In 1830, forty years to the day since the last manifestation of their dreaded vampirism, the Karnstein heirs use the blood of an innocent to bring forth the evil that is the beautiful ... See full summary »
In 17th-century Hungary, elderly widow Countess Elisabeth Nádasdy maintains her misleading youthful appearance by bathing in the blood of virgins regularly supplied to her by faithful servant Captain Dobi.
As the plague sweeps the countryside, a quarantined village is visited by a mysterious traveling circus. Soon, young children begin to disappear, and the locals suspect the circus troupe might be hiding a horrifying secret.
A religious sect led by Gustav Weil hunts all women suspected of witchcraft, killing a number of innocent victims. Young Katy, Gustav's niece, will involve herself in a devilish cult, and become an instrument of Justice in the region.
In London in the 1970s, Scotland Yard police investigators think they have uncovered a case of vampirism. They call in an expert vampire researcher named Professor Lorrimer Van Helsing (a ... See full summary »
When Castle Dracula is exorcised by the Monsignor, it accidentally brings the Count back from the dead. Dracula follows the Monsignor back to his hometown, preying on the holy man's beautiful niece and her friends.
Vampire hunter and expert swordsman Kronos finds himself in a small village where several of the local young women have been found in an advanced state of age, their youth drained from them by a vampire's kiss. Kronos' search leads him to the Durward estate where he is met by the effete children of the apparently aged and sick Lady Durward.Written by
Doug Sederberg <email@example.com>
Grost suggests that the vampire may be using 'mesmerism' or 'hypnotism' to subdue its victims, but neither term was in use until the early 19th century. See more »
I suspect mesmerism in this.
Hypnotism. The subjugation of the mind.
You don't believe in that nonsense, do you? Well, it is highly improbable.
What could be more improbable than God? But I believe in Him.
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Underrated Hammer horror that deserves to be rediscovered.
Now I'm a big horror fan, but ironically enough I finally decided to give this one a go because of the western and swordfighting angle it has (I'm a big fan of both spaghetti westerns and chambaras). And therein lies the power of Captain Kronos: it's more than your typical Hammer vampire entry. It manages to be both serious and tongue-in-cheek, both atmospheric and visceral, and thus operates on a whole other level than earlier Hammer vampire flicks which I find very formulaic.
Captain Kronos is a swashbuckling vampire hunter, a mixture of the spaghetti western cool anti-hero and the antagonist of evil that is usually the Van Helsing character. In true Clint Eastwood fashion, he smokes a stump, swaps the poncho for an 18th century army jacket and the six shooter for various swords (including a katana). His sidekick is the witty vampire expert Professor Grost and along with Carla, a gypsy girl they pick along the way (played by Caroline Munro), they're called upon to solve a case of vampirism in rural England.
What strikes me about Captain Kronos is the exceptional cinematography. Director Brian Clemens employs some very inventive angles to photograph the action, leaving more to the mind's eye through use of shadows and eliptical editing. Highlights include the shadow of a cross coming to life and the shadow of a man being hanged seen through a window. The exterior shots are all well composed, with the thick black soil, the trees and the bleak weather all coming together as the perfect setting for the vampires to wreak havoc. There are also some very chillng moments (like the hooded vampires in the forest and a very creepy old lady), so don't be mistaken: Captain Kronos might take its cue from action movies, but it's still essentially a horror flick at heart.
Of course it's not without its flaws. Horst Janson (Captain Kronos) is by no means a physical actor so the action scenes leave a lot to be desired. His swordfighting as seen in the cemetery scene is lamentably bad. It's no wonder that the best scene of him using a sword is in the tavern where he teaches three bullies a lesson. His slashing there is composed in the editing room. OK this is Hammer, not Toho or Daei, and Janson couldn't possibly dream of equalling a Mifune or Nakadai, but still a couple of swordfighting lessons wouldn't have been such a bad idea. What's worse is that Janson is not a good actor period. His range involves little more than trying to look cool. Even at that, his boyish face and blonde hair don't help at all. He's more stiff and wooden than "badass" cool. A more charismatic lead would have done wonders for Captain Kronos.
Anyways, this is a movie that deserves to be rediscovered by all sorts of 70's b-movie fans. I'm not a vampire fan by any means, so it's very refreshing to see a movie playing with the conventions and clichés of the sub-genre (which I find tiresome for the most part) in entertaining ways.
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