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Josh Moeller
Josh Moeller

Captain Kronos - Vampire Hunter BETTER



Dr. Marcus (John Carson) calls in Captain Kronos (Horst Janson), his Army Brother, to his village which is plagued by mysterious deaths marked by highly accelerated aging. Kronos and his companion, the hunchback Professor Hieronymus Grost (John Cater), are professional vampire hunters. Grost explains to the initially skeptical Marcus that the dead women are victims of a vampire who drains not blood but youth, and that there are "as many species of vampire as there are beasts of prey". The discovery of another victim confirms Grost's explanation. Along the way, Kronos and Grost take in a local Gypsy girl, Carla (Caroline Munro), who had been sentenced to the stocks for dancing on the Sabbath. She repays them by helping them hunt the vampire; she later becomes Kronos's lover.




Captain Kronos - Vampire Hunter



Why isn't there a full franchise of Captain Kronos adventures? He's a swashbuckling vampire hunter who travels around with a hunchback assistant and a gorgeous young Caroline Munro by his side. He rescues women wrongly imprisoned for dancing on Sunday. He takes out multiple local drunkards with a single swipe of his sword. He hammers comically long stakes into vampires' hearts. I'd watch a few more movies featuring him. So where are the damn sequels, Hammer?


Lowkey wanted this to be ridiculous, not necessarily The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires schlocky (I absolutely love that hot mess of a film), but fun at the very least. Yet somehow, they managed to make sword fighting vampire hunters boring. Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter is impeded by waffle, unengaging characters and a shocking lack of sword wielding. But rest assured, there's an entertaining little showdown in the last ten minutes.


In 2017, around 50 years after the film's release, Titan Comics published a four-issue comic book sequel to Captain Kronos written by Dan Abnett and drawn by Tom Mandrake. It deals with Kronos, Grost and Carla now acting as a team of vampire hunters and encountering a dark village in the heart of Romania in a fierce war against a Vampire invasion. But there's more to that village than meets the eye...


  • Action Girl: Carla is now a vampire hunter of equal standing as Kronos and Grost.

  • Actionized Sequel: Kronos, Grost and Carla fight more Vampires in the first issue than in the entire first movie combined.

  • Aristocrats Are Evil: A Kronos staple, though in this case the aristocratic Elders of Serechurch appear merely shady, rather than malicious. Or so it seems.

  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Slake is the head Vampire and also the most foreboding in combat. Though adverted with his other Vampire Elders in charge of Serechurch, who go down fairly easily. Kronos points out that unlike the Slake, they've been living off the fat of the land and thus are in no fighting shape.

  • Big Bad: The Slake, a Vampire that has taken over the plague-ridden quarters of Serechurch.

  • But Now I Must Go: After the business is dealt with, Kronos and his companion ride off as usual. Most obviously because the citizens of Serechurch are pissed they killed their Elders.

  • Comic-Book Adaptation: Made by Titan Comics as a sequel to the film Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter.

  • Forbidden Zone: The Slake and his Vampires live in ghost region separated from the rest of Serechurch by wooden walls where none dare enter...except Kronos, of course.

  • Large and in Charge: The Slake towers over the Vampires he rules over and pretty much everyone else, really.

  • Our Vampires Are Different: In Kronos tradition. The Slake's kin are immune to sunlight, silver and crosses and can only be killed by beheading, though the Slake himself is vulnerable to crosses.

  • Retcon: In the film, Kronos and Grost leave Carla behind, but in this storyline she's become part of their group and has take very well to their escapades.

  • Running Gag: Someone cursing and Kronos/Grost/Carla deadpanning "Language." (often in the middle of a battle) is a running joke throughout, occurring at least once per issue.

  • Serial Escalation: In the first film Kronos deals with less than half a dozen Vampires. Here there's an entire legion of them.

  • Slobs Versus Snobs: The fancy but shady Elders of Serechurch want Kronos to kill Slake and his vampires, who are essentially ragged undead, giving it a bit of a class warfare vibe. Particularly when it's revealed the Elders are also Vampires and this is merely a Vampire civil war of sorts.

  • Took a Level in Badass: Carla has been taking lessons in Vampire hunting from Kronos and Grost. Suffice to say she's no longer a helpless damsel.

  • Town with a Dark Secret: Serechurch, a grim little town in Romania and the main setting of the narrative. Features, among other things, a veritable boatload of Vampires.

  • Xenafication: Carla goes from feisty but overall harmless damsel in the film to a Vampire-hunting badass in this.



At the center of it all is the titular Captain Kronos, played with lone-wolf solitude and an abundance of testosterone by Horst Janson, and his partner Professor Grost. John Cater plays the hunchback Grost, a kind, quirky and intelligent man, dedicated to Kronos and his cause and a veritable fountain of lore applicable to whatever predicament they might find themselves facing. In lieu of a Van Helsing figure, Clemens dissects the archetypal Hammer vampire hunter into this complementary pair, adding depth and fallibility to the story in fun and interesting ways.


In an attempt to liven up their period pieces, they opted to go for broke. Hammer combined their traditional vampire formula with the old swashbucklers to give us Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter, what was intended to be the first of a series of films featuring the mysterious hunter. Unfortunately the film bombed due to poor distribution and all plans for a series were cancelled which is a shame because despite its flaws, Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter is actually an entertaining film.


Even the main character of the vampire hunter makes a stark change of direction for Hammer as their previous hunters had all been stuffy old men, full to the brim of knowledge and facts. They were men of words and wisdom, not of action and violence. Kronos is the opposite - he's like a prototype Blade, despatching vampires without the scientific background that the likes of Van Helsing had.


In fact many of his gizmos and inventions that he uses to fight vampires could well have inspired Blade in later years. He carries with him a mirrored visor to reflect the hypnotic gaze of vampires and his sword looks like a giant crucifix. Not only that but in attempt to differentiate him from the "old men" hunters of the past, this guy smokes herbal remedies (ahem) and is quite happy to receive "favours" from damsels he rescues. He's not quite an anti-hero, but more of a rebellious young man; someone that the youth of the time would have responded to and associated with.


The first issue of Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter was a great mixture of action and horror, pitting the vampire hunter, Captain Kronos, against a horde of vampires. This issue follows up on many of those positives, giving an opening salvo of Kronos dueling the monstrous Slake and his hordes of followers.


Before Buffy donned her cheerleader uniform or found out she was the chosen one, before the life essence sucking space vampires of Lifeforce were found in the tail of Haley's Comet, before dapper Van Helsing ever set out to do battle with CGI monsters, there was Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter. Kronos being a stylish 19th century swashbuckling vampire hunter, late of the Imperial Guard, with a flair for the melodramatic. Just don't ask whose Imperial Guard as I have not a clue. With veteran actress Caroline Munro (Starcrash, At the Earth's Core, The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, Dracula A.D. 1972, et al) as the comely lady in distress cum love interest and his faithful hunchbacked sidekick, Grost, Kronos has sword and will battle the supernatural!


1st printing. Collects Captain Kronos (2017 Titan Comics) #1-4. Written by Dan Abnett. Art by Tom Mandrake. In the depths of Eastern Europe, the legendary vampire hunter, Captain Kronos and his two assistants, Grost and Carla, are called upon to help rid a town of its vampire plague. However, beneath the surface of the beleaguered town a malevolent force far more evil and deadly is awakening and it might just be the match of Kronos... Softcover, 112 pages, full color.Cover price $16.99.


Vampires: they've been around for a long time, terrorising villagers, making a mess of pretty young flesh, but what did people do about them when Dr Van Helsing and Buffy weren't around to help? If they were lucky, they could find a real expert, a brilliant swordsman and egotist par excellence: Captain Kronos, vampire hunter.


In the depths of Eastern Europe, the legendary vampire hunter, Captain Kronos and his two assistants, Grost and Carla, are called upon to help rid a town of its vampire plague. However, beneath the surface of the beleaguered town a malevolent force far more evil and deadly is awakening and it might just be the match of Kronos....


In the depths of Eastern Europe, the legendary vampire hunter, Captain Kronos and his two assistants, Grost and Carla, are called upon to help rid a town of its vampire plague. However, beneath the surface of the beleaguered town a malevolent force far more evil and deadly is awakening and it might just be the match of Kronos... 041b061a72


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