Stinks So Good! - Captain America (1990)
Okay, everyone. This is going to be a column where I will post a review over a wonderfully terrible movie. There are so many movies that we watch in our lives where we find ourselves thinking " how could this possibly have been made. What were they thinking?" Yet, we don't turn the movie off! We continue watching, laughing all the while. There is something incredibly special about a movie that can be so bad yet capable of drawing you in at the same time. This is what this column is all about. And to tie it all together we are going to have a little game to go with them. So without further ado, let's jump into the first movie!
Captain America (1990)
The first ninety seconds of this movie are actually pretty good. The location, the music, the lighting, it all really makes it feel like the beginning of a Spielberg movie. That first impression is taken away almost immediately when a Nazi breaks into a home through a window. It really set the tone for the movie. I honestly had little-to-no impressions on this film. All I had to go off of was the cover of the movie (which really doesn't help their cause).
After the break-in by the Nazis everything else in the movie is telegraphed and awkward. Although, if you keep yourself from laughing throughout the film, you may find a glimpse of what can almost be described as good acting.
The movie opens up on the streets of Italy at night, and follows children on the street until it shows us a home where we witness a family watching a young boy playing a lovely song on the piano. It's very picturesque, and I give good marks to the editing team (they need all they can get). It is revealed that this is the home of our antagonist, Red Skull.
But, how could we possibly know that this is our villain? Thanks to the wonderful writing team, we are spared the grievance of trying to figure it out, as the Nazis grab the boy, stating: "The boy...We want him for his superior intelligence". It was nice of them to explain to the family why they were taking him. From there we are launched further into the near-future where we meet our hero, Steve Rodgers. Our straight-out-of-high-school hero of thirty-five years of age is ready to fight for his country! Briefly touching on his close relationship with his young wife before he leaves.. OH WAIT... it's his mother! After that reveal, we see Steve have a moment of romance with Bernie, his girlfriend. He is then whisked away to the military. With no build-up or explanation, we are hurled straight into Steve's experimental procedure to turn him into the nation's hero. They really did their research with this scene, as most people know, you can't have a science-fiction transformation without bright lights and sparks flying for no apparent reason. Very Frankenstein-esque. With some solid close-ups of Steve's muscles, that have made no apparent change, this is the end of the transformation. Scientists and government officials are all excited and begin to chat over the success. This leads up to one of the best scenes of the movie where an undercover Nazi agent congratulates the head scientist and immediately screams "Hail Hitler!" and shoots her in the chest. In-a-nut shell, Steve busts out, stops the man, and leaves.
I really don't want to spoil the rest of the movie for you, but I will anyway! Captain America somehow redirects a missile, inspires a young boy, freezes for forty years, runs away from problems, fakes sick then steals cars, and loses most fist fights. It's a good thing he has a magic shield that can destroy anything with a light fling of the wrist, or he would have gotten nothing done. He reconnects with his old girlfriend who has a husband and a daughter. That was nice and awkward, but the writers must have known that because they killed her off real quick! Leaving our honorable Captain America to have a new relationship with her daughter. They go across Italy trying to save the President who was abducted by Red Skull. Oh! I almost forgot, that little boy Captain inspired grew up to be the President of the United States. So he saves him, and stops Red Skull by playing a recording of the moment when Red Skull was stolen as a child. It only makes him pause momentarily but it was enough for Captain America to knock him off the building. Red Skull then tumbles to his death along a rocky cliff and into the ocean. Captain America saves the day!
There are many other things to touch on, such as the creepy costume Captain America wears with holes for eyes that had to have been cut out by someone on set at the last minute before shooting, the fake ears on his helmet, or super awkward dialogue among all the characters. But if you really want to know more, you have to experience it yourself.
Now, you can't have a movie like this without a drinking game, so here is the Captain America (1990) drinking game!
1. Steve looks confused in a standard conversation
2. Steve makes a very awkaward one-liner that doesn't make any sense.
3. The movie uses a newspaper to explain what's happening.
4. There is a weird song that doesn't fit the scene.
5. Finish your drink whenever Captain America steals a car.
Now, grab some friends, grab some beers, and enjoy the movie!