The Direct to Video Connoisseur

I'm a huge fan of action, horror, sci-fi, and comedy, especially of the Direct to Video variety. In this blog I review some of my favorites and not so favorites, and encourage people to comment and add to the discussion. If you click on an image, it will take you to that post's image page, which includes many more pics from the film and other goodies I couldn't fit in the actual review. For announcements and updates, don't forget to Follow us on Twitter and Like our Facebook page. If you're the director, producer, distributor, etc. of a low-budget feature length film and you'd like to send me a copy to review, you can contact me at dtvconnoisseur[at]yahoo.com. I'd love to check out what you got.

Announcement

Announcement

Hi everyone, it's been a while since I checked the page, and I wanted to make a few announcements.

First and foremost, it appears a dubious site has claimed the old url, meaning any link in any review that goes to the old mattmovieguy url is corrupt. I'm in the process of trying to remove them all, but it's a lot! It's best not to click on any link without hovering over it first to make sure it doesn't have mattmovieguy in the url.

Second, it appears since my last trip to the blog, Photobucket has decided to charge for third party hosting, meaning none of my images are appearing anymore. That's simply an aesthetic issue, but still annoying.

Thank you all for your patience, and again, hopefully this will all be fixed soon.

--Matt

Monday, October 8, 2007

Captain America (1990)

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In looking up information on imdb for this film, I discovered there are two Captain America movies from 1979 that were made for TV and starred Reb Brown. For those of you who don't know that name, Reb Brown played the hero in Space Mutiny. "Wow" is all I can say. How did that one get by me? I guess even a connoisseur of bad films misses a few here and there.

The 1990 Captain America doesn't have Reb Brown, but instead JD Salinger's son Matt. Taking some liberties with the original story, Red Skull is Italian, and the person who invents the super soldier serum is an Italian woman. She comes to America after her process is usurped to make the Red Skull, and she teams up with Michael Nouri and Bill Mumy in the US Army to turn Mr. Salinger into the Star Spangled Sentinel. He doesn't have much time to train, and is bested by the Skull, who straps him a la silly serial film to a bomb aimed at Washington DC. Right before it hits the White House, Ol' Cap changes its course, but not before a young boy sees him do it and is inspired to grow up and become Ronny Cox. Instead of creating a corporation in Detroit that creates murderous robots and hiring the dad from That 70s Show as his hatchet man to kill Miguel Ferrer, he becomes a nice, environmentally friendly president. This upsets the Red Skull, so he kidnaps him, and it's up to our hero to save him. Also has Darren McGavin and Ned Beatty.

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Word on the street is there's a new Cap being made in the mold of these new millennium Marvel movies. If it's like Spiderman or X-Men, it might be all right. On the other hand, we have a whole bunch of misses to consider too. I don't get why these films take themselves so seriously. They're comic book movies, and comic books are by nature silly. Instead of wasting the cash to ruin another Marvel character on the big screen, why not just re-release this in 2010 for it's 20th anniversary. It'd be better than Ben Affleck speaking in breathy tones.

Don't get me wrong, this film is bad. Director Albert Pyun really outdid himself here. Why the Red Skull is Italian is beyond me. He also looks less like the Red Skull, and more like the Thing from the new Fantastic Four movies. In the very beginning he looks like the Red Skull, it's just the 45 years later that he looks different. I don't know whose idea that was, but it should've been nixed from the jump.

I had trouble with their cast as the president. Ronny Cox is always a bad guy to me. I know some of you out there may know him from Stargate: Whatever, but to me he's the bad guy in Robocop and countless other films. Casting a president is a very big deal. Many bad films just mail it in and go for Roy Scheider, and I can't argue with that approach. It takes an inspired film maker like a Dolph Lundgren to cast Jerry Springer as the leader of the free world.

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Matt Salinger wasn't bad as Cap, but the film itself used him poorly. He was often running away, which makes no sense when you consider he's Captain America. If he has the stones to take out the Red Skull, why's he running from some Italian dude with a ponytail riding a scooter? The new movie should just be this movie with less Cap fleeing in fear. They'd have a hit on their hands.

Ned Beatty is great in this, as he is in everything. He should've been the president, come to think of it. The Red Skull could've caught him and told him he was going to make him squeal like a pig, boy. It would've been sweet. With Ned Beatty still alive, this is another wrong the next film could make right. Maybe have him reprise his role from The Rockford Files. I don't know why film makers don't think of things like that, but they need to start concentrating more on their target audience.

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For anyone who hasn't seen this, it's a must watch. It's one of those seminal bad action films that's turned into a rite of passage for all bad movie watchers. It's kind of difficult to find, with it only existing on VHS; and with the new movie coming out, I fear the film industry will try to Stalinize it's existence like they did with Dolph's Punisher after the Jane/Travolta sack-of-asscrack was released. If you can get your hands on it, though, it's well worth whatever you pay for it. Okay, maybe only if you don't pay too much...

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0103923/

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