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The Ideological Content Analysis 30 Days Putsch:

30 Reviews in 30 Days

DAY TWENTY-ONE

Electric Boogaloo

Like most men who grew up in the eighties, this writer has a treasure trove of fond memories emblazoned with the immortal Cannon logo. Producers of everything from musicals and dance exploiters like The Apple (1980) and Breakin’ (1984) to science-fiction weirdies like Lifeforce (1985) and the remake Invaders from Mars (1986), the Israeli moviemaking duo of director-visionary-madman Menahem Golan and “shrewd businessman” Yoram Globus is most closely associated with a string of classic over-the-top action movies including Enter the Ninja (1981), Death Wish 3 (1985), American Ninja (1985), The Delta Force (1986), Cobra (1986), and Cyborg (1989). The wild variety of the Cannon output furnishes much of the wonder of this documentary.

Lightning-paced and packed to the gills with interviews with an array of writers, directors, actors, and editors who share with the viewer their first-hand memories of this crazy company, Electric Boogaloo is a feast of film clips, archival footage, and funny anecdotes. At a disastrous preview screening of The Apple, for example, the complimentary soundtracks provided to the audience ended up being angrily thrown and embedded in the screen! Actor Alex Winter describes director Michael Winner as “a pathologically brutal, sadistic, insecure, egotistical character” who delighted in depicting rape, while Sharon Stone “was hated on the set [of King Solomon’s Mines (1985)]. All the South Africans hated her. She took a milk bath [and] they peed in the water.” Meeting with Clyde the orangutan from Every Which Way But Loose (1978), Golan is said to have turned to his female head of publicity and asked her, “Would you fuck this monkey?” Cannon staple Charles Bronson, meanwhile, is said to have insisted on being chauffered “about three feet from his dressing room” to the set in his personal Jaguar. “It was more like watching a man golf than act.”

Cannon catapulted to prominence (if not respect) in the industry through its formula of thriftily produced exploitation, outrageous content, and pre-sales chutzpah, the end coming when the company grew too big for its britches and tried to make extravagant special effects blockbusters conceived to rival major studio output but ended up with a list of duds like Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987) and Masters of the Universe (1987). Responsible for products ranging from turkeys like the midget-in-a-suit chimpanzee film Going Bananas (1987) to the highly regarded Runaway Train (1985), Golan and Globus receive praise and vitriol ranging from actress Martine Beswick’s opinion that they were manipulative, “rotten and horrid”, to director Franco Zeffirelli’s assertion that they were “the best producers I ever worked for.” It is these delicious contradictions of character and clashes of larger-than-life personalities that make the story of Cannon Films such a fascinating ride.

5 stars. Highly recommended. Ideological Content Analysis indicates that Electric Boogaloo is:

3. Multiculturalist. Adolfo “Shabba-Doo” Quinones recalls with pride how the Breakin’ movies brought the races together where even the United Nations had failed.

2. Zionist, endorsing the official War on Terror narrative. “In a way, [1985’s] Invasion U.S.A. was a very prescient film,” reflects editor Daniel Loewenthal. “We didn’t really think about terrorism, the terrorism was more of an abstract idea.” In fact, Cannon had a very conscious agenda of vilifying Arabs in the American consciousness, as evidenced by the portrayals in The Delta Force. Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films alludes to these unsympathetic representations, but approaches the subject with a sense of humor rather than seriousness. Menahem Golan’s birth name was Menahem Globus (he is Yoram’s cousin), but he changed it to Golan in celebration of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land. They are also credited with helping to popularize the Jewish supremacist term of abuse “shiksa” with American audiences in their Elliott Gould vehicle Over the Brooklyn Bridge (1984).

1. Oy vey, scratch that last one – this movie is anti-Semitic! Golan and Globus are repeatedly described in terms that reek of Jewish stereotypes. Producer Pieter Van Brugge says, “There was always that wheeling and dealing and that wheeling and dealing was very much – I mean, they were Israelis, and they were defined by that culture.” Laurene Landon, star of America 3000 (1986), excoriates: “You people have a cash register where your heart should be.” Described as being “very conservative”, both Golan and Globus thought nothing of corrupting American morals with their cultural Marxist depravity, one interviewee summarizing their winning formula as “something minus good taste”. Editor Mark Helfrich recalls of The Last American Virgin (1982), “An abortion is being played with U2 music under it, and you go from a doctor performing an abortion to some guy cutting up pizza. […] That’s insane. That’s just nuts,” he goes on, adding, “For instance, after the abortion Gary brings her a Christmas tree and a bag of oranges. That must have meant something in Israel.”

Rainer Chlodwig von Kook

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Outpost Black Sun

In the opening scene of Outpost: B.S., an elderly gentleman (Michael Byrne) in a nursing home receives a visit from a young woman, Lena (Catherine Steadman), claiming to be his long-lost niece. Rather than embracing him, however, she turns insolent, grasps his hand, breaks his fingers, and even pilfers the old man’s ring. This, one assumes, is intended to endear her to the audience when the man is revealed to have been a Nazi, and social justice demands that, lest the Fourth Reich rise up and six zillion more Jews suffer another Holohoax, wheelchair-bound geezers must be physically abused.

Whereas this film’s predecessor, Outpost (2008), was an impressive exercise in modestly budgeted horror-action that benefited in macho economy from focusing on a gruff, totally male ensemble of seasoned mercenaries, this 2012 sequel shoots itself in the boot from the beginning by featuring a Jewish Nazi huntress as the heroine, thus injecting a dose of sanctimonious and emotional motivation into the franchise where none was needed. Something of the sense of suspense that drove the first film remains in evidence, however, as the bothersome Nazi zombies are on the loose again and conquering a constantly broadening swath of already war-torn Eastern Europe. It also becomes more entertaining once a British commando unit enters the story, contributing a brusque, confrontational snottiness.

The cast is fine and does what it can with the preposterous material. Catherine Steadman is pretty and hardly to be faulted for her annoying character’s uselessness to the franchise; however, the teaser ending, which suggests that she will also play the lead in the expected third installment, is somewhat disappointing for that reason.

[WARNING: SPOILERS]

Ideological Content Analysis indicates that Outpost: B.S. is:

9. Pro-family. Lena carries on a family tradition of Nazi-hunting and hopes to avenge relatives who died in the Holohoax.

8. Anti-military/anti-nuke. The term “military intelligence” is used sarcastically. Hovering over the whole mission, meanwhile, is the threat of a nuclear option that would probably not be efficacious in any event.

7. Anti-slavery (i.e., pro-yawn). A black soldier (Gary McDonald) winces at the sight of a chain and shackle.

6. Anti-state. The American spokesman for a “UN-backed task force” claims to be looking for chemical weapons, but actually wants to secure the Nazi superweaponry for his government. “Any government will pay any price” for the technology.

5. Anti-Slav. Scientist Wallace (Richard Coyle) claims to have been betrayed by Russian partners. “Don’t do time in one of their prisons. They’re cold,” he says, presumably with reference not just to their penal system, but to the Russian people themselves. Eastern Europeans are depicted as shady, sleazy, and suspicious.

4. Feminist. Self-reliant Steadman succeeds in throwing a monkey wrench into the Nazis’ plans.

3. Anti-Christian. One Nazi is named Christian Gotz, and a house with a crucifix conspicuously displayed on one of its walls turns out to have a Nazi zombie hiding in it. A map shows the concentric spread of the undead’s conquered territory in crosshairs, i.e., with a cross at its center.

2. Paranoiacally Zionist and Holohoax-alarmist. The movie industry, prescient of the day when the passage of time would render too ridiculous the idea of a geriatric Fourth Reich rising from the ashes to conquer the globe, has over the decades foisted on filmgoers such interesting (or not) innovations as the conventional Nazi zombie army in films like The Frozen Dead (1966) and Shock Waves (1977); cloned Hitlers in The Boys from Brazil (1978); vengeful and pitilessly boring Nazi ghost sailors in Death Ship (1980); the National Socialist moon colony in Iron Sky (2012); and now, most outlandish of all, the immortal runic unified field Nazi zombie army of the Outpost franchise. “Two days ago I still thought this was all about what these people [i.e., Germans and gentiles generally] had done,” Lena reflects. “But it’s not. It’s only ever been about what they were going to do.” “There’ll always be somebody else,” Wallace warns. Ironically, treacherous gentile Wallace turns out to have been working against Lena the whole time, hoping to acquire the Holy Grail of Nazi zombie-generating unified field technology not to destroy it, but to sell it back to the Nazis. Hilariously, once the deception comes out, Wallace’s black hair changes to blonde, revealing his truly evil nature.

1. Anti-German. Outpost: B.S. reduces the Teuton to what, in the paranoid and condescending anti-white progressive’s view, is his essence: a dead-eyed, lumbering, growling, killing machine bent on stabbing or cudgeling to death anybody unlike himself.

Rainer Chlodwig von Kook

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