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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

New on Video: Positively-Charged Hullabaloo in Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo

Posted By on Wed, Apr 15, 2015 at 11:00 AM


You know it, you love it, and if you're not above making easy jokes (guilty as charged), you've probably worked it into conversation: Electric Boogaloo, quite possibly the most famous sequel subtitle ever. (Only Die Harder comes close.) Conventional wisdom is that the full title of the film is Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo, which along with its predecessor Breakin', Shout! Factory is releasing on a single-disc Blu-ray on April 21.

But here's the mystery: Is the film's title, in fact, Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo? I'm here to tell you that the truth may not be so simple.

Wake up, sheeple.

As you may have noticed in that trailer — 'cuz you totally watched it just now — Ice-T (Ice-T!) refers to the film as Electric Boogaloo, and not only that, he specifies that "Electric Boogaloo is Breakdance 2," and that "if you like Breakdance 1 you ain't seen nothin' yet." Breakdance was of course the international title for the films, and producers Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus of Cannon Films were waaaaay too cheap to pay Ice-T (Ice-T!) to record two different versions of the song. As we see, the UK VHS box confirms the film's title over there as being Breakdance 2: Electric Boogaloo.


Fair enough, but let's go back to that trailer for a moment. While Ice-T (Ice-T!) informs us that "Electric Boogaloo is Breakdance 2," this is what appears on screen:


At one point in the process, the title may well have been Breakin' 2 Is Electric Boogaloo. But movie titles often change during production, and sometimes in the months leading to release. Unfinished Business from last month was originally titled Business or Pleasure, and February's The Lazarus Effect was originally simply Lazarus. Nothing new there.

I know what you're thinking: Golan-Globus landed on Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo for the official title, so case closed, nerdgirl. Except it's not that simple. Consider, if you will, the domestic VHS box:


That title is clearly Electric Boogaloo: Breakin' 2. (Also, revel in the Videophonic Sound!) The label of the tape itself further emphasizes the Boogaloo-osity by making the series title a parenthetical afterthought.


And yet, the original theatrical one-sheet disavows the Boogaloo supremacy:


(By the way, a documentary called Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films is playing at the San Francisco International Film Festival on April 26 and 27.)

So what the everlasting fuck is the movie actually called? The Shout! Factory Blu-ray does not answer that question, and Boogaloo is even spelled as Bugaloo in a few places (and on the Blu-ray's official page on, thus elevating the mystery to King Kill 33 levels. It does, however, have a new commentary on Bugaloo Boogaloo by director Sam Firstenberg, editor Marcus Manton, and star Adolfo "Shabba-Doo" Quiñones.

All involved sound proud of their film, as well they should be, and Quiñones is an engaging presence; he talks about his desire to have children involved in the film, which only adds to its infectious energy. Not to bury the lede or anything, but both films, especially Boogaloo are genuinely enjoyable. If you don't have fun watching them, you hate joy. Deal with it.

The extras from MGM's 2005 DVD are also retained, including two short-form documentaries on the hip-hop and B-Boy scene as it was a decade ago, "The Elements of Hip Hop" and "The Culture of Hip Hop." In "Elements," Zulu Gremlin says that "dance is celebration of life, and there's nothing greater than celebrating life." Which, yes. Good lord, but that's something that a lot of DJs in the town need to learn, the ones who take pride in playing stuff that's difficult to dance to. (I'm not naming names, DJ in the 9:30-11 p.m. slot on the second Saturday last September at the Stud, but did you not notice us milling around, waiting for something with a decent beat?)

Discussing the spread of breaking and B-Boy styles to other subcultures, Sneeks from the Chicago Tribe lists examples such as punk breakers and goth breakers, and speaking of burying the lede, holy shit there are goth breakers. How did I not know this existed until now? That's Electric Boogaloo for you: it gives and it gives, and all it asks in return is that you dance.
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Sherilyn Connelly


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