As with the Dracula series, this 1974 movie features a handful of gothic set pieces, the most interesting being the ancestral home of the Durward clan, where the reclusive Paul Durward Shane Briant resides with his sister Sara Lois Daine and their sickly mother Wanda Ventham. This is not academy award material but just good fun and entertainment. The excellent opening sequence of Kronos and his hunchbacked sidekick, professor Grost John Cater pounding across the countryside accompanied by the crushing musical score by Laurie Johnson Dr. Mysterious and powerful, Kronos has dedicated his life to destroying the evil pestilence. Written by Doug Sederberg Reviews for Captain Kronos — Vampire Hunter 1974 Among the least known of the Hammer Studios horror output, Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter is also one of its most interesting and unusual productions. In this film we have vampires who live of the youth of young women.
One can imagine the early '70s audience going to a movie with the word 'vampire' in the title, and being disappointed to see so much sword-fighting. Meanwhile, Janson remained one of Germany's biggest stars, and Caroline Monroe became a B-movie favorite. So the locals call for Captain Kronos and Hunchback sidekick. Kronos is on his way to a village where he suspects vampires have been taking lives. During the explosive opening sequence as Kronos and Grost pound across the countryside on horseback, it certainly felt that way. It's more of an action film than a horror movie, the emphasis put on Kronos as a man of adventure, rather than a scholarly type lurking around the catacombs. Eventually, Kronos learns that the head vampire is a wealthy woman who lives in the village's most extravagant home; with help from Grost, Kronos fashions a sword made of a particular steel, and uses it to destroy the old woman and her resurrected husband.
Had it done will at the box office there would have been more movies, but the Hammer films were declining in popularity and even with Caroline Munro in the film it did not do well. Caroline Monroe stares wistfully at Kronos as he rides away. Along the way to help the townspeople the good Captain Rescues Caroline Munro, who is as sexy as always. The idea seemed to be, If vampires no longer draw at the box office, how about a vampire killer? The opening is so strange and so stirring that one could almost watch it for a half hour and not be bored. If Hammer was hoping to spin Kronos off into a series, or at least a sequel, the studio must have been disappointed in the film's tepid reception. One lovely maiden Caroline Monroe practically throws herself at Kronos' feet early in the movie, and he takes her along for their next adventure, perhaps to break up the monotony of traveling with Grost.
This film never really tries to outright scare you which, I think, is extremely cool. One can feel Hammer hoping to alter the vampire myth, anything to create something new. The blue ray transfer is very good and the other extras do add to the enjoyment of one of 70's horror unsung but worth seeing movies. It's hard not to see the heavily accented Kronos Horst janson , as a predecessor to another action star who fought some monsters in his time. They do fine in their roles which are under written unfortunately. The premise and the screenplay are quite brilliant and the means of vampire detection - in particular the use of dead toads - demonstrates a great deal of creativity. The film tells the story of a wandering vampire hunter who has responded to the urgent call of an old friend who is concerned about the recent murder of a number of young women.
Kronos' search leads him to the Durward estate where he is met by the effete children of the apparently aged and sick Lady Durward. It must have seemed daunting to make a vampire film in 1972. I liked it and it is wroth owning if you enjoy vampire films. Perhaps the challenge of a 90-minute feature was unusual for someone used to hour long television shows, hence the pacing of Kronos drags. Ultimately, the film's failure to score in the U.
He is worth the viewing in this film as he really does a nice turn in this cult film. In Captain Kronos we are told that their many species of Vampires and depending on the species there are different ways of killing them. He's dressed like a buccaneer, and he's a master swordsman like Zorro. When several young girls are found dead, left hideously aged and void of blood, Dr Marcus suspects vampirism. Kronos also beds down the women like good old 007, James Bond. These women have had their very youth stolen from them. Here is a film crying out for a new version.
When the mysterious vampire strikes in this movie the bodies of young women are found after having been turned into very old dead women. With only moderate tweaks to the screenplay, but significant updating of film craft, the remake would be an almost guaranteed classic. On their travels, they are searching for vampires when the trio happens upon a village where they find that a vampire has been draining the youth from beautiful, young girls. Meanwhile, Grost is a sniveling hunchback, but carries himself with swagger. I'm not sure why he didn't take her; she seemed like a game vampire hunter's assistant. And even if they do, will they know how to kill it? But will they learn the true identity of this evil predator before it strikes again? People often ask why there are so many remakes.
I say nigh unforgivable because there is so much to like in this movie. He enlists the help of the Vampire Hunter. The initial plan was for Hammer to turn Captain Kronos into a series. Directed and written by Brian Clemens, Captain Kronos Vampire Hunter is rich with good ideas. In a film that ends with a climactic duel between the protagonist and a recently risen vampire lord, poor choreography is nigh unforgivable.
But Kronos was his first directing assignment, and the results are uneven. Grost nearly weeps with gratitude; Kronos, for whom killing three chaps is all in a day's work, stops short of declaring his love for Grost. Daylight vampires may have seemed like the right direction. John Carson a very reliable character actor steals the movie. Then along came Captain Kronos, who was not only determined to rid the European countryside of vampires, but was trying like hell to revamp a genre that felt about as vital as a discarded snakeskin. These aren't your garden variety neck-biters - they seem to drain the life right out of their victims, causing them to age a hundred years immediately and drop dead.
Aside from a few creepy scenes in a forest, the film barely qualifies as a horror movie. Kronos is to vampire films what the Velvet Underground was to alternative rock music; only a few thousand people saw it, as the saying goes, but they all went off to make their own movies and games. But it's the original were concerned with right now. Mysterious and powerful, Kronos has dedicated his life to destroying the evil pestilence. This explained why there were no traditional stakes through the heart in this story, and why the life draining critters were able to prowl the local woods during the daylight hours. Equal parts exciting and intense, and with a truly unique approach to the vampire subgenre, Captain Kronos — Vampire Hunter deserved better, and I find myself wishing the studio had greenlit the project 10 years earlier.