9 April 2017



I feel like I know this film pretty well by now. It's out from tomorrow, April 10th 2017, courtesy of ARROW VIDEO and there are no fewer than two versions of it on the disc, both of which I've watched. And extremely enjoyable and entertaining they are too, I might add.

Also, in the extra features there are several gripping documentaries/interviews with film critics, some of whom knew both Riccardo Freda and Mario Bava (what an absolute HONOUR!) personally and who were more than willing to share related stories and anecdotes with the lucky viewers.

Anyway, the film itself is a fantastic Italian-language B-movie from the best of all eras for B-movies, the glorious 'Fifties. It's a marvellous blend of science fiction and horror that drew its inspiration from Hammer's THE QUATERMASS EXPERIMENT and the writings of H.P. Lovecraft, the Big Daddy of Cthulhu, the Many-Tentacled One.

It's also wonderfully entertaining and concentrates on the action rather than endless swathes of dialogue, which is kept to a minimum. Let's just say that ain't no-one got no soliloquies no-how in this all-action monster movie that will leave you breathless with exhiliration and excitement. Let's zoom in, as they say in the scientific community (of which I'm not really a member, more of a groupie), for a closer look at the plot...

A group of eminent scientists are poking about amongst some old Mayan ruins near Mexico City in South America. They're wondering why the Ancient Mayans simply upped and abandoned their homes and moved elsewhere all those centuries ago, leaving the mighty jungle to grow back over their streets and buildings, eliminating over time any traces of human habitation. Well, that's the way, isn't it? Nature takes back what is hers...

Any-hoo, their investigations might be a little too thorough for their own good, these nosy scientists, sticking their beaks in everywhere like that. You know the expression 'Let sleeping dogs lie?' Well, it's a real shame that no-one ever mentioned that one to the scientists, and here's why.

Their investigation of a sacrificial pool into which jewellery-laden human beings were once cast in order to placate the ancient gods and goddesses yields more than just a few baubles. Led by posh rich scientist John Fielding, a stolid British citizen, they accidentally nudge into wakefulness the one goddess they really don't want to f**k with... the dreaded Caltiki... The Immortal Monster...

Taking the form of a giant Blob that eats everything in its path, much like that other Blob in the well-known sci-fi/horror B-movie about a Blob starring Steve McQueen (what was it called again? SPEED 3?), Caltiki murders one of the scientists and chomps down hard on the arm of another.

She sucks all the substance out of any human body part she comes in contact with, much like the titular Mummy in Stephen Sommers' brilliant action-and-adventurers THE MUMMY and THE MUMMY RETURNS. Thus the man on whose arm she sucks, Max Gunther, is left with a withered arm just like the guy from THE MUMMY. This puts a major cramp in his plans to woo his partner John Fielding's hot 'Fifties wife, Ellen.

Ellen deserves a paragraph all to herself. She's a typical 'Fifties wife, with literally nothing to do all day but swan around in her tight 'Fifties dresses and see-through nighties, bitching at her hubby because he works practically around the clock to keep her in the tight 'Fifties dresses and see-through nighties she's become accustomed to wearing. The ungrateful hussy...!

Those dresses surely do accentuate her fabulous pneumatic 'Fifties bosoms and small waist. With her soft blonde hair and pouting lips permanently clamped round a cigarette, she's as stereotypical a 'Fifties starlet as you're likely to see. Max is warm for her gorgeous hourglass form, even though she's his best friend's wife and he's already got a hot girlfriend of his own, the beautiful dark-haired Linda.

He doesn't appreciate Linda, though, calling her a 'half-breed (her long black hair is in two Indian braids to indicate her mixed race origins...!)' and dismissing her devotion. Mrs. Ellen Fielding, knowing what side her bread's buttered on, scorns Max's affections utterly, however, so if I were Max I'd hang onto Linda, just in case. Folks in films never take my advice, though...

Back we go to 'the Blob,' or Caltiki, to give her her proper name. John has brought the bit of the Blob that devoured Max's arm back to his home to study it. Radioactivity makes it grow and become ginormous, and I don't mean the 'Top Twenty' kind of radioactivity either, haha.

'When Caltiki's bridegroom comes from the sky, the whole world will be destroyed.'

That's what the Ancient Mayans used to say, anyway. Who exactly is this strange 'bridegroom' and- to quote a famous line from the Eoin McLove episode of clerical sitcom FATHER TED- when's he coming...? You can be sure that when 'he' does come, the s**t will hit the fan for everyone in the Fielding home where the bit of the Blob is being stored.

That means that the posh and proper John Fielding, his pointy-bosomed wife and their little daughter Jenny (plus the child's Nanny. Ellen doesn't even look after her own sprog. It would probably interfere with her parading around the house in her pointy-bosomed 'Fifties dresses) are all in the firing line.

Max and Linda are staying there too. Will this be the dreadful Apocalypse the Mayans foretold? Well, they were obviously wrong about 2012, snigger, but they might just be right about the Blob. Hold onto your hats, folks, that's all I can say...

This superb sci-fi/horror is out on release tomorrow, April 10th 2017, courtesy of ARROW VIDEO. Mario Bava's special effects are stunningly eye-catching and the film comes with great interviews with Kim Newman, Stefano Della Casa and Luigi Cozzi. Great lads altogether, the three of 'em. 

You'll hear all kinds of great snippets about the film, such as how the Blob consisted of tripe from the butchers' that began to smell pretty foul pretty quickly in the heat. That's a pretty good story. It's also fascinating to hear about how the film was actually made in Rome but looks for all the world like the old South American city it was meant to resemble, thanks to Mario Bava's truly extraordinary sets. 

I saw Kim Newman in the flesh once, here in Dublin when he was giving a talk about QUATERMASS AND THE PIT, one of his favourite films. It was being shown in the Irish Film Institute as part of a wonderful folk horror film festival. He's written a book on the QUATERMASS films, I do believe. He was just as lovely and chatty in the flesh as he is on-screen and he was wearing a huge black hat to keep the sun off his face. (It was mid-July and flippin' sweltering.)

The review is done now, by the way. The Kim Newman stuff is just me boasting about my one claim to fame, haha. By the way, I've also met Hammer hottie Caroline Munro and Vincent Price's lovely daughter Victoria. Just in case ye didn't know that...!

CALTIKI THE IMMORTAL MONSTER is one hell of a monster movie and you all should definitely check it out. Off ye go now and have kinky sex with your significant others or fire up the barbie or go to Mass or do whatever ye normally do on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Me, I'll be taking a leaf out of Garfield's book and napping ...


Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra's books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:


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