Before Michael Bay. Before Sony and Fox made horribly bad super hero films. Before even Joel Schumacher. Anytime you saw that above logo play at the start of a movie, you knew what you were getting yourself into: something truly special and helluva lot more entertaining than those rank amateurs could ever hope to accomplish (okay I'll admit Bay does come the closest to matching it with the Rock, Bad Boys 2, plus Pain and Gain). Today Menahem Golan, passed away at the age of eighty-five.
Sadly, I weep for the loss. There has been many a time in the past when I've turned the television dial to WGN, HBO, or Showtime, hoping a Cannon film was gonna be shown. Usually, it was a Chuck Norris movie (usually Delta Force, Missing in Action II, or Firewalker for me). But on those rare occasions it be something else (save if it was Force, which is the best Chuck Norris film other than Silent Rage, which are always neck and neck of my favorite Chuck Norris film). Something even more glorious.
Cobra.American Ninja series. Bloodsport. King Solomon's Mines. Texas Chainsaw Massarce II. Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold (a sequel to King Solomon's Mines). Lifeforce. Enter the Ninja. Invaders from Mars. Captain America. Yes, you know what version I mean. REMEMBER IT!! REMEMBER THE FAKE EARS AND ITALIAN RED SKULL!!! BWHAAA!!!! BWHAAAAAA!!!! *ahem* Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. And of course...
Masters of the Universe, a movie I will defend to the ends of time given a certain performance. And hell, I just love the entire movie. In my head, I know the movie is bad. But my heart, man. I LOVE THIS MOVIE.
Later on in my life I would get into other films of Cannon with the Death Wish series and other glorious Charles Bronson films. These were the bible of bad, and the Asylum films of their time. You couldn't help but enjoy what you were watching. It was slop, but you couldn't help but be entertained by it.
And behind all of it was Golan, who even directed two of these films: Revenge of the Ninja and Delta Force. Of the ones not named Masters (American Ninja or Cobra). These were glorious films. I think Golan really is probably to blame for my love for ninjas and just captured perfectly the insanity of 80s action.
To super hero fans, this guy is probably the bane of existence. He's behind three horribly crafted 80s films: Masters, Captain America, and Superman IV. He could have added a fourth to that list, having had the rights to Spider-Man in the 80s and 90s (he was behind the James Cameron attempt too), but we never got to see that particular Golan treatment. For better or probably worse (but it would have made memorable cinema nonetheless).
Heck, I STILL stand by the fact that Superman IV is far superior to Man of Steel (because at least it can make me laugh and enjoy it for its utter absurdity, rather then bore, coil me in my seat, and get piss me off). The same can be said for Captain America as well, a movie it's own director, Albert Pyun went onto these VERY forums and apologized countless times for. As I told him then, as I say it now: I enjoy it for how bad it is. Screw it. I enjoyed it for it's absurdity and enjoyed the wild crazy ride its opening thirty minutes gave us before going into a whole different direction. It's a horrible movie, especially compared to the third attempt at Captain America which finally got everything right (though one must never EVER forget Reb Brown was the first).
So screw it. I enjoyed this man's films and the movies Golan helped produced. These films are like fine, cheesy wine to me. The only thing rarer and better to me is the cinematic perfection of entertainment that is a John Carpenter movie. Golan made good bad movies. I'd never have loved movies as much or been prepared for even worse films. So here's to you Mr. Golan. Thank you, for the movies you gave us as producer and director. And if no one can respect that opinion... well... I have four words to say to you: