When her mate appears in the sky the power of Caltiki will destroy the world

A half-crazed archaeologist stumbles into his expedition’s camp. His partner is not with him. They had been exploring a cave near Mayan ruins. Other members of the expedition check out the cave and find their camera near a deep pool of water and a statue of Caltiki, the Mayan goddess of vengeance. This is where human sacrifices were made. The camera shows something happened. Something bad. The partner is never found.

The other members send a diver into the pool to look for the missing partner. The diver finds gold jewelry, but he also finds skeletons. He brings up what jewelry he can carry and despite objections goes back down for more. Something happens to the cable connected to him. When they pull him up his face has been eaten away. Then a blob monster comes to the surface. They start to flee. Max Gunther runs back for the gold and is attacked by the blob. His arm is engulfed. Professor John Fielding cuts him free. The blob tries to crawl out after the men. John blows up the entrance of the cave and the blob monster is set on fire.

They bring Max to Mexico City to try to fix his arm. The doctors operate and remove as much of the blob as they can. The scientists experiment on the blob and find it is a unicellular bacterium that grows in the presence of radiation. The creature is also 20 million years old. Max in the meantime is slowly being mummified and going insane. Max then goes crazy, kills a nurse and runs from the hospital.

An approaching comet that is emitting radiation is affecting the pieces of blob monster. Each piece is expanding and attacking anyone around them. The blob is growing. In the Mayan history the blob is Caltiki and her mate is the comet.

“Caltiki” is an Italian science fiction/horror film released in 1959. Directed by Riccardo Freda and Mario Bava. Mario Bava was also the cinematographer ergo the cinematography is fabulous. As far as blobs are concerned, I’ve seen better. I’ve heard it described as wet rags, and soggy burlap. Either one will do. I also heard that it was actually beef tripe. I would rather think of it as soggy burlap. There’s also one of the first instances of “found footage”. It works nicely for this movie since the genre hadn’t developed yet. And the footage was short, so you didn’t get a chance to get queasy.

Not having heard much about the movie it ended up being different than what I expected. When you think ancient Mayan goddess and human sacrifices you don’t necessarily thing blob monster. In that respect I needed to change my perspective of the movie and think creepy crawly instead. As a creepy crawly nonstop thing that absorbs people it was not bad. The blob thing doesn’t move fast but then they usually don’t. Whether or not “Caltiki” was influenced by “Quatermass Xperiment” or “The Blob” is an interesting aside, however, blobs pretty much all do the same thing. Grow big and absorb everything in sight. What “Caltiki” does have is the additional love quadrangle, so to speak. That aspect isn’t really special except that one of the characters involved has been partially absorbed and the absorber is slowly driving the absorbee insane.

All said “Caltiki” is a basic “B” monster movie. What makes it great is all the memories from big people who were once little people in front of a TV being mesmerized by a big old blob of beef tripe.

No comments

Leave your comment

In reply to Some User