Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter (England 1972)

Rating: ***
Review Date: 7/3/05
Director: Brian Clemens
Cast: Horst Janson, John Carson, Caroline Munro, John Cater, William Hobbs, Shane Briant, Elizabeth Dear

An interesting spin on the overdone vampire genre, that even manages to weave in some Karnstein continuity. Beautiful young girls are turning up dead, and aged like crones. As a concerned citizen, Dr. Marcus (John Carson) calls on his old army pal Captain Kronos (buff Horst Janson) for help. Kronos is a vampire hunter, and his hunchbacked sidekick Professor Grost (delightful John Cater) quickly determine that vampires are at work in the village. But these aren't your normal blood sucking cinematic vampires. Apparently, there are many different breeds of vampires that all have different abilities, and just as many ways to destroy them. An excellent plot device to open up whole new worlds of vampire adventures that never occurred after the film flopped at the box office. Using the hypnotically alluring Caroline Munro as bait, Kronos and Grost finally track down the vampires, which results in some satisfying plot twists and a splendid sword fight between Kronos and fight coordinator William Hobbs. The film looks good and is well made, but suffers a bit in the pacing department. Carson and Cater are wonderful, but Horst Janson's delivery is stiff and unconvincing. He's a good physical performer and has a commanding presence, but his dialog delivery tends to be flat. Caroline Munro is stunning, and that's really all that matters as far as she's concerned. Elizabeth Dear is also quite charming. Overall, a nice offering from Hammer Studios if you're looking for something a bit different.