Captain American the Movie 1990

Now that every super hero movie that can be cranked out is expected to make $100 million bucks and films are lined up to the horizon waiting to get made. I thought it would be fun to take a look back at a film that I had high hopes for back in 1990, “Captain America”.


Back in 1989 a little movie called Batman struck theaters and it was a huge hit. By taking the film in a darker direction Tim Burton got people to forget the campy TV series and look forward to more installments of the Dark Knight. This could have been the start of a super hero movie revolution if the film studios could just crank out some decent product. Instead Marvel produced some real misses like the above mentioned Captain America, the hilariously unwatchable “Fantastic Four”, and the surprisingly, not so bad on the small screen, “The Punisher”. These missteps put everything on hold for a couple of years and made us wait for a young man named Bryan Singer to start everything going again. Now back to Cap.

The Movie Plot
During World War II, American patriotic Steve Rogers undergoes experiments to become “Captain America.” In a fight against his Nazi nemesis the “Red Skull”, Cap gets himself frozen. He is defrosted in the 1990s to once again do battle with the Red Skull who has changed identities and is planning to kidnap the President of the United States. It doesn’t sound too bad on paper, but for fans of the red, white and blue avenger this film was extremely disappointing. Maybe I was just had too high of expectations?


I admit, I do own every issue of the Captain American Comic starting with issue 100 and followed the making of this movie as best as I could in pre-internet days. I guess I was bound to be let down. Marvel mentioned the film in glowing terms in the February 1990 issue of Marvel. This seemed like it was gonna be a hit to my young impressionable mind. Check out the still of Cap strapped to the V2.


The film is not without its charm. The start has a lot of potential and as a fan of the comic, I was pleased to see they tried to stick to the basic outline of Cap’s life, but it looks like they ran out of money after the first 15 minutes. Matt Salinger, who looks like Steve Rogers, isn’t a horrible actor, but he doesn’t bring the physical gravity and sense of right that a fan might expect. He actually comes off as whiny at times.

Its not that bad at the start. Check out this clip and you will see what I mean.

It all pretty much goes down hill from there and you really don’t have to dig to find lots of things to criticise. To begin with the costume isn’t that good. Sure it sticks close to the original design colors, but it looks like what it is plastic. It’s actually kind of shiny. Not the classic “mail” look that one would expect from our star-spangled hero.


As for the Red Skull…He looks, what a good word to describe him, Lumpy? Cracky? Either way he is not very skull-like at all. More burn victim with leprosy or something.


Its hard to find clips online of the movie that have not been altered, but if you want to awaken your inner jingo or jest need a good laugh check out this “Captain America Movie Tribute”.

Not on your roof waving that flag yet? Check out this video that borrows the theme song from “Team America World Police”.

Another Cap movie is reportedly just 2 years away and I am very excited too see how this one turns out. Should I be positive? Looking back to 1990 the next one has no where to go but up.


The Retroist

Editor/Podcaster at Retroist
The Retroist is like a BBQ on a bun without the bones. You're only human daddy. Chomp!

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