Changing things up from their standard Dracula or Karnstein vampire movie, Hammer introduced Kronos to the world in 1974. The movie was actually made in 1972 but it took a couple of years to find a distributor for the film.
In the 1800’s in a small village young girls have killed by someone in cloak and all the victims have the same condition. They’ve all been robbed of their youth and turned suddenly old and dead. Dr. Marcus (John Carson) has called for an old friend, Captain Kronos – vampire hunter to investigate.
Captain Kronos was a soldier and now hunts vampires with a regular fencing sword and a samurai sword and travels around the countryside along with his partner the hunchbacked Professor Krost (John Cater). Along the way they pick up Carla (Caroline Munro) who was being punished for dancing on the Sabbath. She quickly becomes Kronos’ lover and helper. Kronos arrives and talks to Dr. Marcus. Kronos and Krost believe the murderer to be a vampire. Marcus has never heard of a vampire that doesn’t feed on blood but Kronos and Kroft have and this one feeds on youth.
Kronos and Kroft set traps to detect the vampire, dead toads in boxes because “If a vampire should bestrode / Close to the grave of a dead toad / Then the vampire life shall give / And suddenly, the toad shall live.” And it works, letting them now that they are looking for a vampire and it’s wandering in the woods.
As the vampire hunters try to figure out who the vampire is, the doctor searches his own leads which in turn ends up getting poor Marcus attacked and turned into a vampire himself. This proves useful to Kronos as he needs to figure out how to kill this particular type of vampire. After uses stakes and a hanging they stumble on cold steel. Kroft gets a steel cross from the graveyard and reforges it into a super sword, complete with mirror to reflect evil vampire hypnotism. Now the vampire hunters are ready to face down their foe.
Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter was supposed to the first of series of movies chronicling the adventures of the vampire hunters but it didn’t do well at the box office and plans for sequels were cancelled. Still the film has gained a cult following over the years and it’s pretty entertaining, a sort of swashbuckling adventure horror. Hammer has actually made the film available for free on their Youtube channel.