Review: Captain America (1992)

Posted by G-Man (34125 posts) - - Show Bio

Comic book movies have come a long way. In the 70s we had some Captain America movies but in was in 1992 when the now defunct 21st Century Film studio made their attempt at bringing the 'first Avenger' to the big screen.

The movie was originally planned to be released in 1990 but it was tweaked a little and finally released on video in 1992 (with a theatrical release overseas).

The movie starred Matt Salinger as Captain America and Scott Paulin as the Red Skull (with Ned Beatty and Bill Mumy having smaller roles). The story was similar to what we know, Captain America was created in 1943, gets frozen and then revived today to try to save the world.

As for this release...it's the movie from 1992. It hasn't been remastered. It's not widescreen. Purist should love the fact that it's presented in its original form (since people are complaining about the upcoming Star Wars Blu-ray). There aren't any special features, besides the theatrical trailer. What you get is the movie that was made in 1990.

It's not just a straight adaptation of the Captain America mythos. For whatever reason, some changes were made. The biggest is the Red Skull's origin. He was a boy from Italy that was experimented on as the Fascist government tried creating a supersoldier. They never even mention his name being Johann Schmidt. The lead researcher wasn't Dr. Abraham Erskine but instead a scientist named Dr. Maria Vaselli. She then flees to America to set things in motion for Steve Rogers.

Speaking of Steve Rogers, he's supposed to be a frail kid that wasn't able to join the Army. It's mentioned here that it was because he had polio. The thing is, he didn't look too frail. They do add some muscle-growing effects when the experiment goes underway but there doesn't appear to be much of a difference.

As for the quality of the movie, there's no point in comparing to this year's Captain America release. You can see it was made with a much lower budget. In some ways, that works. The lab where Steve underwent his transformation looks more like what you would expect for the time. In The First Avenger, it almost looked too high tech and shiny. Captain America's costume also looks cheaper which makes sense again for the time.

This is by no means a great movie. As a piece of comic book movie history, it's worth checking out. If anything, it lets you see how much could be done on a lower budget. Some of the changes didn't make a lot of sense. There is quite a bit of cheesiness to the movie. The idea of Red Skull's daughter being the leader of his mini squad of thugs is enough to make you groan. There are plenty of moments that will make you scratch your head and wonder what was going on behind the scenes.

There might be some debate whether or not this should have been re-released. It's painful to watch at times and will make you laugh at other points. It's a valiant effort. If you haven't seen it, check it out. The retail price of $19.95 seems high for a DVD with no special features. Giving it a rating, I'd say it's a 2 out of 5. Check it out if you can find it cheaper and are really curious to see how Captain America works in this presentation.

Check out the trailer if you haven't seen it already.

And here's a couple more 'production' stills (they look better than the video version).

Staff
#1 Edited by nftw (23 posts) - - Show Bio

Old Cap movie, saw it, loved it. 

#2 Posted by CombatSpoon86 (832 posts) - - Show Bio

Man this takes me back. Loved it (though very corny)

#3 Posted by cold_fuzion (167 posts) - - Show Bio

The best part was when he threw the shield to knock over the motorcycles, he actually did it. I guess they decided they might as well try it before rigging up some effect and he was actually able to knock them over. 
 
 
That's all I got.

#4 Posted by texasdeathmatch (13171 posts) - - Show Bio

Haha amazing trailer. I wonder if this movie also had a Pee-Wee Herman bike chase scene.

#5 Posted by ThePRez (285 posts) - - Show Bio

that was a really bad bad movie

#6 Posted by Jordanstine (907 posts) - - Show Bio

I will only watch it "IF" the movie has a catchy theme song.

#7 Posted by Seraphim84 (58 posts) - - Show Bio

I still love the fact that this Cap was played by none other than J.D. Salinger's kid. The maker of Holden Caulfield's son playing the American hero. Also, Ned Beatty!

#8 Posted by pikahyper (12164 posts) - - Show Bio

Good movie, I preferred the two Captain America movies before it though from 1979 starring Reb Brown.

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#9 Posted by The Impersonator (5483 posts) - - Show Bio
#10 Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus (6885 posts) - - Show Bio

In all honesty this movie did make laugh quite a bit.  In all truth the only real good part besides Matt Salinger's Cap was Kim Gillingham as Bernice/Sharon...and come, anyone who at least has a working knowledge of the Cap mythos knows that Bernice Stewart/Sharon Stewart is supposed to be inspired by Peggy/Sharon Carter.  Not the best of movies really to go on, but that's typical when you have a small budget.  Keep in mind this was around the same time The Flash movie was made as well as Dolph Lundgren's attempt at Frank Castle. To err is human... to forgive is divine, lol.

#11 Posted by ntb1124 (949 posts) - - Show Bio

I own this on VHS still, I have wanted to watch it again because I know it as been forever since I watched it and I honestly can not remember much about it.

#12 Posted by shawn87 (2095 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm sacred to watch this....

#13 Posted by Shadow_Thief (2509 posts) - - Show Bio

Ahh...I remember this. It's not the worst movie out there, especially given its contemporaries, but I think you could probably MAKE a comparable film today for $19.99.

#14 Posted by FoxxFireArt (3554 posts) - - Show Bio

Funny enough, the bit that always stuck with me the most about this movie was the Red Skull rat that was shown in the beginning of this movie. lol I remember it looking like something out of the Lee Harvey Harryhausen films.

#15 Posted by ninjacommando (104 posts) - - Show Bio

Never seen this movie, probably never will...

#16 Edited by Decept-O (7277 posts) - - Show Bio

I have seen this a few times, and recall renting it when it originally came out on um..tape..way back when. It seems to pop up in a few comic book conventions alongside the ill-fated Fantastic Four movie by Roger Corman, ( edit). The ears on his costume always got to me.

That aside, G-Man points out the lab scene in the recently released Captain America movie this summer and I agree, I also thought it was a bit too advanced given the time frame the scene took place. It was supposed to be advanced, yes, but not that much. Still a minor quibble regarding what was a great movie.

#17 Posted by Tazirai (120 posts) - - Show Bio

Loved it for the era's cheese factor. Same as the old FF movie.

#18 Posted by GothamBat (644 posts) - - Show Bio

I used to have this on vhs when i was a kid. I thought it was the coolest ever at the time. lol

#19 Posted by Trodorne (2589 posts) - - Show Bio

This movie was the reason some people started to take up pot again during the mid 90's.

#20 Posted by joshmightbe (24885 posts) - - Show Bio

This movie seemed ok when I was 12

#21 Posted by the_kza (24 posts) - - Show Bio

I like how he would get out of the car and pretend to not feel good, so when they went to check up on him he ran back to the car and drove off.

#22 Posted by All_Around_Nerd (58 posts) - - Show Bio

@Tazirai: you mean the best ff movie

#23 Posted by GoonFan_12 (34 posts) - - Show Bio

dear barbara, this is fantastic. I remember seeing this on the video store shelves as a kid, but never got around to watching it. I think there's a Spidey movie around the same era.

side note: this Cap movie had both the mom and dad from A Christmas Story in it. that earns it at least one star.

#24 Posted by Grim (2079 posts) - - Show Bio

i loved this movie solely because the President was a bad ass. I always like to think when it comes down to it, our Presidents can break out the proverbial "big stick" and punch a modern Nazi in the face.

#25 Posted by Eyz (3095 posts) - - Show Bio

Well, I still say this is a mighty fine movie.

Screw the haters, let the haters hate away.

#26 Posted by Fnz (38 posts) - - Show Bio

Nick Fury with Da Hoff was little much funnier :D

Love trashy movies

#27 Posted by sethysquare (3843 posts) - - Show Bio

bleh. didnt like the new one or the old one

#28 Posted by ComicMan24 (147091 posts) - - Show Bio

I remember watching this as a kid. It wasn't bad.

#29 Posted by Green ankh (998 posts) - - Show Bio

I have this on VHS. And i do like it for what it is. Red Skull comes off pretty cool to me here. Its kind of fun.

#30 Posted by fACEmelter88 (609 posts) - - Show Bio

I loved this movie when I was a kid........yep..........definitely haven't seen it in years but I bet its not that bad even though the Red Skull is Russian.

#31 Posted by Omega Ray Jay (7818 posts) - - Show Bio

Remember really enjoying this as a kid, haven't seen it for years.

#32 Posted by JayUK (101 posts) - - Show Bio

I first saw this a long time ago and couldn't figure out whether it was serious or a parody. To be honest it's a pretty bad film but maybe today I can look though my rose tinted nostalgic glasses when watching.

#33 Posted by comicdude23 (11399 posts) - - Show Bio

Bad movie.

#34 Posted by berserkfury2006 (6 posts) - - Show Bio

There was a marathon of all 3 of the Captain America movies before the new one came out a while ago on SyFy. The '79 films were so slow paced and the plots were ridiculous. The only redeeming factor was that Christopher Lee was in the second one. This '90s Cap was more accurate and entertaining, but it's still a poor effort.

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