Wednesday, May 31, 2017
Damme Words: The Untold, In-Depth, Outrageously True Story of Shapiro Glickenhaus Entertainment
Thanks to action movie aficionado david j. moore, I discovered an entire treasure trove devoted to Glickenhaus, his business partner Alan Shapiro and their adventures in the film business during the go-go, foreign sales, film market, VHS, genre fueled 80's and 90's. Marco Siedelmann, Nadia Bruce-Rawlings and Stephen A. Roberts pull together the people who made it happen and lived through the era to provide a time capsule and first hand account of a revolutionary time. Through a series of interviews long and short (where did Joseph Zito have to run to?) along with photos of posters, actors, parties and legal documents, we're taken back to the time when you could make a movie for a certain price as long as the poster looked good. You hear from producers, lawyers, assistants, financiers (lending is better than investing) and actors who mainly reminisce about the familial feeling and overall fun the company had. Long hours were a no brainer but staff were provided gym memberships to keep in shape and pulled in to help out wherever necessary.
There's detours to the 90's direct to video golden age with interviews from the likes of Jalal Merhi and Cynthia Rothrock, making movies to take advantage of Canadian tax breaks and the like. Merhi recounts a screening where everyone started to leave early, not because they didn't like it but because they wanted to buy the rights immediately. As for Shakedown, it's painted as the company's shot at the big time as Universal had come in to distribute. Needing a product to release by a specific date, the $10 million film was semi-rushed but was a big success for the company. Surprisingly, Sam Elliott gets a couple of mentions for being not the nicest guy around.