The Swashbuckling Horror of Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter

The Swashbuckling Horror of Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter

Caroline Munro in Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter (Hammer Film Productions, April 1974)

Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter is a classic Hammer Horror film that features supernatural horror combined with swashbuckling action. This is one of my favorites of the Hammer Horror series of films.

It stars Horst Janson as the vampire-hunting swordsman, Captain Kronos; John Cater as the hunchbacked scientist, Professor Grost; and the lovely Caroline Munro as Carla, the clever assistant.

Horst Janson as Captain Kronos

One of the things that strikes me about this film is its main character’s similarity to Robert E. Howard’s swashbuckling Puritan, Solomon Kane. Captain Kronos is a fanatical seeker of evil: investigating it, hunting it down, and vanquishing it.

This is in the pulp style of Kane, whose sole obsession is much the same. Combine that similarity with both being brilliant fencers of uncanny skill, and you can’t help but draw comparisons.

Caroline Munro plays a strong role in the film. She is smart, manipulative, sexy, and brave. Early on she is freed by Kronos from the pillory. Her crime was “dancing on a Sunday!”

But my favorite part of the film was the sword fight at the end between Captain Kronos and the vampire, Lord Durward. Without the benefit of special effects, camera tricks, and so forth, what you have is an incredibly choreographed fight that is wonderfully entertaining.

If you are a fan of vampire horror and swashbuckling action, I highly recommend Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter.

All the photos below are pictures of my TV as I watched the film. Enjoy!

Jeffrey P. Talanian’s last article for Black Gate was a look at The Hobby Shop Dungeon by Benoist Poire and Ernest Gary Gygax Jr. He is the creator and publisher of the Hyperborea sword-and-sorcery and weird science-fantasy RPG from North Wind Adventures. He was the co-author, with E. Gary Gygax, of the Castle Zagyg releases, including several Yggsburgh city supplements, Castle Zagyg: The East Mark Gazetteer, and Castle Zagyg: The Upper Works. Read Gabe Gybing’s interview with Jeffrey here, and follow his latest projects on Facebook and at

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Kronos is a good mixture of swashbuckling and horror. Definitely worth seeing.

John E. Boyle

Good Heavens! A Caroline Munro movie I HAVE NOT seen yet? This cannot stand!

Many thanks, Mr. Talanian.

Thomas Parker

It is, without a doubt, one of the goofiest damn things I have ever seen.

William Hunt

One must mention that the vampire Kronos fights at the end is the film’s swordmaster, William Hobbs, who had a long career doing this type of action. He revolutionized swordplay in the three musketeer films directed by Richard Lester and did sword choreography in 37 films over a 49 year career. Truly a man to watch and admire.


One of my favourite Caroline Munro films and one of my favourite Hammer movies of the 70s. I’d never picked up on the Kronos/Solomon Kane parallel but it’s definitely present, although Kane is much more a loner. One other aspect of Captain Kronos I admire is that he does not let social mores control him: he befriends Grost who is a hunchback and frees and takes on Carla who dared to dance on a Sunday, both of them social outcasts. He sees each for who he or she is rather than what society dictates they are. Incidentally, Titan Books of the UK released a comics miniseries a few years ago which continues the story of Kronos and the Durwards.

Neil Baker

Yes – the comic run was excellent.

Jeff Stehman

Thanks to the cable channel TNT, I saw so many good Saturday afternoon matinees like this one.

Lawrence Schick

Written and directed, BTW, by Brian Clemens, the main brain behind the British Avengers TV show. You can’t watch Captain Kronos without being reminded of some of your favorite Avengers episodes.

Charles Dooley

One of the best movies ever! Great fencing, Caroline Munro, and a new use for dead toads.

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