‘Terror amok! Hungry for the flesh of the world!’
Caltiki The Immortal Monster – original title: Caltiki il mostro immortale – is a 1959 Italian science fiction horror film directed by Riccardo Freda and [uncredited] Mario Bava from a screenplay by Filippo Sanjust. It was distributed in the US by Allied Artists.
On 10 April 2017, the film is released on Blu-ray by Arrow Video with the following special features:
Buy Blu-ray: Amazon.co.uk
- Brand new 2K restoration of the film from the original camera negative
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
- Original mono Italian and English soundtracks (lossless on the Blu-ray Disc)
- Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
- New audio commentary by Tim Lucas, author of Mario Bava: All the Colors of the Dark
- New audio commentary by Troy Howarth, author of The Haunted World of Mario Bava and So Deadly, So Perverse: 50 Years of Italian Giallo Films
- From Quatermass to Caltiki, a new discussion with author and critic Kim Newman on the influence of classic monster movies on Caltiki
- Riccardo Freda, Forgotten Master, an archival interview with critic Stefano Della Casa
- The Genesis of Caltiki, an archival interview with filmmaker Luigi Cozzi
- Archival introduction to the film by Stefano Della Casa
- Alternate opening titles for the US version
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
- Illustrated Collector’s Booklet
A team of archaeologists investigating Mayan ruins come across a blob-like monster. They manage to destroy it with fire while keeping a sample of the monster but not without loss of life.
Meanwhile, a comet is due to pass close to Earth, the same comet which passed near the Earth at the time the Mayan civilisation mysteriously collapsed…
Directors Riccardo Freda and Mario Bava performed a perfunctory job on this X the Unknown rip-off, although it’s mildly interesting as an indicator for some future key elements of Italian genre filmmaking: there’s found footage and idle racism (both a mainstay of mondo movies), overt greed, lust and a focus on gruesomeness.
Otherwise, as a late 1950s sci-fi horror film, Caltiki lacks narrative drive and British lead actor John Merivale (Circus of Horrors; House of Mystery) is particularly uninspiring.
Thankfully, once the Blob-like monster appears things perk up for a while. However, the film soon descends into dreary military defence scenes accompanied by dialogue that is as dated as a 1940s serial.
Adrian J Smith, MOVIES & MANIA
Caltiki The Immortal Monster is actually quite good fun once it gets moving, and while never exactly gripping – and several notches below the British films that inspired it – it works well within its own imitations. It’s really only for completist fans of either director, but if you have a taste for vintage monster movies, you’ll probably have a lot of fun with it.
David Flint, MOVIES & MANIA
“The film’s in black and white, so don’t expect the kind of hallucinatory color riot that became Bava’s calling card in the 60’s, but Caltiki is far away indeed from the simplistic point-and-shoot sensibility of most contemporary Hollywood monster movies. Not even Bava can make a soggy canvas bag look scary, but it’s obvious that he tried his damnedest.” 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting
“It’s not the plot that’s interesting but the blob looks fantastic! There’s some amusingly cheap miniature work, (despite the darkness of night-time scenes) including some toy tanks that wouldn’t even get into a Godzilla film. But the blob on the attack is sensational. It’s movements are fascinating, and the face-dissolving effects almost belong in Cabin Fever – goodness knows what shock effect they had on audiences 50 years ago.” Black Hole Reviews
” … there is always the great first half of the movie, with some incredibly atmospheric scenes in the Mayan temple, especially the incredible underwater sequence that takes place in the lake in the temple; this scene more than makes up for any of the movie’s flaws.” Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings
Cast and characters:
- John Merivale … Doctor John Fielding
- Didi Perego … Ellen Fielding
- Gérard Herter … Max Gunther
- Daniela Rocca … Linda
- Giacomo Rossi-Stuart … Prof. Rodriguez’s assistant
- Daniele Vargas … Bob (expedition member)
- Vittorio André … Prof. Rodriguez
- Nerio Bernardi … Police inspector
- Arturo Dominici … Nieto (expedition member)
“You’re a sensitive woman. You need warmth. And care.”