I have to take a break from my travel tour through Italy to tell you all about Captain Kronos-Vampire Hunter. Because I am a giver. A humanitarian. And I care.
There I was, plagued with insomnia last night and, despite a massive cable package, couldn’t find anything of interest. I was surfing the channel guide thinking surely, there must be a rerun of “The Nanny” somewhere, no?
And that’s when I saw it. It was just coming on, and it was beautiful. Melodramatic opening, jarring music that becomes swirly and heavily synthed and boasts ominous drums. Horst Janson, who plays the titular Captain of who-knows-what, is angular and Germanic with flowing blond locks and the tightest jodhpurs in all of moviedom. Captain Kronos’s sidekick, Professor Hieronymous Grost (John Cater), is a hunchback, for God’s sake, and they travel with a gypsy, Carla (Caroline Munro), who they rescued after she was stockaded for “dancing on a Sunday”. Vampire hunter + hunchback + freewheeling gypsy…with a setup like this, who needs a plot? But that’s what’s awesome! They even develop a story!
It goes something like this: sweet young things in the village of Durward in the English countryside are being preyed upon by something eeeeeevil. A vampire of sorts, though the producers of the film do monkey with vampire lore and create a different kind of vamp, one that sucks the life force out of its victim, instead of blood. (Professor Grost explains this by saying, “There are as many species of vampire as there are beasts of prey.” Because he is an expert and he knows. And the producers foot the bills, so they can have any sort of vampire they want.) What the vampires in this movie do, essentially, are prematurely age their victims, so they don’t die from exsanguination but rather, old age.
She’s so fresh and pretty, but can sense trouble is brewing…
OH MY GOD SHE’S BEEN TURNED INTO STEVEN TYLER!
Don’t believe me?
It’s kind of a groovy plot point, actually.
As an added bonus, you get to feast your eyes on Perry Soblosky as the foppiest-looking British guy in history. It’s a bit part, but he really manages to come across as being more tightly-wound than a molly bolt.
You can just picture him saying, “Good God, man! You’re a plumber? What on earth is that?”
I’ll pretty much watch anything with the words “vampire hunter” in the title, because that sort of movie is almost always guaranteed to be special in a craptastic sort of way. Modern vampire lore allows vamps to be lethal-but-sexy; vampire hunters are almost always a little bit cheesy and coming at the plot from behind the eight-ball. When you combine that with gypsy women and unpredictable sword fights and an almost comically extended vampire death scene, you have movie magic, friends. And that’s what Captain Kronos-Vampire Hunter is all about.