Caltiki, the Immortal Monster (1959)

Caltiki, the Immortal Monster (1959)

“And today, a few nomad Indians who cross this area recount how their ancestors fled this land in order to escape the wrath of a vengeful goddess — a goddess who hungered for blood.”

Archaeologists investigating ancient Mayan ruins in Mexico discover a blob-like monster, and try to link its appearance with an impending comet.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Horror
  • Mario Bava Films
  • Mutant Monsters
  • Science Fiction

Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary admits that this “undeniably silly”, horribly dubbed movie is one of his “favorite low-budget horror films”. Despite its confusing, ridiculous plot — in which “the members of a Mexican expedition discover a flesh-devouring, ever growing blob that makes the one Steve McQueen found seem affectionate”:

— the “eerie photography from Mario Bava” makes it strangely compelling. Especially notable is the “genuinely spooky” diving sequence, which, Peary notes, “will remind some of the scene in Alien in which John Hurt comes across the alien hatchery.” Not essential viewing, but guaranteed to appeal to fans of the genre.

Redeeming Qualities:

  • The truly chilling underwater diving scene
  • Atmospheric cinematography

Must See?
No, but it’s worth a look.


4 thoughts on “Caltiki, the Immortal Monster (1959)

  1. A must, as a ‘fine’ example of cult Mexican horror.

    This one has MST3K’s name on it, but it’s just as enjoyable ‘straight’. OK, so the monster is little more than outraged chocolate pudding. It’s still pretty creepy and a force to be reckoned with. (And I love when it climbs stairs!)

    There’s a bunch of stuff in ‘Caltiki…’ about the Mayans and a curse (I think) and radioactivity but anywho!, don’t try keeping up with all of that. All that clearly matters is that some big gloppy thing is threatening to destroy Mexico City and perhaps, from there, the world.

    The film benefits from something of a dual story line and that, surprisingly, keeps things rather tense. Cheesy but tense. The last 20 minutes are especially entertaining along those lines.

    Throw in the odd, odd piece of dialogue, of course –

    “I love you – and you make me feel so low. But listen to me now – if you think of dropping me…I love you madly, Max.”

    “Tonight the sky is exactly the same as in the year 607. In a few hours, that comet will pass close to us. …It circulates this way about every 1,352 years.”

    – and this ultimately effective, very-B-flick is complete! There’s even a semi-erotic ritual dance number as a bonus! (We didn’t even have to ask!)

    I’m not sure if there is an MST3K version of this. If not, have those wacky friends of yours over and make your own!

  2. I don’t think this is a must see, but I agree with everyone’s assessment including (to a degree) Peary. It’s stunningly shot and has some great SPFX like all the gory, human injuries which are still nasty. The blob effects are also pretty good but some of the miniature work isn’t as believeable.

    I thought Bava was second unit director and took over when Freda walked after a dispute (just as would happen on the set of Black Sunday the next year).

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