Devil Girl From Mars
Let’s kick off Mars March with a hot one! This 1954 festival of cheese has an angry woman from Mars, escaped convict, cripple disintegration, and a robot that will make you think your refrigerator has sprouted legs and is making 1950’s B movies. I love that robot. This film is based on a play, and it shows. The set is basically one place (except for a brief drop off in the ship or right outside the inn) and the dialog is pure play. Even if your only exposure to play was being dragged to high school drama plays by your friends, you will recognize the styling, the explanations, the forced reasons for characters to exit the stage so the plot can happen.
A plane explodes……because of the Devil Girl From Mars! I guess, they never explain it. It could have been Al Qaeda. 1950’s Al Qaeda. From Mars! At the Scottish in The Bonnie Charlie, kid Tommy and Doris the barmaid listen to the radio explain that a meteor dropped nearby. Tommy’s Auntie drops by and shoos him off to bed. Auntie is Mrs. Jamieson, who runs the place with her husband, Jamie Jamieson. Everyone is Scottish or British, and accents fly through the air like arrows in Sherwood Forest. Searching for said meteor is Professor Hennessey, who can’t read maps; and Reporter Michael Carter. There is also an escaped convict roaming the Scottish Highlands as well. His name is Robert, but he’s hiding out as Albert Simpson. He arrives at The Bonnie Charlie and Doris sees him. They were former lovers before he was sent to jail for murdering his wife (who wasn’t Doris). He claims it was an accident. Like OJ, he must be searching for the real killers. Doris covers for him when Mrs. Jamieson shows up, and gets Robert a room at the place that he can work off doing chores. In addition, the Inn houses a woman named Ellen for some reason, having to due with a married man. Let us not forget the character of David, a limping, slimy, handyman who is just in the movie to up the body count. All Science Fiction movies have these characters, most named Torgo or Mickey, many of them part monster, but all creepy. Professor and Carter arrive at The Bonnie Charlie lost for the night and get a room as well. All the characters gather in the dining area/bar and character develop with theater dialog. Mr. Jamieson is a drunk, Carter is a loudmouth who makes the moves on Ellen nanoseconds after meeting her, the Professor can’t shut up about science and how he’s a scientist. All is gong well until Robert enters, and Carter recognizes him immediately.
Exposing Robert is interrupted mid-sentence by a spaceship landing in the backyard. Everyone freaks, the phone fails to operate, and Carter finishes declaring Robert a murderer so he and the Professor can try the car (also doesn’t work.) Doris hides Robert in the attic. At the UFO, a lone woman emerges, looking like a Vulcan who is wearing garbage bags and the back of a Darth Vader mask. Creepy David limps too close to the Martian Woman, and gets vaporized. Mars:1 Earth: 0. Doris is in a catatonic state when the Professor and Carter find her, thanks to Martian Woman taking over her mind. The Martian Lady lays out her plans for the Earthlings. Her name is Nyah and she’s come to steal the best men of Earth for Martian breeding. This may seem like a keen deal, but the representative from Mars is the Ice Queen of PMS, if the rest of the women are like her, no man should go to Mars. She refers to the Professor as a very poor physical specimen. Her ship is damaged but will repair itself soon, and in the meanwhile she will harass these Scottish-type Earthers to alleviate the boredom, it seems. Nyah talks about how on Mars the War of the Sexes was a real War of the Sexes, and the men were conquered. Thusly, they are dying out, so the women need Earth Men. I can’t imagine why the Martian men would not be breeding with women like her. Her Kirstie Alley voice, her veins pumping pure black ice, her heart rock solid diamond, sign me up! The men were destroyed by a perpetual motion chain reactor beam. Yep. That about says it all. She follows with admitting to killing David, then puts up a force field around the area and leaves.
The Professor goes invisible force field searching “I’m a scientist, I believe what my brain tells me to believe!” His brain tells him “Ouch!” when he runs smack into the invisible force field. Mr. Jamieson gets a gun, which Carter shoots at Nyah when she returns for her dressing down of the puny humans she will perform every ten minutes or so. The bullets are as ineffective as the cast’s acting ability, and Nyah will show him real power! “Now, watch the power of ANOTHER WORLD!” Dramatic music swells, the doors of the spaceship open, a shadow looms……and a refrigerator with a siren on it’s head waddles out. It’s Chanti the robot! Tremor in horror, kids, this walking cooler will level entire cities and keep your Pepsi Ice cold! Now Frost-free! Chanti, the most awesomest robot I’ve ever seen, emits a glowing glob at a tree, and the tree is disintegrated. Chanti follows up with blasting a truck and a barn, barely missing Robert and kid Tommy who were hiding nearby. The people cower in horror before the awesome might of Chanti, the robot from Mars. They flee back to the safety of the inn, before the get freezerburn. Robert and Tommy are spotted by Nyah, who takes the kid and hypnotizes Robert into a slave.
Nyah returns after a few minutes into the Inn to taunt the Earthers once more. This time she takes the Professor on a tour of her spaceship. Now you can see why she goes inside to bother them so much, the spaceship is one empty room, set in post-modern design with a glowing pit in the center. That’s it. Even though Tommy and the Robot are supposed to be inside, there is nothing. I think Tommy got shoved inside of Chanti the robot, as Tommy never saw the episode of Punky Brewster where we learned to not hide in old refrigerators. At least Tommy will be well preserved when they find his body. Nyah explains a bunch of technical stuff to the Professor, obviously enjoying speaking lots of big words. Nyah explains the ship is powered by Nuclear Energy on a Static Negative Condensity. That is a fancy way of saying “The glowing pit.” Also that means the glowing pit is like a nuclear bomb, and it’s also perpetual motion. This playwright likes to use the term “perpetual motion,” he must be one of those guys who tries to invent an actual working machine and patents lots of failed prototypes. He’s probably working in his parent’s basement right now, designing a new crazed machine, parts whirring. He must keep it hidden from the oil companies and the CIA. They put a chip in his brain to keep track of him. On Mars!
Nyah escorts the Professor back to the Inn so she can taunt the humans again. Then she vanishes into the fourth dimension. Silly Devil Girl, the FIFTH dimension is the best dimension. Michael goes out next to the spaceship and convinces Nyah to trade Tommy for him. Tommy returns to his family, obnoxious and Scottish all the while. After he explains his story he is sent to bed again, and thankfully we never see him again. Doris checks on Robert only to find him acting all funny. Carter returns inside to say goodbye to Ellen, but must check out Robert first. Carter walks upstairs, opens a door, and Robert POUNCES! Thus begins a pointless fight scene to fill up screen time. The writers should have brought back the robot. I want more Chanti! Robert gets ties up, and the Professor tells Carter if he messes with the glowing pit on the spaceship he will blow it up. It’s time to leave for Carter, who exits with Nyah after Ellen exclaims her undying love for him. At the ship, Carter grabs Nyah’s remote, and controls Chanti. Yeah, Chanti! Nyah just mindcontrols Carter into giving her the remote back, and that attempt at a coup was foiled.
Nyah sends Carter back to the Inn, then tells everyone there she will blow them all up when the spaceship leaves. The Professor tries to convince her to take him as a guide, and to spare the others. She decides to pick someone as a guide, but is not sure who, and will spare no one. Then she wanders off again. The Professor tries to write everything he’s learned down in case the notes survive the Inn being destroyed. Michael and Ellen kiss. Robert recovers and is normal now. The men draw cards to see who will go, and Carter wins. For some reason every character except Doris and the still tied up Robert leave the stage to go hide somewhere, telling Robert they will get him later. Doris sets Robert free, and he gets taken by Nyah as her guide. Why did everyone go hide? I am not too clear, suddenly everyone ran off. Probably because of their fear of Chanti the Robot. From Mars!
Phillip goes into the ship, it takes off, and BOOM! Explosion galore! Explosion being someone dumped paint into water and filmed it to use as the spaceship exploding in a cloud of smoke, but an explosion nevertheless. Then the phone rings and everyone gets drunk!
Seriously, the all hit the bottle at the end of the movie.
The bottle from MARS!
Chanti the robot from Mars was the best thing about this movie. It was completely goofy, a random robot that blows random things up, can’t move it’s arms, is shaped like a box. Robots that double as appliances would make good robots, as you could be washing your clothes while your robot army conquers Detroit. Maytag really needs to get cracking on making some robot washing machines.
We love Chanti the Martian Robot so much here at tarstarkas.net that we secured a special interview with him!
|Greetings from Earth, Chanti the Robot. We here at TarsTarkas.NET are big fans!|
|Thank you, Minya. Happy to be here.|
|First question is, what influenced you to become an actor?|
|When I was a small boy robot from Mars, my Mother Robot from Mars took me to see a Flash Gordon serial where there were walking water heaters playing robots. At that moment I was inspired, and knew I had to work in films.|
|Who are your robot heroes?|
|I am a big fan of Robbie the Robot, as he paved the way for all of us. Also big props goes out to R2D2, Data, Crow, Tom Servo, Keanu Reeves, and especially the Martian robot from Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, a fellow Martian Robot Alum. Him and I both toured Asia together in 1978 with Jet Jaguar. Rocking good times. Ever tried LSD on the Great Wall of China?|
|I can’t say I have…|
|It’s the bomb! I got so high I disintigrated a whole village, and Jet Jaguar dug up Chairman Mao’s corpse and took photos. We aren’t allowed in China anymore.|
|How sad for China. Any upcoming work?|
|Your socks will be dry in about five more minutes or so! Besides that, Jet Jaguar and I are thinking of opening a pizza place in Minnesota.|
|Well, good luck with that. We’ve run out of time again, I’m afraid. Until next we meet, this is Minya, signing off! Dude, make sure my underwear is folded correctly this time when you finish!|
Rated 4/10 (robot, robot, explosion of paint, the take-off)
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