Captain America is the title of a low budget film based on the popular Marvel Comics superhero of the same name. While the film takes several liberties with the comic's storyline, it features Steve Rogers becoming Captain America during World War II to battle the Red Skull, being frozen in ice, and subsequently being revived to save the President of the United States. The film received a PG-13 rating from the Motion Picture Association of America.
The film starts in 1936 fascist Italy, where the government kidnaps a talented boy from his family. The boy is needed for an experimental project to create a fascist supersoldier; however, Dr. Vaselli (Carla Cassola) objects to using the boy, and under the cover of gunfire flees to the United States of America to help create an American super soldier.
Seven years later, the American government finds a volunteer in Steve Rogers, a loyal all-American that is excluded from the draft because of his polio. The formula successfully transforms Rogers into a superhero, but before any more super soldiers can be created using the formula she keeps in her head, Dr. Vaselli is murdered by a Nazi spy. Meanwhile, the Italian boy has become the Red Skull and is planning to launch a missile at the White House. Rogers, code named Captain America, is sent in to defeat the Skull and deactivate the missile.
However, after an initial battle, the Red Skull defeats Captain America and ties him to the missile as it is about to launch. Captain America is able to grab a hold of the Red Skull, forcing him to cut off his hand in order to avoid being launched into destruction with his "American brother." While the missile is over Washington, D.C., a young boy named Thomas Kimball takes a photograph as Captain America forces the missile to change course and land somewhere in Alaska, where he remains frozen until 1993.
Kimball goes on to become an honest politician and Vietnam War hero until being elected the President of the United States of America. In 1993, a year into his term, he is pushing for pro-environmentalist legislation that is angering the military-industrial complex, who hold a secret conference in Italy that is led by the Red Skull.
After the War, the Red Skull had extensive plastic surgery done in a partially successful attempt to alter his disfigured features, raised a daughter, and became the leader of a powerful crime family. In the 1960s, this American military-industrial complex hired the Red Skull and his thugs to murder various Americans who were against their militarirsm and Red Skull's fascism, such as Dr. Martin Luther King, President John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy. Now, Red Skull is targeting President Kimball for assassination.
Captain America's frozen body is found in Alaska by researchers, and he awakens still thinking that it is the 1940s. After battling some of the Red Skull's thugs, he brushes off Sam Kolawetz (Ned Beatty), a reporter and childhood friend of President Kimball, and hitchhikes his way back to his wartime girlfriend, Bernice (Kim Gillingham), in California.
While Bernice still lives at her old residence, she has long since married and raised her own daughter, Sharon, who subsequently gives Rogers a series of VHS history tapes in order to catch up on what has happened while he was frozen in ice. Meanwhile, the Red Skull's thugs, lead by his daughter, break into Bernice's house and kill her. They also cause her husband to have a heart attack during their efforts to find where Captain America is hiding out. Rogers and Sharon visit the secret underground base where Rogers gained his superpowers in the hopes that Dr. Vaselli's diary is still there and contains the original name of the Red Skull.
Although Rogers and Sharon find the diary, the Red Skull's thugs attempt to grab it. Rogers and Sharon vow revenge as well as the rescue of the recently kidnapped president. They travel to Italy and locate the Red Skull's home and an old recording of the murder of his parents. Sharon agrees to be kidnapped in order to allow Steve Rogers, who once again dons his costume, to enter the Red Skull's castle.
In the midst of their battle, the Red Skull pulls out a remote trigger for an explosive device, but Captain America knocks him off a cliff with his trademark shield before the bomb can be set off.
The United States Marines show up to save the President and arrest the Americans involved in the kidnapping. The credits roll with a comic book image of Captain America in the background and a plea to support the United States Environmental Protection Act of 1990.
- Matt Salinger as Steve Rogers / Captain America
- Ronny Cox as President Tom Kimball
- Scott Paulin as The Red Skull
- Ned Beatty as Sam Kolawetz
- Darren McGavin as General Fleming
- Michael Nouri as Lt. Col. Louis
- Kim Gillingham as Bernice Stewart / Sharon
- Melinda Dillon as Mrs. Rogers
- Bill Mumy as Young General Fleming
- Francesca Neri as Valentina de Santis
- Carla Cassola as Dr. Maria Vaselli
- Massimilio Massimi as Tadzio de Santis
- Wayde Preston as Jack
Filming was completed in 1990, but after test marketing the film to a preview audience, more stunts were added at the end. Intended for a major theatrical release, the movie ended up with various delays for any planned release. The film eventually ended up going straight to video, although it was given a very limited theatrical release overseas and some market in the United States.
The film was intended for release in the Summer of 1990, to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of Captain America. Posters appeared in movie theaters displaying Cap's iconic shield, but the film never materialized. Several release dates were announced between Fall 1990 and Winter 1991, but eventually the film was consigned to the shelf and considered to be unreleaseable. Eventually the film was dumped onto the home video market and cable TV in the Fall of 1992. Currently the movie is out of print in the USA, although available on DVD in Europe.
Purchased on Laser Disk (USA) 1992