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Matt Salinger, Melinda Dillon, Ronny Cox, Ned Beatty, Darren McGavin ... see more see more... , Michael Nouri , Francesca Neri , Kim Gillingham , Scott Paulin , Carla Cassola , Tonko Lonza , Garette Ratliff Henson , Autun Nalis , Bill Mumy , Wayde Preston , Norbert Weisser , Bernarda Oman , Matko Raguz , Robert Egon , Gary Epper , Rene Medvesek , Demeter Bitenc , Relja Basic , Mustafa Nadarevic , Ann Bell

Transformed into a superhero during a secret World War II military experiment, Captain America (Matt Salinger) awakens from suspended animation forty years later to face his old enemy, the Nazi warrio... read more read more...r Red Skull (Scott Paulin). This low-budget adaptation of the Marvel comic book series received very little attention upon its delayed release. ~ Judd Blaise, Rovi

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16% liked it

10,405 ratings


9% liked it

11 critics

PG-13, 1 hr. 43 min.

Directed by: Albert Pyun

Release Date: December 14, 1990

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DVD Release Date: July 22, 1992

Stats: 639 reviews

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Flixster Reviews (639)

  • June 14, 2013
    In terms of low budget cult films, this film is entertaining, but obviously leaves a lot to be desired. This film is not as awful as what everyone has said, and I quite enjoyed the sheer ridiculousness of it all. Reading on the fact that the film had tremendous issues in terms of... read more Marvel's lack of interest and budgetary concerns, I think the filmmakers were able to pull off something quite amusing for midnight movie fans. The film is of course cheesy and over the top, but if you love low budget cult hits, then this one is for you. Of course the Chris Evans Captain America film is far superior, but this one is still entertaining for what it is. Things could have been done better, but considering with what the filmmakers worked with, they managed to pull a decent low budget affair that is a bit underrated. This is not a film for film lovers looking for something great, entertaining and mind blowing to watch. This version is more for cult film fans. The film tends to be a bit boring in some areas and the story itself could have been thought out more, but for what it is, this version of Captain America is a cheesy, tongue in cheek good time if you're in the mood for something like this. The tone of the film is silly and overall it is a decent film, but is nowhere near as good as it good have been, but that shouldn't distract film lovers who enjoy cheaply made movies such as this. Considering with what they had to work with, Captain America is a worthwhile and amusing low budget film worth seeing if you enjoy this genre.
  • July 24, 2011
    I haven't seen this since I was about 10, so I can't give it a fair review. I remember my dad and I being very fond of it, and I remember that it was kind of cheap. Other than that, nothing, so I'll give it 3 stars for now... simply for nostalgic purposes.
  • July 17, 2010
    Back in Marvel's early 90's days. This God awful, pathetic, cheap, and cheesy film plagued the world. It's horrible. Not just the cheap costumes or poor make-up, which goes so far as to give Captain America plastic ears to stop chafing. Captain America is the worst hero of all ti... read moreme. His greatest technique is pretending to be sick so that people get out of their cars. Very confusing, especially when the Red Skull is revealed to be Italian for some reason. It's also porly shot, with one segment lit entirely with blue lights, like some dodgy porno. The shield throwing soon gets old, and even it's camp charm couldn't keep my attention. I'd accept this from the 60's, but after the release of Burton's Batman, comic films should have known better. If this wasn't bad enough, some terrible song numbers are used to cause you to vomit.
  • January 8, 2008
    A little cheap but it was a good adventure anyway.
  • July 30, 2007
    A cheap-as-heck Captain America movie done muchly at a Yugoslavian castle. The movie has a very European feel to it, which makes it very un-American. There are small-scale skirmishes with guards, but no great battles or display of Captain America's abilities. Cheesy and sad stuff.
  • March 22, 2007
    Ok but when's the big budget version coming? about an Avengers movie?
  • December 28, 2006
    You would not BELIEVE how bad this is. No, really. Probably made Marvel adaptations box office poison for years to come. Truly awful!!
  • October 3, 2006
    The role of Captain American and his nemesis Red Skull look worst.
  • July 21, 2011
    This week marks the release of Captain America: The First Avenger, the third superhero film released by Marvel this year and the first major theatrical release by Marvel to star 'the Captain'. This would've been the second had it not been for this low-budget 1990 film. It was ori... read moreginally supposed to be released in theaters but never did and after watching it, I can see why because it actually is rather bad. That's not really because it's a low-budget film though. Mainly I think the problem with this film is that it adapted the character rather poorly. Now I've never read any of the comics this was based off (or any superhero comics in general for that matter) but I don't believe that this is how Captain America is portrayed in the comics because here this film portrays him rather like a wimp (I'll explain that momentarily). No it isn't the worst superhero film ever, but hopefully the new CA film is much better.

    The film follows Steve Rogers (Matt Salinger), a man suffering from polio, as he is chosen by the American government to be a volunteer for a project to turn regular soldiers into powerful super-soldiers. The test on Rogers is a success as he becomes the superhero known as Captain America. He is sent into Nazi Germany to take down a man known as Red Skull (Scott Paulin), who went through the same experiment Rogers went through as a young boy. Rogers manages to stop Red Skull's plan to launch a missile to destroy the White House but gets frozen in ice for more than five decades. After getting out of his icy prison in the early 90's, Captain America learns that Red Skull has become a powerful crime boss who is apparently connected to the deaths of major political figures. Along with the daughter of his wartime girlfriend Bernice (both his girlfriend and her daughter Sharon played by Kim Gillingham) and President Tom Kimball (Ronny Cox), who saw Captain America as a young boy before he got frozen in ice, Rogers looks to take down Red Skull before he tries to assassinate Kimball in order to take over the world.

    Now the first major problem with this film is how they portrayed Captain America. While he does have some scenes where he's kicking ass, most of the time he is the one getting his ass kicked and other times he's hiding or running away. Now again I've never read any of the Captain America comics, but I'm certain this isn't how he's portrayed in the comics. They messed up Red Skull too because after his first encounter with Captain America, he gets plastic surgery to fix his face so what's the point in calling him Red Skull if he doesn't have a red skull. How they portrayed these two characters is a major problem because in all honesty I think Matt Salinger actually did a pretty good job here as Captain America. The same goes for the rest of the cast. They're not horrible, they just weren't given much to work with.

    That admittedly was probably the only major problem I had with the film, but even so it's still a pretty bad film. The fact that it's low budget doesn't really affect this film at all, but at some points you can clearly see how low-budget the film really is. Like the Nostalgia Critic pointed out in his review of this film, the frequent use of captions to note the locations in the film are really annoying at times because at times it feels like it's unnecessary. One caption noting Washington D.C. isn't needed unless you really don't know what the White House looks like. Another time they use a caption to note Alaska (twice!) and both occurrences happen barely within ten minutes of each other. There are also some minor annoyances like the fact that we only see Captain America share like only 20 seconds of screentime with his girlfriend at the beginning of the film and how it is never shown how he gets his costume.

    Now like I said this isn't the worst film of all time, but this is a pretty poor adaptation for one of the biggest names in Marvel's vast line of superheroes. Primarily the reason why this film is so bad is because it pretty much portrays Captain America like a wimp. He repeatedly gets his ass kicked and other times he's just hiding or running away. Aside from that it's very clear how low budget this film really was and it's a shame really that most of the Marvel films that came out in the 90's were low budget (like the 1994 Fantastic Four movie that was also never released in theaters) because look how good Marvel's films have gotten today. This year they've already had two successes with Thor and X-Men: First Class. Thankfully from what the trailers have been showing so far, the new Captain America film looks way better than this crap. Even if you're a huge fan of Captain America, I don't recommend watching this film.
  • September 19, 2011
    I'm a nerd, but I'm not a huge one. Still, this film will probably make anyone a nerd, because no matter who you are, you're gonna look at this and say "This is an offense to The First Avenger." Wow, calling him The First Avenger isn't helping my case that I'm not that much of a ... read morenerd. But seriously though, this film is an absolute mess, but, like all a lot of other widley-panned that I dread having to call passable, this isn't terrible. Lord knows that it's not good, but it's not an absolute pain. Again, like other widely-panned superhero films, this is just incompetent.

    Sure, there are good things here, but not good enough to hold your interest. See, one of the worst things about this film is its being just so terribly dull. It's underdeveloped and messily told, with many abrupt events, usually thanks to such choppy editing. The cinematography is so bland, and the score is so underwhelming and generic, but at least better than the mainstream soundtrack that definately shows that no matter how much worse music has gotten, there's always been terrible songs hiding somewhere in each generation. Dialogue is so-so, but not snappy enough to forgive it's being very generic, as well. Really, I'm almost glad that they have the silly stuff, only because it is actually interesting. Of course, the reason why it's so interesting, is because you can't believe how stupid this "serious" film gets.

    This is an utterly incompetent superhero film, but unlike other incompetent superhero films, it had potential and has the strengths needed to meet that potential. The production designs aren't terribly outstanding, but are still rather impressive for this small of a budget, which is more than you can say about the visual effects. The action is actually fairly good. A bit cheesy and dizzingly over-edited, but on the whole, pretty exciting and well-choreographed, with sharp sound to raise tension. Of course, action choreography isn't the only complement I can give to these performers, because with the exception of most of those wooden secondary and tertiary (look it up) villains, the acting in this is surprisingly decent. Leading man Matt Silinger boasts charisma and a strong atmosphere and Scott Paulin's slickness make him an effective villain, and when these two work off of each other, it's electric, or at least it would have been if their characters weren't written so badly. Here we have two competent actors giving good lead performances, but there's so much incompetence in the direction and writing behind them, that it dilutes their strong performances and presence to where they become just as generic as everything else in this.

    Overall, it boasts a promising concept, carried by surprisingly strong leads, but with generecism, messy storytelling and general blandness, Albert Pyun (His name sounds like the bullet I'm sure everyone wants to here darting towards his head) "Captain America" stands as nothing more than an utterly forgettable waste of potential.

Critic Reviews

Frank Lovece
July 21, 2011
Frank Lovece, Entertainment Weekly

The movie isn't merely wrong for kids -- it's just all wrong. Full Review

Lawrence Cohn
July 21, 2011
Lawrence Cohn, Variety

Salinger has some good moments dealing with the cultural shock of his Rip Van Winkle reawakening, but film never takes flight under Albert Pyun's leaden direction. Full Review

Kevin Carr
September 5, 2013
Kevin Carr, 7M Pictures

For as charming as a piece of 90s nostalgia this movie is, as a whole it's not that good. Full Review

Felix Vasquez Jr.
May 23, 2013
Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed

Near as awful as previous versions, but it still manages to be lousy. Full Review

Sean Axmaker
September 30, 2011
Sean Axmaker,

... a real stiff, a corny piece of nostalgic pulp with cheap action, cheesy dialogue and a charismatically challenged leading man. Full Review

July 21, 2011
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Historically, Captain America has always been at something of a loss without a war to fight, and the tale's abrupt switch from anti-fascist heroics to ecological concern takes some force out of the ch... Full Review

Rob Gonsalves
February 3, 2008
Rob Gonsalves,

One of the dumbest movies of all time. Full Review

Scott Weinberg
July 26, 2002
Scott Weinberg,

This is what superhero flicks looked like before someone got a clue.

Emanuel Levy
July 28, 2005
Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com

No review available.

James O'Ehley
June 30, 2003
James O'Ehley, Sci-Fi Movie Page

No review available.

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