostov (on national television none the less ) to come and kill him if he dares. Rostov then orders all the Soviets to assault the center. However, they find no one inside the center and the National Guard surrounds them… the arrest of Hunter was a trap all along! With the battle raging outside, Hunter comes face-to-face with emesis Rostov and finally kills him in a brutal fashion*. The terror crisis ends suddenly as it came to be… all thanks to one man.

Poor Rostov, if only he was smart enough to leave Chuck be  Soviets would have ruled USA and the world would be a better place!


The Pinnacle of Manliness


Around the late 70s Cannon Inc. had hit serious financial difficulties, and naturally previous owners sold Cannon as fast as they could. Cousins Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus bought Canon for whooping price of 500,000 dollars! The two cousins than  forged a “magnificent” business model which consisted of buying bottom-barrel scripts that lingered (seemingly for all times) in development hell and putting them rapidly into  production. Of course they paired an (at best) third rate script with a second rate director, ridiculous budget and a STAR, by that I mean: ( INCREDIBLY old) Charles Bronson/ Chuck Norris and/or Michael Dudikoff.

At certain point (at the time of filming of Masters of the Universe with Dolph Lundgren) they had about 84 movies in development- to put things into perspective the most films any other studio had in production was Warner Brothers and they had 6 movies!!!  They also held the rights for Spiderman movie until the late 80s but the movie was never produced (and we can all agree it was for the best).

 By the beginning of the 90s their “perfect” system FINALLY came crashing down and they called it a day with a Albert Pyun’s Cyborg (staring young Van Damme) made on the sets of failed Masters sequel. MGM of course came to offer an assistance and a merger of studios ensued but MGM couldn’t really help themselves let alone anybody else.

*In late 2011 it was revealed that Australian director Mark Hartley is working on a documentary about Cannon Films called Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films.”

Prepare to be transported to the ancient times, times of swords and powerful sorcery, times when muscle bound warriors  ruled the lands with their savage might , times known  only as the- 80es! Obviously in the 80s everybody wanted to be new Arnold Schwarzenegger. As we all know there can be only one Arnie so people mostly embarrassed themselves by  varying degrees.  Barbarian brothers (also known as the Paul brothers) managed to be twice as big and (combined) almost half as smart! They even got to French-kiss each other for no apparent  reason- but more on that later.

The least gay cover of this film, coincidentally a German one!

Film starts with young, scrawny orphans Kutchek and Gore accepted by Retniks, a strange tribe consisting of clowns, jugglers and your general village idiots.   Also they soon adopt one more orphan, a small girl called Kyra.  Their leader was beautiful (we’re told) Queen Canary that wears the magic stone in her bellybutton.  Retnik, supposedly people with safe passage everywhere end up attacked by a gang od savages and then ambushed by devious King Kedar (played by B-movie alumni Richard Lynch).   Kedar has the desire to put them all in their place which he expresses mostly by random killing of the Retniks. When he threatens the orphans he finally breaks Canary’s spirit  and she accepts to be his slave.   Twins are spared but not treated very kindly, in fact they are thrown to the ruthless Dirtmaster (always fantastic Michael Berryman) to work long hours in “The Pit” and  train to fight as Gladiators. For years they are kept separate and thought to hate the person with the iron/ brass helmet, not knowing that one day they will face one another wearing those same helmets. Of course they grow up to be extremely muscled up, to the point of absurdity (but on the other hand I can’t think of a one thing not bordering absurdity in this film).

One day the evil Sorceress claims that it’s finally time for brothers to slay one another. Canary (who haven’t aged a day i a decade or so) protest but Kedar claims that he is keeping his promise by making them kill one another thus not technically participating. Brothers fight as only muscleman can ( clumsy enough to chop off some random dude’s hand) and when they finally loose the helmets one of them gets furious. He yells “what your doing with my face?” About as sharp as a marble that one! Kutchak, a less dumb one tries to calm him down and convince him that they’re brothers but almost dies in the process. Finally when Gor hears the Canary scream he comes to his senses and teams up with his brother for an escape. That produces the screaming/ laughing agony with Dirtmaster( but to be fair it seems that almost anything can produce that reaction with Dirtmaster).

The Barbarians (1987) Engl Dub VHS-Rip.avi_001300132

He is just so Goddamn awesome!

Barbarian brothers ride into the forest and menage to fool their pursuers but they run into a captured girl with big 80es hair. She tries to get them to help her and they oblige, but only by striking some silly bodybuilding poses. Than they figure out that they she is held captive by remaining Retniks. What left of the tribe fronted by the ugliest man alive appears and Gor answers with angry “Abar, what da hell is goin’ on” in your strongest Brooklyn accent. I would have to search far and wide to find one single worse line delivery in the history of cinema. Retniks capture them with a simple net and then decide to hang them just for the fun of it. To be truthful I would do the same. Unfortunately they are so big (?) that the rope breaks in both their cases and after making absolute imbeciles out of themselves they prove that they wear the mark of the tribe and are in fact the long gone orphans. They seek weapons for their rescue mission (they did leave Canary behind) but the Retniks admit that have nothing to offer. Than the captured thief girl Lemon offers her assistance and strangely they accept.Finaly their EPIC quest begins! They are suspicious but the girl guaranties that everything they need can be found in fantastically named) Bucket of Blood! Full of pirates and ugly belly dancers it seems like the right place. Brothers gamble everything on game of arm wrestling with certain Jakko  and predictably escalates into the idiotic bar fight (how could we live without one those)!Girl probably got some information because they set out to infiltrate the Castle straight afterwards. At this point brothers have to kiss one another to fool the guard roaming the area, of course guards we’re disgusted by the scene and practically run away. Level of stupidity of this is astounding. Also they menage to bump into some orgies and make funny faces.


They also produce noises resembling the noises seals produce when they are hungry…

They menage to infiltrate the king’s harem but Canary doesn’t want to go. She sends them to find the magical belly stone obviously hidden all this time in the lime tree in the forbidden land. So their next stop is The Tomb of the Ancient King (sounds familiar) where they can find the sacred weapon necessary to defeat the mighty Dragon that guards the said lime tree (seriously how are they making up shit like that). Then just as they were about to go, Gor finally loses his restraint and start an orgy of his own with all the Kedar’s wives that he neglected because of Canary- yes the same Canary his adopted mother who had no choice but to watch that orgy being in a cage and all. Anyway they finish up by the morning, reunited with the now angry thief girl and head out for forbidden lands but the evil sorcerers figures out what happened and goes after him, accompanied by The Dirtmaster.

Barbarians find the secret cave and the tomb of the ancient king incredibly easy but the thief- girl Lemone. gets captured by incredibly large Werewolf creature. On the other hand Gor proves so strong that he easily rips the creature’s arm out.

I am officially terrified of their sense of humor!

Evil sorcerers finds the ruby stone before the Barbarians but most of her escort pays the ultimate price, the get eaten by Alien/ Gill- Man hybrids. King Kadar himself joins them and tries to fight the approaching Dragon but to little avail and they are forced to withdraw. Despite being the incompetent fools that they are with Lemon’s help they trap the dragon in the cave entrance and stab him to death. Then exploring his corpse they find the Evil Sorceres partially eaten but still holding the ruby- and all problems solved! Well, not quite yet.

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Oh, no the Dragon!

King Kedar finally confronts Canary after a decade of her bullshit. She tries to confuse him with her magic and almost succeeds but then gets stabbed through the chest. In the meantime Lemon reaches the Retniks guided by the glowing belly stone. The leader of the Retnicks, also the ugliest man alive* then tries the stone on all the females to find the successor for doomed Canary. It “shockingly” turns out that Lemon herself is the new prophesied Retnik  leader… and she’s also the orphan girl that they adopted at the same time as Barbarian Brothers.

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*just look at him!

What a coincidence?! Finally Barbarians confront Kedar and not even his horse and crossbow prove enough parry the brothers savage sword throwing abilities. He ends up dead in the dirt double stabbed to death. Retnik’s join the Barbarian brothers and end this abomination with another one of their trademark jokes that aren’t funny to the 3 year olds.

Verdict: Fascinating thing about this movie is that the fact that it  doesn’t seem to take itself too seriously doesn’t make it any better!!! Hell it  somehow menages to make it even worse! Serious scenes fail enough to get a good laugh or two, yes-  but those envisioned to be funny end up being just plain imbecilic. Combination of  Italian hack director (that pretty much sums up all of their directors not named Leone or Argente), stupid/ possibly mentally disturbed muscleman and accursed Cannon Inc (see Cannon) proved a little bit too much even for us.

The Deadly Trio!

Trivia: Some sources claim that this movie was in fact a tax write off, which sounds like a reasonable explanation for its existence if I ever heard one.

Also the actress who played Lemon/Kyra Eva LaRua can be later be found in only slightly less horrible CSI: Miami as Agent Natalia Boa Vista.


                               When man’s breasts are your main selling point instead of female ones it means that you’re doing the whole B- Movie thing wrong!