Tuko sa Madre Kakaw (lost Filipino kaiju film; 1959)
Tuko sa Madre Kakaw (ent. Gecko in Madre Cacao) was a Filipino science-fiction & kaiju film released in 1959 under LVN Pictures, Inc. It was directed by Richard Abelardo, which is known for his expertise in special effects. It involves a mad scientist who plots to conquer the world and destroy mankind by formulating a serum that can increase the size of an animal. He tested it on a tuko (gecko) which in turn, became a giant reptile. It is one of the 1950s Filipino films to feature giant monsters.
It is reported to be based on the novel by Clodualdo del Mundo, and was serialized in the magazine "Hiwaga Komiks".
Plot[edit | edit source]
A wealthy couple lives somewhere in the countryside. At the yard of the couple, a tree named "Madre Kakaw" where a tuko (gecko) lives. During the birth of the boy which is the eldest child, the gecko made a haunting sound. An old lady, which is a servant of the household told the other servants about her prediction that the baby will grow up to be an intelligent one, but he will not use it for a good purpose. The father, played by Jose Troni, reprimanded and told them to avoid discussing the superstitious matter beginning that day. The child was played by Vic Diaz.
When the child grew up and reach the elementary level of education, he showed a deep interest in the field of science by reading the works of renowned scientists. He spent long hours reading these books, unlike his younger brother who is an average kid. The child then finished at the top of his grade school class because of his intelligence and diligence in studying. This continued until the collegiate level wherein he finished biology and decided to become a scientist. With the long hours in his laboratory, he became an introvert and didn't socialize with other people aside from his family. The request of his father to join his younger brother's birthday celebration was even rejected by him.
However, he happens to be in love with a lady that is, coincidentally the girlfriend of his younger brother. He tried to get the girl's attention by showing his works to her, but he failed many times and got rejected. Out of frustration, he poured a chemical liquid on his head. His niece, played by Luz Valdez, witnessed it. He became bald due to the said accident.
However, the said incident didn't stop him from making more experiments. He soon developed a serum that makes small animals larger than their original sizes. He ordered his long-time house boy, played by Oscar Obligacion, to catch the gecko on the tree. He obliged and brought it to his laboratory and injected it with the serum. The gecko grew larger within minutes to the size of a baby crocodile. The scientist decided to put the gecko in a cage. However, it grew larger and escaped from the cage. He predicted that it will become a giant creature and will bring danger to people, and for him, this was a success. His creation brought fear to the people, including his clan and the household. He left home, along with the house boy, without notice to monitor the progress of the gecko.
The scientist saw his former high school classmate, played by Caridad Sanchez, who was later revealed to be looking for him. She was hired by an American scientist to get the serum from the scientist so that the foreign scientist can use it for himself. The devastation made by the monster was so massive that the military forces of the Philippines intervened to contain the situation. The brother of the scientist, played by Willie Sotelo remembered that he saw an apparatus in his brother's laboratory that might help to stop the monster. With the help of the house boy, which left the scientist due to his insane attitude, they went to the laboratory for the apparatus. They saw the scientist's classmate, hiding because she stole the documents about the serum. She escaped but she also accidentally broke the glass containers which contained chemicals. The chemicals caused a fire to the laboratory, but the two escaped and got the apparatus.
The monster returned to its origin due to its instinct. The scientist's classmate was killed and the American scientist abandoned her. The two, along with the scientist's niece and a character played by Hector Reyes, took a look at the manual on how to defeat the monster. They hold the apparatus tightly and it emitted a ray to the monster, which shrank to its original size. The gecko fell and the Madre Kakaw tree died. The tree fell to the scientist and killed him. Before he died, he asked his mother to forgive him for what he had done.
Cast[edit | edit source]
- Vic Diaz
- Willie Sotelo
- Nita Javier
- Luz Valdez
- Hector Reyes
- Caridad Sanchez
- Oscar Obligacion
- Elena Balmori
- Priscilla Ramirez
- Ms. Bagabaldo
Availability[edit | edit source]
According to an eyewitness, the movie was shown on television, which someone described as "after-lunchtime movies that no one ever gets to watch." He also described it using a little bit of puppetry and a man in a suit. An eyewitness saw it on GMA-7 on a Saturday afternoon television feature presentation.