Don Groves is a Deadline contributor based in Sydney.
Barbet Schroeder, Tobe Hooper, Michael Winner and Andrei Konchalovsky have agreed to share their experiences in directing movies for Cannon Films in the 1980s for a documentary that will be released theatrically in the U.S. Writer-director Mark Hartley (Not Quite Hollywood) has lined up interviews with about 50 people for Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films. He’s also approached Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, the Israeli-born cousins nicknamed the “Go-Go Boys” who bought Cannon in 1979, moved to the U.S. and churned out dozens of mostly cheap, rapidly shot films including Schroeder’s Barfly, Hooper’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, Winner’s The Wicked Lady and Konchalovsky’s Runaway Train.
Golan and Globus told Hartley they are “interested” in his project but have yet to commit to interviews. He suspects they may be “gun-shy” after Andrew Yule’s critical book Hollywood a Go-Go: An Account of the Cannon Phenomenon. Drafthouse Films, the distribution arm of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, acquired U.S. rights to the docu last December from sales agent Celluloid Nightmares. Hartley and executive producers XYZ Films had planned to make the film this year but now aim to start shooting next July after a funding delay.
At the end of this month Hartley is headed to LA to make a separate documentary on Rod Taylor, the Australian-born actor, now 82, who moved to Hollywood in the 1950s and starred in dozens of movies including George Pal’s The Time Machine, Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, Sunday in New York and, most recently, Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds. Tentatively titled Pulling No Punches, that docu is being produced by Robert de Young, who made Mad As Hell: Peter Finch, Mother of Rock Lillian Roxon and Tasmanian Devil: The Fast and Furious Life of Errol Flynn.
On November 12 in Melbourne, Hartley begins shooting his first fictional feature, a remake of Richard Franklin’s 1978 Australian thriller Patrick, the saga of a comatose hospital patient who uses telekinesis to try to seduce his nurse. The remake produced by Tony Ginnane (who did the original film) stars Charles Dance, Rachel Griffiths and Sharni Vinson. Bankside Films is selling international rights.