Since the millenium, we have had some really good super hero films released, especially from Marvel Studios. We are of course talking about Spider-Man, X-Men, Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, The Avengers, the list never ends. Most of these films ( including their sequels ) are really good. But there was a time in my youth, when films were made, based on comic book characters, that failed completely. There are of course a number of films we could mention, who can forget Superman 4 - A Quest For Peace ? The fact that Christopher Reeve even accepted to do this film, is still today a mystery to me. He will always be Superman to me, especially for the first 2 films, and Superman 2 is actually one of the best super hero movies of the 80´s. Director Richard Donner proved himself, by doing a solid action film, and the special effects were not bad ( considering it was the early 80´s ). I suggest you get Superman and Superman 2 on blu ray, these classic films with Christopher Reeve is still today cult classic films. Now, let´s talk about the bad period of super hero films again. I remember one of those god awful films of the 90´s, did anyone see Steel, with basket player Shaquile O´Neil ? Of course this was supposed to make kids think Steel was a bad ass character, but in all honesty, Steel was more of a pile of turds. Anyone else remember Supergirl, based on the comic book character ? This film is of course not as awful as Steel, but still this film proved, why you don´t make a film without solid acting and special effects. Supergirl was supposed to continue the legacy of Superman, but this film failed in so many ways. I don´t think Helen Slater was a bad choice for the lead role, it is just the film itself that could not function as a super hero movie. How many of you love the Captain America films that Marvel have given us so far ? I am of course talking about the films, with lead actor Chris Evans. When his first film as Captain America came out in 2011, both critics and audiences were really pleased with the film Captain America: The First Avenger. The film had solid acting, good special effects and also a good plot included. The sequel known as Captain America: The Winter Soldier turned out to be even better than the first film. Now, you could clearly see that Chris Evans have grown into his character, known as Steve Rogers. This sequel also had a lot of more characters in the film, i am especially thinking of Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, and Anthony Mackie as Falcon. The best film so far ( in my opinion ) is of course Captain America: Civil War. This film really had so many comic book characters united, fighting against each other. But this review, i am posting today, is about the 90´s film version of Captain America, and we take a look on why this is one of the worst comic book film adaptations. Who would have known that legendary director Albert Pyun would take on to this project ? Either way, enjoy this one, and you might actually want to see this film, or do you ?
Italy, in the year of 1936, a young boy named Tadzio de Santis is kidnapped by the government, where they want to use him in a secret experiment, to create a Fascist Supersoldier. Dr. Maria Vaselli ( Carla Cassola ) does not agree with the experiment, and escape the building. 7 years later, in California, the American government finds a volunteer to their experiment, his name is Steve Rodgers ( Matt Salinger ). They want to create their own supersoldier. As the experiment goes on, Maria Vaselli is murdered by a nazi, and Steve manage to take him out. Meanwhile, Red Skull ( Scott Paulin ) is planning to launch a missile on the White House. Steve, now sent in on his first mission as Captain America, is supposed to defeat Red Skull and stop the missile. But things do not go as planned, and Captain America is tied onto the missile, and it is launched towards the White House. They miss the target, thanks to Captain America, and the missile lands in Alaska. Here he is frozen down, until the year of 1993. Researchers find Steve wake him up, and he find himself in a very different world, where Red Skull is still causing terror. There is only one man who can stop the evil Red Skull, and that is Captain America.
It becomes very clear, right from the beginning of the film, that we are about to experience something unique. Let me explain it this way. Combine acting from Days Of Our Lives, and throw in some really horrible dialogue ( let´s not even talk about the make up ), and you have the soap opera version of Captain America. This film is so bad, it is hard to explain what you are watching. Ok, i can understand that they wanted to make a film, based on a legendary Marvel comic book characters. But when they don´t have any budget, or any professional actors on board ( except for Ronny Cox, Ned Beatty, Scott Paulin and Michael Nouri ), things clearly falls apart. To be honest, i don´t know why legendary B movie director Albert Pyun wanted to make this film. This was just a year after he released the classic Jean-Claude Van Damme film Cyborg. He probably wanted to try something different, but it becomes very clear that he can´t tell a super hero movie story, the way it should be told. It is almost as if he tries to tell this story, very serious, but it all becomes so cheesy, you don´t really understand what the point is. And the action scenes ? Well, they don´t help the film in any way. Lead actor Matt Salinger is supposed to be the charming, good looking Steve Rogers, who later becomes Captain America. If he was supposed to be a sex symbol for the late 1940´s, then i think we can be honest and say that this also fails. Matt Salinger does not even do a performance, worthy a classic comic book character. Sure, he does wear the Captain America costume ( was this the best they could do ? ), but other than that i can´t see any point with this project. Let´s talk about the main villain Tadzio de Santis, who transforms into Red Skull. These characters are played by actor Scott Paulin. It is kind of sad seeing a legendary actor like him, do these characters. You might remember him from films such as Teen Wolf, Turner & Hooch or The Accused with Jodie Foster. Maybe he just saw the film Captain America as a paycheck, or if he just wanted to try being a comic book character. Who knows, i think the biggest question of all is why legendary director Menahem Golan wanted to produce this film ? We all know he did a lot of cheesy B movies in Cannon Films, but some of the ones were also good. Maybe he actually thought the audience would enjoy this version of Captain America? In all honesty, the 1990 version of this legendary comic book character, is perhaps one of the worst Marvel films ever made. So why should you watch it ? Well, if you enjoy some of the films by legendary director Albert Pyun ( like i do, especially Nemesis ), you might want to see his version of Captain America. And you will laugh, but for the wrong reasons. I am glad that the new Captain America films deliver so much quality and entertainment worldwide today. It reminds us why the 90´s was an awful time for super hero films. Maybe i should do my own version, it can´t be worse than this film, right ?
Oh, by the way, if you still want to see this film, pick up the blu ray release of Captain America, released by Shout! Factory, where director Albert Pyun will tell you his thoughts on this film.