Mark Gatiss' favourite magazine, House Of Hammer / Halls Of Horror ran a bunch of comic strips during it's original run, both new stories as well as adaptations of Hammer favourites. Captain Kronos, Vampire Hunter was part of a last gasp for the Hammer studios, alongside equally insane but brilliant flicks like Dr. Jekyll & Sister Hyde, Dracula AD 1972 and The Vampire Lovers, as well as the Hammer House Of Horror TV show.
Captain Kronos the moviewas written and directed by Brian Clemens, the guy behind The Avengers, and he brings that same TV shows' sense of self mockery & fun to this, the first part in what was to be a franchise. Sure, lead actor Horst Janson is a plank of wood, but Kronos is still a great character, riding around Berkshire with his hunchbacked sidekick, smoking dope, fighting duels and getting off with Caroline Munro.
All nice work if you can get it.
If you haven't seen Kronos I recommend it. It's a little leisurely paced, as it takes the good Captain ages to actually go out and kick some vampire ass, but it's got an interesting twist on bloodsuckers ( who steal their victim's youth rather than their blood ), some fun sword fights and some genuinely bizarre imagery. Plus there's appearances by champion scenery chewers Shane Briant and Wanda Ventham, as well as a cameo from Avengers alumni Ian Hendry, the actor once memorably described as having ' eyes like pissholes in the snow. '
The comic adaptation comes with a magnificent painted cover by Argentine artist Ricardo Villagran, and a solid art job inside from a young Steve Parkhouse.
Although HOH's movie adaptations were never 100% successful, stymied as they were by having to squeeze an entire film into 12 pages or less, they were always a treat, especially if you hadn't seen the film yet.
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