Thursday, November 11, 2010

Captain America (1990)

First of all I want to state that I’ve always been very uninterested in superhero comics. Not my cup of tea. But some superhero-movies has become quite close to me, for example Superman 2, Ang Lee’s The Hulk, all the three incarnations of The Punisher (though I wouldn’t call him a superhero), the original Batman-series from the sixties and so on. I even like the ill-fated Roger Corman-production of The Fantastic Four, but loath the new movies. So it was with a lot of expectations I finally got the brand new DVD of Albert Pyun’s Captain America from Thailand. Most of the stuff I read about it is crap, but some people have a tendency not to like Pyun’s style. Well, I do…

I won’t go into the story, except both Red Skull (the bad guy of course) and Captain America is the creation of WW2-experiments. Our dear captain crash-lands with a rocket in Alaska and is frozen for fifty years, and wakes up to a world where the US president just is kidnapped by Red Skull!

Yeah, that was the story in five seconds. Of course he’s related to the president, it’s either his son or something else (the president that is), he wants to find his old girlfriend, find some new love, meet friends and so on. The usual business after coming back too life after fifty years frozen in snow.

Seriously, this isn’t a bad movie. What it lacks is that big fat budget that would have helped to include some even bigger and fatter action scenes, but if you can ignore that, this is a damn fine entertaining piece of cheese. The first twenty or so minutes is fantastic, and the WW2-setting is just plain awesome. The underground lair of Red Skull is mega-cool, Captain America is blowing stuff apart and everyone’s happy. Even Carla Cassola from such eurocult-movies as The Sect and Demonia shows up and shows us how to play a mad, but loving, scientist who loves to experiment on humans in the quest for peace. The middle of the movie turns it down a notch, but Matt Salinger is good as Captain America and keeps up the charm and energy with some goofy dialogue and good charisma. The last half hour is more in the vein of the first, but is a bit of an anti-climax because of the obvious lack of budget.

But as we all know, no one can frame a scene like Albert Pyun. This is still an ugly fullscreen-version (with second-hand VHS-quality), but it’s hard to deny the stylish camera compositions, the rapid and tight editing in the fight scenes, the ultra-slick sets… just pure talent on a very low budget. It also has a fun cast in smaller parts, like Ronny Cox, Ned Beatty, Darren McGavin and a great Scott Paulin as Red Skull.

I would have loved more action, more stunts and explosions. It would have made this movie the best forgotten superhero-movie ever made. Now it’s still a fun and cool movie (and colourful! Everything resembles scenes directly taken from a comic album). Matt Salinger is way better than some people claims, and it just deserves a much better (widescreen) restored DVD or Blu-Ray release. One day I hope…


  1. Hi Ninja!

    We're actually preparing a widescreen version from the original 35mm elements with a new soundtrack by Tony Riparetti and his Sound Logic team. Its a much longer version with many omitted scenes. It runs 122 minutes and delves deeper into the characters.

    I don't think we have the resources to punch up the scale or action but its definitely a better version of the movie.

    Thanks for the review and support!

    Albert Pyun

  2. That's god damn amazing Albert!!! WOW! When when? :)

  3. Not until sometime in the spring, Tony and I are swamped with the Tales US version and also getting Cool Air ready. I just posted the first screen grabs from Cool Air at so take a look and let me know your thoughts.


  4. Isn't Albert Pyun a cool guy? Nothing beats getting the news from the source! I'm eager to get my hands on this new version of Captain America.

    By the way Mr. Pyun what happened to the new version of Nemesis you were putting together?

  5. It's still being worked on. Its slow because the company that originally owned Nemesis went bankrupt so getting the elements together has been difficult. you can see the upgrades so far at:

    Thanks, Juan.

    Albert Pyun

  6. Hello Albert, Hello Ninja, Hello everybody.

    I have a question : the captain america dvd will come in France ? When ?

    Bye ! ;)

    Good review, ninja !