Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Captain Kronos - Vampire Hunter (1974)

Hey Bash Synchers!!!
This classic was a holy grail movie for many, many years. I remember seeing the newspaper ads when I was a kid, when it was released on a double bill with Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell. The little pic of Kronos swordfighting with vampires thrilled me, but alas, it was rated R so off limits to this 10 year old. So I had to wait, and wait and wait!!! I knew what the movie was about thanks to House of Hammer 20 and its comic version, which only fueled the desire. I then heard the theme music when I bought the Laurie Johnson compilation album because it had the music from FIRST MEN IN THE MOON, and fell in love with it. Then in 1979, I met and fell in love with Caroline Munro at the Horror, Fantasy, Science Ficthon convention in Pittsburgh.
Knowing she was in Captain Kronos put it at the top of my must see list. But the wait continued. Never appeared on TV, never available on VHS. It wasn´t until my first one day visit to the 2003 Monster Bash that I finally found a VHS copy. Almost 30 years of waiting and it was mine. Thanks John Pace for this great suggestion!
This film is a good example of great talent doing the best they can with a small budget. The first thing that impacts me is the cinematography, which captures the eerie English countryside beautifully. The interiors are interesting as well, with unusual and original use of wide angle lenses. As I waited to see this film, I expected a swashbuckling vampire hunter, but when I finally saw it, I thought it had the feel of a classic Japanese Samurai film like Yojimbo or Sanjuro. The sword fighting is sparse but cool, and much time is given to character development, terror and plot. Horst makes for an interesting hero, and John Cater as a sympathetic sidekick. Kudos to John Carson and is passioned portrayl of Dr. Marcus. The scene where they try to kill him is creepy! Caroline is absolutely beautiful, and has more dialogue than she had in any previous movie and does an admirable job. I think the weakest aspect was the use of the rubber bat, which didn´t fit with the other elements of the movie and look fake. It is too bad that this film didn´t catch on and produce sequels or a TV series, it seemed to have that idea in mind, but alas, there is only one Kronos, and it is a classic.
See you for Christmas Carol!

Ken
San Luis, Mexico

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