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Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter

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Overview

A late entry from the foundering Hammer Studios, this intriguing and highly original twist on the vampire motif -- featuring for once a hero more charismatic than the vampires with which he does battle -- was the first in a planned series of Kronos films, but poor planning on behalf of its overseas distributors killed the franchise's great potential in the American market. Kronos Horst Janson -- a kind of swashbuckling Sherlock Holmes of the occult sciences -- and his hunchbacked companion Professor Grost John ...
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Overview

A late entry from the foundering Hammer Studios, this intriguing and highly original twist on the vampire motif -- featuring for once a hero more charismatic than the vampires with which he does battle -- was the first in a planned series of Kronos films, but poor planning on behalf of its overseas distributors killed the franchise's great potential in the American market. Kronos Horst Janson -- a kind of swashbuckling Sherlock Holmes of the occult sciences -- and his hunchbacked companion Professor Grost John Cater, arrive in the village of Durward where the local young wenches are being victimized by a family of vampires that drain youth, not blood, from their victims, turning them into withered old hags. Kronos' mystical intuition and powers of deduction lead him to the elderly Lady Durward Wanda Ventham and her pompous children Paul Shane Briant and Sara Lois Daine, and he soon squares off against his vampiric foes with a lethal sword fashioned from a sacred cross and a bag of occult tricks including an interesting use of dead frogs. Well-photographed and cleverly directed by Brian Clemens Dr. Jekyll & Sister Hyde, this is one of Hammer's few attempts to broaden its audience in the 1970's -- a trend which reached its zenith of zaniness with everybody kung fu fighting in the Hammer/Shaw Brothers collaboration Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires.
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Special Features

cc Commentary by genre historian Jonathan Sothcott, Writer/Director/Producer Brian Clemens and actress Caroline Munro
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
This clever revisionist take on vampire lore is one of the last great Hammer Films productions. Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter succeeds where many latter-day Hammer productions fall short because it manages to respect the horror genre while subverting many of its conventions: it plays up the adventure (the usual cross-and-stake finale is replaced with a swordfight) and mystery angles of its premise and flouts a key vampire-film convention by valuing its heroes over its undead villains. Veteran screenwriter Brian Clemens keeps the audience guessing by making the vampire's identity a mystery and reworking the rules of vampirism to suspenseful effect. As a director, Clemens has a little trouble with pacing during the film's midsection but makes up for that with a knack for atmosphere and a keen eye for unusual visuals (look for the moment involving a cross and its deceptive 'shadow'). Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter's appeal is sealed by a rousing score from Laurie Johnson and inspired work from a well-chosen cast: Horst Janson is appropriately fearless as the Errol Flynn-like Kronos, Caroline Munro is spirited (and fetching) as his gypsy love and John Carter displays some offbeat charm as Kronos' sidekick. Some modern viewers might be thrown off by the film's subtle, stately approach but Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter is a smart, very likeable film that is a worthy addition to vampire mythos.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/24/2013
  • UPC: 883929312382
  • Original Release: 1974
  • Rating:

  • Source: Paramount Catalog
  • Region Code: 1
  • Time: 1:31:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 38,743

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Horst Janson Kronos
Shane Briant Paul Durward
Caroline Munro Carla
John Cater Prof. Heironymous Grost
Ian Hendry Kerro
Robert James Pointer
Trevor Lawrence Deke
Terence Sewards Tom
Wanda Ventham Lady Durward
Lois Daine Sara Durward
John Carson
John Hollis Barman
William Hobbs Hagen
Peter Davidson Big Man
Elizabeth Dear Ann Sorell
Technical Credits
Brian Clemens Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Albert Fennell Producer
Godfrey A. Godar Camera Operator
Laurie Johnson Score Composer
A.W. Lumkin Sound/Sound Designer
James Needs Editor
Robert Jones Production Designer, Set Decoration/Design
Bill Rowe Sound/Sound Designer
David Tringham Asst. Director
Jim Willis Sound/Sound Designer
Ian Wilson Cinematographer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter
1. Chapter 1 [:09]
1. Drained Of Youth [5:35]
2. Isabella's Last Birthday [1:39]
3. Professional Vampire Hunters [4:57]
4. Graveyard Grief [:46]
5. Eyewitness [5:58]
6. Trouble at the Tavern [:55]
7. The Durward's Residence [5:36]
8. Provoked [2:33]
9. Death to Dr. Marcus [4:15]
10. Slain Sorell Family [3:32]
11. Steel Blade and Beautiful Bait [:20]
12. A Family Secret [4:14]
13. Captain Kronos Conquers [3:25]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter
   Play
   Set Up
      Audio Options
         English
         Commentary by Genre Historian Jonathan Sothcott, Writer/Director/Producer Brian Clemens and Actress Caroline Munro
      Subtitle Options
         English
         Subtitle Options: None
   Scene Selection
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Hammer meets Leone meets Buffy meets the Avengers

    This is a very fun pop culture mash-up featuring a great mix of action, comedy and horror. The title character, a cross between the Man with No Name, James Bond, and one of Mifune's samuraiis, travels across Napoleonic Europe doing battle with the forces of evil and wooing the ladies. If you are a fan of almost any genre, there is something for you here. Though it has many humorous parts, there is also a very real threat in this film, making the final battle between Kronos and the main villain a swashbuckling climax of the first order. A film to be enjoyed by anyone whoever fought imaginary monsters with a cardboard sword.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews