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Caltiki - Il Mostro Immortale

Caltiki - Il Mostro Immortale (1959) Movie Poster
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Italy / USA  •    •  76m  •    •  Directed by: Riccardo Freda, Mario Bava.  •  Starring: John Merivale, Didi Sullivan, Gérard Herter, Giacomo Rossi Stuart, Vittorio André, Daniele Vargas, Arturo Dominici, Nerio Bernardi, Rex Wood, Gail Pearl, Daniela Rocca, Tom Felleghy, Anthony La Penna.  •  Music by: Roberto Nicolosi, Roman Vlad.
        Archaeologists investigating some Mayan ruins come across a blob-like monster. They manage to destroy it with fire, but keep a sample. Meanwhile, a comet is due to pass close to the Earth - the same comet passed near the Earth at the time the Mayan civilization mysteriously collapsed. Coincidence?

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   Length:  Languages:  Subtitles:
 2:06
 
 

Review:

Image from: Caltiki - Il Mostro Immortale (1959)
Image from: Caltiki - Il Mostro Immortale (1959)
Image from: Caltiki - Il Mostro Immortale (1959)
Image from: Caltiki - Il Mostro Immortale (1959)
Image from: Caltiki - Il Mostro Immortale (1959)
Image from: Caltiki - Il Mostro Immortale (1959)
Much of the cinematography of the Italian-made "Caltiki" in black and white is thoroughly noir. Mario Bava is credited with it. This is a sci-fihorrorblob picture out of Italy and an extremely well-done movie, utilizing models at times for special effects in the Japanese style. While not a film noir, it has the shadowy lighting in spades. It shares also a certain politically-inspired paranoia of that period in which civilization, even mankind, is threatened. Quite often in these films, scientists have a hand in discovering this or even causing this but also a hand in conquering it. Radioactivity plays a role, but in this one it's linked to the periodic arrival of a comet.

The film's opening could not be more atmospheric, showing darkly lit volcanic landscapes and spires and a man fleeing. The shapes of the Mayan-era volcanic masses compete easily with the vampiric Carpathians. It's like a much more intense reworking of the opening to "Kiss Me Deadly" (1955). A huge grotto accessed by a steep stone staircase weathered by age provides another stunning backdrop, in a remote way going back to sets in "Son of Frankenstein" (1939), a great sci-fihorror movie with a relation to noir.

In the climax, the all-absorbing blob, a single-celled genetic throwback with a taffy-like interior and a glistening coat-like exterior, threatens the chief scientist's wife and child, subliminal symbols of the nation, justice, earth, fecundity and the future. Able to absorb bullets and tanks, it can only be destroyed by something mythically as elemental.


Review by msroz from the Internet Movie Database.