Devil Girl from Mars (1954)

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An odd little cinematic gift from England — but don’t take it too seriously. The story is set in an isolated English inn where a flying saucer lands and surrounds the area in an invisible force field. From the spacecraft emerges a fifteen-foot-tall robot and an evil Martian woman who announces that the matriarchal Martian society has sent her to select Earth men for breeding purposes. The Martian men have been subjugated ever since they lost a war with the women, and during the intervening centuries the males have grown weak and useless. (American men take note: this could happen to you, too!)

All this is played absolutely straight by the cast. No cutesy sex jokes.

On the negative side: bogus scientific terms saturate Miss Laffan’s dialogue. The robot looks too much like a refrigerator with a police light for a head. The entire films is shot on an indoor set, causing it to resemble the original stage production on which it was based (yes, a British sci-fi PLAY!)

On the positive side: The concepts described by the bogus scientific dialogue are key elements in the plot — which means the viewer has to pay attention to keep up with what’s going on. The Scenes of the woman and the robot coming out of the huge spacecraft are flawlessly matted and very impressive — and so is the robot’s demonstration of its death ray. Patricia Laffan (the Martian women) overacts outrageously, but her performance is still enjoyable. Her shiny black outfit is comprised of black boots, short skirt, long cape, and black skullcap. The supporting players do a fine job, including the lovely Hazel Court. Praiseworthy music score by Edwin Astely. The story contains some good concepts. For example, the spacecraft is made of `organic metal’ that repairs its own damage. Unfortunately, we don’t get any special effects depicting this marvel.

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