If you're like me, you see the need for more movies where
the President of the United
States gets into fist fights, and also
a lot of time wishing that superhero movies would have the protagonist
on a 70+ year old villain. That'd be
cool! Well now you're prayers have been
answered with the 1990 film Captain America
so-bad-it's-good flick that you have to see to believe.
In 1943 the US
is in the middle of WWII and an Italian immigrant, Dr. Maria Vaselli
invented a process of increasing a person's intelligence and athletic
ability. The US Army tries it out on a
volunteer, Steve Rogers (Matt Salinger, son of the author J. D.
he gains tremendous strength (but acts as dumb as a box of rocks
of the film). A Nazi spy however jumps
out of the background and kills Vaselli before the newly super-powered Rogers can save
her. Killing the spy and taking three
the chest in the process, Rogers
holds the doctor in his arms as she dies.
A couple of weeks later, before Rogers
has even been discharged from the hospital, he's sent on his first
Captain America! The Red Skull is a Nazi who underwent an
earlier version of Dr. Vaselli's treatment and he has invented a rocket
can reach the shores of the US. Cap
is dropped behind enemy lines and, with
the help of some resistance fighters, storms the castle housing the
missile. There he comes face-to-face
with Red Skull and... gets his ass kicked.
I guess the US Army should have trained Captain America
in hand-to-hand combat
before they sent him off to war.
In any case the Captain gets strapped to a rocket and shot
off to America
where the missile (a cruise missile too, no cheap ballistic stuff for
Skull) is supposed to destroy the White House.
may not be able to fight very well, but he doesn't give up and as the
in sight of the White House he kicks it and sends it off course to... Alaska. Apparently Red Skull put way, way, too much
fuel in this puppy since it was able to cross an entire continent after
its target. In the cold wasteland it
crashes burying the hero for 50 years.
Cut to 1990.
Apparently even with the evil workings of Red Skull the Allies
(which makes the whole Captain America
project another waste of taxpayers money... but I digress).
A group of scientists working in Alaska come across a man
buried in the ice and, instead of chipping him out, bring the whole
ice to their tent. Still frozen solid,
burst forth from the frozen water. As
the scientists look on, amazed, he walks out into the tundra and
Actually he starts walking to LA. He gets
as far as Canada
before he steals a car, then
hitches a ride when it runs out of gas.
Once there goes to his old sweet-heart's home where he's
see that she's aged (and has a hot daughter).
after plastic surgery.
Meanwhile the Red Skull is still in
He's had plastic surgery (but he
horrifically mutilated) and is the head of an international criminal
When a disgruntled US
Army General comes to him with a
plan to kill
the President of the US
Red Skull has a better idea!
expensive and time consuming to kill a president, but apparently it's
So he sets in motion a plan
to snatch the President and implant him with a computer chip that will
Red Skull to control his every thought!
So it's up to Captain America
and his old girlfriend's hot daughter to search out Red Skull's
his castle, and free the President of the United States!
As I said in the intro, this movie is so bad it is fun to
watch. In this film Captain America
sucker-punched and knocked down by a girl, gets on a bicycle to flee
attackers and drives it into a lake, kills a disarmed man, and scamper
from scary punk rockers. Not only that,
but the dialog is horrifically tortured.
When Captain America
rescues the President and tells him to go hid in a cave until the coast
clear the President replies "Are you kidding? I'm not bailing out on
Captain America! Let's go!"
Then the pair storm the castle where the President gets shot in
shoulder and then beats the crap out
of a trained guard. Of course Red
is now over 70 years old, but Captain America still has a hard
beating him. When is this guy gonna
learn how to fight?
good place to keep a piano.
The acting is pretty bad across the board. Salinger
is extremely wooden in his delivery
and brings nothing to the roll. It's
amazing how little screen chemistry he has.
Ronny Cox plays the President with way too much vim and vigor. He tries to make him more of a secret agent
than the leader of the free world.
Made in 1990 in the wake of the Batman (1989) craze, Captain
America was a low-budget film that was intended for theatrical
release. It didn't get one in the US
was only seen in limited release overseas.
It was cropped to 4:3 and released on VHS in the states in 1992
and that is what is on this DVD-R.
The stereo soundtrack wasn't bad, just disappointing.
There wasn't much in the way of separation
and I was expecting a more dynamic mix from a film from 1990. On the plus side there wasn't any background
noise and the dialog was easy to hear.
The full frame image (see note above) was much less than I
was expecting. I've seen Warner Archive
films from the 30's and 40's that look better.
The image was very soft and so dark in places that you couldn't
was going on. (Take the fight sequence
below. There are two people in the
image, believe it or not.) There was a
fair amount of dirt on the print too. It
wasn't a horrible print, but don't go in expecting much.
There is also a trailer for the movie.
From Captain America's shield coming back to him as if by
magic... expect when the plot requires it to just fall to the ground to
America's lack of pugilistic skill, this movie is filled with odd
will cause fits of laughter in bad film aficionados.
For those people, and those people only, this
disc is recommended.