Captain Kronos, Vampire Hunter (1974)
If you thought TWILIGHT had you scratching your head over 'sparkling' vampires, this film will make you wonder WHAT kind of vampires Captain Kronos is pursuing.
The best way to explain is to get into the film itself. Starts off with two girls in the woods chasing one another (oh, yes, like that's REAL safe..) and one goes off alone deeper into the woods. Enter the ominous-looking, cloaked figure. Next comes the bizarre director's choice of having the camera showing us the perspective of the figure.
At first the girl recoils in fear, then suddenly smiles (as if the 'vampire' either hypnotized her, or spiked the flowers with poppies, you be the judge). The vampire then attacks, but not by chomping down on her neck, either leaving the cliche puncture wounds, or tearing out her throat. Instead, the vampire apparently kisses her (no kidding), causing blood to trickle from her mouth.
Afterwards when she is found, apparently she's transformed into an old woman. Strange, huh? Anyway, Kronos and his crew come onto the scene.
Now, at this point, I should tell you, all your standard classic Hollywood vampire conventions are thrown out the window. First off, one of Kronos' side-kick, a hunchback professor, which looks like a dapper Frenchman with a growth, buries boxes of dead frogs about the forest. As the mysterious cloaked figure rides by, they dig them up and discover (ta-daah), they're alive.
Apparently in this universe, vampires can re-animate dead amphibians. Also they kiss people and drain them not only of blood, but of their youth as well.
Meanwhile Kronos meets the local doctor, who is close friends with him, and we learn a little insight about him. Obviously a soldier from a previous war (not clear on which one, tho, never say), Kronos' family was murdered by vampires, which has made him go into this profession, but it never goes into why, if he's after the head vampire, or if he's seeking the one responsible.
In fact, when he meets up with a female local (Caroline Munro), it requires a bit of suspending disbelief that Kronos had ever settled down with a family in the first place.
But back to the main plot, Dr. Marcus (Kronos' friend) decides on conducting some more investigations, while Kronos' partner and female (ahem) Companion attempt to set up traps to catch the vampire in the act.
Now in all fairness, one actual true vampire attack occurs when a bat does attack a female in a hilarious scene that would make Birdemic's dive-bombing bird look like Shakespeare. But I digress, Dr. Marcus considers the main suspects to be the royal Durward family, since evidence points to Lady Durward to be around when the attacks occur. Her children do appear sinister in nature for the fact they have white hair and kind of act like snots. Y'know, typical 17th Century aristocrats.
One thing interesting about this film, I suspect the whole 'vampire blood contagion' shtick originated from here, though in this case, it doesn't really explain how this thing works. On his way back, Dr. Marcus gets blood splattered on him, though we don't see how this is possible. And when he gets home, the next morning, he discovers he is changing into a vampire (by looking into a mirror, no less, like I said all conventions are shot to hell in this tale).
Rather than find a way to cure the man (or even figure out HOW EXACTLY did it happen), Kronos is spurred on to kill him by trussing Dr. Marcus up and staking the poor victim in the heart.
Okay... then suddenly from all of this, they decide the Durward family is the source. And the rest makes as much sense as a soup sandwich.
Though it's supposed to come off as a serious, adventurous vampire flick, Captain Kronos, Vampire Hunter is more of a hilarious, nonsensical romp into a man hunting down a monster turning young woman into dried jerky (more or less).
I would love Bill, Kevin & MIke to definitely give this one a view and riff this classic take on the 'modern' vampire scene.
Here's the actual film:
Sherlock Holmes with vampires. Sherlock van Helsing gets stoned while his lackeys make, as they proudly describe, "toad in the hole." Not since Wonder Women has there been pointless **** chess banter this good. And no one can make out in the woods without those darned youth-sucking vampires that bring dead toads back to life showing up.