DEVIL GIRL FROM MARS
Devil Girl from Mars has gained a reputation as a bad film. In truth, though it has its occasionally absurd moments today, it is neither any better nor any worse than any other science-fiction film produced in the same equivalent budget arena during this decade. The film gathers a typical ensemble of characters that are supposed to represent a cross-section of society a model, a scientist, a journalist, a middle-aged married couple, a single girl, a criminal on the run and the obligatory kid. To their credit, the actors cast all do a credible job of playing their parts and director David MacDonald does an efficient job of heightening the tensions, while economically containing most of the film to a single setting the barroom of an inn and the garden outside (no surprise given that the film is based on a stageplay).
With her cold, haughty demeanour and clad in a PVC mini-skirt and cape, what Patricia Laffans Devil Girl looks like today is a dominatrix from outer space (which was almost certainly not intended at the time). This in turn taps into another cliche of 1950s science-fiction the depiction of societies where women have taken over and/or eliminated men altogether, which we see in efforts like Cat Women of the Moon (1953), Fire Maidens of Outer Space (1956), Queen of Outer Space (1958) and to more comic ends in Abbott and Costello Go to Mars (1953) and Invasion of the Star Creatures (1962). Patricia Laffan comes out with prize lines like: Meanwhile, I will select some of your strongest men to return with me to Mars.
There is a rather ridiculous seeming alien robot that looks for all the world like a 1950s petrol pump with corrugated arms. This has clearly been modelled on Gort from The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) indeed, Nyah and her robot companion has fairly much been construed as an evil version of Klaatu and Gort. We even get a similar scene where the robot blows things up with a raybeam from its eye, although Devil Girl from Mars is operating on a smaller budget and rather than a host of military equipment, all that it disintegrates is a tree and a tractor.
Full film available online here:-