Saturday, July 4, 2020

The Midnight Horror Review - Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter (1974)

The Midnight Horror Review is back! Well, I didn’t really go anywhere. Because of an internet outage, I couldn’t post last week’s review. Yeah, it sucked.

I had planned on reviewing a different movie, but Hulu included Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter in their fresh batch of titles. I can never say no to watching a Hammer flick, so that’s what I’m reviewing tonight - 1974’s B-Movie - Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter.

(FYI: You can watch the movie free on Hammer Films official YouTube channel.)

Hammer Film Productions ruled the horror genre throughout the 1960s, but the British company fell apart in the 1970s because of several flops, including Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter. Written and directed by Brian Clemens, the film centers on vampire hunter Captain Kronos (played by Horst Janson) and his hunchback sidekick, Hieronymus Grost (played by John Cater), investigating a series of stranger deaths in a tiny village. It seems someone or something is attacking young girls and draining their beauty (and youth) from them. Alongside Captain Kronos and Grost is the Gypsy girl, Carla (played by Caroline Munro), and together they are hunting for the creature responsible for the murders.

It’s a combination of the Dracula film series and the Karnstein Trilogy, along with a bit of humor and sword fighting. I’m not for sure whatt they rated Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter in the UK, but it received an R-rating in the USA upon its original release. Hammer Films had sequels planned, but they abandoned them because of poor box-office numbers. Horror changed in the 1970s thanks to the blockbusters such as The Exorcist, The Amityville Horror, Halloween, Jaws, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacres. Moviegoers were no longer interested in the period piece settings. Hammer attempted to adjust to the changing times with Dracula A.D. 1972 and The Satanic Rites of Dracula, but too little, too late.

Final Thoughts

I don’t remember my exact age when I first watched Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter, but I believe I was in my teens when I came across the movie on AMC, way back when they aired “real” classics without commercials. Yes, the plot is generic as a vampire flick can get, but it’s a Hammer movie, so it’s at least entertaining. Three things I love about Hammer flicks are the costumes, sets, and acting. Despite being a horror story, the actors always gave topnotch performances, and that's the case for Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter.

I was afraid the movie would have aged a lot since I had last seen it, but the movie is as good as I remembered it. Sure, there are few campy moments, such as the bar sword-fighting scene, but it’s all in good fun.

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