While it can't hold a candle to the blockbuster Captain America: The First Avenger
, this 1990 screen adaptation of Cap's origins and first battles with his longtime nemesis, the Red Skull, holds its modest own in the action-adventure department despite some serious budgetary challenges. Matt (son of J.D.) Salinger plays both Steve Rogers and his heroic alter ego, Captain America, who is spawned from a World War II experiment to create "super soldiers." Cap immediately locks horns with his Axis number, the Red Skull (Scott Paulin), before becoming entombed in ice for the better part of the 20th century. Upon emerging from deep freeze, he discovers that the Red Skull has been fronting a crime syndicate in the employ of a rogue American military group with designs on controlling the country. Cap is subsequently forced to rescue the president (Ronny Cox) from the Skull's clutches while also contending with the girlfriend (Kim Gillingham), now elderly, he left behind prior to his wartime disappearance, and her look-alike daughter (also Gillingham). As mentioned by Salinger and director Albert Pyun in a 20-minute making-of featurette included on the Blu-ray, Captain America
was plagued by production problems almost immediately after The Cannon Group purchased the rights to the character from Marvel. Pyun's attempts to lend comic book brawn to his film were further hampered by a threadbare special effects budget (the effects still look dreary two decades later), and the whole affair was pulled from theatrical release in 1990, only to resurface two years later in shoddy VHS and manufacture-on-demand editions. Shout Factory's widescreen HD Blu-ray looks exceptionally well--often too well, underscoring the corners cut in visual effects--but its restoration probably won't elevate the 1990 Captain America
beyond its current status as a curious, well-intentioned, but ultimately minor effort to bring Cap's adventures to the big screen. --Paul Gaita
Long ago, Steve Rogers (Matt Salinger) was a true American hero, a brave super soldier created by scientists to help the Allied Forces fight for freedom in World War II. But during a battle with the sinister Red Skull (Scott Paulin), he was lost, entombed in ice. Decades later, his body has been found and revived and Steve must again don the mantle of Captain America to help save the President of the United States (Ronny Cox) , and the world, from his arch-nemesis once and for all.
For the first time, director Albert Pyuns cult classic is presented in widescreen and in astonishing high-definition!