CAPTAIN KRONOS: VAMPIRE HUNTER. (1974) WRITTEN, DIRECTED AND CO-PRODUCED BY BRIAN CLEMENS. STARRING HORST JANSON, JOHN CATER, CAROLINE MUNRO, JOHN CARSON, SHANE BRIANT, LOIS DAINE, WANDA VENTHAM, WILLIAM HOBBS AND IAN HENDRY.
REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©
Carla: ‘I’m staying, if you’ll have me.’
Captain Kronos: ‘Oh, I’ll have you…’
‘It’s time to make a move, my friend. It’s time to kill a vampire.’
The only man alive feared by the living dead…
This Hammer film is a sexy blend of supernatural horror, ie, vampires, but also swashbuckling, because there’s some swordfighting in it too. Not too much, I’m happy to say, as I much prefer the neck-biting. Not that there’s much of that here.
This nineteenth century English village is being plagued by a terrifying hooded vampire who bites its victim’s mouth, and then drains from the victim all their youth and vitality, leaving them a dessicated and horribly ancient corpse. That’s not the kind of thing you want to see happen to the bosomy young women of your neighbourhood, is it?
It’s very reminiscent of Hammer’s film, COUNTESS DRACULA, in which the ravishing Ingrid Pitt as the titular Countess bathes in the blood of murdered young women in order to preserve her youthful good looks.
When she discovers that the effects can, and do, wear off, the Countess begins to get careless and less fussy regarding whom she kills and, of course, it all goes pear-shaped for her in the fullness of time.
Anyway, this village’s local medic, Doctor Marcus (John Carson, THE PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES), is concerned enough about the deaths to call in an old army chum of his, to solve the gruesome mystery.
The chum is a handsome blonde Adonis called Kronos, with flowing blonde locks to rival Shane Briant’s rather bouffant tresses, and delicious Scandinavian cheekbones, although he’s not Scandinavian at all: rather, he’s played by a German actor and his voice had to be dubbed. Kronos is a swordsman extraordinaire, and he’s great in bed too, lol.
His entourage includes the hunch-backed Professor Hieronymus Grost, an elderly academic with whom he has one of those genuine and lovely ‘man friendships,’ and Caroline Munro as Carla, a beautiful peasant girl whom Kronos has freed from the stocks. Why was she in the stocks, I hear you ask? Why, sir, I were dancing on the Sabbath, I were…! The cheeky hussy, lol again.
She’s so grateful to him for freeing her that she rewards him by getting naked and having hot steamy sex with him every time he turns around. Oh, he’s happy to have all the sex and all the fun and that, but you can tell he doesn’t love her, because as soon as he and Grost (‘We’re professional vampire hunters, my dear!’) get a lead on who the hooded killer might be, they use Carla as bait, and send her overnight into the very den of the lions themselves.
She’s a typical silly girl, however, and is only too happy to make a doormat of herself for Kronos to wipe his feet, or any other part of his anatomy, on. He doesn’t even care enough about her to so much as buy her a new dress, so she’s forced to spend the film in the same rags she wore while being pelted with rotten tomatoes in the stocks. When he leaves her, and guys like this always leave, she’ll be alone again and probably knocked up to boot. What? It’s the way it goes.
The aristocratic Durward family, consisting of a deceased paterfamilias, a grieving and reclusive materfamilias, an autocratic uppity son who’s definitely up to something (Shane Briant as Paul Durward), and his sister, who is almost certainly in on the shenanigans as well, is an extremely interesting family from the point of view of the murders and will bear careful watching.
John Carson is great (and surprisingly sexy with the longer hair!) as Dr. Marcus, Kronos’s old mucker, and Ian Hendry (CHILDREN OF THE DAMNED) is smashing as a psychotically cruel bar-room thug called Kerro.
Kerro’s employed by the Durward coachman, no less, to kill Kronos and the professor and put a halt to their vampire-hunting gallop, but Kronos makes mincemeat out of Kerro and his bully-boy cronies in a very funny scene.
It’s like something Clint Eastwood would do in one of his films. Like, where he’d shoot a room full of men with his eyes closed. And one hand tied behind his back. And his other hand wouldn’t move at all. And he wouldn’t even be in the room. Or the film. Who are we talking about, again? As the fella says in BLAZING SADDLES, don’t just stand there, grasping yo’ hands in pain. Let’s hear it for the Waco kid…!
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, poet, short story writer and film and book blogger. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, women’s fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO
Her debut romantic fiction novel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books.