Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter (1974)
The Only Man Alive Feared by the Walking Dead!
Review by The_Void
Captain Kronos – he’s not your usual vampire hunter…,
Hammer studios were on their last legs when this story of vampire hunting was produced, but yet they have still managed to prove themselves as the premier source of horror during the time period in which they existed. Captain Kronos lacks the kitschy style that made earlier Hammer’s such a delight, and it’s been replaced by a sleazier European atmosphere. This is no bad thing, however, as the sleazy styling epitomises the central character, and fits the film like a glove therefore. Captain Kronos isn’t the usual, classy vampire hunter in the style of characters like Van Helsing, and instead he’s a womanising pretty boy that is just as at home smoking dope as he is slaying vampires.
Hammer’s best feature is their ability to recreate, invent and throw the rule book out the window; and despite being almost at the end of their run with this film, they’ve managed to pull another corker out of the once seemingly endless pit of imagination and inventiveness.
That’s not to say that the film is perfect, however; quite far from it in fact. The film puts far too much focus on its central character, and although he’s a lot of fun; he doesn’t quite have the charisma to carry an entire film. The fact that director Brian Clemens disagrees with me on that is evident throughout, however, as he’s given Kronos a back-story to work with that isn’t exactly brilliant. The film does work in spite of this, however, as it features much bloodletting, which will please horror fans and the film is a very pleasant viewing and lots of fun. Captain Kronos also has quite an obvious western angle about it as well, which is always nice to see in a horror movie (or any movie for that matter). The direction is fair, if not overly brilliant and Brian Clemens fails to capture the morbid and creepy atmosphere that served earlier Hammer offerings so well. The film features several moments of humour, however, which keep it flowing nicely and it also benefits from a nicely over the top musical score.
Captain Kronos is far from perfect, and the lead character isn’t quite as cool as his name. However, it’s a lot of fun and Hammer fans will no doubt find lots to like about it, so it’s warmly recommended.