2/16/13

Blood Capsule #29

CALTIKI: THE IMMORTAL MONSTER (1959)

I fucking love it when I'm able to unearth an obscure phylactery that the rest of the world omitted out of impenitent ignorance.  Caltiki is a rather fascinating b-movie about a famished blob that lurks beneath the ruins of an archeological dig.  Yes, it's a riff on 1958's The Blob, but it's worth watching for a few reasons.  Try this on for size...it was the uncredited directorial debut of Mario Bava.  It seems that the man hired for the job abandoned the project to allow young Mario to cut his teeth on his craft.  Also, the plot has a curious twist.  The titular nodulation is possessed by a mummified Mayan goddess.  At one point, our main characters huddle around a projector to view footage captured by a missing colleague.

And that brings me to a batty revelation; Caltiki was the first film (that I'm aware of) to employ the "found footage" motif.  Granted, it's just a lone scene, but this scene uses a shaking camera to great effect.  It's like something straight out of The Blair Witch Project, only this kinetic creature feature is notable for its graphic violence.  I was genuinely impressed by the macabre gore F/X.  If I'm being honest, I think that Caltiki outpaces The Blob at every turn.  It skates along at a buoyant clip, and the script is relatively well-composed.  Tragically, it wasn't released on home video stateside.  I doubt that it will hit DVD anytime soon, which is a crying shame.  It needs more exposure in a major way.

PS-I own a bootleg copy.  It's available on YouTube, though.  I would advise checking it out lickety-split.

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