DVD Review: DEVIL GIRL FROM MARS (1954)

PrintE-mail Written by John Knott

Devil Girl from Mars

Review: Devil Girl from Mars / Director: David MacDonald / Screenplay: James Eastwood / Starring: Patricia Laffan, Hugh McDermott, Hazel Court, Peter Reynolds, Adrienne Corri, Joseph Tomelty, John Laurie, Sophie Stewart / Release Date: Out now

Make no mistake, when it comes to '50s sci-fi movies, Devil Girl from Mars (1954) is as iconic as they come. But, truth be told, it’s hardly typical of the genre.

For a start, it’s British. Although that’s hardly unique, it has to be said that our other efforts tended to be a bit more serious and worthy. Actually we suspect the makers of this did think they were doing something worthy. You see, you might be surprised to learn that DGfM is actually based on a stage play. No, really. One assumes the play was the sort of thing Joey Tribbiani may have appeared in but it’s no surprise that the film is entirely set in a difficult-to-heat Scottish hotel. The landlady explains that they have to eat in the bar as it’s the only warm place (even if they’re happy to walk around the Scottish moors in their PJ's). Yeah, you get the idea: they’ve only got one set. Par for the course on stage but slightly embarrassing in a movie. Combine this with slow pacing and a tedious script and you’ve got something that is actually a bit rubbish.

So you’re wondering why it’s so iconic. Well that’ll be its ineffable ability to raise a smile. While everyone plays it straight as a die, it still manages to be as camp as Butlins. It starts like a god-awful amdram about a man-on-the-run; just as his true identity is about to be revealed there is a sudden blinding light as a spaceship lands outside. The unintentional comic timing couldn’t be better. On the subject of comic timing, you also have to remember it was made at a time when alcoholism was considered funny so long as the alcoholic in question was Scottish. Step forward no less than the mighty John Laurie as an amusing drunk. This was comedy gold in 1954.

However, the movie’s lofty status will be forever assured by the presence of Patricia Laffan as the Devil Girl herself. The Battle of the Sexes was taken a bit too literally on Mars and the women won. Yes, her planet needs men. If a stern '50s dominatrix in retro-fetish gear is your thing then we really can’t think of a film you’re going to enjoy more than this one. Don’t worry, your dirty little secret is safe with us and you can snigger with the rest of us as nearly all the male cast volunteer to be the one who goes back with her. If that weren’t enough, she has a robot that looks like a fridge. If this was the British response to Gort, you can tell we were a nation in decline.

It might be a terrible movie, but if comedy-alcoholism, crap robots and dated S&M are your thing, it’s an essential purchase. Always remember you’re British.

Extras: Image gallery /Press book PDF




Suggested Articles:
Three prostitutes are found murdered in the exact same way over consecutive nights across three coun
Between 1974 and 1981, Agatha Christie appeared to be everywhere on the big-screen, with no fewer th
Here’s a twist: a film shot on an iPhone about making a sequel to a film shot on an iPhone. James
DRAMAtical Murder is a an anime based on a visual novel game for the PC. It follows Aoba Seragak, a
scroll back to top

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

Other articles in DVD / Blu-ray Reviews

THE TEAM 24 February 2017

THE AGATHA CHRISTIE MOVIE COLLECTION 24 February 2017

2 JENNIFER 23 February 2017

DRAMATICAL MURDER 23 February 2017

LOVE, CHUNIBYO, AND OTHER DELUSIONS 23 February 2017

A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS 23 February 2017

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK 21 February 2017

THE CRYING GAME 19 February 2017

THE MINDY PROJECT SEASON 4 15 February 2017

TRAIN TO BUSAN 14 February 2017

- Entire Category -

Sign up today!
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner

      
      
 
 
 
...