Captain Kronos - Vampire Hunter [1974]

Forget Van Helsing. Captain Kronos is the great swashbuckling vampire hunter. Hard-faced Horst Janson is the brooding Kronos, a rangy, sword-wielding soldier who hunts the vampire scourge with his jovial hunchbacked partner, Grost (John Cater), and his earthy peasant girl lover, hazelnut eyed beauty Caroline Munro. Director-writer Brian Clemens, who so entertainingly put genres in the blender on the TV series The Avengers, imaginatively rewrites vampire lore from the film's haunting first scene: a shrouded, shadowy predator (looking more like death incarnate than a traditional vampire) drains a comely maiden of her very youth, leaving the girl an aged, wizened husk. Clemens lacks the budget and the cinematic snap to bring his visual ideas to full fruition, but his well-wrought characters, inspired ideas, and swashbuckling swordfights make this entertaining reinterpretation of the vampire movie a cult classic. --Sean Axmaker

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