Friday, 7 June 2013

Fantastic Night Of Terror

‘Devil Girl From Mars’ is part of the obscure British sub-genre of ‘sci fi films set in Scotland’ (see also ‘Island of Terror’ and ‘Night Of The Big Heat’. In these masterworks, aliens tend to treat Scotland as a testing ground for their various wacky attempts to conquer the Earth, seeing it as essentially a smaller, less populated, more remote and much more picturesque place to do business. It is telling that they very rarely meet actual Scottish people, as clearly even the briefest of encounters with this extremely brave, extremely chippy race would tip the invaders off that conquest would be significantly easier said than done.
The Devil Girl of the title is Nyah, a haughty space vixen who has come to Earth in an extraordinary outfit that can perhaps be best described as a principal boy costume for the Nazi Party panto (well, that was the best way I could describe it). In true fifties style, she's travelled all the way across the galaxy to get a bloke. Lots of blokes, in fact, as the battle of the sexes on Mars has led to a female victory and a crushing defeat for the martian men who, feeling particularly bad about the whole thing, have now become impotent, hence the requirement for British men, the best men in the Universe. Like lots of aliens, however, Nyah doesn't understand that it doesn't have to be all command and conquer, especially if you've got something to trade with. My point is, I suppose, that Nyah is just really stroppy all the time. In fact, she's prety rude and kind of a drag. Under normal circumstances, I'd bet some Earthmen would jump at the chance for a shagging trip to Mars but, with her attitude, it's just going to seem like a pain in the arse waiting to happen. It's bad management.  
In any case, the snatch and grab isn’t exactly going to plan, as Nyah’s spaceship has had to park up in the Highlands due to a fault. Luckily there’s an inn nearby filled with people she can boss about and she has a big robot if anyone gets out of line. In order to demonstrate the awesome power of the man in the silver box, sorry, the robot, Nyah has it destroy a tree, a car and a shed with its inbuilt laser. Why? All it needed to do was destroy one of those things, I mean, no-one is going to watch the tree glow with heat and then disappear and think 'that's a formidable weapon, but I'll bet it only works on trees' are they? It's just showing off, and, once again, demonstrates why Nyah will ultimately end up in a big ball of flame. Oh balls, I've given the ending away. I was pretty much spent anyway. 

Minor quibbles aside, I'd like to give 'Devil Girl From Mars' one of my highest accolades: it's a hoot.

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