IMDB Rating: 5 / 10
So back when I ran the B-Horror Blog I would occasionally do a themed movie month and was super keen to have the inaugural one for A World of Weird. Following a chain of thought likely driven by excessive caffeine and general sleep deprivation I settled on a 1950s SCI-FI SPECTACULAR! Unfortunately it was only once I had sourced all the movies that I realised that 1950s sci-fi is generally horrible and best watched only when the MST3K robots are around to lend a helping hand.
I hereby throw in the towel with this particular idea for a themed movie month and leave you with the first of the three movies that I actually managed to watch: the black-and-white Scottish dreariness that is Devil Girl From Mars.
Inverness-shire in Scotland doesn’t know what’s about to hit it – Martian women want our Earth men!
Mars is busy recovering from a catastrophic battle of the sexes that damn-near devastated the planet. The Martian women won, but at a great cost – the war has left the male population on the brink of extinction, and basic biology 101 tells you that you can’t have baby Martians without a mommy and daddy Martian. Nyah, a particularly formidable Martian female, plots a journey to London to abduct as many Earth men as possible to help repopulate the red planet. Unfortunately, for all the Martians are clearly millenia ahead of Earth in terms of technology, Nyah is still a woman and driving proves not to be her strong suit and she damages her spaceship on entry into Earth’s atmosphere. With a damaged ship and a less-than-stellar sense of direction Nyah lands up just outside a bonnie little pub in the drabbest part of Scotland, where she will have to make do with the few men that happen to be inside.
This is the basic premise of what’s happening in Devil Girl From Mars, but in reality this film is more of a PSA for walking than anything else. People getting lost and walking to the pub. Nyah landing and walking to the pub. Nyah walking people to her spaceship. Other people walking to the spaceship. Nyah walking people back to the pub from her spaceship. Nyah picking one or two people to go back to the spaceship. Nyah and those people walking back to the pub. Nyah walking to her spaceship to deliberate. Nyah and a robot walking around the spaceship. Nyah walking back to the pub after she’s done deliberating. And that’s not even all the walking that happens.
As Tropical Mary put it, it’s as though whoever made this little cinematic underachiever got no further than the movie’s title and Nyah’s skin-tight outfit and just had to make do until it was long enough to be released as a full-length movie. While this may not be to everyone’s taste, I’m sure it’ll go down a treat in power walking circles.
On the one hand the visuals, in some cases, are quite impressive. The spaceship and its little journey through our atmosphere are actually quite well done, and the limited examples of special effects (such as getting rid of unwanted shrubbery and barns with lasers) look, at least to my untrained eye, quite impressive for the time.
Sadly the costuming department didn’t seem to have a 10th of the determination the other departments had. Nyah’s costume is quite something to behold since it’s made entirely of what looks like vinyl and almost goes so far as to show off her burning bush. I imagine this outfit would have been deemed quite scandalous and provocative back in the day, but sitting here in 2016 I’ve seen school girls go out wearing less, and admittedly the only thing this outfit looks like now is daft.
The same can be said for Nyah’s sole passenger, the robot “man” who may have had a name but which I can’t remember. I feel sorry for the poor guy who had to walk around in a giant box with a tupperware dish on his head; it’s rather obvious that he can’t see a damn thing as he tries to plot a course around the set.
All in all it’s nothing to write home about, but it certainly ticks all of the cheesy 50s special effects boxes.
Boredom and patriotism.
The problem with Devil Girl From Mars is that while it doesn’t do anything fundamentally wrong, it doesn’t do anything fundamentally right either. You can laugh at the convoluted and at times strangely progressive plot, Nyah’s outfit, the clunky robot, and the rather bizarre way that characters interact with one another, but those laughs are going to be few and far between because you need to fucking walk to get there! Either give me 50s sci-fi that’s engrossing or give me 50s cheese that’s so bad I’ll laugh the entire way through, not this middle ground that’s as exciting as a piece of boiled chicken breast.
That being said, this movie should bring out a spark of patriotism in anyone who watches it. No matter what problems we Earthlings may have, I think we can all stand together and agree that our men are our men, and no damn Martian floozy should be able to invade whenever she feels like it and just take them away. Earth girls have enough problems without having to compete with interplanetary broads.
My Final Rating: 4 / 10
Buy Devil Girl From Mars at Amazon.com