Film: Captain America (1990)
A 1990 superhero film based on the Captain America
comics, directed by Albert Pyun and starring Matt Salinger, Ronnie Cox, Ned Beatty and Scott Paulin. Not to be confused with the 2011 film, Captain America: The First Avenger
This film contains examples of the following tropes:
- Amazon Brigade: The Red Skull commands a group of supermodel henchwomen, one of which is his daughter.
- The Atoner: Dr. Maria Vaselli sees Project Rebirth as a chance to to redeem what she was forced to do for the Nazis.
Dr. Vaselli: (to Steve) Because of you, I have a chance to make a wrong thing right. I thank you for that.
- Ascended Fanboy: Thomas Kimball, twice. Not only does he grow up to be the President, but once he does so, he also gets to help Captain America.
- Chekhov's Gun: The tape recording from the prologue of the movie.
- Composite Character: Bernice is based off both Bernie Rosenthal and Peggy Carter, while Bernice's daughter Sharon Cooperman is an Expy of Sharon Carter, minus the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent skills.
- Cunning Linguist: Sharon suddenly produces a fluency in Italian, remarking that she spent a summer in Italy before.
- Disney Villain Death: Red Skull.
- Faceless Goons: Inverted. All of the Red Skull's mooks are well-dressed highly attractive people. The military force that comes to rescue President Kimball and help Captain America come equipped with face-concealing masks and all-black uniforms.
- Faux Affably Evil: The Red Skull. As he has Captain America tied to a rocket, he asks him for help with his English.
- Greasy Spoon: The front for a secret government laboratory.
- Hero Stole My Bike: Captain America feigns sickness to lure the unsuspecting driver out from the car before he steals it, twice. Subverted when he appears to steal a bike from a civilian during his and Sharon's escape from the Red Skull's thugs, but he throws down money towards the owner for compensation.
- Heart Is an Awesome Power: A trope familiar to the Captain America, and though it's less prominent here, it's still a part of his character.
Red Skull: Fifty years ago, you were Dr. Vaselli's ridiculous idea. You remain a clownish symbol that no one cares about.
Red Skull: You care? Then come to me, my brother. Let us see if this heart of yours is stronger than my hate.
- Historical Rap Sheet: The Nebulous Evil Organization that Red Skull works for was responsible for such things as the Kennedy and Martin Luther King assassinations.
- Iconic Item: It wouldn't be Captain America without the shield.
- Identical Granddaughter: Bernice and her lookalike daughter Sharon, so minus a generation.
- Intrepid Reporter: Sam Kolawetz. He even gets killed because of it.
- Life or Limb Decision: The Red Skull chops off his own hand after Captain America (tied to a missile about to launch) grabs him to invoke Taking You with Me.
- London England Syndrome
- Luckily My Shield Will Protect Me: Well, yeah.
- Mistaken for Spies: Captain America thinks that Sam Kowlawetz is a spy for the Japanese, because he has a tape recorder that was made in Japan.
- Or possibly for the Germans, because he's driving a car that was made in West Germany. (This is the first car he steals, under Hero Stole My Bike.)
- Mythology Gag: When young Thomas Kimball tells his friend Sam about Captain America, they discard the idea of the hero having been the Human Torch or the Sub-Mariner, heroes who fought in World War Two along with Cap in the comicbooks.
- The Mole: General Fleming, going all the way back to World War II.
- Nebulous Evil Organization: The Red Skull's organization in the present day.
- Negated Moment of Awesome: Captain America spent so much time frozen in Alaska, he didn't get to accomplish nearly as many awesome things as most of his other incarnations have.
- Not So Different: Captain America and The Red Skull both got their powers as a result of the same research. Because of this, the Red Skull insists on referring to Captain America as his "American Brother".
- The Only One: But not by design. The scientist working on the project did not have any written notes, for fear that they would be used for evil again. Shortly after Rogers is successfully given the treatment, a Nazi assassin kills the scientist and her knowledge is lost. Otherwise, the intent was for him to lead an entire company of super soldiers.
- Off with His Head!: The Red Skull's daughter apparently met this fate when Cap's shield returned.
- Though it's left ambiguous enough so she could have just been knocked out.
- Our Presidents Are Different: In particular, he manages to be both President Target and President Action.
- Psycho Prototype: The Red Skull.
- Race Lift: The Red Skull's nationality is changed from German to Italian for this film.
- Raised by Orcs: The Red Skull is raised by Nazis after being abducted from his family.
- Refuge in Audacity: When the recently-escaped President Kimball runs into General Fleming, in the Red Skull's hideout, in a business suit, the general stands at attention and claims that he is leading the rescue force to extract the President. The President doesn't buy it.
- Replacement Goldfish: Played with. Steve initially confuses Sharon for her mother Bernice, but her style and personality are substantially different (both characters are played by the same actress).
- Sherlock Scan: Notably, it gives Captain America all the details needed for him to reach exactly the wrong conclusion. note
- Strapped to a Bomb: The film has the hero tied to a rocket at the end of the first act, setting him up to be frozen and appear in modern day.
- Super Serum: The key to Captain America and the Red Skull's super strength.
- Super Soldier: Captain America.
- Taking You with Me: Attempted by the Captain against the Red Skull, forcing the Red Skull to make a Life or Limb Decision.
- Villain Opening Scene: It starts by telling how the Red Skull was taken from his Italian home.
- Who Shot JFK?: Well, the Red Skull didn't shoot him.
Red Skull: Assassination isn't worth the trouble. It took me two years to find Sirhan. Three to find Oswald. The King job alone cost me over twenty million dollars. What do we get for our pains? Saints. Martyrs to the cause.
- Wicked Cultured: The Skull can be awfully poetic for a supervillain and it appears he's a fan of classical music. Additionally, once he's in the present, he's never seen without a crisp suit and tie. Bonus points for hiding his megaton detonator in his piano.
Red Skull: We are both tragedies. And now I send our tortured souls to rest.