Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Devil Girl From Mars - 1954

Back to the 50's I go with this little excursion into space fear, Devil Girl From Mars.  This movie is going to get a kind of short review, again, not that much to say about it.

This movie is based on a play, and it shows.  To me that's not a bad thing, minimalism in set and setting is something that doesn't bother me.  There's right and there's wrong ways to do movies based on plays, and I think this movie did it right:  stay true to the minimalism, stay minimal on the special effects, work with what you would've had in a play.

There's about 3 settings maybe - the house, the spaceship, and the outside.  It has a minimal cast of characters, it's mostly dialogue, not a lot of effect or action.  In other words, it sounds pretty boring; and sure some parts are, but generally if it's been performed in front of a live audience they know how to keep the audience watching.  That's the problem with some movies, they don't think about how this would look to a live audience.  You could not have the killer blindly walking around, driving around, etc - those scenes can be useful but a lot of time are filler and unnecessary.

The devil girl arrives, she is an alien from Mars, and Mars has had some great war.  In the war, it was males versus females, females won, killing all the males.  So now the devil girl has to come to Earth to steal some men away and take them back to Mars.  What an original idea.  Maybe they should've just realized like, "hey wait, we can't kill ALL the Martian men....let's take some hostage, or at least extract their semen before killing them".  Whatever.

Devil girl arrives and to demonstrate her power she "turns invisible" (seen off screen of course).  She also produces a death/disintegration gun that destroys anything it fires it.  Then later, she also has a stereotypical slow moving boxy robot that has a head that acts as a gun as well.  Oh and she can also hypnotize people, as if she needed more power.  Yet with all those powers she is incredibly stupid, and oddly nice to the humans.  Despite their trying to stop her she gives them multiple chances again and again, she never hurts one of them, and actually, asking for just a few men to go bone thousands of Martian women each....uh, why is she a devil girl again??!

The plot is pretty dumb, the acting is over the top by most involved, and we've seen this type of movie before.  I don't know why some of these 50's and 60's movies wanted to deal with sexuality in this way.  Were they trying to warn of perversions, playing out men's fantasies, or was it just a weird era in mankind?  I don't know.  The way it comes off though is kind of like a commentary on women's rights and their need of men, that would make sense given the era in which it came out.  But I wonder if it's plotline would've even been considered "controversial" at the time because it states so bluntly that women need men, and that women are...to put it mildly, unintelligent.

So of course the devil girl woman is deceived by a man, killed, and the movie ends like nothing ever happened, and we're left with only a vague idea and memory of another semi-bland but thankfully short 50's movie.  Necessary viewing it is not, fun it is, and fast paced as well.  At 77 minutes it's the right length, and the fact it was a play and dialogue heavy is not really a big problem.  It's genuinely kind of interesting and neat, and a cool historical piece if nothing else.

I don't know what to rate it, so I guess it gets 3 stars.

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