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R.I.P. Menahem Golan
August 9, 2014 5:49 AM   Subscribe

Menahem Golan has died at the age of 85. The name may mean very little to you at first glance, but for those of us who lived through the 1980's, he was a very big part of it. Here's an interview with the late producer and a bit more about his legacy.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI (39 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
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posted by learnsome at 6:05 AM on August 9


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(Surely that's “Menahem Golan”?)
posted by acb at 6:07 AM on August 9


It is, acb. I caught it about sixty seconds before you did. Fixed.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 6:13 AM on August 9


The list of Golan-Globus/Cannon Films credits is staggering, literally the road map of my after-school HBO viewing ca. 1988-1994 or so.

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posted by Strange Interlude at 6:28 AM on August 9 [2 favorites]


*punching sound*

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posted by Fizz at 6:37 AM on August 9 [4 favorites]


*meat-smacking sound*

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posted by Captain l'escalier at 6:48 AM on August 9 [4 favorites]


Let's remember Golan-Globus with Alien From L.A. from MST3K [SLYT].
posted by Servo5678 at 6:55 AM on August 9 [9 favorites]


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posted by khaibit at 6:57 AM on August 9


Man, I wonder if American Ninja is on somewhere...
posted by khaibit at 6:58 AM on August 9


Man, I wonder if American Ninja is on somewhere...

Like old Seinfeld episodes on TBS, I just assume it's ALWAYS on somewhere.
posted by Fizz at 7:00 AM on August 9 [1 favorite]


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As I was reading this, I thought, "They sound like Jason Blum," and then I read the article that mentioned Blumhouse, and I felt like I knew something about film.
posted by xingcat at 7:28 AM on August 9


They had the Spider-Man license for years and never did anything with it. I remember Wizard magazine hyperventilating when James Cameron was attached to direct.
posted by PenDevil at 7:29 AM on August 9 [1 favorite]


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posted by Smart Dalek at 7:31 AM on August 9




Golan-Globus..... melted a lot of my brain-cells, they did. And I thank them for it, too.

* (in lieu of an explosion, because just a . isn't enough)
posted by easily confused at 8:13 AM on August 9 [2 favorites]


PenDevil: "They had the Spider-Man license for years and never did anything with it. I remember Wizard magazine hyperventilating when James Cameron was attached to direct."

I suspect that Golan-Globus' lack of action on the Spidey front was probably due to a combination of financial troubles and the fact that multiple studios claimed the film rights to Spider-man. The ensuing legal standoff was the main reason we didn't get a Spider-man film until 2002.

On the other hand, Golan-Globus did make a Captain America movie. And here's a link to my favorite scene from that movie, which I called out in last year's Albert Pyun retirement thread.
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:51 AM on August 9 [2 favorites]


Cannon was like the AIP of the 80s, so...well done. Can't say I ever saw one of their movies, though.
posted by rhizome at 10:25 AM on August 9


Gonna have to watch Enter the Ninja tonight.

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posted by Sphinx at 10:26 AM on August 9 [1 favorite]


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The list of films is like a snapshot of everything I watched on Showtime as a kid. Alan Quartermain, American Ninja, Bloodsport, Firewalker. To quote the latter: "A moment... frozen in time."
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 10:57 AM on August 9 [1 favorite]



posted by ob1quixote at 10:57 AM on August 9


Let's remember Golan-Globus with Alien From L.A. from MST3K

Oh, Menahem, Menahem, my wild Jewish lad
You're not just a producer to me!
With your actors so stiff and your movies so bad
You've stolen my heart you see!
posted by octobersurprise at 11:33 AM on August 9 [1 favorite]


Oh man no wonder I love Jean Claude Van Damme movies so much. They're going to show Street Fighter for free in the park next weekend. It's gonna be great!
posted by Nevin at 11:36 AM on August 9


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posted by smasuch at 11:53 AM on August 9


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I guess we never will learn if BIM was on the way or not.
posted by Countess Elena at 12:09 PM on August 9 [1 favorite]


Years ago, my sister and I watched lots of movies on TV. We were always thrilled to see the Cannon logo, because that meant schlock, but entertaining schlock. It wasn't until years later that I discovered the amazing film that is The Apple.

on preview: Countess Elena beat me to it, but please enjoy the full trailer. And watch the movie. When it came to ridiculous but fun movies, Golan knew how to be a mah-stah!
posted by zorseshoes at 12:26 PM on August 9 [1 favorite]


Yeah, seriously, pouring one out for the director of The Apple. I have no idea to what degree the end product was intentional on his part, but either way he made something magical, whether he meant to or not.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 1:00 PM on August 9 [2 favorites]


Remembered for Barfly.
posted by Brian B. at 1:03 PM on August 9 [1 favorite]


If the most 80s scene in film is the Tech Noir scene from The Terminator, then the most 80s scene in bad film (which oddly seems not to be on YouTube, although several other scenes from the film are) is from Ninja III: The Domination in which Lucinda Dickey (of Breakin' and Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo fame, whose career didn't survive the decade) is trying to resist evil dead ninja possession and turns on her stereo to dance the ninja away, as one does. The evil dead ninja's sword, glowing like a lightsaber, levitates over to the stereo and cuts it in half.

Good times.

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posted by Halloween Jack at 2:05 PM on August 9 [2 favorites]


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posted by marienbad at 2:15 PM on August 9


The G man! He gave us the can't-watch-it-sober Hercules which is basically Lou Ferrigno yelling and throwing things into space, and the can't-watch-it-flaccid Lifeforce which is basically Mathilda May walking around nude for 90 minutes. A truly great man.
posted by fleetmouse at 3:26 PM on August 9


Respect! Golan-Globus movies I've seen and enjoyed (in one way or another):

- The Apple
- The Quest
- Ninja III: The Domination
- Death Wish V (Globus was not involved with this one)
- Breakin' and Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo

Except for Ninja III and Breakin', these were all films I saw at B-Fest.

(Weird, they also produced Powaqqatsi?)

*!
posted by ignignokt at 4:44 PM on August 9


I am amused that when you rank Highest Rated Feature Film Titles With Menahem Golan, the documentary The Go-Go Boys: The Inside Story of Cannon Films is rated 7.6, or higher than 229 films on the list of 232. Other than a Cassavettes film with Gena Rowlands, the exception is an Israeli genre obscurity with 20 votes.

Still, one must salute the man for entertaining so many.
posted by dhartung at 4:50 PM on August 9


We saw the Electric Boogaloo doco at the Melbourne International Film Festival last week, had never heard of him before that. Great doco if you can get your hands on it.

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posted by prettypretty at 5:12 PM on August 9


To set the record straight, Golan shouldn't be held completely responsible for the jaw-droppingly excruciating, hysterical and flabbergasting abomination that is The Apple. It's mostly my mom and dad's fault.

The Apple was written by my parents. It was in Hebrew at first and was supposed to be a stage musical, but when they couldn't get it produced, Golan stepped in -- we'll never know why, now. He flew my dad to LA where he and this guy George Clinton (not the Parliament funkmeister, a different one) spent a couple of months Englishing the music and the script, with, as my dad tells it, the aid of a variety of illicit substances. Then to Berlin for filming, where my mom also joined up, with one-year-old me in tow. My parents both have small parts in the movie; you can see my dad behind and to the right of the Devil at 0.56 in the trailer zorseshoes linked to.

And Alphie and Bibi's baby, the one who stands for some kind of great new hippie hope? I was supposed to play that baby. But I started hollering each time they rolled, as I'm told, so they had to find a different baby.

I'm not sure what to make of the fact that practically the only two things my parents ever produced together were (a) one of the worst movies ever made and (b) me, but there it is. I don't have any conscious memories of Golan, but he was an occasional visitor for the next couple of years and apparently we had this make-believe game where I was the movie mogul and he would beseechingly present me with pretend contracts which I would steadfastly refuse to sign. Say what you will of his oeuvre, but he did give the world a lot of innocent pleasure. Of a sort. RIP.
posted by hoist with his own pet aardvark at 7:19 PM on August 9 [21 favorites]


The G man! He gave us the can't-watch-it-sober Hercules which is basically Lou Ferrigno yelling and throwing things into space, and the can't-watch-it-flaccid Lifeforce which is basically Mathilda May walking around nude for 90 minutes. A truly great man.
posted by fleetmouse at 6:26 PM on August 9 [+] [!]


I absolutely LOVE! LOVE! Ferrigno Hercules films. They're so much fun. Stop motion robot figures created by Daedalus!

Such great memories!
posted by Fizz at 7:20 PM on August 9


Lifeforce had another actor of note, who would go on to more prestigious work in SF on screen.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:52 PM on August 9 [1 favorite]


I had forgotten that Lifeforce was a Golan-Globus production. An under-appreciated movie in which Peter Firth was outstanding.
posted by ob1quixote at 11:07 AM on August 10 [1 favorite]


hoist, I truly appreciate your parents' gift to the world. I have the Rifftrax version of The Apple, and it has given many of us much joy.

After I posted that link to the BIM song, I went and got it in my head, as you do. While I was walking down the street on an errand, trying to get it out of there, I walked past a kid wearing a T-shirt for The Fantasticks. And it struck me: for all the awards and long runs for that show, I would ten times over rather watch The Apple than The Fantasticks.
posted by Countess Elena at 2:28 PM on August 10 [2 favorites]


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posted by brundlefly at 5:28 PM on August 10


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