If it's crap ... We'll tell you
You're goddamn right I watched it. All of it. My eyes started bleeding. If it wasn't for my pal Henry Jr telling me to look away right before Cap threw his fake looking plastic-ass shield and took down an entire guard post with it, my head would have exploded into goo. But that's what I do. I watch this shit so you don't have to. What we've got here is an abomination that exists for the same reasons that the 1994 "Fantastic Four" crap-fest was made: so the producers in question wouldn't lose the rights. Thusly, low-budget high-achiever Albert Pyun, who previously had proven he could stretch a buck with quality b's like "The Sword and the Sorcerer" and "Cyborg", was assigned the task of taking the last existing Marvel approved script, and forcing it to fit within the boundaries of a shoestring budget and before the expiration date. Sadly, there's no happy news to tell you about 1990's "Captain America" adaptation. At BEST one can compliment the Red Skull's impressively grotesque makeup in the early scenes in the film, although when there was no money after that, his makeup became pretty much drawn-on scars for the rest of the running time. But for God's sake, who decided the Red Skull should be Italian? Who decided to cast Ronny Cox as the 'environmental president' who still is a bad-ass in a fisticuffs dust-up? Or Ned Beatty as a investigative journalist who serves no purpose other than cannon-fodder? Who made the Skull's kryptonite be memories of when he was a child (and I'm still confused about what the hell happened there)? The story starts much as the traditional origin goes, with Steve Rogers being chosen for the Super Soldier program, successfully (although certainly more subtly) transformed, only to have to deal with the assassination of the program's inventor and the knowledge that he's going to be the only one of his kind. Meanwhile in Nazi Germany, the (Italian) Red Skull, who was created in an early and imperfect test of the Super Soldier formula, is getting ready to launch a missile at the White House, but Cap foils his plan, at the cost of his own life, or so it seems. Frozen in the Alaskan ice, it's not till decades later that he's found and unfrozen. After an entire movie's length of fish-out-of-water bits, as Cap deals with the 1990s, intermixed with the odd poorly shot thug battle, finally we get around to the Red Skull again, but by then, who cares? This is purely a curiosity piece. And you know what that did to the cat. Poor cat.
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THE BLEEDING HOUSE (DVD)
I'd like to say before we begin that I do think that it's worthy of note that someone has TRIED to make a horror film with a white seer-sucker suited character out of a Tennessee Williams play as the killer. Perhaps if this had been a period piece when such folks seemed plausible to be walking around in the middle of nowhere, being articulately loquacious and dapper as if it hadn't already gone out of style, it wouldn't have been so, well, silly. Credit is due to actor Patrick Breen who gives it his all, but the script doesn't give his divinely guided executioner much else to do but babble this proto-southern-gentleman-speak, as he exsanguinates the members of a family living far from town, who are dumb enough to let the guy in the front door at all. Okay, so, my bad: the movie probably doesn't want you to know that he's a killer. Part of the problem here is that you'd have to be a blithering idiot to not peg him as the baddie within seconds of his first words being uttered. You see, Nick likes to feel he's doing God's work, by finding the guilty, and relieving them of their burden. But perhaps, in this family, which has deeper, darker secrets than he figured on, he's met his match. Enter creepy daughter Gloria (Alexandra Chando, who looks too much like a young Katie Holmes) who seems to have some homicidal instincts of her own. Honestly, if this was all coming to some sort of interesting examination of the moral implications of the urge to kill, as it seems to think it does, "The Bleeding House" might be worth checking out. Oh, and if you told Breen to TONE IT THE FUCK DOWN. Grating, isn't strong enough of a word to describe it. Even so, I'll always tip my hat to those trying to do something different with horror, and there's no question that first-time writer/director Philip Gelatt was heading in that direction. I believe he just might be a director to watch, although I can't regard his debut as being worthy of the same thing.
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