Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter (1974)

“You see … there are as many species of vampire as there are beasts of prey. Their methods and their motive for attack can vary in a hundred different ways.” Forget the cheesy title—this immensely entertaining, offbeat British horror film produced by Hammer Films and directed by Brian Clemens is the real deal! Horst Janson stars in the title role as the laid-back, ex-soldier, sword-wielding badass, who travels the countryside slaying vampires. Absolutely nothing fazes this guy. Watch how he calmly dispatches the three trash-talking thugs in the bar. Kronos is accompanied by his equally astute, hunchbacked assistant “Professor Hieronymous Grost” (John Cater), arguably one of the coolest sidekicks in horror film history. Along the way, the duo rescues the beautiful gypsy “Carla” (Caroline Munro) from a stockade. Kronos has been summoned by his good friend “Dr. Marcus” (John Carson) to investigate a series of mysterious deaths. It seems that a darkly shrouded vampire is terrorizing teenage girls in the local village – draining not the blood of its victims but their very youth itself. The search inevitably takes Kronos to the creepy residents of the Durward Estate – including brother and sister “Paul” (Shane Briant) and “Sara” (Lois Daine), and their sickly, bed-ridden mother “Lady Durward” (Wanda Ventham). One of the (morbid!) highlights is when Dr. Marcus, who has turned into a vampire, begs Kronos to kill him and the vampire-killing duo has to try out various methods of execution before they are successful in putting him out of his misery. The film features solid acting, great atmosphere and fun dialogue—highly recommended! The tagline screams, “The Only Man Alive Feared by the Walking Dead!” Munro appeared as helicopter pilot/assassin “Naomi” in the James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me (1977).

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