As young women’s youth is sucked from their bodies by a black-hooded vampire, a vigilante swordfighter (Horst Janson) and his hunch-backed assistant (John Cater) are summoned by their doctor-friend (John Carson) to solve the mystery, which seems to involve a local nobleman (Shane Briant), his sister (Lois Dane), and their aged mother (Wanda Ventham).
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary argues that this “cult film” — written and directed by Brian Clemens, the “driving force behind television’s The Avengers” — has an “interesting assortment of characters, some spooky vampire-attack scenes, and splendid atmosphere”, but “never quite reaches its potential”. He notes that “Kronos is a strange warrior”, “capable of slicing up three bullies before they can draw their swords (in a Sergio Leone-type scene), but he mostly bides his time” as he “makes love to a peasant girl” (Caroline Munro), “covers his body with leeches to drain his blood, and patiently plans his course of action”. Actually, Kronos himself — at least as played by Janson — is the film’s primary problem: he cuts a dashing figure but is ultimately not very charismatic; nearly all the supporting players have more juice and nuance to them. It may have been a deliberate choice to frame Kronos as stoic and mysterious — but a film focused on an unusual superhero should (arguably) make that character intrinsically compelling. With that said, the final swordfight is creatively filmed, and I’ll admit I was kept in suspense about the identity of the killer-vampire.
Note: Modern film fanatics will likely sense a Tarantino-esque air to the movie; I was particularly reminded of Django Unchained (2012).
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Fine cinematography and direction
- Creative, colorful sets
No, but I think most film fanatics would be curious to see it given its cult status.