Martian Nyah (Patricia Laffan) is sent to Earth to kidnap virile men for breeding purposes on her home planet. After missing her original target, London, she sets her spaceship down beside an inn on the Scottish moors, traps the occupants inside a force field and makes her intentions known. The guests then try to find a way to escape Nyah and her robot companion’s vaporising rays in a bid to alert the authorities of the alien plot.
Devil Girl from Mars is 1950s British sci-fi camp of the highest order. The film, based on a stage play, puts a British battle of the sexes spin on the 1951 sci-fi classic The Day the Earth Stood Still – but its done on the cheap, and comes across like a Home Counties amateur dramatics production. Despite the low rent values, however, the flying saucer effects and foam-rubber robot are actually quite good.
The film is best known for Laffan’s dominatrix-type villainess Nyah who, attired in black PVC cape, mini-skirt and boots, looks like she stepped out of a 1950s fetish magazine. Laffan also gets to deliver some laughable dialogue. A great drinking game would be to down one each time Nyah bursts through the inn’s patio doors to deliver gems like, ‘Now men look, watch the power of another world!’
Look out for Hazel Court (The Masque of the Red Death) as a disillusioned city model and Adrienne Corri (A Clockwork Orange, Madhouse) as a barmaid harbouring an escaped killer (Peter Reynolds), who ends up the film’s hero.
Silly, trashy, B-movie fun – Devil Girl from Mars is an entertaining romp that well deserves revisiting. Perfect Saturday matinee viewing.
The new Network DVD release