What if Captain America: The Winter Soldier was a Cannon film? What if the Marvel Cinematic Universe had come to fruition in the mid- to late 1980s, instead of now? Then features packing theaters might look a lot like this unearthed treasure:
YouTube user ChiefBrodyRules (great name) posted this intentionally grainy "Captain America: Winter Soldier – VHS Trailer," imaging what Cap’s sequel would look like if it were crafted in the vein of RoboCop or The Terminator. And if you grew up when I did, you realize that’s a GREAT thing. I lost track at the sheer number of glorious ‘80s action movies that are referenced in this clever clip. There’s RoboCop and the original Die Hard. Lethal Weapon and a few vintage Rambo movies made the cut. And, of course, actual footage from both Captain America: The First Avenger and The Winter Soldier -- only they are muddied up, on purpose, and given those cat-scratch effects that suggest a film print that has been left in a warehouse for too many years.
Just look at that font!
It reminds us of the Grindhouse trailers, which were meant to look retro, dirty and vintage.
And yet, the spoof brings up an entertaining point. What if Marvel had attempted to mount this massive Cinematic Universe a few decades ago, when effects weren’t up to snuff, and audiences weren’t expecting (or used to) an overarching storyline that encompassed multiple films involving various characters. Back when movies like RoboCop or The Terminator were released, studios didn’t automatically assume that a sequel was guaranteed. Movies had to prove themselves at the box office, then hope that the studio wanted to continue the story in sequel form.
Nowadays, The Fantastic Four reboots get a sequel date long before a trailer is even shown.
If Captain America were to arrive in theaters in the mid-1980s, it would look very different from the hero running through the Russo Brothers’ high-octane movie. It actually might look like this.
Cap will be back on screen in The Avengers: Age of Ultron, in theaters on May 1, 2015.