Released during a pandemic-spoiled summer, The Cannon Film Guide offered a light in the darkness for b-movie connoisseurs and fans of the ‘80s action cinema. Covering forty films and franchises over more than 500 pages, this colossal tome takes a deep dive into the legendary low-budget movie studio.
The Cannon Film Guide, Volume I chronicles the company’s first five years under the leadership of legendary schlock moguls Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus. Through in-depth histories and interviews with many people involved in the making of these films, the book tells the stories behind dozens of VHS-era classics. From ninjas to breakdancers, Chuck Norris to Charles Bronson, The Cannon Film Guide covers every corner of the beloved cult film company’s craziest output.
To be published across three volumes, The Cannon Film Guide will be the first comprehensive examination of the revered b-movie studio’s filmography in book form. Volume II is scheduled for release in 2021.
Volume One includes a foreword by director Sam Firstenberg (Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo, Ninja III: The Domination), interviews with Luigi Cozzi, William Sachs, Catherine Mary Stewart, Diane Franklin, James Bruner, Lisa London, Michael “Boogaloo Shrimp” Chambers, and more, and nearly 200 VHS covers, rare posters, lobby cards, and pieces of international sales artwork.
Films covered in Volume One:
ACTION & ADVENTURE: Death Wish 2, 3, and 4; Missing in Action 1, 2, and 3; Enter the Ninja, Revenge of the Ninja, Ninja III: The Domination, 10 to Midnight, Exterminator 2; Hercules and Hercules II: The Adventures of Hercules; Sahara, Young Warriors (a.k.a. The Graduates of Malibu High), Sword of the Valiant, The Seven Magnificent Gladiators, Treasure of the Four Crowns. MUSICALS & COMEDY: Breakin’ and Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo; The Apple, The Last American Virgin, The Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood, Making the Grade, Dr. Heckyl and Mr. Hype, Over the Brooklyn Bridge. HORROR & THRILLERS: New Year’s Evil, Schizoid, X-Ray (a.k.a. Hospital Massacre), House of the Long Shadows, The Naked Face. DRAMA & ROMANCE: Bolero, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, The Wicked Lady, Love Streams, The Secret of Yolanda, Nana, That Championship Season, Body and Soul, Teen Mothers.
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“This first Cannon Film Guide is as thorough as you’d hope it would be. Initially, I thought I might skip reading about the movies I disliked or had no interest in seeing, but that proved futile because Trunick’s work is excellently entertaining. Less than 48 hours later, I had devoured every word.”
– Flick Attack
“I only meant to skim Austin Trunick’s THE CANNON FILM GUIDE VOL 1 1980-1984 to the chapters on the films I’ve seen or am curious about. But the book is so much fun, so compulsively readable, so full of great anecdotes and insider-details, that I ended up reading the entire 530-page book… and I don’t even like 99% of the crap the studio released.”
– Lee Goldberg
“If you’re a fan of Cannon films, or even not a fan, you will be fascinated by Austin Trunick’s deep dive into the studio’s output. This is an under-reported part of cinema history and this book will delight both film buffs and casual devotees of action-packed movies. This book added to my knowledge, not to mention my testosterone level.”
—Frank Conniff, comedian, TV’s Mystery Science Theater 3000
Praise for The Cannon Film Guide, Volume I…
“For students of film history — of which the Cannon saga has been a largely unexplored chapter — fans of exploitation filmmaking and B-movies, and aficionados of cult cinema, The Cannon Film Guide is likely to be an essential addition to your bookshelf.”
– Den of Geek
“This hefty 527 page book is either a standout example of gonzo scholarship or an extended manifestation of unfiltered insanity. Either way, I’m glad the book exists, as it’s as gloriously obsessive a study of the late, notorious Cannon Films as any eighties movie buff could possibly desire.”
– The Bedlam Files
“This is the Cannon films Bible.”
– Cereal at Midnight
“There’s lots to like here in what amounts to a sprawling edition devoted to a dearly beloved, as well as much-maligned, movie studio. The Cannon Film Guide Volume 1 begins a three-part, nostalgic celebration for their fans–looking back to a time when action heroes were as rampant as the crazy ideas Golan and Globus put them in.”
– Cool Ass Cinema