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Devil Girl from Mars

Entry updated 4 April 2017. Tagged: Film.

Film (1954; 1955 US). Danziger Productions Ltd/British Lion Film Corporation (UK)/Spartan Films (US). Produced by Edward J Danziger and Harry Lee Danziger. Directed by David MacDonald. Written by James Eastwood from the play by Eastwood and John C Mather. Cast includes Adrienne Corri, Hazel Court, Patricia Laffan, Hugh McDermott and Peter Reynolds. 77 minutes. Black and white.

A flying saucer (see UFOs) with a rotating upper section lands in the Scottish highlands to make repairs after being struck by a meteor. Nyah (Laffan), a warrior-woman from a matriarchal society on Mars, emerges with her fifteen-foot tall Robot. She surrounds the Bonnie Charlie Inn with a Force Field and announces to its varied guests that she has come to Earth to collect human males for breeding purposes back home. Long ago, it seems, Mars has a literal war of the sexes with women victorious; over time, the Martian males have all become feeble and apparently sterile. Nyah's robot has an impressive Death Ray which vaporizes anything it strikes. She explains that her Spaceship is made of organic metal, and repairs itself if given time; it is powered by a "reverse atomic fusion" reactor as well, far superior to any vehicle humanity could build. Michael Carter (McDermott), a reporter at the Inn, hopes to get this story as the scoop of a lifetime, presuming Earth's male population can be saved. Doris (Corri) is a maid at the Inn currently being visited by her boyfriend, escaped murderer Robert Justin alias Albert Simpson. After a number of lectures about the superiority of Mars, Albert volunteers to go with Nyah, and causes her ship to explode after take-off by somehow making the reactor malfunction.

Devil Girl from Mars has gained a good deal of notoriety over the years, thanks in part to the provocative title; it has been remarked that Nyah, a sexy dominatrix clad in shiny black vinyl, could surely have attracted volunteers without need for threats. There are some interesting concepts, notably the self-repairing organic metal. It also appears to be the first sf Cinema example of an Alien wishing to capture humans for breeding purposes (see Clichés). Future Hammer Films and Roger Corman star Hazel Court has a small part; Gerry Anderson reportedly worked as a sound editor on this feature, very early in his career. The stage-play origins are obvious in that almost all the action takes near and inside the Inn; there was reportedly a previous UK radio production. [GSt]


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