Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Captain Kronos, Vampire Hunter

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 movie was 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.


  1. Holy cow, Pete! Why am I just now noticing that you've returned to active blogging?
    Great news, and welcome back! You'll probably see a trickle of comments from me on your previous posts as I play catch-up...

  2. Hey Edo-yeh, sorry, if I was clever enough to figure out a way to let all Bronze Age Blogdom know in one hit I'd started up again, I'd've gone for that...Instead I thought I'd be really British and just potter on quietly until people noticed!
    Anyway, with relation to the previous post of Gil Kane on Tarzan, I don't really know how long he was on the strip, but I do have 7 other full stories he did, and they're all great, so will obviously put them up if people want to see them..

  3. Wow, there's more? Do you have the actual originals in newsprint or are they collected somewhere?
    Obviously, I'm one of those people who would love to see more - and I don't want to be too presumptuous, but I'm willing to bet our friend Joe (Bloke) would love to see more of those as well.

  4. Oh, and not to knock today's post. Great stuff - and again quite educational. I didn't know there was a Hammer horror mag.

  5. damn straight I would, Edo. them Hammer mags were fantastic. apart from some outstanding John Bolton stuff, there's a fair old bit of the great Brain Lewis' best art. it's such a shame we lost him so soon. I sometimes wonder how he would have fared during the whole British Invasion of the 'eighties & 'nineties. I think he would have been a big BIG name in comics, had he lived, as big as Dave Gibbons or Alan Davis. Imagine, if you will, Pete: Man-Thing by Brian Lewis. sends shivers up the spine, does it not?

  6. Definitely. And will post some more of that great Kane Tarzan as we go along for sure.