Captain Kronos—Vampire Hunter (1974)

8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 8/10

Better looking and different than other Hammer Films, modern vampire hunter

Some cheesy effects, stodgy acting

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Captain Kronos—Vampire Hunter

Studio:  Hammer Film Productions

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  April 7, 1974

MPAA Rating:  R


Call me Kronos!!!

A small town is being plagued by mysterious deaths and needs help…Enter:  Captain Kronos—Vampire Hunter (Horst Janson)!  With his team of assistants, Kronos is out to uncover the source of the vampire plague and stop it.  Hunting vampires however makes Kronos and his allies targets…and it isn’t just the vampire who is a threat!

Written, produced, and directed by Brian Clemens, Captain Kronos—Vampire Hunter was one of Hammer Studios last big horror films before shutting down in the ’70s.  The movie was meant to be the start of a franchise and over the years has gained a cult following.


Poor Swiss Miss has seen better days…

Hammer Horror is classic.  Unlike American horror at the time, it wasn’t as edgy, but just as stylish in a more gothic sense.  Watching Hammer Horror regardless of the year feels like a throwback to older films.  Captain Kronos is like other Hammer films in this sense, but also feels more original than some of Hammer’s output.

Brian Clemens wanted to make a vampire movie where the hunter was actually the focus and not the vampires.  In order to this, he turned the vampire story into more of a mystery.  With no focus on the vampires, the movie becomes more of a sword and sorcery type of film (light on the sorcery).  I see Kronos as version of Robert E. Howard’s Solomon Kane who wanders the world fighting darkness.


I bet there is that awkward moment where you have to clean up the dead vampires sitting on the floor of your house…

The vampire itself isn’t very traditional either and instead of just blood, it also robs life (aging the people).  It is a very modern take on vampires and more in line with current films and series like Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Blade.  Be it Solomon, Buffy, or Blade, Kronos is a very different slayer than had previously been in films.

The acting for most Hammer films is rather stodgy and Captain Kronos isn’t much different in that sense.  It isn’t necessarily a criticism because more “real” acting wouldn’t have worked in this film and with the style of shooting.  Horst Janson is a bit bland as Kronos, but I don’t know that I would want him dynamic.  He isn’t like the typical Peter Cushing version of Van Helsing, but forms a nice bridge between the high octane ’80s vampire films which are so removed from Hammer and old vampire movies.


Oh kiss me you sweet bat…kiss me!

The movie visually is quite good.  It looks much more modern than some of Hammer’s other films and feels less set based with more realistic lighting.  There is some comparison to the style of spaghetti westerns and I can see it in some of the framing and shooting.  Some of the special effects however don’t hold up as well and look pretty weak (like one of the vampire victims trying to pry a flying fox off her face which is supposed to be a vampire bat).

Captain Kronos—Vampire Hunter is a rather interesting film.  The modern feel of the film makes it ripe for remake in the modern Hollywood, and the original plans for more Kronos films would make it nice to see more from the hero.  I don’t know if I could sign on for a remake, but I would love Kronos back for more adventures.

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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