My latest article for The Cultural Gutter is now up. In keeping with the season, it’s science fiction with the heart of a horror film. Gothic Galactic takes a look at Mario Bava’s brief forays into the cosmos, specifically the influential Planet of the Vampires, with special guest appearances by Caltiki and Hercules int he Haunted World.
Released in 1959, at a time when horror had fallen out of fashion and had to be dressed up in science fiction trappings, Caltiki fits in nicely alongside films of the era. Caltiki‘s monster is a menacing blob, not unlike the blob in, well, The Blob, released only a year earlier. Parts of it also resemble The Quatermass Xperiment, released in 1955 by England’s Hammer Studio. A year after Caltiki, Bava directed his first full film in 1960 (Black Sunday), and a year after that, his first color film, the phantasmagorical fantasy-horror spectacle Hercules in the Haunted World.