Friday, May 18, 2018

mr. blobby.

Picked this lil' gem up in Fopp for a meager 6 quid t'other day (I was meant to be buying stuff for my school trip but heyho) cos I'd never seen it before.

Shocking I know.

Caltiki the Immortal Monster (1959).
Dir: Riccardo Freda (and some bloke named Mario Bava, yeah me neither).
Cast: John Merivale, Didi Sullivan, Gerard Herter, Daniela Rocca, Daniele Vargas, Vittorio André, Giacomo Rossi Stuart and Arturo Dominici.

The garden is filled with monsters!

Somewhere in the jungles/deserts of Mexico (or at least a pretty good studio approximation of them) a crack team of archaeologists are busy trying to find out why the local people up and left all those centuries ago.

Obviously the active volcano in the background has nowt to do with it.

All this hard work is disturbed when one of the team -  Dr Barry Nieto (Dominici from Black Sunday) stumbles sweatily into the basecamp dribbling and ranting about something called 'Caltiki'.

Enter (not literally mind, tho' he does have the air of a bonier David Tennant about him so I'd be tempted) Professor John Fielding (Circus of Horrors Merivale) who alongside his grumpy colleague Dr Max Gunther (Herter...yes he probably did) vainly attempt to find out just what the fuck Nieto is rambling about.

Sick of having his spittle sprayed over them and almost vomiting from the smell of boiled onions permeating from his unwashed manbreasts the pair leave Nieto in the care of Fielding's wife Ellen (the big-haired Perego) and Max's squeeze - the 'half-breed', pigtailed ex-prostitue Linda (Rocca, covered in gravy browning).

No idea why they're there - perhaps it was a 'bring your spouse to work' week, whatever the reason is tho' Ellen is not too happy about it and isn't afraid to tell her hubbie this.

Almost constantly.

Max - having no social skills as well as a head shaped like a pencil - mistakes all this complainy chat for a come on and seductively offers to put it in Ellen who politely rebukes his advances leaving him to start bitching at poor Linda.

Being the 50s she just stands there meekly and takes it.

The verbal abuse that is not his warty cock.

Glad that's sorted.


Meanwhile chubby man-boob Bob (Vargas from Spirits of the Dead not the one that draws the saucy lady pics) is busying himself filming the local girl(s) taking part in a seductive ceremonial dance that they hope will placate the aforementioned Caltiki, as is they way with men he's far too busy drooling over the dancers smooth thighs (and massive grey pants)  to think about asking them what the fuck Caltiki actually is.

The locals soon spot his massive girth hiding behind a bush tho' and angrily warn him that filming such things will bring the wrath of Caltiki down upon them all so a crestfallen Bob heads back to his tent for a tearful wank and a Pot Noodle.

The next morn John, Max, and Bob set out toward the cave that Nieto was exploring in the hope of finding out not only what sent him mental but also their still missing pal Brian - who it turns out took the rucksack with all the sweets in when the pair went exploring.

Unfortunately all they find tho' is Brian's camera, lying on the bank of an underground river watched over by an ancient statue which John cleverly identifies as the fable Caltiki.

Shit...Gene Wilder has let himself go.

 Heading back to the camp the trio quickly develop the film and settle down, popcorn in hand, to watch because if nothing else there may be a few lighthearted comedy pratfalls captured which means at least 50 quid from You've Been Framed which will pay for half the drinks budget.

Well beggars can't be choosers*.

It turns out that whilst jumping about and posing on the statue the pair were attacked by an unseen assailant so armed with this information the three brave archaeologists head back to the cave for another look and a better examination of the lake.

OK it's a pond.

Well more like a kids paddling pool stuck in the middle of the set and hastily decorated.

Luckily for them Bob is a qualified diver (tho' not I'm afraid a real welder) and he's soon squeezed himself into his wet-suit in order to take the plunge into an underground lake cleverly played - thanks to some smart editing - by the local swimming pool where he discovers a veritable underwater graveyard.

John informs the others - and us -  that the locals used to offer human sacrifices to Caltiki by throwing them into the water alongside all their jewelry, which means that there's loads of ancient treasure for the taking.

Imagining how many whores (and pies) he could buy with all that loot, Bob quickly starts to gather it up in his Aldi carrier bag but is soon attacked by an unseen assailant.

Noticing that something is wrong Max and Paul haul him to the surface only to find their portly pal dead, his flesh somehow removed totally from his bones.

You'd assume that after eating Bob whatever did it must be stuffed but no the mysterious creature - which has the appearance of a huge binbag filled with shite - emerges from the lake and attacks John and Max.

Jimmy Savile: The return.

The pair run for cover only for Max to turn back in order to grab the treasure from Bob's corpse which as far as plans go is a wee bit of a silly one seeing as the beast lunges at him with a big soggy cock-like appendage and envelopes his arm.

Luckily John has a handy axe and succeeds in cutting the creepy cock enough to free his pal but not save the arm.

As the pair head toward the camp John notices the terrifying testicle beast lumbering (can testicles lumber?) toward them but thanks to some quick thinking he drives the expedition’s truck into the entrance of the cave where it explodes destroying the monster.


We're only 20 minutes in tho' so either this is a really short film or the bits of beast still stuck to Max's rotten arm are going to be re-animated at some point.

Can you guess which it is?

Arriving back home John tasks himself - alongside famed Professor of otherworldy bollocks Rod Rodriguez (André, star of Riusciranno i nostri eroi a ritrovare l'amico misteriosamente scomparso in Africa?) and his assistant Beaker (Last Man on Earth's Rossi Stuart) - with finding a way to counteract the poisons the creature injected into Max while it was digesting his arm.

Which kinda makes a change from growing mold in petri dishes and inhaling helium for a laugh I guess.

Daphne and Celeste: Sausage up a close.

After much study - and even more chin stroking they soon discover that not only is the creature, despite it's size a single cell organism but that it is, in fact, at least twenty million years old.

An immortal monster if you will.

An immortal monster that thrives on radiation.

Well I'm impressed.

Unfortunately they seem to have become so preoccupied with studying Caltiki that they've completely forgotten about curing poor Max who is - even as we speak - slowly going mad (and very scabby) due to the monster muck coursing thru' his veins.

Friends eh?

Spice Girls number one for Christmas.....MONSTA!

Anyway it's immaterial as Max - bored with bedbaths and doctors sticking things in him - breaks out of the hospital and heads to John's house in the hope of persuading Ellen to let him put it in her.

To confuse things even further it appears that Linda is staying with the family and comes across Max skulking in the basement, seeing as she loves him she offers to help him in his quest and sneaks him bottles of milk and egg and cress sandwiches whilst no-one is looking.

It isn't going to go well for her is it?

If that wasn't enough drama for one movie it appears that Professor Rodriguez has discovered that according to legends pertaining to Caltiki,there's a spooky prophecy that tells of a 'mate' for the goddess that supposedly came  from the sky.

Research shows that this refers to a passing comet whose radiation awoke the beast.

And wouldn't you know it that same comet is even now rapidly approaching Earth causing the remaining bits of Caltiki to begin stirring....

Coming across as the unholy lovechild of Quatermass and The Thing From Another World, director Ricardo Freda's Caltiki The Immortal Monster is a satisfying slice of sci-fi shock mixed with a smidgen of the kind of gothic horror in which Mario Bava excelled.

Often ignored when it comes to the history of Italian horror, the movie is finally getting the love it deserves and not just because of the involvement of the legendary director.

Re-teaming with Freda two years after they collaborated on I Vampiri - the first Italian horror film with sound fact fans - Bava was the films second unit director and lighting technician as well as creating the special effects on show and his trademark style is evident from the get go, from his signature cut and paste matte style to some quite graphic (for the time) make-up effects via long lingering shadows and pin-sharp compositions the film screams Bava from every sprocket hole.

But whilst we go all fanboy over Bava let's not forget Freda, who it was alleged purposely walked off the production in order to give Bava his directing break.

If this is true then that's something for which we should be eternally grateful.

And the fact that it's scary comet scenes obviously influenced LifeForce is another reason to love it.

What was it called again?

Gorgeously shot and with believable - if not too flashy - performances and some fantastic effects Caltiki is a gruesomely grand little movie that simply wants to thrill - and frighten - it's audience, a job which it does brilliantly.

Recommended and far too great a film to be sullied by being featured on this blog.


*Except the one outside Central Station that is who, when I went to give him a pound the other day asked if I could just hand over the fiver from my wallet instead.

Cheeky bastard.

Aye Son.

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