Even before 1984’s Breakin’, starring Adolfo “Shabba-Doo” Quinones, Lucinda Dickey, and Michael “Boogaloo Shrimp” Chambers, became one of Cannon Films’ highest-grossing movies of all-time, there were plans for a sequel.
But the financial success of Breakin’ ended up fast-tracking the sequel and the wheels were in motion to release Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo less than eight months after the release of the original film. This was an ambitious plan to get the film in theaters for the Christmas break.
I recently sat down and watched Shout Factory’s Blu-ray release of the most famously titled sequel of all-time and among the special features included was a commentary track with director Sam Firstenberg, editor Marcus Manton and the star of the show, Adolfo “Shabba-Doo” Quinones. The commentary track was excellent and made for a fact-filled trip down memory lane and was the source material for this post.
10 Things You Didn’t Know About Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo…
1. The movie was filmed primarily in Boyle Heights, a neighborhood in East LA that at one time was the first predominantly Jewish neighborhood on the west coast. In fact, the “Miracles Community Center” building was originally a synagogue when it was first constructed.
2. A financial dispute between Adolfo “Shabba-Doo” Quinones and the head of Cannon Films, Menahem Golan, almost kept Quinones from reprising his role as Ozone in the Breakin’ sequel. It even got to the point where Cannon was attempting to cast a new Ozone, but when that didn’t yield immediate results, Golan made things good with Quinones and all was right in the Breakin’ world.
3. Art imitated life with the casting of Steve “Sugarfoot” Notario as Ozone’s rival, Strobe. In real life, Notario was part of a dance group known as Dance Machine, a group that “Shabba-Doo” felt ripped off his group The Lockers, so there was some genuine animosity between the two breakdancers. Quinones was actually the one who suggested Notario for the role figuring they could play off their real-life rivalry.
4. On a related note, Cannon originally wanted Mario Van Peebles for the role of Strobe, but since Mario did not have the breakdancing skills needed for the role, they went with Notario instead.
5. As I mentioned in the intro, Marcus Manton was the editor for Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo. Due to the tight schedule the movie was on, 7 additional editors were hired and supervised by Manton in order for the movie to be completed in time for December 21, 1984 release date.
6. The house that was used as the home of Kelly’s (Lucinda Dickey) parents was located next door to Muhammad Ali. Muhammad would end up visiting the set and performing magic tricks for the cast and crew. Muhammad even invited Shabba-Doo over for some scrambled eggs one day.
7. The rough cut of the film was over two hours long and included a scene with John LaMotta as a police officer. LaMotta was a friend of director Sam Firstenberg and an actor that Firstenberg used in several of his movies including Revenge of the Ninja, American Ninja and Ninja III: The Domination. Due to Cannon’s unwritten rule that movies should be 95 minutes or less, LaMotta’s scene was one of many that ended up on the cutting room floor but LaMotta still made the end credits.
8. The sexy nurses used in the iconic hospital dance scene were actually Las Vegas showgirls who were flown in for the day. The hospital scene was based on a skit called “Dr. Boogie” that Quinones had done on the short lived series The Big Show that ran on NBC in the spring of 1980.
9. All of the clothes that Turbo (Michael “Boogaloo Shrimp” Chambers) and Ozone (Adolfo “Shabba-Doo” Quinones) wore in the film were from their own personal wardrobe. Some of which they also wore when they were a part of Lionel Richie’s All Night Long Tour.
10. Don Cornelius of Soul Train fame was originally considered for the role as the MC of the big benefit show in the movie’s finale. But Cornelius’ asking price was too high, so New York disc jockey Frankie “Hollywood” Crocker ended up with the part.