Sunday Matinee: Caltiki, The Immortal Monster

After directing the first Italian sound horror movie, Lust of the Vampire in 1957 director Riccardo Freda started work on his next horror movie Caltiki, the Immortal Monster. But for whatever reason Freda abandoned work on the film (Freda claimed he did it so Mario Bava could get the job, Bava states that the film was a mess which is why Freda left). Either way Caltiki, the Immortal Monster became legendary filmmaker Mario Bava’s first movie.

Archaeologists discover a cave in Mexico. Two men go explore and only one comes back, completely mad. The rest of the group go off to see what they found. The discover some Mayan ruins and an ancient statue of Caltiki. Beside the statue is a pool and at the bottom lies a bunch of skeletons, victims of sacrifice to Caltiki. One of the men realizes that the remains are covered in gold and swims down to get the ornaments.

When he comes back up he’s dead, reduced to a skeleton and a large blobish mass comes out of the pool and starts attacking. The scientists manage to kill it with fire but a piece is on one of the men. They take the man back to Mexico City for help where the mass is removed at the cost of his arm. They keep the mass but when radiation from a nearby comet hits Earth the mass starts multiplying and growing.

While this is a far cry from some of Bava’s better know work like Black Sunday, this is a stupid fun creature feature. The mass was created using tripe and it looks nasty enough. Arrow Films just released this on blu-ray and it has never looked better.

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