Devil Girl From Mars (1954) review

Director: David MacDonald

Starring: Hugh McDermott, Hazel Court, Peter Reynolds, Adrienne Corri, Joseph Tomelty, Sophie Stewart, John Laurie, Patricia Laffan

MICHAEL: “Mrs Jamieson, may I introduce your latest guest, Miss Nyah. She comes from Mars.”

MRS JAMIESON: “Och, well that’ll mean another bed.”

Believe it or not, the UK was doing sci-fi themed stage plays as early as the 1950s. Devil Girl From Mars was one such production: what we have here is actually a movie adaptation. Continue reading “Devil Girl From Mars (1954) review”

The House In The Woods (1957) review

the-house-in-the-woods-posterDirector: Maxwell Munden

Starring: Michael Gough, Patricia Roc, Ronald Howard

CAROL: “Spencer’s a lonely man I feel I can help, even if it’s only by letting him paint me. I don’t think I’m able to help my husband no matter how hard I try.”

MICHAEL: “I’m sorry darling. But you see, sometimes a man can sense an inner corruption in another man that is hidden from a woman by sentiment and sex.”

CAROL: “Inner corruption in another man! How do you know you’re not fighting it in yourself?”

Michael Gough was a legendary English actor who appeared in over 200 film roles over the course of nearly 60 years.

Perhaps best known to modern and international audiences as Alfred in all four 1990s Batman films, Gough had been a star of British stage and screen for decades before this.

The House In The Woods is one of his earlier roles, and though it’s more or less been forgotten over time it’s still a decent example of his ability to drive a film with his performance. Continue reading “The House In The Woods (1957) review”

Killers From Space (1954) review

Killers From Space posterDirector: W. Lee Wilder

Starring: Peter Graves, James Seay, Steve Pendleton, Frank Gerstle

DOUG – Where do you come from?
DENEB TALA – From a planet yet unknown to you.
DOUG – You know my name. You speak English.
DENEB TALA – We speak every language.

If the title has you curious as to what this one’s about let me end your suspense – it’s about killers from space. And it’s shite.

A young Peter Graves (decades before his role as the white-haired Captain Oveur in Airplane!) plays Doctor Doug Martin, a scientist working for the US military. Continue reading “Killers From Space (1954) review”

The Wasp Woman (1959)

Director: Roger Corman

Starring: Susan Cabot, Michael Mark, Anthony Eisley

“Something’s happening to me. I can’t control it.” (Janice, The Wasp Woman)

If I had a penny for every 50s movie that copied the whole “scientific process goes boink” set-up of The Fly, I’d probably have around 20-25p to my name. What can I say, I’m realistic. Either way, The Wasp Woman is one such movie, and while its setting and plot begin differently to that of The Fly, things soon start to get very familiar.

After neglecting his job as a beekeeper by instead catching wasps and performing experiments on them in his office, the eccentric and elderly Eric Zinthrop is told to piss off and take his wanky little wasps with him (well, he’s fired, but I like my wording better). As far as Zinthrop sees it, it’s their loss, because he’s close to a major breakthrough on a new anti-aging formula that uses a queen wasps’ royal jelly instead of that of a queen bee.

"No, I don't dye my eyebrows you prick"

Zinthrop pays an unannounced visit to Starlin, a cosmetic firm in New York, and asks for an audience with their owner Janice Starlin. He shows her what he’s got – a serum that when injected into an animal doesn’t just stop it from aging, but actually reverses the process and makes it look younger. Stunned, Janice gives him an immediate contract and promises to pay him anything he wants to develop and perfect the formula exclusively for her company.  Continue reading “The Wasp Woman (1959)”