Howdy all you Supercultists out there on the interwebz!
I’m Bad Movie Professor Cameron Coker (BS in “Albert Pyun” with a minor in “Reboots”) and I’ll be posting my hype-tacular speeches every week along with some long lost speeches from past Supercult Shows!
This week the Supercult show takes throws it’s mighty shield with Captain America…the 1990’s version!
When Steve Rogers, a solider turned superhero to combat the Nazi’s during WWII, sacrifices himself to sabotage the Red Skull’s plan to launch a missile at the White House it seems the world will finally find peace. Fifty years later however Rogers is revived to a new world filled with old enemies. The Red Skull has a new plot to kidnap the environmentalist US president and brainwash him to support his organization’s militarist agenda. Can Captain America stop the Red Skull and his criminal organization from engulfing the world in chaos once again?
Starring Matt Salinger as Steve Rogers, Ronny Cox as President Tom Kimball, Ned Beatty as reporter Sam Kolawetz, Darren McGavin as General Fleming, Kim Gillingham as both Sharon Stewart and her mother Bernice Stewart and Scott Paulin as the Red Skull, Captain America was the 4th film adaptation of the star-spangled Marvel Comics hero. The first was a black and white serial in the 40’s notable for being the first film adaptation of any Marvel Character, and the second and third were TV movies in the 1970’s in which Captain America acts more like a shield-toting, motorcycle-riding hippie than a WWII era soldier.
Intended for release in the summer of 1990 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Captain America, the 1990 adaptation of the Cap’ was delayed for two years due to financial trouble and conflict with the producing studio before debuting direct to video and on cable television in the United States in the summer of 1992. Nevertheless the ‘1990’ Captain America film does it’s best to return to it’s 1940’s serial roots and does a fair job of sticking to the comic book source material.
Sadly, that’s where the praise for this film ends.
What exactly is wrong with Captain America, you ask? Perhaps it’s the fact that Captain America spends most of his time out of costume in his street clothes and the Red Skull looks more like “Really Bad Acne” Skull for a large part of the film. Perhaps it’s the eclectic cast of Bill Mumy, from the original Lost in Space, Ned Betty, from Deliverance, and Matt Salinger, who’s first role was as one of the Jocks in Revenge of the Nerds that push the film into the higher frequencies of the idiocy spectrum. Or Perhaps it’s just the fact that the film never quite decided whether it wanted to be serious or corny and instead rides the line into boring town.
Many criticize the movie for trying to tell too much of the Captain America story in a single movie saying it would’ve been better to stick to either the WWII era or the modern era adventures. Others point out that Captain America is best when he’s fighting an actual war and the abrupt switch from fighting Nazi’s to worrying about the environment takes some of the wind out of the film’s sails. Entertainment Weekly critic Frank Lovece wrote, “The movie isn’t merely wrong for kids…it’s just all wrong,” pointing out the “shapeless blob of a plot” and grading the film “F”.
1990’s Captain America is directed by Albert Pyun, an American film director best known for having made many low-budget B-movies and direct-to-video action films. Independent Film Channel said of Pyun’s career, “[He has] carved out a unique niche as a director of low-budget, high-concept genre films starring actors past their prime.” Pyun had been derided (or perhaps praised) as the new Ed Wood, and his IMDB profile’s opening sentence proudly proclaims that, “No other film director has been the victim of so much vituperation as Albert Pyun.” Albert Pyun is known for films such as “Brain Smasher… A Love Story”, “Mean Guns”, “Bulletface”, and Jean Claud Van Damme’s “Cyborg”, but he is perhaps best known for his very first directorial credit: “The Sword and the Sorcerer” about a guy with a 3-bladed sword, that can shoot those blades like a rocket launcher.
With an IMDB score of 3.2 and a 9% on Rotten Tomatoes, Captain America flew in under the radar with only a limited international release resulting in most film buffs knowing little or nothing about this particular Captain America adaptation…but that’s where Supercult steps in.
Captain America has been called one of the dumbest movies of all time, and it promises to meet our expectations spectacularly!
The Supercult show proudly presents: Captain America!